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August 25, 2005

Political analysis of dreams

From Sleep and Dream Patterns of Political Liberals and Conservatives by Kelly Bulkeley, Ph.D. Presented at the 22nd Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams...

Conservatives sleep more soundly, with fewer dreams. Liberals have more restless sleep and a more active dream life. Conservatives sleep somewhat longer, with better sleep quality; they recall fewer dreams, but report more lucid dreams (especially conservative men). Liberals (particularly liberal women) have worse sleep quality, recall a greater number and variety of dreams, and have more dreams of homosexuality.

Liberals and conservatives report a roughly equal proportion of bad dreams and nightmares. This is different from my earlier study (using dreams gathered from 1996-2000), when the conservatives had many more nightmarish dreams than the liberals. In the present study (using dreams gathered post-September 11, 2001 to the end of 2004), the conservative frequency of negative dreams is somewhat less, while the liberal frequency is much higher. It appears liberals have become more upset and troubled in their dreams, while conservatives have become less so in theirs.

The dreams of liberals are more bizarre than the dreams of conservatives. This is consistent with my earlier findings. Liberals have more dreams with unusual, distorted, fantastic elements than conservatives, whose dreams are more likely to portray normal characters, settings, and activities.

Bulkeley attributes the rate of bad dreams to the political climate. Bush is in power and both houses of Congress are in Republican hands, therefore Liberals worry more about it. In the time frame of the previous study, Bill Clinton was president, something that should have given any rational person bad dreams.

That Liberals dream of fantasy things, while Conservatives dream of more realistic things is expected, after all to be a Liberal one has to live in a fantasy world, so why wouldn't their dreams reflect that.

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 25, 2005 07:01 AM

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This is so interesting. I read earlier of FMRI studies that show that liberals are more emotionally driven than conservatives.

Posted by: NYgirl at August 26, 2005 04:48 PM

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