"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
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.
|A/C Index1||F/C Index2||A/F %3
|1. The A/C Index is the number of
aggressions with a character divided by the number of appearances of that
|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
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
Go back to the Findings index.