Poster B40, Sunday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Predictors of metacognition in dreaming and waking: State versus trait factors
Tracey Kahan1, Birgit Koopmann-Holm1; 1Santa Clara University
Prior research shows stable similarities and differences in metacognitive skills reported for experiences sampled from dreaming and waking (see Kahan & LaBerge, 2011, for a review). The present study investigates whether 'state' or 'trait' factors best predict metacognition in dreaming and waking. In a two-week, home-based study, 170 undergraduates (112 females) provided written reports of two morning-awakening dreams and two waking experiences, following the experience-sampling protocol utilized in prior studies. For each experience sampled, participants used two psychometrically validated questionnaires to rate the metacognitive, affective, cognitive, and sensory features of the reported experience ['state variables']. During the initial orientation, participants also completed measures of trait mindfulness, self-consciousness, and decentering ['trait variables']. Multiple regression analyses revealed 'state' variables were stronger predictors of metacognitive skills in both waking and dreaming than were 'trait' variables. Consistent with past research, clear cross-state continuities were observed: the strongest predictors of participants' ratings of metacognition in dreaming were their ratings of the same skills in waking; similarly, ratings of metacognition in waking were best predicted by ratings of metacognition in dreaming. A novel and particularly provocative pattern was that negative emotion in dreaming was among the significant predictors of self-regulation and monitoring internal experience in dreaming, whereas positive emotion in dreaming was a significant predictor of monitoring the external environment in both dreaming and waking. Ratings of emotion in waking did not predict metacognitive skills in either state. Our findings bear on recent proposals that a core function of dreaming is the processing of negative emotion.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Monitoring & inhibitory control