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The Dement and Kleitman Page

William Dement at his sleep laboratory at Stanford University

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Dement and Kleitman (sleep and dreaming) Study

William Domhoff's breaks new ground in the field, not by proposing grandiose, premature answers to questions about the nature of dreams but rather by showing us with unprecedented clarity and scope where we have erred in the past and allowing us to start over again. In a careful, reasoned critique, Domhoff demonstrates the shortcomings of the dominant dream theories that haunted the last century. Based on a thorough examination of converging evidence from neurophysiological, cognitive, and content analysis approaches to the study of dreams, he then lays the groundwork for the construction of future theories of the dreaming process from a neurocognitive perspective. Although a new, complete theory is not presented here, its insightful and unbiased assessment of where dream research stands at this time should make required reading for everyone interested in an empirical approach to understanding dreaming.

Home > Physiological > Dement and Kleitman (sleep and dreaming) Study

This great picture is of Nathaniel Kleitman serving as a subject in one of his own sleep experiments. is a copy of the original study. Here are some

Dement and Kleitman (sleep and dreaming) ..

A relation between narrative length and time in REM was reported by Dement and Kleitman in their pioneering study (1957).

Early evidence cited in support of a REM=dream isomorphism was an apparent correlation between the pattern of rapid eye movements during REM sleep and that which would be expected if the subject had been scanning the dream images he later reported (Dement and Kleitman, 1957; Roffwarg et al., 1962).

There will be a significant association between the
pattern of eye movement
and the
context of the dream
To understand Dement & Kleitman (1957) and the associated evaluation points.
Awaken by doorbell.

Record dream recall using a tape recorder.

Participants went to the sleep lab just before their regular bedtime.

No caffeine or alcohol.
9 participant - 5 studied intensively.

7 males and 2 females.
To recap Dement & Kleitman (1957).

To list the evaluation points related to the sample, procedure and findings.

To apply this knowledge to complete past exam questions.

Dement and Kleitman - Get Revising

Aserinsky, E., & Kleitman, N. (1953). Regularly occurring periods of eye motility and concomitant phenomenon during sleep.  273-274.

Although does not culminate in a complete theory of dreaming, Domhoff accomplishes several very important goals. He challenges much of the past literature on dreaming, effectively demonstrating the shortcomings of both psychoanalytic and activation synthesis dream theory and rightly concluding that much of the other literature on dreaming is riddled with methodological flaws. Domhoff then gives us an insightful analysis of what we should consider known about dreaming at this time, calling on us to take the next steps by encouraging academics to be open to new ideas about dreaming and to help loosen the hold of flawed traditional theories on young researchers. is a much-needed wake-up call, telling us that we need to rethink our strategies and start anew, salvaging the bits of sound knowledge that we have accumulated so far and adopting more effective research and theoretical strategies as we move into the future of dream research. The exact direction in which we should proceed is not entirely clear, however. It may be up to the next generation of researchers to find the path that will eventually lead us to a successful theory of dreaming.

Although Domhoff makes a strong case that content analysis is superior to other types of content rating scales used in dream research, we must realize that any content rating system will only take us so far. As mentioned earlier, studies using content analysis have contributed importantly to the field by showing us that dream content demonstrates continuity with waking thought and experience. However, it should be noted that many dream researchers argue that questions about the overall structure of dreaming are more important than questions about the specific content elements in dreams. For example, if we want to examine bizarreness, self-reflection, qualitative aspects of visual imagery, or qualities of thought in dreaming, content analysis may not be the most appropriate tool to use. Content analysis has been useful in showing us that we dream about things that are prominent in our waking lives, but a theory of dreaming ultimately must seek to explain the qualitative, formal differences between our dream experiences and our waking thought processes.

Arousal is more likely to occur after long periods of sleep, irrespective of the stage of sleep (Dement & Kleitman, 1957; Lukas & Kryter, 1970).
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  • Dement and Kleitman Flashcards | Quizlet

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Dement and Kleitman Summary Sheet - Get Revising

as they may not remember.
Sample size was very small and their were more males than females which makes the sample (what?) so it is hard to (what?) about (what?)
Relationship between eye movement and content has not been supported in other studies so this finding is not (what?) so not (what?)
Correlations do not show cause and effect- may be another variable and the link is coincidental
Ethics AO2 +

Mostly ethical study
Participants gave informed consent
No harm or stress caused
Implications AO2 +

Dement and Kleitman's study was the first attempt to study dreaming scientifically so has been very useful as a starting point for further research.
Showed a relationship between REM and Dreaming for the first time
Exam Questions Section A

Identify two substances participants were instructed to avoid the day before the study?

Dement and Kleitman - Eye movements in sleep - Psych …

It is possible to see at times the eyes of a sleeping person moving. These periods of prolonged rapid eye movements (REM) were thought by Dement and Kleitman to have some connection with dreaming.

Dement and Kleitman by sam shaw on Prezi

Be prepared to feedback and add results you didn't have.

Turn to the original study in your booklets.
Look at table 2 on page 341 for hypotheses 1
Then table 4 on page 343 for hypotheses 2
Read the last 2 paragraphs of page 343, page 344 and the first paragraph of 345.
You may also use the text book

Remember, for your exam you need to make a point, give it some context and explain it- Yellow- Pink- Green, Use highlighters in your mind map to help you know which is which.

Context for results, needs to be specific results- so mention conditions, numbers or quotes.
The findings of Dement and Kleitman's study strongly support a connection between REM sleep and Dreaming, however it cannot be stated with complete certainty that this is the only time we dream.

Dreams are not instantaneous but seem to occur in time comparable to real experiences of the same sort.

The use of EEG and REM sleep allow dreaming to be measured objectively and scientifically and should be used in further research
Hypothesis 1

PPs reported more dreams in REM stages and Less in Non REM
152/191REM wakings 11/160 Non Rem wakings
19/39 no dreams in REM were earlier in the night
In Non-REM more likely to recall a dream within 8 mins of REM
Hypothesis 2

There was a significant correlation between REM length and estimated length of dreams (p
There were more correct estimates than incorrect estimates 92/111
More incorrect estimates 13/60 in 15 min REMs than 5 min REMs
There was a significant correlation between length of dream narative and time in REM
Hypotheses 3

The study suggests eye movement is related to dream content
There was a positive association between direction of eye movement and what PPs were looking at in their dream
eg- 1 PP had mainly horizontal movements a dreamed about people throwing tomatos
Lets Recap...
Give one more conclusion from this study
What was the first hypothesis of this study?
What was the second hypothesis of this study?
What was the aim of Dement and Kleitman's study?
What was the this hypothesis of this study?
What was the method of this study?
How many PPs were there in total?
How many were studied in detail?
How many men and women?
When did PPs go to the sleep lab?
What was the basic procedure/ instructions for the PP?
How many were woken randomly?
How many were woken at the whim of the experimenter?
What was the procedure for hypothesis 1?
What was the procedure for hypothesis 2?
What was the procedure for hypothesis 3?
Can we tell REM and NON-REM apart?
How many dreams were recalled in REM?
How many dreams were recalled in NON-REM?
Describe the correlation between length of time in REM and the estimated length of the dream?
Give one example of the results supporting Hypothesis 3
What can we conclude from the results for Hypothesis 1?
What can we conclude from the results for hypothesis 2?

Tight controls of extraneous variables which increases internal validity.

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