Childrens Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness by David Foulkes

By David Foulkes

David Foulkes is likely one of the overseas leaders within the empirical research of kid's dreaming, and a pioneer of sleep laboratory examine with young ones. during this booklet, which distills a life of examine, Foulkes exhibits that dreaming as we more often than not comprehend it-active tales within which the dreamer is an actor-appears particularly overdue in early life. This real dreaming starts off among the a long time of seven and nine. He argues that this overdue improvement of dreaming indicates an both overdue improvement of waking reflective self-awareness. Foulkes deals a lively security of the independence of the mental realm, and the legitimacy of learning it with out both psychoanalytic over-interpretation or neurophysiological reductionism.

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The focus of my research, and of this book, is upon how the child’s mind “works” during sleep, and upon how the workings of that mind grow and develop throughout childhood. 3 The Two Studies The results of this book rest on my two major studies, one longitudinal and one cross-sectional. Longitudinally, one would compare mental abilities at ages 5 and 7 by restudying, at age 7, children already studied two years earlier at age 5. Crosssectionally, one might compare mental abilities at ages 5 and 7 by studying, during the same year, kindergartners and second-graders from the same school.

Our children, for instance, had more unpleasant dreams at home. But there is good reason to believe that this finding reflects the method of dream sampling, and is not an effect of where— home versus laboratory—that method was used. The prevailing stereotypes of dreams as unpleasant and bizarre experiences depend on the kind of dream most likely spontaneously to catch our attention and to be processed for later recall when we are on our own. The dreams we notice and remember are the scary ones and the odd ones.

Whether from such observation or from more standardized tests, the data we collected from or about children finally were described as rankings or scores that could be correlated statistically with scores or rankings on dream variables; in effect, a comparison of the daytime child with the nighttime child. Generally, two or three waking test sessions were scheduled during each year of a child’s service in the study. The monograph (Foulkes, 1982a) originally describing this research lists 657 nondream variables that we correlated with children’s dream data, and notes that we computed, thanks to highspeed computers, some 136,411 such correlations.

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