‘Dreaming the Future’: An Investigation into the Relationship between Precognitive Dreaming and the Ability to Make Connections between Unrelated Events
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This study explores whether belief in precognitive dreaming is related to the propensity to connect unrelated events. Within this study we adopt the misattribution hypothesis; people develop beliefs in various kinds of psychic ability as a result of misattributing psychic causation to normal experiences. Therefore, we predicted that belief in precognitive dreaming would be positively related to the ability to connect unrelated events. Using a sample of 50 participants, the study investigated the role of ‘associative creativity’ in the belief in precognitive dreaming via the propensity to connect unrelated events. The first measure, The Connections Task (Madey, 2003), assessed the extent to which participants were able to find connections between four set of randomly-paired news and dream reports. Secondly, the BAG Task (Bridge-the-Associative-Gap Task, Gianotti et al., 2001) assessed the number of ‘original’ responses produced by the participants in response to 40 word pairs. A significant positive correlation was found between New Age Philosophy, an aspect of belief in the paranormal (Houran, Irwin & Lange, 2000) and the number of connections found on the Connections Task. Similarly, a positive significant relationship was found between the number of connections found and belief in precognitive dreaming. However, correlations between scores on the BAG Task and belief in both the paranormal and precognitive dreaming were not significant. The current paper explores these findings, offering insight on the nature of the study as well as possible future directions for investigation into the mechanism at hand. Presenting a novel task assessing the propensity to connect unrelated events, the current study advances the understanding of precognitive dreaming and the associative elements hypothesised as underlying this belief.