Another article from Psychology Today

#1
I've just been notified that another article about my research has been published in Psychology Today. This time, it talks about my research on death dreams. It barely scratches the surface of my research but here it is for those of you who might be interested. If you want to see the article I wrote that the PT article is based on, follow this link.

In a nutshell, I wanted to see if there was any correlation between the date of a person's death and the dates of dreams featuring that person, particularly if the dreams suggested that the person was dead or was about to die. Quite a few interesting results from the study are skipped over in the PT article, likely due to word count restrictions and editorial guidelines for authors. For that reason, I recommend reading both.
 
#2
I've just been notified that another article about my research has been published in Psychology Today. This time, it talks about my research on death dreams. It barely scratches the surface of my research but here it is for those of you who might be interested. If you want to see the article I wrote that the PT article is based on, follow this link.

In a nutshell, I wanted to see if there was any correlation between the date of a person's death and the dates of dreams featuring that person, particularly if the dreams suggested that the person was dead or was about to die. Quite a few interesting results from the study are skipped over in the PT article, likely due to word count restrictions and editorial guidelines for authors. For that reason, I recommend reading both.
Andrew,

Great stuff!! Thanks for the hard work on this tracking.

Is it possible that the 'Mean # Days Between Death Dreams and Death' and 'Mean # Days Between Control Dreams and Death' differential average from 'Table 1' could be a matter of the distribution function for such dreams and not a matter of direct relationship between dream and event in the test case?

In other words Mean # Days Between Death Dreams and Death would ideally fall along a form of Inverse Weibull Distribution called the Generalized Extreme Value Distribution. In other words, it would be rare for you to dream of a person's death during the first years after meeting them, and more likely to occur in the latter-extreme-risk years of your knowing them. Death as an archetype, takes more involvement than does person by archetype and is reinforced with age, so therefore it is back-end loaded and single-tailed (the blue arrival distribution below, the GEVD, given truncation by a probable actual death date, in red)

weibull.png

Comparatively, Mean # Days Between Control Dreams and Death would ideally fall along a delayed and escalating Uniform Distribution (green in chart above). Delayed in that it takes time for a personality/person to become an archetype in your dream inventory - but not as long as it takes for their death to become an archetype in your dream inventory. But thereafter, the likelihood of dreaming about a person each day is about an even arrival probability (Uniform Distribution).

The mu between each distribution would naturally be midloaded for the control, and back-end loaded for the test.

Just a thought. :)
 
#3
Comparatively, Mean # Days Between Control Dreams and Death would ideally fall along a delayed and escalating Uniform Distribution (green in chart above). Delayed in that it takes time for a personality/person to become an archetype in your dream inventory - but not as long as it takes for their death to become an archetype in your dream inventory. But thereafter, the likelihood of dreaming about a person each day is about an even arrival probability (Uniform Distribution).

The mu between each distribution would naturally be midloaded for the control, and back-end loaded for the test.

Just a thought. :)
Hello TES,

I don't think so. The reason is that in several cases, the number of days between control dreams and death was set to the start of the journal because there were no dreams featuring that person until the week/month of their death. Also, in one example, I had only just met the person within about six months when he died. In another example, the person in question was a total stranger to me and appeared exactly once in the journal within a couple weeks of her death, never to appear again. What made this interesting to me in the first place was the realization that the people involved were people who generally didn't show up in the journal at all, and then when they did, it was near their time of death. If anything, rare appearances seemed to be a better indicator of reliability than frequent appearances.

The reason I used the mean figure was for people like the mother of a friend of mine, who was in one ordinary dream from before the start of the journal, then doesn't appear until the month of her death decades later, when she appears three times. Keep in mind that I had lost touch with my friend in 1979, had no idea where he lived or how to reach him. On his end, he didn't know where I was either. Then, I had a dream involving this friend, where I am told that "someone in his family will die". I thought it meant him, but then his mother showed up and said I had misunderstood, that it was someone else. Because of that dream and two others that featured my friend's mother, I was worried about my friend and tried to find him but was unsuccessful. A year later I was rereading them when I realized that when ghosts appear in my dreams, they tend to talk about themselves in such a way that it isn't obvious that is what they are doing. Only when I wake up do I realize that when a woman with an injured leg talks about an injured leg, the woman is talking about herself. That led me to consider the possibility it was my friend's mother who had died. I looked her up and quickly discovered she had died the previous year, right about in the middle of the group of three dreams.

