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.


Ninth Annual Autism Conference; Las Vegas, NV; 2015

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #4
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

ACT, RFT, and Autism: What Contextual Behavioral Science Has to Offer

Saturday, January 24, 2015
8:30 AM–9:20 AM
Grand Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D.
Chair: Thomas S. Higbee (Utah State University)
STEVEN C. HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Steven C. Hayes is the Nevada Foundation Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. An author of more than 35 books and over 500 scientific articles, his career has focused on an analysis of the nature of human language and cognition and the application of this to the understanding and alleviation of human suffering. Dr. Hayes has been president of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association, of the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. He was the first secretary-treasurer of the Association for Psychological Science, which he helped form, and served a five-year term on the National Advisory Council for Drug Abuse in the National Institutes of Health. In 1992, he was listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as the 30th "highest impact" psychologist in the world. His work has been recognized by several awards including the Exemplary Contributions to Basic Behavioral Research and Its Applications from Division 25 of APA, the Impact of Science on Application award from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.

Behavior analytic methods in the areas of autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and developmental disabilities are among the most powerful known. Contextual Behavioral Science (CBS) is a wing of behavior analysis that has for years been exploring functional, contextual methods approaches to language and cognition, and their implications for verbal interventions in a wide variety of areas. In this talk, Dr. Hayes will review the progress of this wing, in areas of relevance to autism and related areas. While Relational Frame Therapy (RFT), is not yet as well established as direct contingency principles, it offers a variety of new conceptual tools that are worth exploring. ACT methods appear to be helpful to higher functioning populations in this area. The specific properties of CBS required some degree of focused development, but advances in this area are available to anyone in behavior analysis who chooses to apply them.

Target Audience:

Psychologists, behavior analysts, practitioners, and graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants should be able to: (1) describe the defining features of relational frames; (2) explain how relational operants alter the impact of direct contingencies; and (3) describe at least two findings in CBS that appear to be relevant to work with autism and related disorders.
Keyword(s): contexual behavior, relational frame



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