families of relational frames
Relational frames can be roughly organized into families of specific types of relations. This list is not exhaustive, but serves to demonstrate some of the more common frames and how they may combine to establish various classes of important behavioral events.
- frames of coordination
- frames of opposition
- frames of distinction
- frames of comparison
- hierarchical frames
- deictic frames
- other families: other families of relations include spatial relations such as over/under and front/back, temporal relations such as before/after, and causal/contingency relations such as "if...then"
The foregoing families of relational frames are not final or absolute. If RFT is correct, the number of relational frames is limited only by the creativity of the social/verbal community that trains them. Thus the foregoing list is to some degree tentative. For example, TIME and CAUSALITY can be thought of as one or two types of relations. It is not yet clear if thinking of them as either separate or related may be experimentally useful, relative to the goals of RFT. Thus, while the generic concept of a relational frame is foundational to RFT, the concept of any particular relational frame is not. The purpose in constructing a list of frames is to provide a set of conceptual tools, some more firmly grounded in data than others, that may be modified and refined as subsequent empirical analyses are conducted.
To see some brief examples of common families of relational frames, move your cursor over the names of the families below. If you do not see the image below, you may need to download the free Macromedia Flash Player first.