Clusters like that appeared in a couple other examples, like my stepfather, who appeared in four dreams within a short span and then a gap of many years until hitting any other dreams with him in them. Another thing interesting to me that I didn't deal with in the article is how these people behave in their dreams after they've died. For instance, before my wife's grandfather died in 2003, I had 83 dreams that mentioned him over a fourteen year period. He does not appear in most of those dreams but is mentioned only, as in another character saying, "I'm going to see my grandfather." For the most part, he is passive when he appears and does not engage me directly. When he does, he talks about money and art. After his death, he appeared more often (133 dreams over a shorter span of time), engaged me directly fairly often, and talked about subjects that don't appear in earlier dreams. At first, he seemed disconsolate about the way his estate was handled (it remains in probate today, sixteen years later). Then, he gets a lot of energy invested in trying to fix things. As a ghost, he finds he cannot fix it, though he tries. Then, he gives up. After this, he says he has reincarnated into a Chinese family "across the river" from where he lived in Manhattan (my impression was Queens) in a Chinese family. After this, his appearances become very rare, but I catch a few glimpses of him growing up in his new life (if true, he would be around 14 now). The point is that the character of the dreams changes from "a man of the world" to a man who knows he has died and is no longer "of the world." That quality of self-awareness is interesting because I see it in other dreams from about the time of a person's death and after, but not so much before. There is an exception to this, and that is people who seem to have a high level of self-awareness when I encounter them in dreams. There are exactly four people I know who fit that description, where they nearly always seem aware that they are asleep and dreaming, as I am, during dreams they appear in.

Other people give me a good-bye message and then disappear from the pages of my journal. I had a few dreams of my grandmother (who I had met maybe five times in my life) before she died, and then on the night she died. Of greater interest was my grandfather (her husband). He did not appear in many of my dreams before he died, but after he died he showed up often. He said he was waiting around for my grandmother to die, after which they would leave together. It took around five years after his death for my grandmother to die. During that time, he showed up in my dreams, repeated that he was waiting around for her, once showed me how he had spooked her as a ghost she caught a glimpse of when she was ill (after which she recovered), and then he and my grandmother showed up together after she died to say goodbye. After that, crickets from both of them. So my wife's grandfather dies, and he shows up frequently over a period of a few years. My grandfather dies and the same thing happens, though much less frequently than my grandfather in law. In my grandfather's case, he tells me when he will leave (when my grandmother dies) and he does. My wife's grandfather doesn't tell me in advance when he will leave, but the number of his visits are sharply reduced after a logical event described in a dream: his reincarnation.

It is too late to write much more but to get back to your original point: the reason I used the methodology I used was precisely to address the concern you expressed. The combination of factors involved, the type of deaths, and the fact I wasn't close to most of these people and had no recent contact with all but one of them, and the fact that one of them was the death of a young woman in an auto accident (an inherently unpredictable event, particularly since I never knew the woman or of her until after she died) make it difficult to accept the sort of distribution you suggest.
 
#4
It is too late to write much more but to get back to your original point: the reason I used the methodology I used was precisely to address the concern you expressed. The combination of factors involved, the type of deaths, and the fact I wasn't close to most of these people and had no recent contact with all but one of them, and the fact that one of them was the death of a young woman in an auto accident (an inherently unpredictable event, particularly since I never knew the woman or of her until after she died) make it difficult to accept the sort of distribution you suggest.
Yes, good inclusion criteria - were that something you could have elected. But instead the powers that be selected the sample group for you, if you will. This makes sense. The two distributions don't have a comparative overlap - in the way I have treated this. I get it. I treated this as two population samples, when in fact you are showing two case study groups - and are just using the average of control and test as a means of differentiating the case study profiles. Make sense.

Also - being told "someone in his family will die" - is wholly different than just dreaming of a death theme. That again is a case study.

Good stuff!!!
 
#5
Also - being told "someone in his family will die" - is wholly different than just dreaming of a death theme. That again is a case study.

Good stuff!!!
This is one of those things that gets left out when writing journal articles. In that particular article, there was more edited out than probably any other article I've written. It started out as 69 pages, then got whittled down to (I think) 16. The reason is that Dr. Daryl Bem was assigned to help me straighten out the stats and keep it more focused. It was great working with him and he helped a lot, but he also cut almost everything that wasn't a number. He wanted the entire article to be about the numbers. I did manage to include some brief synopses of the cases but nowhere near the level of detail I had originally intended. Not that I'm complaining. I think Daryl helped me make a very tight paper. On the other hand, the remaining material still deserves a hearing.

Best,

AP
 
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