The present research was designed to examine whether the power of suggestion can play a substantial role in a participant’s dream recall frequency (DRF; i.e., the average number of dreams remembered nightly). Nineteen students participated in a lab session in exchange for course credit, during which they completed a task assessing working memory capacity and several questionnaires. Of the 19 students, five chose to participate in the second phase of the study, for which they received $10. These five participants were randomly assigned to a “high dream capacity” group (i.e., told they have the highest dream capacity of anyone studied thus far) or an “average dream capacity” group (control) during the lab session. Participants recorded their DRF and other sleep-related measures for seven consecutive nights following the initial lab session. Although there was no significant difference between the DRF of participants in the high capacity group and the DRF of those in the average capacity group, a pattern consistent with the hypothesis was found. That is, those given the suggestion of a higher dream capacity experienced a higher DRF in the week following the initial lab session than those given the suggestion of an average dream capacity.
Obery, Jack, "The Effects of Suggestion on Dream Recall Frequency" (2012). Honors College. 69.