Date of Graduation

Fall 2009


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

David Lutz


The study of verbal behavior has taken new directions in the last decade with Relational Frame Theory. An essential difference noted are the unique ability in humans to relate two or more verbal stimuli with little or no contingency history, separating human language usage from non-human communication. The focus of the current study is to examine if differences in intellectual abilities of individuals demonstrates a difference in ability to relate various verbal and non-verbal stimuli on a computer task. Additionally, this project attempted to determine if various measures of human intelligence predict ability to perform the task. Results were mixed, with some analyses indicating differences between high end intellectual performers and low end intellectual performers. Also, one regression model demonstrated some predictive ability of the Vocabulary subtest on the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) and grade point average (GPA) in predicting performance on one sub-phase of the computer task. Implications may include conceptualization of human language as behaviorally derived from historical contingencies over the course of a person's lifetime, as well as devising new ways to conceptualize and communicate with individuals with dementia, developmental disorders, and various forms of psychopathology.


relational frame theory, intelligence, Wechsler abbreviated scale of intelligence, verbal behavior, human language

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