Applied Behavior Analysis of Language and Cognition

Applied Behavior Analysis of Language and Cognition

Core Concepts and Principles for Practitioners

Mitch Fryling, Ruth Anne Rehfeldt, Jonathan Tarbox, Linda J. Hayes


  • Description
  • Author
  • Info
  • Reviews


Written by leading experts in language and cognition, this groundbreaking behavior analysis textbook brings the study of verbal behavior into the 21st century with cutting-edge research. Students and clinicians in the burgeoning field of applied behavior analysis will find the theoretical foundation they need to effectively help the increasingly diverse clients seeking their services.

The origins of behavior analysis can be traced to the pioneering work of B.F. Skinner. Skinner’s fundamental insights into how human behavior is shaped, maintained, and can be changed were powerful and far-reaching. Some of Skinner’s most innovative contributions were in the study of language. Behavior analytic work in the area of language and cognition did not stop with Skinner, however. Indeed, Skinner’s work in this area has inspired considerable expansion, particularly with an eye toward more sophisticated verbal and cognitive repertoires.

This important volume provides an overview of the concepts and core behavioral processes involved in language and cognition. You’ll find a deeper exploration of complex linguistic and cognitive skills, including generative responding, learning by observation, and perspective taking. Also included are clinically supported interventions based in mindfulness, psychological flexibility, and emotion regulation to help clients improve complex language, social, and academic skills.

The future of behavior analysis is here. With its focus on the importance of language and cognition, this textbook is a must-read for anyone studying or practicing in the science of behavior.


Mitch Fryling:
Mitch Fryling, PhD, BCBA-D, is associate professor and chair of the division of special education and counseling at California State University, Los Angeles. He has authored and coauthored many scholarly publications, primarily in the area of behavioral theory and philosophy, especially as it pertains to complex human behavior and system development in behavior analysis. He is current editor of The Psychological Record.

Ruth Anne Rehfeldt, PhD, BCBA, is professor of behavior analysis and therapy at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. She holds doctoral and master’s degrees in psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno; and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Puget Sound. She is also a board-certified behavior analyst. Ruth Anne is a fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and previous editor of The Psychological Record. She has published numerous articles in the area of verbal behavior and derived relational responding for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities.

Jonathan Tarbox, PhD, BCBA-D, is director of the master of science in applied behavior analysis program at the University of Southern California, as well as director of research at FirstSteps for Kids. He is editor in chief of the journal, Behavior Analysis in Practice, and serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals related to autism and behavior analysis. He has published four books on autism treatment; is series editor of the Elsevier book series, Critical Specialties in Treating Autism and Other Behavioral Challenges; and author of well over seventy peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters in scientific texts. His research focuses on behavioral interventions for teaching complex skills to individuals with autism, applications of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) training inside of applied behavior analysis, and applications of applied behavior analysis to issues of diversity and social justice.

Linda J. Hayes, PhD, is professor of psychology, and founder and director of the behavior analysis program at the University of Nevada, Reno.