Dement and Kleitman

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What is REM sleep?
The rapid, periodic, jerky movement of the eyes during certain stages of the sleep cycle when dreaming takes place.
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What year was the study conducted?
1957
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Aim?
To investigate the relationship between eye movements and dreaming.
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Sample?
9 participants- 7 male and 2 female. 5 intensely studied, other 4 only used to back up results.
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Design, method and data?
Lab experiment, independent measures, both data types
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IV and DV?
IV = woken in REM or NREM. DV = reported dreams
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What equipment was used?
EEG - measures and records electrical activity of the brain - shows brain waves and electrical changes cause by eye movements. Electrodes connected to face and scalp.
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Controls?
All participants asked to avoid alcohol and caffeine. All slept in lab conditions (quiet, dark room), reported to lab just before usual bedtime.
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What were the 3 hypotheses?
1. Significant association between REM and dreaming. 2. Positive correlation between estimate of the duration of dreams and length of eye movement. 3. Significant association between pattern of eye movement and context of dream.
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How was hypothesis one (association between REM sleep and dreaming) tested?
Ps woken at various times during night (in REM&NREM) to test dream recall. Woken by loud doorbell, on av 5.7 times a night. Self-report method = participant spoke into recorder, 1st stated if dreaming then, if they could, describe content.
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When were the participants woken? (Hypothesis 1)
2 randomly woken, 1 woken in REM x3 then in NREM x3, 1 random but told would be woken in REM, 1 woken at experimenter's whim.
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How were experimenter effects reduced in hypothesis 1?
No communication between experimenter & participants during the night. Participants never told if their eyes had been moving or not.
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What were the findings of hypothesis 1?
REM: 192 awakenings, 80% dream reports, 20% no report. NREM: 1660 awakenings, 7% dream reports, 93% no dream reports.
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How was hypothesis two (positive correlation between duration estimate and length of eye movement) tested?
Ps woken up either 5 or 15 mins into REM period, asked to estimate how long they had been dreaming.
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What were the findings of hypothesis 2?
5 mins: 45 right, 6 wrong 15 mins: 47 right, 13 wrong.
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How was hypothesis three (association between pattern of eye movement and context of dream) tested?
Ps woken up as soon as one of the 4 patterns of eye movements had lasted for at least 1 min. On waking, Ps asked to describe in detail dream content.
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What were the 4 patterns of eye movements?
1. mainly vertical 2. mainly horizontal 3. both vertical & horizontal 4. little/no eye movement
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What were the findings of hypothesis 3?
21 awakenings. Some relationship between dream context and eye movement, e.g horizontal - 2 people throwing tomatoes at each other, little/no eye movement - watching something in distance/staring.
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Strengths of study?
High control - location/setting, use of stimulants. Experimenter effects controlled. Both data types. Scientific equipment used (EEG).
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Weaknesses of study?
Low EV - uncomfy, artificial environment, awoken multiple times. Small sample - individual differences, not representative.
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Ethics?
May be nervous, not used to sleeping being watched or in lab conditions.
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1957

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