Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #54
International Symposium - Intelligence, Educational and Socially Relevant Research using the IRAP as a Methodology
Saturday, May 24, 2008
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
Area: EAB/EDC; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Catriona O'Toole (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP; Barnes-Holmes et al, 2006) is an experimental procedure designed to assess relations between stimuli. The IRAP provides a number of measures of relational responding (i.e. response latency, accuracy, and difference-scores). It therefore offers a very rich methodology for examining the importance of relational processes in human cognition. As the name suggests, the IRAP can also be used to assess implicit attitudes and beliefs, such as those that an individual may prefer to conceal or deny. In this symposium four papers will be presented which use the IRAP as a methodology. These focus on examining human intelligence from an RFT perspective; assessing the attitudes of teachers and special-need pupils in mainstream education; and assessing racial attitudes in a socially disadvantaged community.
Human Relational Processes and Intelligence.
CATRIONA O'TOOLE (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: This study examined the extent to which performances on two relational tasks correlate with performances on standardized intelligence tests (the WAIS-III, and the AH4). Participants completed a similar/different and a before/after relational task, which were presented using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP). They were then exposed to the intelligence tests. Significant correlations were observed between scores on the IQ tests and performance on the IRAP tasks, as measured by response latency and difference-scores. The data support the core tenet of Relational Frame Theory, which is that relational processes play a central role in human cognition. The results therefore suggest that targeting the fluid and flexible development of relational repertoires may be crucially important in terms of promoting intelligent and creative behaviors in educational settings.
The Assessment of Self-esteem Profiles in Children with Special Needs in Mainstream Education: A contextual Perspective.
GER SCANLON (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: To date, psychologists have been slow to generate a functional definition of the self-concept and self esteem. The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) has been developed as a means of assessing implicit relational terms among sets of stimuli. The current study examined positive self or negative self-terms in three groups of children whose diagnosis varied on the continuum of special needs in mainstream education as being similar or opposite to themselves and an opposite gender name. The explicit measure used in assessing the childrens levels of self-esteem, was the Piers-Harris Self Concept Scale. The results on the implicit measure (IRAP) indicated that children with ADHD had lower implicit self-esteem than the normally-developing and dyslexic children. On the explicit measure, all three groups of children fell within the average range of self-esteem. However, the Dyslexic and ADHD groups had less positive self-regard on the sub domain scales in relation to the areas of difficulties they experience. Taken together, the outcomes observed on both the implicit and explicit measures appear to discriminate between groups of children on the self-esteem continuum.
Measuring Self-Esteem using the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP).
CLAIRE CAMPBELL (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Ian T. Stewart (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that self-report measures of emotionally sensitive material are susceptible to socially desirable responding. As an alternative, researchers have investigated various ways of measuring implicit cognitions. The current study investigated the relationship between explicit and implicit measures of self-esteem and emotional avoidance. In Experiment 1 undergraduate students (n=24) were exposed to the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) and an IRAP that targeted self-esteem based relations. In Experiment 2 another group of undergraduate students (n=24) were exposed to the Acceptance and Avoidance Questionnaire (AAQ) and an IRAP that targeted relations pertaining to emotional avoidance and acceptance. Strong D scores in the predicted directions were recorded on both IRAPs. Specifically, participants in Experiment indicated positive self-esteem and those in Experiment 2 demonstrated a propensity towards emotional acceptance over avoidance. However, in neither case were there strong correlations between the implicit and explicit measures. The paper highlights the utility of the IRAP as a measure of emotionally sensitive psychological content.
Exploring Acceptance and Distraction Pain Coping Instructions Using Experimentally Induced Radiant Heat.
ANNE KEHOE (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: The current research program compared the utility of Acceptance and Distraction-based Interventions on tolerance, distress and pain intensity of experimentally induced radiant heat pain. The current series of experiments aimed to match the interventions as closely as possible by presenting both groups with distraction with different Intervention consistent instructions. An increase in heat tolerance was reported for Acceptance and not for Distraction highlighting the importance of the instructions given to participants regarding the task. A further experiment was conducted, which ensured that only the explicit instructions regarding the use of Distraction or Acceptance differentiated the two groups. The findings were very similar to the previous experiment. The final experiment in the current series, involved the re-inclusion of the experiential metaphor. Similar differences in tolerance across interventions were reported. The current research is the first to investigate clinical interventions, which differ only in instructions for experimentally induced radiant heat pain.



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