Assessing the psychometric properties of dream content questionnaires
Bernstein, Daniel M.
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The present study was the first of its kind to systematically explore the psychometric properties of dream content questionnaires as measures of dream experience. One hundred and six University students filled out the Dream Content Questionnaire (DCQ) and kept a 14-day dream diary on two separate occasions, in addition to filling out the NEO-PI-R and Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire and measures of spatial ability and imaginativeness. The DCQ's reliability was acceptable, as was its discriminant and construct validity. Six of eight predicted relationships between trait personality and DCQ reported dream content were significant. In contrast, dream diaries showed instability over time and were unrelated to personality traits. The DCQ's concurrent validity could not be adequately appraised due to the inconsistency in dream diary content over time. The results suggest that questionnaires may be used to measure dream experience; however, the precise utility of dream questionnaires remains unclear. The findings raise important questions concerning measures of dream experience.