Current life emotional experiences have been demonstrated to elicit a process called social sharing of emotion, consisting of repetitive talking about these experiences in conversations with relevant others. Like many diurnal experiences, dreams are generally loaded with emotional elements, and empirical evidence has suggested that individuals share their dreams with others mainly belonging to the circle of intimates. The present study examined whether the intensity of the emotion experienced in a dream predicts the extent to which this dream is socially shared. The prediction was tested independently for positively valenced and negatively valenced dreams, on two samples of respondents, i.e., Belgians and Italians. Other potential predictors of sharing were considered, including a number of cognitive appraisals and cognitive consequences of emotion. Results confirmed that emotion intensity is the main predictor of social sharing for both negative and positive dreams. In addition, the analysis of dream contents accounted for a high level of emotional intensity associated with respondents’ dreaming. Implications for theory and functions fulfilled by emotion with regard to social interactions are discussed.
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