© 2001

Relational Frame Theory

A Post-Skinnerian Account of Human Language and Cognition

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

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. The Basic Account

    1. Steven C. Hayes, John T. Blackledge, Dermot Barnes-Holmes
      Pages 3-20
    2. Steven C. Hayes, Eric Fox, Elizabeth V. Gifford, Kelly G. Wilson, Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Olive Healy
      Pages 21-49
    3. Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Steven C. Hayes, Simon Dymond, Denis O’Hora
      Pages 51-71
    4. Ian Stewart, Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Steven C. Hayes, Regina Lipkens
      Pages 73-86
    5. Steven C. Hayes, Elizabeth V. Gifford, Robert C. Townsend Jr., Dermot Barnes-Holmes
      Pages 87-101
    6. Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Denis O’;Hora, Bryan Roche, Steven C. Hayes, Richard T. Bissett, Fiona Lyddy
      Pages 103-117
    7. Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Steven C. Hayes, Simon Dymond
      Pages 119-139
    8. Steven C. Hayes, Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Bryan Roche
      Pages 141-154
  3. Extensions and Applications

    1. Yvonne Barnes-Holmes, Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Bryan Roche, Olive Healy, Fiona Lyddy, Veronica Cullinan et al.
      Pages 157-180
    2. Yvonne Barnes-Holmes, Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Veronica Cullinan
      Pages 181-195
    3. Bryan Roche, Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Yvonne Barnes-Holmes, Steven C. Hayes
      Pages 197-209
    4. Kelly G. Wilson, Steven C. Hayes, Jennifer Gregg, Robert D. Zettle
      Pages 211-237
    5. Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Steven C. Hayes, Jennifer Gregg
      Pages 239-251
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 253-285

About this book


Human language and our use of it to communicate or to understand the world requires deriving relations among events: for example, if A=B and A=C, then B=C. Relational frame theory argues that such performances are at the heart of any meaningful psychology of language and cognition. From a very early age, human beings learn relations of similarity, difference, comparison, time, and so on, and modify what they do in a given situation based on its derived relation to others situations and what is known about them.
This volume goes beyond theory and gives the empirical and conceptual tools to conduct an experimental analysis of virtually every substantive topic in human language and cognition, both basic and applied. As the term `post-Skinnerian' suggests, this volume challenges behavioral psychology to abandon many of the specific theoretical formulations of its most prominent historical leader in the domain of complex human behavior, especially in human language and cognition, and approach the field from a new direction.

The need for a pragmatically useful analysis of language and cognition is as enormous and varied as its extensions and applications. This volume will be of interest not only to behavior theorists but also to cognitive psychologists, therapists, educators, and anyone studying the human condition.


Extension behavior cognition language psychology psychology of language therapy

Editors and affiliations

  • Steven C. Hayes
    • 1
  • Dermot Barnes-Holmes
    • 2
  • Bryan Roche
    • 2
  1. 1.University of NevadaReno
  2. 2.National University of IrelandMaynoothIreland

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Relational Frame Theory
  • Book Subtitle A Post-Skinnerian Account of Human Language and Cognition
  • Editors Steven C. Hayes
    Dermot Barnes-Holmes
    Bryan Roche
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-306-46600-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4757-7521-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-0-306-47638-9
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVIII, 284
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Clinical Psychology
    Cognitive Psychology
    Artificial Intelligence
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


"A remarkably brilliant book that integrates some of the main theories of radical behaviorism with cognitive behavioral theories and practices of psychotherapy. This book gives more plausible explanations of why people behave the way that they do, and particularly why they are frequently dysfunctional, than any other I can think of."
(Albert Ellis, Albert Ellis Institute, New York)
"[An] exciting and innovative book. It indicates that a behavioural account can shed light on many more of the complexities of language and cognition than had previously been supposed... it is abundantly clear from this book that the behavioural approach is alive and kicking, and full of vitality."
(W. Eysenck, Royal Holloway University of London)
"This is a truly remarkable book... If Chomsky had seen this work 40 years ago, the history of psychology could have been very different."
(Paul M. Smeets, Leiden University, The Netherlands)
"The book is certainly a tour de force and clearly merits a much wider readership among those interested in empirical and theoretical issues in language and cognition."
(Contemporary Psychology, APA Review of Books, 48:4 (2003)