Lucid Dreaming: Is Need for Cognition
Associated with Lucid Dreams?
For some dreams, we may be aware that we are dreaming.
These are called lucid dreams. These lucid dreams may be linked
to one's personality.
Need for cognition is a personality characteristic that reflects
the enjoyment of effortful thought. Patrick and Durndell (2004)
found that people who were frequent lucid dreamers were higher,
on the average, in need for cognition than nonlucid dreamers.
Moreover, they found occasional lucid dreamers were higher, on
the average, in need for cognition than nonlucid dreamers. (1)
These findings suggest that lucid dreams are linked to one's
personality. People high in need for cognition 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, need for cognition may cause people to
have lucid dreams. People high in need for cognition may have a
greater desire to control their dreams. Second, it is possible that
having lucid dreams increases a person's need for cognition.
Third, there could be a third variable that is related to both lucid
dreams and the need for cognition, and there is no causal
relationship between need for cognition and lucid dreaming.
1. See their article for information on other findings in their study.
Moreover, in the article, "Lucid Dreaming: Is Having an Internal
Locus of Control 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 need for
cognition and lucid dreaming.
Patrick, A., & Durndell, A. (2004). Lucid dreaming and
personality: A replication. Dreaming, 14, 234-239.