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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #53
International Symposium - Applications of Relational Frame Theory (RFT): Theory, Research, and Practice (Part II)
Saturday, May 26, 2007
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
Cunningham C
Area: EDC/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Carol C. Murphy (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Discussant: Thomas J. Waltz (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: As the title implies, this two-part symposium will bring together current theory, research, and practice revolving around the application of RFT. Theoretical commentary will focus on the issues of derived relational responding as generalized operant classes, potential applications that are implicit in RFT, and strategies for assessing deficits and excesses in derived relational responding. Research presented herein will focus on the continuing bridge between Skinner’s system of verbal behavior and RFT, as well as, the refinement of procedures used to establish types of derived relational responding associated with higher cognitive functioning. Finally, descriptions and examples of real world applications of RFT from language training and educational settings will be provided. The goal of the two-part symposium is to provide a forum for practitioners and researchers to contact the current status of the technological developments applying RFT to real world problems.
The Assessment of Relational Precursors and Abilities (ARPA).
JOHN D. MCELWEE (HASD), Ian T. Stewart (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: Relational Frame Theory is a recent behavior analytic account of human language and cognition. A central tenet of the theory is that learning to relate arbitrary stimuli is the basic foundation for higher-level cognitive abilities. The ARPA is a computer program to assess the basic behavior processes needed to accomplish this. The ARPA assesses a hierarchical sequence of skills from simple to arbitrary conditional discriminations with a focus on those skills considered to be precursors to derived relational responding. The educational implications for the remediation of discrimination deficits will conclude the presentation.
Complex Derived More/Less Manding with Children with and without a Diagnosis of Autism: A Synthesis of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior and Relational Frame Theory IV.
CAROL C. MURPHY (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: Participants were three 14-year-old adolescent boys diagnosed with autism and 2 normally-developing children aged 8-9. All participants underwent training to establish more/less relational functions with two arbitrary stimuli, X and Y, respectively. This was followed by match-to-sample training in conditional discriminations involving the two stimuli and five other arbitrary stimuli (A, B, C, D, and E). A conditioned motivating operation was then used to test for derived more/less manding based on the trained conditional discriminations. Test I required derived manding showing the following stimulus relations. Stimulus A is more than B (and B is less than A), B is more than C, C is more than D, and D is more than E. Successful completion of Test I was followed by training to change conditional discriminations, and Test II subsequently probed for changed derived more/less manding. Baseline conditional discriminations were then retrained, and Test III probed for a return to baseline derived more/less manding. Findings are discussed with regard to the behavioral literature on derived manding.
Combining RFT, Precision Teaching, Fluency Based Instruction, and LiPS to Teach Early Reading Skills.
NICHOLAS M. BERENS (University of Nevada, Reno & Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.), Kimberly Nix Berens (Center for Advanced Learning, Inc.)
Abstract: Hearing a word and understanding that it can be broken down into parts is so engrained in our behavior that it is often taken for granted when working with children who struggling to learn to read. While simple and commonplace, this task is richly relational. It requires being to be able respond to the sounds in the words as letters (a frame of coordination), as well as, being able to respond to the temporal and spatial relations among the sounds. These relations, until directly established in the individual’s history, are completely arbitrary. By arbitrary, we mean there is no physical correlate in the “real” world. That is, that the word “cat” is made up of the sounds c-a-t, that those sounds are for the letters C-A-T, and that those sounds have to occur in a specific order to make the word “cat” have no physical properties until they are explicitly taught. The current paper will provide an example of how a combination of the use of non-arbitrary (tangible) stimuli in a fluency building procedure can clarify these relational properties of blending and segmenting words.



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