Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Jacobs, Eric


Instruction that purposefully develops emergent learning is inherently efficient and is well-supported in behavior science research. This type of instruction is underpinned by two contemporary theories of human language and learning - Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and Stimulus Equivalence. Unfortunately, RFT is not widely taught in higher education in research and practice. Consequently, the adoption of these teaching methodologies at a meaningful scale is out of proportion with their potential benefits for learners across many populations (Dixon, et al., 2018). Most research that does make use of these theories in computer-based instruction involves proprietary or costly software and is therefore unlikely to be replicable. Few low-cost solutions have been proposed to date to address barriers to adoption and application, and the solutions that have been proposed are missing critical features (e.g., Blair & Shawler, 2020). This project 1) determined specific barriers to implementing computer-based derived stimulus relations research and practice, 2) attempted to fill this gap, by developing instruction and training for researchers and practitioners to code their own web-based RFT/equivalence-based instruction tasks, and 3) demonstrated the effectiveness of the above web-based solution via training on derived stimulus relations key concepts and terms. This project supports the methods of behavior science researchers to align with open science standards and provide a tool for researchers and instructors to efficaciously deliver instruction to meet the needs of their learners.




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