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A Sketch of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) and the Relational Elaboration and Coherence (REC) Model

Abstract

The current article outlines a behavior-analytic approach to the study of so-called implicit attitudes and cognition. The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP), the conceptual basis of which was derived from relational frame theory, is offered as a methodology that may be used in the experimental analysis of implicit attitudes and beliefs. The relational elaboration and coherence (REC) model provides a possible relational-frame account of the findings that have emerged from the IRAP. The article first outlines the research history that led to the development of the IRAP, followed by a description of the method. The REC model and how it explains a range of IRAP data are then considered. The article also outlines how both the IRAP and the REC model overlap with, and differ from, similar research found in the non-behavior-analytic literature.

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Correspondence to Dermot Barnes-Holmes.

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Preparation of this article was supported by funding awarded to the first three authors from the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences, under the Research Development Initiative (2008-09).

The authors would like to thank Mark Dixon for his constructive comments on an earlier version of this work.

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Barnes-Holmes, D., Barnes-Holmes, Y., Stewart, I. et al. A Sketch of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) and the Relational Elaboration and Coherence (REC) Model. Psychol Rec 60, 527–542 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03395726

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Key words

  • Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure
  • relational frame theory
  • network
  • elaboration
  • coherence
  • attitudes