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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #285
CE Offered: BACB
Interbehaviorism and Psychological Events as a Field of Interactants: A Possible Future Path for Behavior Science
Sunday, May 24, 2020
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M1, University of D.C. / Catholic University
Area: PCH/VRB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Genevieve M. DeBernardis (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: Genevieve M. DeBernardis, Ph.D.

This symposium involves three presentations, each of which pertain to Kantor’s interbehavioral field construct and its relevance to behavior analysis. The first of these presentations pertains to the field construct itself. The presentation will describe the fundamental features of the field construct and address potential misunderstandings related to various aspects of it. The second presentation builds upon the first, and focuses on the implications of the field construct for both research and application. Indeed, the implications of the field construct for the research and practice areas of behavior analysis are often less clear, and therefore specific attention is given to these areas. Examples of contemporary research and popular areas of practice are provided and considered in field perspective, and implications for future field-based research and practice are provided. Finally, the third presentation focuses on Relational Frame Theory, and especially on recent conceptual developments within this area of research. Current models of conceptualizing derived relational responding are described, and the relationship between these models and the interbehavioral field construct are highlighted. Taken together, these presentations build upon each other and highlight how the field construct may be relevant to the ongoing development of behavior analysis.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

This presentation is an intermediate/advanced level and appropriate for BCBA's interested in learning about conceptual advances/development in the field - including both researchers and clinicians. Graduate students may also be interested in the presentation as it pertains to their educational development, research interests, etc.

Learning Objectives: -Compare and contrast the field construction with causal constructions in behavior analysis. -Describe the implications of the field construct for both research and practice. -Describe how the field construct relate to recent research in Relational Frame Theory.
The Field Construction of Interbehaviorism
LINDA J. PARROTT HAYES (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Interbehaviorism is not unlike Behaviorism in aim. Both aim to rid psychology of the dualistic premises and hypothetical constructs that have thwarted the progress of the science for centuries. They have pursued this aim in different ways – one by system building, the other by investigation, and each takes issue with the other’s approach. Interbehaviorists argue that investigation is an important subdivision of a comprehensive science -- but a sub-division nonetheless. A science, as such, involves more than investigation. Behaviorists contend that system building is not important to the coherence or productivity of a scientific endeavor – at least this much can be assumed by the lack of systemic development among members of this collectivity. Instead, it seems that investigation is science; science is investigation. The aim of this paper is clarify the principle difference between these two approaches, namely the field construction of Interbehaviorism as compared with the causal construction of Behaviorism.
Research, Application, and the Interbehavioral Field
MITCH FRYLING (California State University, Los Angeles)
Abstract: While interbehaviorism and interbehavioral psychology are relatively less well known among those in mainstream behavior analysis, there seems to be an increase in interest in various areas associated with J. R. Kantor’s work. Indeed, much of this interest may be associated with the growing recognition of the complex nature of the subject-matter of behavior science. Kantor’s interbehavioral field construct seems to be especially relevant and of interest to both researchers and clinicians who are interested in complex behavior. Still, misunderstandings of interbehavioral thinking can at times make the field construct seem misaligned with or unable to be the foundation of research and application in behavior analysis. This presentation will focus on some of these misunderstandings and describe some of the philosophical and systemic foundations of interbehaviorism and interbehavioral psychology specifically. After doing so specific examples of interbehavioral research and application will be described, and efforts will be made to connect the field construct to contemporary areas of research and practice in behavior analysis.
Up-dating Relational Frame Theory: More Field than Frame
MARTIN FINN (Ghent University), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (Ghent University)
Abstract: This paper presents an overview of a line of research that has focused on the behavioral dynamics of arbitrarily applicable relational responding (AARRing), which has involved integrating two recent conceptual developments within relational frame theory (RFT). The first of these is the multi-dimensional, multi-level (MDML) framework and the second is the differential arbitrarily applicable relational responding effects (DAARRE) model. Integrating the MDML framework and the DAARRE model emphasizes the transformation of functions within the MDML, thus yielding a hyper-dimensional, multilevel (HDML) framework for analyzing the behavioral dynamics of AARRing. The HDML generates a new conceptual unit of analysis for RFT in which relating, orienting, and evoking (ROEing) are seen as involved in virtually all psychological events for verbally-able humans. These empirical and conceptual developments in RFT emphasize that the theory is inherently field-theoretic. The implications of this conclusion for both experimentation and further conceptual development will be explored towards the end of the paper.



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