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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #23
Perspective-taking in adults: Empirical tests of the role of deictic framing in applied settings
Saturday, May 23, 2009
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
North 224 A
Area: CBM/VRB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Roger Vilardaga (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Contextual Behavioral Science is a strategic approach within the behavior analytic tradition that emphasizes the use of different fronts of exploration as means to strengthen our knowledge about our subject matter (Vilardaga, Hayes, Levin, Muto, in press). Within this strategic approach, Relational Frame Theory (RFT; Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, Roche, 2001) has developed a behavioral account of human language and cognition that has led to a variety of techniques, such as those of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999). One of the behavioral processes investigated by RFT is that of deictic framing, which is a class of derived relational responding that allows perspective taking distinctions that according to RFT may be at the core of empathy, social bonding, and a stable sense of self. This symposium will present a review of the literature on deictic framing, and data from three new studies that test those scientific questions. The four papers presented in this symposium will (1) review the current literature on deictic framing, (2) present data on the role of deictic framing in the context of stigmatized attitudes, (3) individuals suffering from schizophrenia and (4) individuals with psychotic symptoms compared to normal adults. Our aim is that at the end of the symposium, attendees will have learned about the RFT account of perspective taking and will be exposed to a sample of contextual behavioral science in that specific field.
A systematic and comprehensive review of the RFT literature on deictic framing
DOUGLAS MOORE LONG (University of Nevada, Reno), Roger Vilardaga (University of Nevada, Reno), Colin Stromberg (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: In this paper we will present a systematic and comprehensive review of the Relational Frame Theory work on deictic framing from the publication of Making sense of spirituality (Hayes, 1984) to date. Our summary of the literature on deictic framing will include theoretical and conceptual chapters and papers, and all the published and non published empirical studies. In this review we will summarize the theoretical rationale behind deictic framing, the range of complex phenomena that according to RFT, this behavioral process might account for, the results of empirical studies, the methodological strategies that have been used, their clinical and non clinical target populations, and finally, the inconsistencies and problems of this current line of research. Overall, we will show the steps that have been taken towards the building of a programmatic line of research in that field, and how it coheres with the contextual behavioral science approach.
Deictic framing and human objectification: further testing of a new procedure to enhance empathic concern towards others
ROGER VILARDAGA (University of Nevada, Reno), Thomas J. Waltz (University of Nevada, Reno), Michael Levin (University of Nevada-Reno), Steven C. Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno), Kimberly Amador (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: A previous study performed in our laboratory showed significant baseline correlations between performance in a deictic framing task and an empathy questionnaire (IRI; Davis, 1984) in a sample of college students (n=58). The study was designed to address the potential role of deictic framing in the enhancement of empathic concern towards individuals belonging to an ethnic minority. Results also indicated that a deictic framing manipulation produced increased levels of empathic concern but those levels of connection faded over time. In this paper, we will present data from a second study that will test the same rationale but using an automated procedure to avoid for demand characteristics of the experimenter. This new procedure incorporates (1) a larger pool of trials, (2) equal number of trials for the three types of deictic framing and their levels of complexity, (3) systematic variations of trial content, and (4) collection of fluency data. In addition, we created an automated delay discounting assessment task that serves as an analog of social bonding. Results will be discussed in terms of the larger implications of this line of research for the enhancement of social interactions in normal adults.
Deictic perspective taking and belief attribution in schizophrenia
MATTHIEU VILLATTE (Université de Picardie Jules Verne), Jean-Louis Monestès (Centre Hospitalier Ph. Pinel), Louise A. McHugh (University of Wales Swansea), Gwenolé Loas (Centre Hospitalier Ph. Pinel.)
Abstract: Impairment in the ability to attribute mental states is a characteristic feature of schizophrenia demonstrated in the field of cognitive psychology for more than a decade. Relational Frame Theory (RFT) has recently proposed a behavioral approach to this skill in terms of deictic relational responding and has proved efficient in the assessment as well as in the training of these repertoires. The current research aims to examine RFT predictions in psychosis by assessing deictic framing with perspective-taking and belief-attribution tasks in a group of 15 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and in a group of aged matched controls. Results revealed poorer performance of the patients in responding in accordance with deictic frames. In the perspective-taking protocol, reversing and double reversing relations produced the most important number of errors. No difference appeared between the two groups on simple perspective-taking. In the belief-attribution protocol, patients were as accurate as controls only on self-attribution of true belief, which indicates difficulties in relation to the interpersonal deictic frame and to logical not. Group effects remained significant even after controlling for IQ. Implications for the remediation of deficits in mental states attribution linked to psychosis are discussed.
Deictic framing protocols to increase discrimination of own behavior and reduce impulsive behavior
CARMEN LUCIANO SORIANO (University Almer&íacute;a, Spain), Vanessa SÁnchez (Universidad de Almer&íacute;a), Francisco José Ruiz Jiménez (University of Almer&íacute;a), Marisa PÁez Blarrina (Instituto ACT), Olga Gutierrez Martinez (Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona), Rosa Maráa Vizcaáno (Universidad de Almer&íacute;a)
Abstract: Based on the effectiveness of the brief ACT protocol focused on the clarification of values and defusion components used with 5 at-risk adolescents (Gómez, Luciano, Páez, & Valdivia, 2007), the aim of the present study is to isolate the deictic framing protocol upon which both, the values and the defusion components, are based. Participants, either showing an onset or a chronic experiential avoidance regulation will participate (10 children, 10 adolescents showing different types of impulsive behavior and 10 psychotic adults). Baseline impulsive behavior and valued actions as well as AAQ and other questionnaires will be taken. Following that, a values clarification protocol plus an intensive deictic training protocol will be applied in two sessions (individual and group sessions). The deictic training protocol will be implemented by using an experimental task especially designed to manage clinical behavior equivalent to the forms taken by the experiential avoidance regulation that is present in the participant`s repertoire. Finally, follow-up measures will be taken. Results will be discussed according to the verbal processes involved in the values clarification and defusion components of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999).



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