Social media versus gaming associations with typical and recent dreams
dreams, video game play, social media use, nightmares, lucid dreams, dream control
Cirucci (2013a) hypothesized that video game players would display similarities to social media users and that this relationship should be examined. This inquiry compared university students who varied in the degree to which they use social media (SMU) and play video games (VGP) on several dream indices and one personality inventory. Dreams have been shown to be continuous with waking mentation (Schredl, 2003) and to regulate negative emotions (Levin & Nielsen, 2009). Thus, they may offer a relatively unobstrusive measure of reactions to media use. While there were meaningful differences between the four groups (high VGP/high SMU; high VGP/low SMU; low VGP/high SMU; low VGP/low SMU), most analysis resulted in no differences in dreams. Differences seemed to support the nightmare protection thesis of video game play such that high end gamers, no matter the degree of social media use, suffered less from these negative types of dreams. Additionally, the high VGP/high SMU group had the thinnest psychological boundaries and thus were perhaps most susceptible to media effects. While at the same time this group of high end media users showed the least negative self concepts in their recent dream content. This was reflected in their typical dream reports as well.
Gackenbach, J. & Boyes, A. (2014). Social media versus gaming associations with typical and recent dreams. Dreaming, 24(3), 182-202. doi:10.1037/a0037616
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