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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #270

Behavior Analysis and Relational Frame Theory: Implications

Sunday, May 26, 2019
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Ballroom Level, Grand Ballroom AB
Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Carmen Luciano Soriano, Ph.D.
Chair: Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
CARMEN LUCIANO SORIANO (University Almería, Spain; Madrid Institute of Contextual Psychology (MICPSY))
Carmen Luciano, PhD, is Full Professor of Psychology and Director of the Functional Analysis Doctoral Program at University of Almeria, Spain. And she is Director of Master in Contextual Psychology in Madrid Institute of Contextual Psychology (MICPSY). She received her doctoral degree from the Universidad Complutense, Madrid in 1984. She got a Post-doc-Fulbright fellowship in Boston University and Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (USA) to do research in the emergence of problema-solving in 1985. She has focused her work in tracking the integration of philosophical, basic and applied areas as a dimensional contextual tree of knowledge. She has directed thirty doctoral theses and has published pivotal papers in Behavior Analysis, RFT and ACT. She is mostly focused in analyzing the deictic and hierarchical framing that might be implied in bringing emotions, thoughts, and valued functions to the present to doing possible flexibility responding. She has a vibrating and creative style while teaching, doing research or working with clients.

Behavior Analysis (BA) and Relational Frame Theory (RFT) are integrated in a continuum dimension that is rooted to the functional and contextual perspective of behavior. The implications are simply huge. In this presentation, I will travel back to those times where BA began to provide formulas about how contingencies organized behavior. These effective experiences accounted for part of the enormous variability shown in behavior and very soon B.F. Skinner realized the impact of rules on contingencies. Even more, the relevance of generative self-rules and self-knowledge as well as how we respond to the one`s own behavior were on the table. This door was identified to further scientific inquiry, however it took some time for an insightful behavior to occur in the middle of practical experiences, an insight pointing to the emergent or derived responding. It was when the door was clearly opened to the analysis of further and more sophisticated forms of variability as generativity or derived responding as altering the meaning of contingencies. Relational Frame Theory was a step forward into the analysis of such behavioral phenomena. Consequently, an extension of the functional dimension was in place to account for relevant behaviors as those pointing to human suffering or, conversely, responding to living in peace with oneself. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is nowadays the contextual Therapy more compromised with the identification of the interactions involved in moving from suffering to living. Very good news for the functional and contextual perspective of behavior with the focus in the emergence of insightful behavior in the days to come that might connect still isolated points.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students. 

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify BA and RFT as part of the same functional dimension; (2) discuss the emergence of insight in behavioral science; (3) discuss ACT strategies based on RFT.



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Modifed by Eddie Soh