|Abstract: The phenomenon known as derived stimulus relations holds a number of important implications for the understanding of human language and cognition, leading some researchers to suggest that relational learning repertoires are the basis of most, if not all, of complex human behavior. This tutorial will first describe the relation between derived stimulus relations and emerging language repertoires, and will then discuss three current theoretical perspectives on derived stimulus relations. These include Sidman’s (1994) stimulus equivalence paradigm, Horne and Lowe’s (1996) Naming Hypothesis, and Relational Frame Theory (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001). Similarities and differences between the three theoretical positions will be discussed within the context of language development in children, along with the experimental procedures and results of studies in support of each position. Strategies for programming for the emergence of rudimentary verbal repertoires that have been inspired by each theoretical framework, separately and in conjunction, will also be discussed.
Dr. Ruth Anne Rehfeldt has had an ongoing interest in derived stimulus relations since she was an undergraduate at the University of Puget Sound, where she did an independent study on the topic with a child with autism. She studied under Dr. Linda Hayes at the University of Nevada, where the two collaborated on a number of basic laboratory investigations of stimulus equivalence. After working directly with individuals with autism and other intellectual disabilities, Dr. Rehfeldt’s interests in derived stimulus relations shifted from the laboratory to educational and habilitation settings. Her interests in refining a technology based upon derived stimulus relations has evolved further since joining the faculty in the Rehabilitation Services and Behavior Analysis and Therapy programs at Southern Illinois University. To this end, Ruth Anne co-edited an upcoming book with Yvonne Barnes-Holmes entitled Derived Relational Responding: Applications for Learners with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities: A Progressive Guide to Change, which features a number of internationally recognized contributors in the area of relational learning. Ruth Anne has published over 70 scientific papers and book chapters. She is currently the Editor of The Psychological Record, and is an editorial board member for Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, and The Behavior Analyst.|