The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 39–54 | Cite as

Behavior Analysis, Relational Frame Theory, and the Challenge of Human Language and Cognition: A Reply to the Commentaries on Relational Frame Theory: A Post-Skinnerian Account of Human Language and Cognition

  • Steven C. Hayes
  • Dermot Barnes-Holmes
  • Bryan Roche


Answers to a series of commentaries are presented and the challenge Relational Frame Theory (RFT) presents to behavior analysis is explicated. RFT is a behavior analytic theory, based on extensive behavior analytic data, which appeals only to known principles to explain arbitrarily applicable relational responding. The claim that such responding is operant must be answerable within behavior analysis. RFT has too much empirical support for the field to avoid this challenge. If the answer is “yes,” behavior analysis seems destined to enter a new era.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven C. Hayes
    • 1
  • Dermot Barnes-Holmes
    • 2
  • Bryan Roche
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology / 296University of Nevada, RenoRenoUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNational University of Ireland, MaynoothMaynooth, Co. KildareIreland

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