The Psychological Record

, Volume 67, Issue 1, pp 1–9

Promoting Psychological Flexibility on Tolerance Tasks: Framing Behavior Through Deictic/Hierarchical Relations and Specifying Augmental Functions

  • Bárbara Gil-Luciano
  • Francisco J. Ruiz
  • Sonsoles Valdivia-Salas
  • Juan C. Suárez-Falcón
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s40732-016-0200-5

Cite this article as:
Gil-Luciano, B., Ruiz, F.J., Valdivia-Salas, S. et al. Psychol Rec (2017) 67: 1. doi:10.1007/s40732-016-0200-5


Recent research is advancing in the analysis of the defusion and self-based exercises used in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) through relational frame theory (RFT) terms. This study aimed to analyze the effect of two RFT-defined defusion protocols in promoting psychological flexibility by altering the discriminative functions of avoidance of aversive private events. Thirty participants first responded to several questionnaires. Subsequently, participants were exposed to 2 experimental tasks (pretest): a cold pressor and an aversive film. Participants were then randomly assigned to 3 experimental conditions: (a) a control condition, (b) a defusion protocol based on framing one’s own behavior through deictic relations (Defusion I), and (c) a defusion protocol that also included hierarchical relations and giving regulatory functions to that discrimination (Defusion II). Finally, participants were again exposed to the 2 experimental tasks (posttest). Results showed that participants who received the defusion protocols performed better in the posttest than did the control participants, and that Defusion II participants showed higher tolerance than Defusion I participants.


Relational frame theory Acceptance and commitment therapy Defusion Self as context Hierarchical relations 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
  • PSI2011-25497
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
  • PSI2014-59610-P

Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bárbara Gil-Luciano
    • 1
  • Francisco J. Ruiz
    • 2
  • Sonsoles Valdivia-Salas
    • 3
  • Juan C. Suárez-Falcón
    • 4
  1. 1.Madrid Institute of Contextual PsychologyUniversidad de AlmeríaAlmeríaSpain
  2. 2.Fundación Universitaria Konrad LorenzBogotáColombia
  3. 3.Universidad de ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  4. 4.Universidad Nacional de Educación a DistanciaMadridSpain

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