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Reporting your ‘dream self’

Paper from the Psychologist: Christine Parsons and Melanie Rosen on how we construct an image by sharing activity data and dream reports

2018.10.30 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

When did you last tell someone about a dream you had? Do you have a friend who regularly shares their step count, as measured by their latest fitness tracker? Sharing both types of intimate information with others allows us to tell specific stories about ourselves: to construct a self-image. 

On the surface, dreams and activity tracking seem to have little in common. We see dream reports as subjective and memory-dependent, whereas activity data is objective and measured using technology. However, as a psychologist interested in wearable technology and activity tracking, and a philosopher interested in dreams, we noticed a striking parallel in our work. We like to be seen as hardworking and healthy, which can be conveyed by sharing our activity data. We also want to be seen as interesting, creative or funny, which motivates dream reporting. Through sharing this information with each other we attempt to subtly display our positive characteristics, even if it can mean making things up.

Link to the paper or download below


Christine Parsons, Associate Professor, Dept. of Clinical Medicine and IMC

Melanie Rosen, Postdoc, IMC

1118pars.pdf (2.8 Mb)