Longitudinal studies of gender differences in cognitional process in dream content

Patrick McNamara, Victoria Pae, Brian Teed, Yorghos Tripodis, Adonai Sebastian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We collected dream series over two years from 37 men and 46 women from the dream posting website dreamboard.com. We applied mixed effect regression modeling techniques to assess the effects of a dream content variable "cognitive processing" on other dream content variables in men vs women. We found that on a month by month basis cognitive processing was significantly associated with markers of grammatical complexity (verbs and function words), the personal pronoun I, social processes, perceptual processes, health and emotion (both negative and positive) with men having a greater association to processing resources with these matters than women. Men exhibited a significantly positive rate of change in cognitive processing on a monthly basis, while women did not show a significant rate of change over time. Results suggest that people do in fact use dreams to cognitively process emotional information over time with men using dreams more intensively than women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Dream Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitional process
  • Dreaming
  • Gender differences
  • Longitudinal studies


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