This monograph is the product of an interdisciplinary experiment—an artistic experiment and a psychological experiment—focused on dreams. Inspired by the prevalence of dream imagery and “dream logic” in surrealist art, the authors asked 100 art students to create digital images representing critical scenes from one of their dreams, then to create a surrealist collage from the digital images. The resulting collages tend to capture the surreality envisioned in actual works of surrealist art, as two collages included in the book illustrate. Inspired also by the psychological problem of studying other minds, the authors asked the 100 art students to describe their dream in writing, to interpret their dream, and to complete two personality measures: the Short Form of the Boundary Questionnaire and the Brief Symptom Inventory. The art students’ scores on particular personality scales were found to be statistically associated with particular dream aspects, many of which are visually observable in the digitized dream images created by art students with particular personalities but are not verbally discernible in the dream descriptions written by those same students. The appendix contains, for each art student, the digitally imaged dream, the written description and written interpretation of the dream, and scores on the Boundary Questionnaire and on the depression, anxiety, hostility, and somatization scales of the Brief Symptom Inventory. The book concludes with a bibliography and an index to some of the visual elements in the 100 digitized dream images.
"In this groundbreaking work, Robert G. Kunzendorf and James W. Veatch introduce a new way to approach dream imagery, by direct digital depiction of the central imagery. This bypasses the cumbersome verbal dream report we usually have to work with. The authors also suggest a way to understand the dream by examining and intensifying the emotion underlying the images. Since I, and many researchers, consider the Central Image or Images, which picture the underlying emotion, to be the most essential part of the dream, this new approach should be extremely useful in future work. I highly recommend this book."
—Ernest Hartmann, MD, First Editor-in-Chief, Dreaming Past President, IASD, Author, The Nature and Functions of Dreaming, and Boundaries: A New Way to Look at the World
About the Editors:
Robert Kunzendorf is a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and coeditor of the academic journal Imagination, Cognition and Personality: Consciousness in Theory, Research, Clinical Practice. He has published more than 100 scientific articles and has coedited four books: Mental Imagery; The Psychophysiology of Mental Imagery; Hypnosis and Imagination, and Individual Differences in Conscious Experience.
James Veatch is department chair and an associate professor of art at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. As a printmaker, photographer, and painter, he has utilized digital media as his art form for more than 30 years. His work has been exhibited and collected nationally and internationally.