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Effects of relational frame training on IQ and analogy resolution in children

Grant number: 12/24018-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2013
Effective date (End): September 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal researcher:Júlio César Coelho de Rose
Grantee:Laura Zamot Rabelo
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Stimulus equivalence theory has opened new possibilities of a behavioral analysis of human cognition. More recently, the Relational Frame Theory has extended the relations studied beyond equivalence and, additionally, it has provided the area with relational descriptions for complex human behaviors. As a result, this new approach has enabled the expansion of research and intervention possibilities for complex behavior, for instance analogical reasoning and behavioral traits, such as intelligence. Analogical reasoning is the basis for adult cognition and its impact is easily identifiable in science, in problem resolution, in the arts (creativity), as well as in learning. An analogy, through Relational Frame Theory perspective, is a coordination frame between two relations in two pairs of stimuli, regardless of the type of relation held among them. Despite the fact that analogical reasoning has been studied by Developmental Psychology for many decades, it was only about twenty years ago that behavior analysts started studying it. Since then, children as young as five years old have learned how to make analogies. Recently, research on intelligence has made some attempts to develop it, instead of only evaluating the intellectual quotient of the participants. Some findings relate intellectual ability to relational flexibility and relational training has been used for enhancing the performance of individuals in traditional intelligence tests. The aim of the current study is to investigate in detail the effects of relational frame training for both the intelligence and the ability to perform analogical reasoning in twelve six-year-olds. Furthermore, correlation tests will be performed using the data provided by the intelligence and analogical reasoning tests and the children's grades. Late gains will be monitored, as participants will be evaluated right after the end of the intervention and a year after that. The advantages of direct intervention on intelligence go beyond the participants of a particular study, as it may bring about hope to individuals with intellectual disabilities.