Lucid Dreaming: Is Having an Internal Locus
of Control Associated with Lucid Dreams?
For some of our dreams, we may be aware that we are
dreaming. These dreams are called lucid dreams. These lucid
dreams may be linked to a person's personality.
Locus of control is a personality characteristic that reflects
the extent to which we feel we can control the events in our
lives. People who have a very internal locus of control would
strongly believe that they can control the events in their lives.
Patrick and Durndell (2004) found that people who were
frequent lucid dreamers were more internal in their locus of
control, on the average, than nonlucid dreamers. Moreover,
they found occasional lucid dreamers were more internal in
their locus of control, on the average, than nonlucid dreamers.
These findings suggest that lucid dreams are linked to one's
personality. People who have a more internal locus of control
(who feel that they can control the events in their lives) are
more likely to have lucid dreams.
However, we cannot make casual conclusions from the
above correlational findings. There are several possible
explanations for the above findings. First, having a more
internal locus of control may cause people to have lucid
dreams. Having a more internal locus of control may result in
having a greater desire to control one's dreams. Second, it is
possible that having lucid dreams influences the extent to
which one has an internal locus of control. Third, there could
be a third variable that is related to both lucid dreams and
having an internal locus of control, and there is no causal
relationship between having an internal locus of control and
1. See their article for information on other findings in their
study. Moreover, in the article, "Lucid Dreaming: Is Need for
Cognition Associated with Lucid Dreams?," on this website,
there is information on other findings in their study. Also, as
indicated in their article, there is another study conducted by
other researchers that has found an association between
having an internal locus of control and frequent lucid
Patrick, A., & Durndell, A. (2004). Lucid dreaming and
personality: A replication. Dreaming, 14, 234-239.