War-Related Dream Themes in Germany from 1956 to 2000

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Abstract

Based on the continuity hypothesis of dreaming, the effects of World War II on the dreams of German persons have been studied. The present study included four representative samples from 1956 to 2000 (repeated cross-sectional surveys). Although a decline of war-related dream themes over time was found, the heightened rate of these themes in the oldest age group (60 years and older) in the year 2000 indicate the long-lasting effect of emotionally salient life experiences on dreams. The present findings indicate that the method of dream content analysis is a very informative approach to study the effects of political events on the inner life of people and, thus, of value for the field of political science.

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