People that dream around murder might be an ext aggressive throughout waking hours, a controversial brand-new study finds.

You are watching: What does it mean if you dream about killing someone


The researchers also found that civilization who dream of death others have tendency to be hostile, introverted and also often don"t acquire along well v others as soon as they are awake.

But other experts dispute the findings, saying that dream questionnaires, supplied by the researchers of the new study, aren"t accurate measures of dream content. Instead, this questionnaires have tendency to reflect what people thought they dreamt about once they space awake, said G. William Domhoff, a professor emeritus the psychology at the college of California, Santa Cruz, that was not connected with the study.

Related: 7 Mind-Bending Facts about Dreams


"Waking questionnaires have nothing to perform with what civilization actually dream about," Domhoff said.


But the new study"s lead researcher, Michael Schredl, the head of study at the central Institute of psychological Health"s sleep laboratory in Mannheim, Germany, said that desires are frequently an amplification of what happens during waking life.

For example, together the new study shows, if a human kills an additional person in a dream, "in waking life, you space a little more aggressive," the said.

In the study, Schredl and also his colleagues surveyed 443 college students in Germany, looking in ~ what types of desires the attendees had, and also the respondents" personality traits.


The students reported remembering an median of 2 to three desires a week, and about 19 percent the the students claimed they had desires of killing people, according to the study published in September in the newspaper Dreaming. Moreover, the males in the study had a greater variety of aggressive dreams than the women, echoing comparable findings from earlier studies.

It"s not surprising the hostility and also aggression often tended to be higher in human being who stated they had actually dreamed of killing another person, Schredl said. Yet he dubbed it "unexpected" to discover a link between murderous dreams and the traits of introversion, a low level that agreeableness and a greater level of openness come experience, which were marginally linked to dreams of killing people.

It"s feasible that people who have less agreeable personalities can feel aggression that is exaggerated in their dreams, Schredl said. Introverts might keep your emotions, including aggression, bottled up in waking life, only to suffer these feelings much more intensely in your dreams, that added.

And human being who are open up to brand-new experiences may also be an ext open to your emotions, and also recognize them in dreams, Schredl said.

In the future, Schredl claimed he wishes to questioning people around the circumstances of the killing in their dreams, such together whether it to be self-defense, an accident or cold-blooded murder.

A rebuttal

But Domhoff said the occurrence of killing in dreams among the study participants seems higher than normal.

For instance, a ahead report of the desires of 100 men and also 100 women uncovered that just 3.8 percent the the men"s dreams and also 0.6 percent that the women"s dreams had a murder, Domhoff called Live science in an email.

"If we ask how many dream reports depicted the dreamer murdering someone, the numbers were even smaller, 1 percent that the desires for men and also 0.2 percent for women," that said.

Most civilization only have hazy recollections of your dreams, the said. Couple of people recall their desires accurately, and most tend to remember inexplicable events and also forget daily ones, that said.


—Why Can"t us Remember ours Dreams?

—Can friend "turn off" a nightmare?

—Why do civilization twitch once falling asleep?


Furthermore, the new study relied top top the participants" reports that their own personality traits, which may not reflect the individuals" true traits, Domhoff said.

Yet, because that those who do dream of murder, such desires may call attention come a need to reflect on their day-to-day lives, Schredl said.

See more: ' I Ll Be Seeing You Song In Movie, I'Ll Be Seeing You (Song)

"Emotions in dreams can be lot stronger than the emotions in waking life," that said. "If you perform dream around killing, look at at your aggressive emotions in waking life."

Follow Laura Geggel ~ above Twitter

*

Laura is an editor at Live Science. She to edit Life"s tiny Mysteries and reports on general science, including archaeology and also animals. Her work-related has showed up in The new York Times, Scholastic, popular Science and also Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won lot of awards indigenous the culture of skilled Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers combination for she reporting in ~ a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura stop a bachelor"s level in English literature and psychology from Washington university in St. Louis and an progressed certificate in scientific research writing from NYU.