OCR AS Psychology: Core Studies - Dement and Kleitman (5)

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  • Created by: Majid
  • Created on: 20-03-13 11:34

Dement and Kleitman (5)

Results relating to hypothesis 3: (there will be a significant association between the pattern of eye movement and the context of the dream). There did appear to be some relationship between the dream content and the type of eye movements. For example, periods of pure vertical or horizontal eye movements were rare, but when the participant was woken up after a series of vertical eye movements they reported dreams such as: standing at the bottom of a cliff operating a hoist, and looking up at the climbers, and down at the hoist machinery; climbing up a series of ladders looking up and down as he climbed; throwing basketballs at a net, first shooting and looking up at the net, and then looking down to pick another ball off the floor. In the only instance of horizontal eye movements, the dreamer was watching two people throwing tomatoes at each other. Strengths: The method was very tightly controlled. For example the researchers were able to control the location, sleeping time and the participants use of stimulants. Sleep was measured in an objective, scientific way. This, along with the high levels of control, allows replication - D&K's conclusions regarding REM and dreaming have indeed been replicated many times by other psychologists. Weaknesses: An obvious weakness of the study is its lack of ecological validity. The situation in which the participants had to sleep was unusual and could have affected their sleep patterns. Also the nature of the method of waking participants may have affected their ability to recall their dream. A further problem with the study was the sample size. The sample size was small and only included 2 females so we could argue that the results were biased towards the dream pattern of men rather than women. Subsequent studies have found that there are large differences between individuals in the reports of dreaming during REM. Subsequent studies have not supported Dement and Kleitman’s findings that there is a relationship between eye movements and what the person is dreaming about.

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