This is a very interesting experiment for two
related people. You'll never believe anyone else.
Two people, closely related, ideally parent and child are
required. When the child has gone to sleep the parent describes a
picture in detail. In the morning, on first awakening discover
what the child dreamed about.
Discuss the experiment before you start and make sure the
sleeper is happy to try.
Common sense tells you not to try this with a child
younger than 7 or so. Perhaps children in their teens might
not be ideal either (Too self-conscious my dear). Try to isolate a
single child, because the debriefing afterwards may be rather
Obviously it is absolutely essential that the talker
doesn't give even the slightest clue to the picture before
Once the sleeper has nodded off, the talker must be at the
other end of the house and out of normal earshot. If you
play some music to cover eavesdropping.
The talker now describes the picture in writing and talks
about it to themself. (I suppose that two parents could
discuss it amongst themselves - but STAY ON THE SUBJECT). The
purpose is to get the talker's mind fully concentrating on the
picture. Redraw it or trace it providing the act of picking
colours etc doesn't detract from the characteristic of the
First thing next morning, go through with the sleeper what
they dreamed about. You might find a "I know the picture" if
the sleeper recognised the image or you might get a
description without recognition. There is no point in
prompting with "did you see..." because this is a flawed
This has worked for me. I have no explanation.
What will people think if you tell them you even took this experiment seriously?