Coding Rules for the Hall/Van de Castle System of Quantitative Dream Content Analysis

(Before delving into the coding rules, you may want to read our introduction to content analysis.)

These pages present the original Hall/Van de Castle dream coding system -- complete with coding examples for each category -- with only a few stylistic changes and updates. It is included here and in Domhoff's book because the book in which the coding system appeared has been out of print for many years. The examples help to maintain coding continuity with the past. No one should hesitate to return to the rules and examples when there is the slightest question about how to code an element. Very few people, if any, have been able to use very many categories of the coding system without referring back to the coding rules. The system needs to be understood and mastered through hours of practice, but it need not be memorized.

In another section of our Web site, you'll find some real dreams which have been coded; these can be very helpful when you're learning the Hall/Van de Castle coding system.

To get a feel for the end results of using the system, you may want to take a look at the Hall/Van de Castle Norms (to which you will likely end up comparing your results, if you do a study) or some of our published findings.

Click on one of the following links to see the rules for coding that dream element:

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