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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Paper Session #128
Int'l Paper Session - Developing Behavioral Models of Human Language and Cognition Based on Relational Frame Theory
Sunday, May 29, 2005
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Private Dining Room 5 (3rd floor)
Area: EAB
Chair: Yors A. Garcia (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
Developing Behavioral Models of Human Language and Cognition Based on Relational Frame Theory
Domain: Basic Research
DERMOT BARNES-HOLMES (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: One of the core postulates of relational frame theory is that the behavioral units of human language and cognition may be conceptualized usefully in terms of derived stimulus relations. These relations, which range in simplicity from mutually entailed relations to the relating of complex relational networks, have been used to generate a number of laboratory-based models of both basic and advanced human verbal behavior. In so doing, however, very little contact has been made with mainstream cognitive psychology/neuroscience and its analyses in this domain. Although behavior analysis and cognitive science typically adopt different root metaphors and truth criteria, the research methodologies and the data obtained by our cognitive colleagues may provide one of a number of ways in which to test and perhaps refine the modern behavioral models of human language and cognition that are now emerging. The current paper will review this argument and the present some recent and ongoing programs of collaborative research that have adopted this strategy. In particular, the paper will examine relational frame models of semantic priming, the implicit association test, and analogical reasoning. Because this research involved using measure typically associated with cognitive research, such as reaction time and event related potentials, direct and sometimes useful comparisons can be made across behavioral and cognitive studies. In making such comparisons apparent benefits to both behavioral and cognitive psychologists appear to emerge.



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