Behavior Analysis Program

Research Laboratory: Linda J. Parrott Hayes, Ph.D.

My scholarly interests and expertise pertain to the philosophy of behavior science and its implications for the interpretation of complex human behavior under real world circumstances. I prefer to work with students who share these interests and strive for excellence in this domain.

My laboratory's recent work has focused on issues of causality, inheritance, choice, remembering, dreaming, operant-respondent relations, theories of equivalence, operant subjectivity, self-control, audience control, rule governance, and cultural behavior (i.e. religious practices). All of our investigative work is conducted under computer control in the laboratory with normal adult subjects. Computer programming skills (e.g. Visual Basic, Lab-View) are essential for research productivity in the lab.

Pedagogical Objectives

My primary pedagogical objective is to prepare students for successful academic careers in graduate degree granting institutions. More than expertise in theory and philosophy is needed for entry into the academy at this level, and even more than this is needed for retention. Entry is largely a matter of scholarly productivity, as measured in numbers of publications in refereed or otherwise prestigious outlets. Added to this, in the current market, is sufficient diversity of interest and expertise to contribute to multiple training needs, particularly in the applied domain. Retention depends on continued productivity of this sort (especially as it demonstrates a coherent pattern), effectiveness in securing and administering grant and contract support for scholarly work and practice, excellence in teaching and mentoring, responsiveness to institutional service needs, leadership in the discipline, professionalism and collegiality.

Expectations of Students

Given the demands of an academic career, in addition to developing competence in behavior theory and philosophy, I expect my advisees to develop, pursue and disseminate a preferred line of research, gain experience in a marketable area of practice, apprentice with experienced administrators, model effective teaching and mentoring practices in their work with undergraduates, participate in program governance and professional service, and show respect and support for their colleagues.


Our lab operates on a philosophical foundation derived from J. R. Kantor's Interbehaviorism. Our philosophical work is focused on the logic of science and scientific system building, which pertains to the integration of scientific enterprises. My most recent work in this area is focused on matters of scientific validity and significance, the latter with regard to the interrelations of behavior science with the sciences of biology and anthropology. I'm also very interested in the concept of observation and the paradox of its foundational status in the science systems into evolutional character in the science of behavior


Our interpretive work is focused on complex human behaviors, particularly those in which substantial responding and stimulating are involved, including verbal behavior, remembering, and imagining. Most recently, I've been working on an interpretation of jealousy.

Human Research

Our human research usually has something to do with verbal behavior or substantial processes more generally; however, human research is the least thematic of any of our work. Students are encouraged to pursue their own interest in this context, and are expected to develop and execute a unique line of research by which they may be distinguished from their peers.

Animal Research

Our animal research facilities and interests grew out of my collaborations with faculty in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Molecular Biology & Immunology and most of our animal research has an interdisciplinary character. We work exclusively with mice. I exert more control over our animal than our human research program due to the resources needed to conduct animal research and maintain the lab. Still, experienced students are encouraged extend and expand upon the established lines of research in keeping with their own interests.

Direct Learning Opportunities: PSY 275 or PSY 375 credits

Students interested in gaining hands-on research experience in our lab are expected to make either a 2-semester or 1-year commitment. Additionally, students must be enrolled in 2 – 3 credits per semester for this opportunity.

Suggested prerequisite requirements: It is preferred that students complete at least one of the following courses with a grade of “B” or better (or be currently enrolled with an expected grade of “B” or better) to participate in a direct learning experience in Dr. Hayes’ lab:


The research projects currently underway in Dr. Hayes’ lab are shown below. If you are interested in completing your Direct Learning requirements in the context of one of these research projects, please email the lab member responsible for the project directly. Thank you.

Lab Members

Genevieve DeBernardis, M.A. Genevieve DeBernardis, M.A.

Thesis title: Mind Reading: The Role of Quality and Duration of the Relationship in Predicting Novel Behavior of Another Person (Advisor: Linda, J. Parrott Hayes, Ph.D.)

Research interests: Basic Research in Prediction (e.g., mind-reading, perspective-taking) and its Applications; Behavior Analytic Strategies to Overcome Child Sex Trafficking (particularly in Nevada); Interteaching; Fetal Associative Learning; Stimulus Equivalence; Interdisciplinary Research; Global Trends in Interbehaviorism.

