New international research collaboration launched in Maynooth University Department of Psychology

Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 00:00

 M.Sc./Doctorate in Psychological Science (Behaviour Analysis and Therapy)

Course Directors: Dr Carol Murphy, Professor Dermot Barnes-Holmes & Dr Yvonne Barnes-Holmes 

Research test site for new PEAK Relational Training System - International Collaboration with Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SUIC)

Course Team and Postgraduate Students will collaborate with Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SUIC) to conduct research testing PEAK as an assessment and teaching tool for relational repertoires. The Course Team researchers on the M.Sc./Doctorate in Psychological Science (Behaviour Analysis and Therapy),  Maynooth University, wish to congratulate Professor Mark Dixon, SIUC, on the launch of his new programme, the soon to be available PEAK Relational Training System and related textbooks.


Professor Dixon is Co-ordinator of the Behaviour Analysis Programme at the Rehabilitation Institute, SUIC, and has recently developed a NEW advanced behavioural teaching programme.  PEAK draws on modern behaviour analytic theory and research such as Relational Frame Theory and Derived Relational Responding in addition to applied behaviour analysis (ABA) methods.
ABA teaching programmes for children with learning difficulties such as autism typically target language skills, using Verbal Behaviour Therapy/Applied Verbal Behaviour, which teaches mands, tacts, intraverbals, textuals and other verbal operants. PEAK aims to teach these but also targets more complex symbolic verbal and cognitive repertoires, such as analogy, metaphor, inference and the type of generativity that occurs in language, thus allowing verbally skilled individuals to create and understand novel utterances.
The Verbal Behaviour approach and ABA have proven very successful in providing a technology to remediate language deficits in populations with learning difficulties, and PEAK aims to advance to the next level by constructing a detailed technology for the application of relational responding skills.