Testing and developing procedures for assessing and training hierarchical classification skills in young children using relational frame theory
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The current thesis aimed to conceptualise, assess and train features of hierarchical classification from a behaviour analytic, or more specifically a Relational Frame Theory (RFT), perspective. Classification refers to grouping stimuli according to shared physical or functional characteristics (Barnes-Holmes, Dymond, & O’Hora, 2001). Hierarchical classification is a more complex form of classification, whereby classes themselves are classified as members of other classes. For example, a “budgie” is a member of the class of “bird”, and the class of “bird” is a member of the class of “animal”. Classification can be conceptualised as involving particular types of framing. RFT sees containment (A is in B; B contains A) and hierarchical (A is a type of B; B is a class containing A) relational responding as core repertoires for categorisation. As such, RFT regards both containment and hierarchical relational responding as core repertoires for categorisation.