Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

Rule-Governed Behavior and Responding to One’s Behavior: Where We Were, Where We Are, and Where Are We Moving Forward

Carmen Luciano (University Almeria, Spain)

Invited Paper



Biography:Carmen Luciano graduated in 1978 and received her Ph.D. in the Complutense University of Madrid in 1984. She is Professor of Psychology at the University of Almeria since 1994 and at the University of Granada from 1979 to 1993. Her research dedication began on the experimental analysis of language. Her Postdoc Fulbright research stay in Boston University and the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, in 1985-86, was centered in studying problem-solving behavior under Skinner’s supervision. This was a critical point in her career as basic researcher. She was involved in the equivalence research, rule-governed behavior and, shortly after, in research of RFT and ACT. Her research lab has been -and it is- conducting basic creative experimental-applied RFT designs for the analysis of analogies, coherence, deictic and mainly hierarchical framing in the context of identifying core components of metaphors, false memories, experiential avoidance, values, defusion, selfing behaviors as responding to the own behavior. She designs brief ACT protocols and teaches ACT focused in analyzing the conditions under which emotions, thoughts, and valued motivation are brought to the present to build flexibility responding. She is Director of the Experimental and Applied Analysis of Behavior Research Group since 1986, where she has supervised over thirty doctoral theses - some of her students are running their own labs nowadays. She is also Director of the Functional Analysis in Clinical Contexts Doctoral Program in the University of Almeria, and Director of the Master Program in Contextual Therapies in Madrid Institute of Contextual Psychology – MICPSY. Her research has been funded by international, national, and regional public funds. She has collaborated with research groups from different countries, and she has spread the functional analysis perspective in meetings, courses, research presentations, and publications. She is known for her exciting, precise, and creative style while teaching, working with clients, and doing research.


Abstract: Early on, human beings learn to understand, formulate, and follow rules. This process requires learning to relate to and, consequently, derive contents about oneself, others, and the world around as well as to respond to all these contents. That is, the way we think, the emotion we feel, the rules derive and the function they have for responding in particular directions generate specific relational operants throughout multiple exemplars of responding to the own behavior, for good and for bad. This is the core of the analysis of human behavior, the analysis of suffering, and the therapy overcome it. In this context, this presentation aims to describe where behavior analysis was in the last portion of the previous century, where it is now, and where and how it is moving forward.


Modifed by Eddie Soh