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

Previous Page


Paper Session #166
Int'l Paper Session - Conceptual and Empirical Analysis of Complex Verbal Behavior
Sunday, May 29, 2005
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Stevens 3 (Lower Level)
Area: VRB
Chair: Sam Leigland (Gonzaga University)
On the Roles of Relational Frame Theory in the Functional Analysis of Verbal Behavior
Domain: Theory
SAM LEIGLAND (Gonzaga University)
Abstract: Relational Frame Theory is a systematic effort to extend the concepts of equivalence and derived relational phenomena to other types of abstracted and derived relations among arbitrary stimuli, to do so under a single conceptual system, and to apply the formulation to the entire domain of human verbal interactions. In light of some recent reviews of RFT, the purpose of this paper is to describe some of the useful functions of RFT for the analysis of verbal behavior more generally. Whether or not RFT ultimately fulfills its promise as the singular comprehensive theoretical framework for verbal behavior, it nevertheless expands the concepts of derived relational phenomena and emphasizes the direct relevance and critical importance of such phenomena to human verbal interactions. RFT also provides a framework for more sophisticated interpretations of verbal phenomena, challenges the further methodological development of the analysis of verbal behavior, and provides a more detailed and sophisticated challenge to traditional cognitivist approaches to language. Although a variety of questions and issues remain to be resolved regarding RFT (some of these will be reviewed), it is nevertheless true that RFT deserves the careful attention of all behavior analysts (and others) interested in verbal behavior.
Transformation of Mathematical and Stimulus Functions: The Value of Elegance
Domain: Applied Research
CHRIS NINNESS (Stephen F. Austin State University), Robin Rumph (Stephen F. Austin State University), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Sharon Ninness (Stephen F. Austin State University), Glen L. McCuller (Stephen F. Austin State University), Ronald W. Smith (Stephen F. Austin State University)
Abstract: Mathematical formulae are considered elegant if they describe functions in a distinctly parsimonious and effective manner. Subjects who were unfamiliar with algebraic and trigonometric formulae relative to transformations of mathematical functions were given a brief presentation on the fundamentals of the rectangular coordinate system. Then, they took part in a computer-interactive matching-to-sample procedure that included training on formula-to-formula and formula-to-graph relations. In training A—B, standard formulae served as samples, and factored formulae served as comparisons. In training B—C, factored formulae served as samples and graphs as comparisons. The program tested for mutually entailed B—A and C—B relations as well as combinatorially entailed C—A and A—C relations. After subjects demonstrated mutual entailment and combinatorial entailment, we conducted a test of novel relations to assess subjects’ ability to identify 40 complex variations of the original formulae and their respective graphs. Finally, we assessed for transformation of stimulus functions. Using 20 tests containing correct and incorrect comparison items, we simultaneously assessed subject preferences for novel forms of factored versus standard formulae. Subjects showed systematic preferences for particular forms of correct solutions over others. Mathematical elegance and transformation of mathematical and stimulus functions are discussed.
The Role of Verbal and Symbolic Behavior, as well as Contextual Cues in Perspective Taking
Domain: Applied Research
INMACULADA GOMEZ BECERRA (University of Almeria, Spain), Mª Jesús Martin (University of Almeria, Spain), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University), Mapy Chavez-Brown (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: The objective of this study was to analyze the role of verbal-contextual cues in perspective-taking, measured through two tests of false beliefs, and the influence of certain symbolic repertoire or of the discrimination of verbal elements (I/you/he-she, before/now/later, witnesses/absence, is/isn´t, here/there). The participants were fifteen children, from 18 to 36 months of age. They were students in preschools in Spain. They did not pass the perspective-taking tests and they have a minimum and only comprehensive level of the mentioned discriminations. The children were distributed at random in three groups: control group, experimental group 1 (GE1) and experimental group 2 (GE2). An intrasubject design with multiple baseline through subjects and of tasks and intersubject design were used. After the first probe of the two adapted tests of false beliefs (of Ann and Sally test, the " smarties " task and " Maxi " task), the following variables were manipulated: in the GE1 the videotapes “Ann-Sally,” which including contextual cues as described in the Gómez, Martin, Greer & Brown (2004) study, were repeatedly viewed by the participants, and in the GE2 the discrimination of the verbal elements mentioned were trained using protocols developed for that purpose and, in part, adapted from past research studies such as Gómez, Martin, Greer & Brown (2004); McHugh, Barnes-Holmes Y., & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2004a, b); Lovaas (1981); Kozloff (1974); and accordingly with the analysis of verbal behavior development as described by Greer and Keohane (in press). Finally, both perspective-taking test were administered once more.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh