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Relational Frame Theory: Finding Its Historical and Intellectual Roots and Reflecting upon Its Future Development: An Introduction to Part II

APA Citation

Barnes-Holmes, D., Barnes-Holmes, Y., Hussey, I. and Luciano, C. (2015) Relational Frame Theory. The Wiley Handbook of Contextual Behavioral Science, 115-128.

Publication Topic
Behavior Analysis: Conceptual
RFT: Conceptual
Publication Type
behavioral psychology, bottom-up approach, multidimensional multilevel framework, relational frame theory, units of analysis

This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of the basic and applied wings of relational frame theory (RFT). It addresses the origins of the theory from the personal perspective of the person who first conceptualized the account. Behavioral psychology, consistent with a bottom-up approach to science, is built upon generally agreed units of analysis. The critical point about RFT is that the functional response unit involves relating, rather than pressing a key or pointing at a stimulus. The chapter proposes a conceptual framework that helps to guide future research on the dynamics of relational framing and conceptualize these dynamics in a three-dimensional space, involving degrees of derivation, complexity, and coherence in arbitrarily applicable relational responding. The multidimensional multilevel (MDML) framework conceptualizes virtually all such clinically relevant behaviors as verbal, but explains the clear differences in terms of multiple dimensions.