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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kathleen D. Noble
BST 323
Bothell Campus

Psychology and Science of Dreams

Explores the psychology and science of dreams. Topics include the history and theories of dreams, modern experimental studies of dreaming and dream content, lucid dreams, contribution of dreams to scientific creativity, and dream incubation and interpretation techniques. Offered: Sp.

Class description

This class will explore the complex realm of dreams from a variety of viewpoints. We will explore dream theories from earliest records through the present time and examine the work of a variety of dream researchers from different cultures and eras. We will investigate contemporary studies of dreaming and the contribution of dreams to scientific and artistic creativity. We will explore the frontier of paranormal and lucid dreams, discuss students'dreams in small groups, and practice dream interpretation techniques.

Student learning goals

Describe the contributions of early and contemporary theorists to the scientific study of dreams.

Describe the role of dreams in creative processes, inventions, and scientific discoveries.

Understand the role of dreams in physical and psychological health and well-being.

Develop skills of dream incubation, dream recall, and dream interpretation.

Demonstrate the ability to read carefully and discuss cogently the material covered in texts and films.

Demonstrate the ability to reflect on and write about your own dream experiences.

General method of instruction

Lecture; small and large group discussion.

Please note: Students must attend the first day of class or they will be dropped. No exceptions allowed.

Recommended preparation

An open and curious mind; willingness to read carefully and study diligently the material presented in class; ability to challenge yourself to think in new ways and be open to perspectives that might be unfamiliar or uncomfortable; attendance and effective participation in every class session.

Class assignments and grading

1.Main Points for each chapter (110 points): Single-spaced, 12 point font; a. Explain 3 main points for each chapter: A main point entails 2-3 sentences describing an important concept or argument. b. Do not use quotes. All writing must be in your own words. Explain each main point clearly enough that you can share it with the whole class. c. Each MP is due at the beginning of the appropriate class and will form the basis of class discussion. Students must be present in class to get credit for an MP.

Two mid-term exams (in-class); 2 final reflection essays (3 and 5 pages, respsectively).

Students will keep a dream journal throughout the course and record at least 4 dreams per week.

Active in-class participation. You lose participation points when you do not attend a class.

Required Texts: 1) Van de Castle, R. (1994). Our Dreaming Mind. N.Y.: Ballantine Books. Note: ODM is out of print. There are three ways to get a copy: (1) you can purchase a used copy via Amazon or another book website; (2) you can purchase and download a PDF of ODM at the website of Robert Van de Castle for $12.00; or (3) you can purchase a CD of ODM at the website of Robert Van de Castle and it will be mailed to you for $15 plus shipping.

2) Waggoner, R. (2009). Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self. Needham, MA: Moment Point Press.

1) Main Points for each chapter. Two in-class, mid-term exams. 2) Dream Journal. 3) Final Essay: Personal reflection on the material we read and discussed throughout the class. (5 pages; typed; double-spaced; 12 point font). I will not grade the content of this part of the essay but I will grade the breadth and depth of your response. 4) Participation (20%): Students will evaluate themselves based on their level of participation, preparation to raise questions based on the readings, use of notes and texts to support their questions and contributions, and respect shown for other students. I will take students' self-evaluations into serious account when determining final participation grades.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Kathleen D. Noble
Date: 04/16/2014