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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Invited Tutorial #27
SQAB Tutorial: Relational Frame Theory: Past, Present, and Future
Saturday, May 26, 2018
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, San Diego Ballroom B
Area: SCI; Domain: Theory
PSY/BACB/QABA/NASP CE Offered. CE Instructor: Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Ph.D.
Chair: Michael J. Dougher (University of New Mexico)
Presenting Authors: : DERMOT BARNES-HOLMES (Ghent University)

The seminal research on equivalence relations by Sidman (1994) and colleagues, which commenced in the early 1970s, led in the mid-1980s to the development of relational frame theory (RFT; Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001). The tutorial will present an overview of this 30 year-old unfolding research story and will consider some empirical and conceptual issues that appear to require focused attention as the story continues to unfold across the coming decades. In particular, the tutorial will commence by focusing on the historical and intellectual roots of RFT, identifying the work of Darwin, Wittgenstein, Skinner, and particularly Sidman as critically important. The basic units of analysis proposed by RFT, as a behavior-analytic account of human language and cognition, will then be considered. The impact these analytic units have had, and still have, on RFT research will also be reviewed. A relatively new RFT concept, known as the multi-dimensional multi-level (MDML) framework will be presented. A recent model of specific properties of relational framing, the differential arbitrarily applicable relational responding effects (DAARRE) model, will also be considered. Finally, a case will be made to integrate the MDML and the DAARRE model into a hyper-dimensional, multi-level (HDML) framework

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to (1) articulate the historical and intellectual roots of relational frame theory; (2) describe the basic units of analysis of RFT as presented in the seminal volume (Hayes, et al., 2001); (3) identify and explain the basic concepts presented in graphical representations of the MDML framework and the DAARRE model.
Dr. Dermot Barnes-Holmes graduated from the University of Ulster in 1985 with a B.Sc. in Psychology and in 1990 with a D.Phil. in behavior analysis. His first tenured position was in the Department of Applied Psychology at University College Cork, where he founded and led the Behavior Analysis and Cognitive Science unit. In 1999 he accepted the foundation professorship in psychology and head-of-department position at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. In 2015 he accepted a life-time senior professorship at Ghent University in Belgium. Dr. Barnes-Holmes is known internationally for the analysis of human language and cognition through the development of Relational Frame Theory with Steven C. Hayes, and its application in various psychological settings. He was the world's most prolific author in the experimental analysis of human behavior between the years 1980 and 1999. He was awarded the Don Hake Translational Research Award in 2012 by the American Psychological Association, is a past president and fellow of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, is a recipient of the Quad-L Lecture Award from the University of New Mexico and most recently became an Odysseus laureate of the Flemish Science Foundation and a fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.



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