Growing up with a black and white TV ’makes you less likely to dream in colour’
2011-07-15 0:00


Black and white TV has long been associated with the older generations.
Now, a study has found pensioners have mostly colourless dreams as well.
Just one in five people in their 60s recalled having bright, vivid dreams, according to the survey published by the American Psychological Association.

The black and white generation: The first regular colour TV programmes were transmitted by BBC2 in 1967.

In contrast, 80 per cent of those surveyed under the age of 30 confirmed they had dreams rich in colour.

The report - titled ’Life Span Differences in Colour Dreaming - explained: ’When we inquired among college students whether they dreamed in colour, most answered that their dreams were as fully in colour as is waking life.

’Inquiries among older persons, however, produced the same result as the early research - dreams were predominantly in black and white.’
The Japanese researchers explained their findings could be partly linked to younger generations and their experience of watching colour TV since childhood.

The study said: ’Colour TV may play an important role in that, people in Japan younger than 20 in 1993 and 36 at 2009 have watched colour TV since birth.’

However, it argued the explosion in popularity of colour TVs could not solely explain the phenomenon.

The report said: ’If the incidence of colour in dreams were affected only by media exposure, it would abruptly, instead of gradually, decrease because the most representative coloured media -colour TV - became prevalent very quickly in Japan.’

More than 1,300 people were interviewed twice over a 16-year period from 1993 to 2009 about the brightness of their dreams.

The amount of colour dreams increased during the stretch only for participants in their 20s, 30s ad 40s but the overall pattern that the over 60s tended to dream in black and white remained the same.

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