Black and White Delamont

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Do you dream in color?

I’m always slightly taken aback by this question. Doesn’t everybody dream in color? Why I wonder does this question get asked so often?

Not only do I dream in color—but my dreams are in vivid color, sometimes even in over-saturated, trippy, Technicolor. I don’t recall ever having a dream in black and white.

But the questions persist.

I’ve even heard a theory that those of us who say we dream in color, are in fact retroactively projecting the color onto our otherwise black and white dreams. Frankly, I don’t buy that one.

I recently read about another theory, which explains the misperception that people dream in black and white … and this one interests me much more.  It goes like this:

Our dreaming mind is very much influenced by the technology we, as a culture, use. This makes perfect sense to me. I’m sure I’m not the only one who now dreams of having trouble completing a call on my iPhone, whereas such anxiety dreams used to involve rotary, then push-button phones. Apparently people who play video games regularly are having dreams now that reflect the fact-paced action of their electronic play, and are becoming more adept at taking on different personas in their dreams, as they do in their wake-life games.

So, according to a study published in 2008, during the early years of television when the pictures came in only black and white, people dreamed more often in–you guessed it–black and white. That doesn’t explain how the idea of black and white dreams has become so deeply entrenched, but it’s an interesting theory nonetheless.

Cropped screenshot of Judy Garland from the tr...

Image via Wikipedia

Meanwhile, I’m eternally grateful to Dorothy, for stepping through the monochromatic landscape into Technicolor. Perhaps in that great cinematic stride she colorized the dreams of an entire generation!


What about you? Do you dream in black and white? Come on, really? You’ll have to show me or I won’t believe you 🙂


Don’t tell Robert Hoss that people don’t dream in color. He studies color psychology in dreams. I highly recommend his book.


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