Handedness and dream content

Patrick McNamara, Jill Clark, Ernest Hartmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We tested the hypothesis that dream content would vary as a function of handedness. Seventy-nine self-reported right-handers and 30 self-reported left-handers provided written descriptions of a recent dream. There were no significant differences between handedness groups in mean word length per dream or in mean theme/word ratios. However, compared to dreams reported by right-handers, the dreams of left-handers were characterized by a significantly greater number of high imagery words and words describing affective states. In addition, left-handers were more likely to report that their dreams did not accurately reflect their everyday life-experience. We conclude that handedness may be an important indicator of dream characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Dream content
  • Handedness
  • Laterality


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