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On the measurement of relational responding (Pages 155-168)

Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS)
Volume 30, October 2023, Pages 155-168


Jamie Cummins


Psychologists increasingly recognize the importance of relational responding in understanding human behavior. As a result, there is a growing need for valid, reliable, and precise measures of relational responding. One promising measure is the Relational Abilities Index (RAI). However, its measurement properties have not been explored in-depth. There is little understanding, for example, of how precise the RAI is as a measure of individual-level abilities. In this paper I examine the precision of the RAI at the individual-level, quantify the item characteristics of the task using Item Response Theory, and more generally assess its quality as a measure of relational responding. Although broadly promising, the measure exhibits several substantial shortcomings which limit its utility and interpretability. I make recommendations for how to improve the task and highlight the importance of in-depth examinations of measurement for future research.


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