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 #167
International Symposium - Recent Applications of Relational Frame Theory using Deictic Framing Procedures
Sunday, May 25, 2008
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Stevens 5
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Roger Vilardaga (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a modern account of human language and cognition (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001) that is part of the behavioral analytical tradition. A variety of techniques based in this behavioral theory have been developed and applied in many settings, such as those of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999). But probably because of the precision, scope and depth of RFT, researchers have started to test some of its components into areas other than the Psychotherapy field. One of these components is the phenomena of Deictic Framing. Deictic framing is an integral part of perspective taking and involves the distinctions of I-YOU, HERE-THERE and NOW-THEN (Hayes et al. 2001). This form of relational framing may also be relevant to empathy, compassion, social interactions, and a stable sense of self. The four papers of this symposium will address deictic framing in the context of (1) stigmatized attitudes towards ethnic minorities, (2) mindfulness and self-defeating behaviors and (3) children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Overall, we would like to offer a sample of the current research on this topic that would enhance scientific discussion and future developments.
Testing a New Perspective-Taking Procedure in the Context of Attitudes and Emotional Reactions towards Ethnic Minorities.
ROGER VILARDAGA (University of Nevada, Reno), Michael Levin (University of Nevada, Reno), Thomas J. Waltz (University of Nevada, Reno), Steven C. Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: There is empirical evidence pointing to how children's ability to take perspective can be improved by training deictic distinctions (Weil, in press), and to its beneficial effects among children within the autistim spectrum disorder (Rehfeldt, 2007). But there are few studies where deictic framing procedures have been used for non-clinical purposes. Previous research out of the behavioral analytical tradition indicates that perspective-taking instructions can induce empathy towards ethnic minorities (Vescio et al., 2003), which suggests that deictic relations might play an important role in the context of human objectification and their counterparts of empathy and compassion. In the present study we will examine the impact of deictic framing in the reduction of stigmatized attitudes towards ethnic minorities and we will discuss some of the underpinnings of developing such a training procedure for normally developed adults.
Assessing Relational Learning Deficits in Perspective-Taking in Children with and without High-Functioning Autism.
RUTH ANNE REHFELDT (Southern Illinois University), Jeffrey E. Dillen (Our Lady of Peace), Amie Heagle (BEACON Services), Megan M. Ziomek (Pediatric Development Center - IMMC)
Abstract: Perspective-taking has been of recent interest in behavioral psychology. This is, in part, a result of a modern behavioral approach to human language and cognition known as Relational Frame Theory, which views perspective-taking as generalized operant behavior based upon a history of reinforcement for relational responding. This presentation will reports three experiments that investigated whether children with autism spectrum disorder demonstrated relational learning deficits in a perspective-taking task as compared to their age-matched typically-developing peers. We also investigated whether accuracy in perspective-taking correlated with scores on standardized instruments commonly used in the assessment of autism spectrum disorder, and whether relational responding in perspective-taking improves following a history of reinforcement for such responding. Results of Experiment 1 demonstrated statistically significant differences in errors as a function of relational complexity, while visual inspection revealed that participants with autism spectrum disorder made more errors than typically-developing children on two of the three types of relations examined. Results of Experiment 2 illustrated that a history of reinforced relational responding improved performance on the perspective-taking task, and results from Experiment 3 showed that perspective-taking skills generalized across novel stimuli, in typically-developing children.
Perspective-Taking, Mindfulness and Self-Defeating Behavior.
PATRICIA BACH (Illinois Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Perspective taking, or deictic framing, appears to be necessary for many uniquely human behaviors while deficits in perspective taking skill are associated with psychopathology. Even while perspective taking skill is largely useful deictic framing may be associated with self-defeating rather than life-enhancing behavior in some contexts. There are several means of evaluating perspective-taking skill and recent data on the impact of perspective-taking skill and on the effects of deictic versus comparative framing on implicit and explicit attitudes and behavior will be presented. Results will be discussed in the context of the relationship between mindfulness and perspective-taking and implications for developing functional contextual interventions for treatment of self-defeating behaviors.
Through Another’s Eyes: The Impact of Training Deictic Framing on Perspective Taking and Social Skills in Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
EMILY KENNISON SANDOZ (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders often struggle with social interactions and relationships making social skills training a common intervention in this population. The current study evaluates the impact of supplementing social skills training with training in deictic frames on perspective taking and subsequent teacher ratings of social skills. Theoretical and practical considerations will be discussed.



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