The Psychological Record

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 291–314 | Cite as

The On-Going Search for Perspective-Taking IRAPs: Exploring the Potential of the Natural Language-IRAP

  • Deirdre KavanaghEmail author
  • Adeline Roelandt
  • Lisa Van Raemdonck
  • Yvonne Barnes-Holmes
  • Dermot Barnes-Holmes
  • Ciara McEnteggart
Original Article


Under a Relational Frame Theory (RFT) framework, researchers have investigated the role of deictic relational responding (perspective-taking) in the analysis of self in relation to others, place, and time. The aim of the current research was to develop IRAPs that targeted deictic relational responding with regard to the mental states of self and others. This was pursued in a series of experiments that employed a novel version of the IRAP, known as the Natural Language-IRAP (NL-IRAP). The use of the NL-IRAP allowed for the presentation of relatively complex statements that required participants to infer the thoughts or beliefs of others on a trial-by-trial basis within the IRAP. Across a sequence of six experiments, a “self-focused IRAP” required participants to respond to both positive and negative statements about themselves, whereas an “other-focused IRAP” required participants to respond to similar statements about others. Experiments 1 and 2 investigated perspective-taking with regard to an unspecified other. Experiments 3–6 investigated perspective-taking with regard to a specified other, with the specified relationship between self and other manipulated across experiments. The results of Experiments 1 and 2 indicated that the other-focused IRAP produced overall bias scores that were significantly stronger than responding to the self-focused IRAP. It is interesting that nonsignificant differences were recorded across Experiments 3–6 when other was specified. The findings obtained across the six studies highlight potentially important limitations in the use of the NL-IRAP as a measure of perspective-taking.


Relational Frame Theory (RFT) Natural-Language IRAP Deictic Perspective-taking 



This research was conducted with funding from the XXX.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Deirdre Kavanagh declares that she has no conflict of interest. Adeline Roelandt declares that she has no conflict of interest. Lisa Van Raemdonck declares that she has no conflict of interest. Yvonne Barnes-Holmes declares that she has no conflict of interest. Dermot Barnes-Holmes declares he has no conflict of interest. Ciara McEnteggart declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures in the current study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee, and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Experimental, Clinical, and Health PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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