The Value of Subjectivity in the Study of Dreams: An Alternative Methodology in a Quantitative Field

Luiza Bontempo e Silva 1 * , Gustavo Beck 1, Miguel Jaschack 1

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp. 46-57

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This article presents original research on the dreams of adults during the first COVID-19 lockdown in Mexico. Subjects went through a series of in-depth clinical interviews where they were asked to share their most recent dream and then explored the dream imagery in conversation with the interviewer to find meaning through an analytic, dialogical process. After gathering the data through the interviews, the authors proceeded to use the narrative method and grounded theory to process the findings. The fundamental objective of the article is to explore the advantages that a qualitative exploration of dreams offers over other methodologies of dream analysis. The article proposes that a qualitative approach has the benefit of validating the dreamer’s experience without generalizing it. This shifts the focus of dream research from the description of categories to the co-creation of meanings with the participants. Additionally, it constitutes an initial attempt to explore and understand the affective and/or cognitive conflicts that underly dream imagery rather than simply mentioning repeating elements within the dream content.

Keywords: dreams, COVID-19, research on dreams, analytical psychology, subjectivity, qualitative research.