Daydreaming is a short-term detachment of one’s immediate surroundings, a person’s contact with reality is blurred and partly replaced by a visionary fantasy , especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass, and experienced while awake.

There are many types of daydreams, and there is no common understanding among psychologists , however, which is common to all forms of daydreaming meets the criteria for mild dissociation . [1]

Society and the negative vs. positive aspects

Negative aspects of daydreaming were stressed after the work of the tool. As craft Production Was Largely Replaced by assembly line That did not allow for Any creativity, no place was left for positive aspects of daydreaming. It not only became associated with laziness, but also with danger.

For example, in the late 19th century, Toni Nelson argued that some daydreams with grandiose fantasies are self-gratifying attempts at “wish fulfillment”. Still in the 1950s, some of the psychologists warned parents of their children, that they may be sucked into ” neurosis and even psychosis “. [1]

Psychological studies

Freudian psychology interpret daydreaming as expression of the repressed instincts similarly to those revealing themselves in nighttime dreams. Like nighttime dreams, daydreams, also, are an example of wish-fulfillment (based on infantile experiences), and are allowed to surface because of relaxed censorship. He pointed out that, in contrast to nighttime dreams, which are often confusing and incoherent, there seems to be a process of “secondary revision” in fantasies that makes them more lucid, like daydreaming. The state of daydreaming is a kind of liminal state between waking (with the ability to think rationally and logically) and sleeping. They stand in much the same relationship to the childhood memories of which they are derived from the Baroque palaces of Rome to the ancient ruins whose pavements and columns have provided the material for the most recent structures. [2]

In the late 1960s, cognitive psychologists Jerome L. Singer of Yale University and John S. Antrobus of the City College of New York , created a daydream questionnaire . The questionnaire, called the Imaginal Processes Inventory (IPI), has been used to investigate daydreams. Psychologists Leonard Giambra and George Huba used the IPI and found that daydreamers’ imaginary images vary in how: how do you feel, how many daydreams are, how many guilt- or fear-filled daydreams they have, and how “deeply” into the daydream people go. [1]

Humanistic psychology on other hand, founding numerous examples of people in creative or artistic careers, such as composers , novelists and filmmakers , developing new ideas through daydreaming. Similarly, research scientists and mathematicians have developed new ideas by daydreaming about their subject areas. quote needed ]

Recent research

Eric Klinger’s research in the 1980s showed that most daydreams are about ordinary, everyday events and help to remind us of mundane tasks. Klinger’s research also showed that over 75% of workers in “boring jobs”, such as lifeguards and truck drivers , use their daily tasks to “ease the boredom” of their routine tasks. Klinger found that fewer than 5% of the working daydreams involved violent sexual thoughts and that violent daydreams were also uncommon. [1]

Israeli high school students who scored high on the Daydreaming Scale of the IPI had more empathy than students who scored low. Some psychologists use the mental imagery created during their daydreaming to help clients gain insight into their mental state and make diagnoses. [3] [4]

Other recent research has been shown that daydreaming, much like nighttime dreaming, is a time when the brain consolidates learning. Daydreaming can also help people to get through problems and achieve success. Research with fMRI shows that brain areas associated with complex problem-solving become activated during daydreaming episodes. [5] [6]

Research by Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett has found that people who experience vivid dream- like mental images reserve the word for these, many others people when they talk about “daydreaming” refer to milder imagery just “spacing out”. [7] [8] [9]

See also

  • Creative visualization
  • Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming
  • Default mode network
  • Fantasy prone personality
  • Fantasy (psychology)
  • Mind-wandering
  • Stream of consciousness (psychology)


  1. ^ Jump up to:d Klinger, Eric (October 1987). Psychology Today .
  2. Jump up^ Strachey, J. (1953). The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume V (1900-1901): The Interpretation of Dreams (Second Part) and On Dreams . London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-analysis. p. 492.
  3. Jump up^ D. Vaitl, J. Gruzelier, D. Lehmann et al., “Psychobiology of Altered States of Consciousness,”Psychological Bulletin, vol. 131, no. 1, 2005, pp. 98-127.
  4. Jump up^ Warren, Jeff (2007). “The Daydream”. The Head Trip: Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness . Toronto: Random House Canada. ISBN  978-0-679-31408-0 .
  5. Jump up^ “Brain’s Problem-solving Function At Work When We Daydream” . ScienceDaily . 2009-05-12 . Retrieved 2009-05-19 .
  6. Jump up^ Christoff, Kalina; Alan M. Gordon; Jonathan Smallwood; Rachelle Smith; Jonathan W. Schooler (2009-05-11). “Experience sampling during fMRI reveals network and executive system contributions to mind wandering”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences . 106 (21): 8719-24. doi : 10.1073 / pnas.0900234106 . PMC  2689035  . PMID  19433790 .
  7. Jump up^ Barrett, DL (1979). “The Hypnotic Dream: Its Content in Comparison to Nocturnal Dreams and Waking Fantasy”. Journal of Abnormal Psychology88 : 584-591. doi : 10.1037 / 0021-843x.88.5.584 .
  8. Jump up^ Barrett, DL (1996). Fantasizers and Dissociaters: Two Types of High Hypnotizables, Two Imagery Styles. In: R. Kusendorf, N. Spanos, & B. Wallace (Eds.)Hypnosis and Imagination. NY: Baywood
  9. Jump up^ Barrett, DL (2010). Dissociaters, Fantasizers, and their Relation to Hypnotizability. In: Barrett, DL (Ed.)Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy, (2 vols.): Vol. 1: History, Theory and General Research, Vol. 2: Psychotherapy research and applications, NY: Praeger / Greenwood.