Grants Awarded:

  1. 2009 Sidney W. and Janet R. Bijou Scholarship, Behavior Analysis Program, Dept of Psychology, UNR, NV
  2. 2011 National Academic Advising Association Graduate Student Annual Conference Scholarship Award, National Academic Advising Association 35th Annual Conference
  3. 2011 Sidney W. and Janet R. Bijou Fellowship, Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis

Current projects:

  1. The Acquisition of Perspective-Taking in Children
  2. Behavior Analytic Strategies to Overcome Child Sex Trafficking in the United States
  3. International Interbehaviorism Publishing Trends



Timothy Fuller, M.A. Timothy C. Fuller, M.A. BCBA

Thesis title: Contextual Control of Perceptual Behavior (Advisor: Linda J. Hayes, Ph.D)

Research interests: interbehaviorism; perception; respondent conditioning; behavior analysis and social issues; standard measurement & its application; behavior analysis in educational settings

Current Research Projects

  1. On the Persistence of Pairing: A Contemporary Look at the Influence of Respondent Conditioning.
    The project is a theoretical look at the contemporary influences that respondent conditioning has made in areas of experimental research. The project consists of looking at a variety of experimental literature in the area of psychology.
  2. The Precision Teaching Learning Context
    The project looks at what environmental conditions develop while using Precision Teaching. Specifically, how these conditioning create a context for generalization and generative outcomes unique to this instructional format



Shu-Hwei Ke Shu-Hwei Ke, M.S., BCBA

Research interests: Verbal Functions, Verbal Training, and Response Variation and Novelty.



Current projects:

  1. A Pilot Study on Novel Intraverbal Responses as Function of Schedule of Reinforcement.
  2. The Effects of Differential Reinforcement on Novel Verbal Functions



James King James E. King, M.S., BCBA

Research interests: behavioral history; direct and indirect effects of extinction; resurgence; serial positioning; schedule effects; response-class hierarchy; translational research


Current Research Projects:

  1. The effects of environmental determinants on serial positioning in resurgence.
    Resurgence accounts for the specific conditions of an organism's learning history and the recurrence of previously extinguished responses. This basic study attempts to indentify and control for environmental features present in training and response-elimination phase, and the influence on serial positioning (i.e., recency and primacy effect) during the resurgence phase.



Matthew Lewon Matthew Lewon

Research Interests: Emotions, interactions between respondent and operant conditioning, relationship between natural selection and conditioning processes, conditioned reinforcement, behaviorology, dissemination of behavior analysis


Current Projects

  1. Emotions as Motivating Operations
  2. Relative Strength of Conditioned Reinforcers as a Function of Level of Deprivation at the Time of Reinforcement



Maria Isabel Munoz Blanco, M.A. Maria Isabel Munoz Blanco, M.A.

Thesis title: Substitution of Perceptual Functions (Advisor: Linda J. Parrott, Hayes, Ph.D.)

Research interests: Interbehaviorism; Behavior Analysis Theory and Philosophy; Perception; Verbal Behavior, Creativity

Grants Awarded: Sidney, W. and Janet R. Bijou Scholarship (Summer, 2008), Autism mice model evaluation.

Current Research Projects:

  1. Language and Perception: This project aims to understand the issue of perception and behavior, and to show how non-linguistic perception of words may affect our interactions with them.
  2. A mouse model of Autism: This project is made in conjunction with the School of Medicine. Using a Maternal Immune Activation (MIA) model, behavioral measures are conducted to determine if behavioral characteristics of ASD are found.
  3. Creativity: This project aims to study creativity from an interbehavioral perspective.

Undergraduate students working with me will be involved with literature reviews, running human subjects and data analysis, working with animals is optional and depends on the availability of the student.

Ben Reynolds Ben Reynolds

Thesis Title: Precision Teaching of Mimicked, Relative, and Absolute Pitch as Component Musical Skills.

Research Interests: Metacontingencies, The Dialectic Between Methods and Goals of Scientific Inquiry, Sexual Selection and Relationship Optimization, Cultural Selection, Musical Behavior.


Deric Toney Deric Toney, M.S., BCBA

Research interests: Behavior Theory and Philosophy; Behavioral Interpretations of Social Constructs Regarding Complex Human Behavior; Translational Research from Basic Experimentation to Application in Human Behavior.



