National University of Ireland, Galway - Ian Stewart & Denis O'Hora (RFT/ACT processes; MSc, PhD; IRE)

Printer-friendly version


Dr. Stewart's research interests span both the experimental analysis of language and cognition and applications of RFT (including ACT) to education and other settings. Current RFT projects include work on derived equivalence relations; interference between non arbitrary and arbitrary relational responding; hierarchical relational responding; Crel and Cfunc control; the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure; analogical reasoning; Training and Assessment of Relational Precursors and Abilities (TARPA); and the precursor skills required for arbitrarily applicable relational responding. Current ACT projects include the experimental analysis of the effect of values in the context of acceptance.

"My research is influenced by a number of philosophies or approaches. These include Skinner's experimental analysis of behaviour or operant psychology, Hayes, Barnes-Holmes and Roche's relational frame theory, Kelso's coordination dynamics and Spivey's (and Dale and Richardson's) continuity of mind. The common feature of these approaches is that they consider the person to be an ever-changing collection of responses to an ever-changing world. That is, we are continually learning from the world around us and changing through that learning. The constant world that we see around us (including the constant person that we think we are) is both the result of relatively stable attractor states in the responding of our perceptual equipment, and consistencies established in language. Current specific research lines include the effects of goal statements on behavior over time (with Tammemagi and Maglieri), how we interpret the passing of time using the concepts of Before and After (with Hyland, Smyth and Leslie), brain changes that correlate with category formation (with Sigurjonsson, Stewart and Leader). I am also interested in the applied utility of my research in organizational, educational and care settings. I am a member of the Perception, Cognition and Action research group and the Clinical, Biological and Behavioural Psychology research cluster."