Date of Award

5-1-2019

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark

Abstract

Through examining the variables that contribute to the natural process of language and cognition, a promising path is paved for researchers to identify the variables that influence higher order skills, such as perspective taking, empathy and altruism. The current study implemented the PEAK Relational Training System Transformation Module Pre-Assessment Expressive portion (PEAK-T PA) as an objective behavior measure of relational framing complexity. Two additional self-report assessments were used with all subjects, including a multi-dimensional measure of empathy, referred to as the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) and the Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ). A Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between PEAK-T PA scores and IRI subscale scores. Additional Pearson correlation analysis was used to determine a relationship between PEAK-T scores and VLQ scores. A statistically significant relationship was determined between one of the relational frame subareas of the PEAK-T PA and the perspective taking IRI subscale scores. Results, limitations and future research areas associated with relational framing abilities are discussed.

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