"Lucile": New Evidence for Consistency and Continuity

Lucile is the pseudonym chosen by a 57-year-old woman who sent Calvin Hall 525 dreams over an eight-year period in the 1960's. Her dreams are an empirical demonstration of the consistency and continuity found in every dream series we have studied to date. The systematic findings on the Lucile series were never published and appear here for the first time.


The impressive consistency of Lucile's dream series is shown in the h-profile in Figure 1. It displays her deviations from the female norms in five samples of 105 dreams each. As can be seen, in the fourth sample there are sharp changes in A/C Index, bodily misfortunes, and negative emotions, but overall she is more consistent than not.

Figure 1: h-profile of five subsets of Lucile's dreams compared to the female norms


The h-profile in Figure 2 shows how Lucile compares overall to the female norms. For the most part, Lucile is a fairly typical woman dreamer. Her Friends Percent is lower than the female norms (h = -.39), but that is because she has so many relatives in her dreams. She is also low on physical aggression percent (h = -.40), as seems to be the case with many women over 50.

Figure 2: h-profile of Lucile's entire dream series compared to the female norms

Lucile has a higher percentage of dreams with at least one friendliness (h = +.37) due to the kindness she shows her family, her supervisor, and little children, all of which mirror her waking behavior. She is also higher in dreams with at least one aggression (h = +.33), due to many little rejections and annoyances in the dreams, and she is higher in dreams with at least one misfortune (h = +.45), due to her dreams about the infirmities of her husband and supervisor at work (this was true of them in waking life as well, according to correspondence Hall received from Lucile).

More on continuity: interactions with specific characters

The Lucile series also provides an opportunity to show that there are revealing differences in her interactions with specific individuals in her dreams, and that these interactions are continuous with her waking life. Specifically, she dreams about some relatives far more than others, and she has different patterns of friendliness and aggression with each of them, as shown in Table 1.

Characternumber of
A/C Index1F/C Index2A/F %3
sister X110.41.4349%
sister Y53.10.0759%
1. The A/C Index is the number of aggressions with a character divided by the number of appearances of that character.
2. The F/C Index is the number of instances of friendliness with a character divided by the number of appearances of that character.
3. The A/F Percent is the number of aggressions divided by the sum of aggressions plus friendliness.
4. The "Totals" here are the totals for Lucile's entire dream series, not just the characters listed here.

Lucile dreams most often about her husband, whom she saw every day until his death about four years after she started sending dreams to Hall. She has many more aggressive than friendly interactions with him, which is summarized by an aggression/friendliness percent of 58% (aggressions divided by the sum of aggressions and friendliness). This finding fits with their interaction pattern of small annoyances and rejections in waking life. Lucile also had many dreams that included her male supervisor at work. Her interactions with him are more often friendly than aggressive, in contrast with her interactions with her husband. Lucile reports that she likes her supervisor very much.

Although she sees a great deal of both her sisters, who live together, she dreams far more of sister X (110 appearances) than sister Y (53 appearances). Her pattern of friendly and aggressive interactions with them is about the same; the slightly higher percentage of aggressions with sister Y has to be viewed with caution because there are so few friendly and aggressive interactions with her. (This is an illustration of why it takes many dream reports to be confident of the findings.) Be that as it may, Lucile reports more emotional involvement with Sister X than Sister Y, which fits with the dream findings.

Lucile is very close to her daughter, whom she dreams of very frequently, and has many more friendly than aggressive interactions with her, which -- according to her replies to Hall's inquiries -- is also the case in waking life. She also was close to her mother, whom she visited daily until the mother died, and their interactions were far more positive than negative in both dreams and waking life.

Lucile dreams least often of her brother and her father, and does not have any friendly or aggressive interactions with them. Her brother lives in a distant city, and she rarely sees him. Her father died when she was nine years old.

To reiterate, consistency and continuity are two important empirical facts about our dream life that could be the basis for future theorizing. Lucile's lengthy dream journal provides an excellent example of both points.

Go back to the Findings index.
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