An Introduction to Relational Frame Theory

An Introduction to Relational Frame Theory: Implications for Practice

  • Presenter: James W. Moore, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
  • Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2020
  • Time: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. CST
  • Format: 2 hour Zoom Webinar
  • CEs: 2.0

This webinar will offer a brief introduction to Relational Frame Theory, including the foundational principles, such as Crel and Cfunc. Specific attention will be given to nonarbitrary and arbitrary relating. Interactive experiences will be included to help solidify fluency of the presented content.

Abstract: Relational Frame Theory (Hayes et al., 2001; Barnes-Holmes et al., 2018) offers a functional analytic account of complex human behavior, language, and cognition. Derived relational responding (DRR), in general, refers to the ability to perform novel responses not directly taught in a variety of different and novel conditions by relating concepts together. In other words, relating may be simply defined as responding to one event in terms of another. For example, rhesus monkeys may be trained to respond relationally to, and thereby select the taller or two stimuli (see Harmon, Strong, & Pasnak, 1982). This response, which can be produced by humans and animals, is controlled entirely by the nonarbitrary or formal properties of the stimuli (i.e., one stimulus is actually taller than the other, and as such is not a verbal process). In contrast, Arbitrary Applicable Relational Responding (AARR) is a verbal process, because it is under the control of contextual features beyond the formal properties of the related stimuli or events. This class of responding, given that it is verbal and, as such, language, is often significantly impaired for individuals with ASD and other disabilities. Deficits in AARR are not universal or consistent across individuals with ASD. Some individuals may show some ability with AARR with less complex stimuli, but as the complexity increases, so too does their difficulty in navigating the relations.  In fact, AARR tends to occur in particular patterns of responding, referred to in the literature as relational frames. A number of relational frames have been identified in the research literature, including frames of coordination, opposition, distinction, comparison, hierarchy, and deictic (also known as perspective-taking).

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