An Introduction to Relational Frame Theory
Eric J. Fox
Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a behavioral account of human language and cognition that emerged primarily from converging lines of research on rule-governed behavior and derived stimulus relations. It is an extension of B.F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior in some respects, but also directly challenges some of the basic tenets of that analysis. More importantly, it has drastic implications for how we conduct a science of human behavior, as it explains how stimulus functions can be altered in ways that are not directly predictable from a traditional contingency analysis. RFT provides a framework for an analysis of complex human behavior, and serves as the basis of promising new interventions in applied behavior analysis (e.g., PEAK Relational Training System) and clinical psychology (e.g., Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). This tutorial, first published in 2004, helps the learner master the key concepts, terms, and approach of RFT.
An Introduction to Relational Frame Theory was written and developed by Eric J. Fox, Ph.D. (Doc Fox), the founder and director of FoxyLearning. Doc Fox was a contributing author to the first book-length treatment of Relational Frame Theory (RFT), developed the original Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) website (and the RFT and ACT websites that preceded it), was a founding member of the ACBS Board of Directors, and has presented and published on RFT numerous times. He holds a doctorate in Learning & Instructional Technology from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in behavior analysis from the University of Nevada, Reno. He has over two decades of experience in instructional design and previously served as a faculty member in the psychology department of Western Michigan University, Dean of Instruction at Saybrook University, Director of Instructional Design for Altius Education, Senior Content Developer at Cengage Learning, and Director of Educational Technology for The Ohio State University College of Medicine. His love of learning, technology, and behavioral science is coupled with an unhealthy affinity for Batman.