Current Research Projects:

  1. Behavioral Contrast as a Method to Increase and Decrease Performance
  2. Say You're Sorry: A Behavioral Interpretation of Apologies and Forgiveness
  3. The Temporal Truth Behind Prediction and Control



Dominique Stedham Dominique R. Stedham

Research interests: Interbehaviorism; Attention and Perception, and thier relation to Executive Respondent Conditioning; Verbal Behavior, specifically that of the Covert kind; Behavior Theory and Philosophy; Interdisciplinary Research



Kenneth W. Jacobs Kenneth W. Jacobs

Research interests: Tripolar locutions, verbal behavior (e.g., multiple causation), and a behavioral interpretation of psychological theories and philosophies outside of behavior analysis (e.g., direct perception, a theory of affordances, development systems theory, and embodied cognition)

Current Projects:

  1. Perceiving the World: An Analysis of the Theory of Affordances
  2. Locutionary Requisites and Action Orientation for Perceptual Events




Recent Selected Laboratory Publications

Dubuque, E. & Hayes, L. J. (2010). ABAI Support for Educational Initiatives in the Middle East. Inside Behavior Analysis, 2(1), 56-58.

Hayes, L. J., Dubuque, E. M., Fryling, M. J. & Pritchard, J. K. (2009). A behavioral systems analysis as a scientific system. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 29, 315-332.

Clayton, M. C., Hayes, L. J., & Swain, M. A. (2006). Scientific system building: The case of interbehaviorism. In B. Midgley & E. K. Morris (Eds.) Modern Perspectives on J. R. Kantor and Interbehaviorism. Reno: Context Press.

Hayes, L. J. & Delgado, D. (2005). Transgenic and knockout mouse models: The problem of language. In G. Fisch & J. Flint (Eds.) Murine Models of Psychiatric Disorders. New York: Humana.

Hayes, L. J., & Tarbox, J. (2005). Ethics and values in behavioral perspective. In J. W. Jacobson, J. A. Mulick, & J. Rojahn (Eds.) Handbook of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, New York: Springer.

Johnston, M. & Hayes, L. J. (2005). Use of a simulated work setting to study behavior based safety. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 25(1), 1-34.

Sa, L., Delgado, D. & Hayes, L. J. (2005). The functional nature of the behavioral segment. Mexican Journal of Behavior Analysis.

Tarbox, J. & Hayes, L. J. (2005). Verbal behavior and behavioral contrast in humans.  The Psychological Record, 55, 419-437.

Clayton, M. & Hayes, L. J. (2004). A comparison of match-to-sample and respondent-type training of equivalence classes. The Psychological Record, 54, 579-602.

Hayes, L. J. & Houmanfar, R. (2004). Units and measures: A response to Glenn & Malott. Behavior and Social Issues, 13, 106-110.

Hayes, L. J., & Thomas, J. (2004). On the practical value of system building for behavior science. TheBehavior Analyst Today. 5(3), 284.

Doctoral Alumni

Mark Adams, Ph.D., Parent Training Consulting, Sacremento, CA

Mike Clayton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Jacksonville State University

Diana Delgado, Ph.D., Director of the Cognition and Perception Laboratory & Director of the research line on Complex Human Behavior, Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz

Mark Dixon, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University

Erick M. Dubuque, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Spalding University

Diedre Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Eastern Connecticut State University

Mitch Fryling, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Fernando Guerrero, Ph.D., Program Supervisor, Autism Spectrum Therapies, CA

Jake Hadden, Ph.D., Psychologist, State University of New York, Plattsburg

Ramona Houmanfar, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Reno

Cristin Johnston, Ph.D., Senior Behavior Research Specialist, Behavioral Solutions

Mike Johnston, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Behavioral Solutions, Inc.

Kate Kellum, Ph.D., Associate Director, Institutional Research & Assessment, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Ruth Anne Rehfeldt, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Southern Illinois University

Jonathan Tarbox, Ph.D., Director of Research, Center for Autism & Related Disorders, CA

Yukiko Washio, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Vermont College of Medicine


For further information please contact Dr. Parrott Hayes at:

Linda J. Parrott Hayes
Department of Psychology / 296
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557

Phone #: (775) 682-8696
Fax #: (775) 784-1126


Behavior Analysis Program
Mack Social Science, Room 404, Depart. of Psychology, Mail Stop 296, Reno, NV 89557-00240
Phone: (775) 682-8686 | FAX: (775) 682-1126 
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Site last updated on February 12, 2014