Contextual Behavioral Science Lab



The common thread running through research conducted by members of the CBS Lab is an attempt to better understand the roles that languaging and verbal behavior play in the initiation, maintenance, and alleviation of human suffering from a functional contextualistic perspective. Some of the research projects are more basic in nature, while others are more explicitly applied and clinical in their focus. More basic research projects focus on the development of both self-report and behavioral ways of assessing processes that contribute to psychological flexibility/rigidity as well as experimentally manipulating these same processes in impacting analogues of clinical forms of human suffering, such as anxiety and mood disorders. More applied research projects compare the clinical outcomes and related processes associated with traditional cognitive-behavioral interventions in treatment of depression versus ACT and related acceptance and mindfulness-based approaches.

Current Projects

Current projects include (a) the development and validation of a quantitative measure of self-as context; (b) an investigation of possible behavioral ways of assessing experiential avoidance; (c) the development and validation of a quantitative measure of exercise avoidance; (d) ecological momentary assessment of the relationship between emotional control and subsequent anxiety and dysphoria; and (e) the development of dissociative symptom-inducing interoceptive exercises and tasks. 


Submitted papers

Carrasquillo, N. M., & Zettle, R. D., (2013).   A comparison of enhancing self-as-context to control-based and attention-placebo protocols for coping with induced pain.  Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science.

Zettle, R. D., Webster, B. K., Gird, S. R., Wagener, A. L., & Burdsal, C. A. (2013).  Factor structure of the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire in a clinical sample.  International Journal of Cognitive Therapy.

In press

Zettle, R. D. (in press). Acceptance and commitment theory of depression. In P. L. Fisher & A. Wells (Eds.), Treating depression: Principles and practice of CBT, MCT, and third wave therapies. Chichester, United Kingdom: Wiley.

Selected publications

Zettle, R. D., Barner, S. L., Gird, S. R., Boone, L. T., Renollet, D. L., & Burdsal, C. A. (2012). A psychological biathlon: The relationship between level of experiential avoidance and perseverance on two challenging tasks. The Psychological Record, 62, 433-445.

Zettle, R. D., & Gird, S. R. (2012).  Selecting a self-help book on forgiveness as a choice.  [Review of the book The forgiving life:  A pathway to overcoming resentment and creating a legacy of love].  PsycCRITIQUES, 57, (37).

Bond, F. W., Hayes, S. C., Baer, R. A., Carpenter, K. M., Guenole, N., Orcutt, H. K., Waltz, T., & Zettle, R. D. (2011). Preliminary psychometric properties of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II: A revised measure of psychological inflexibility and experiential avoidance. Behavior Therapy , 42, 676-688.

Wagener, A. L., & Zettle, R. D. (2011). Targeting fear of spiders with control-, acceptance-, and information-based approaches. The Psychological Record, 61, 77-92.

Zettle, R. D., Rains, J. C., & Hayes, S. C. (2011). Processes of change in acceptance and commitment therapy and cognitive therapy for depression: A mediational reanalysis of Zettle and Rains (1989). Behavior Modification, 35(3), 265-283.

Gird, S., & Zettle, R. D. (2009). Differential response to a dysphoric mood induction procedure as a function of level of experiential avoidance. The Psychological Record, 59, 537-550.

Petersen, C. L., & Zettle, R. D. (2009). Treating inpatients with comorbid depression and alcohol use disorders: A comparison of acceptance and commitment therapy versus treatment as usual. The Psychological Record, 59, 521-536.

Zettle, R. D., Barner, S. L., & Gird, S. (2009). ACT with depression: The role of forgiving. In J. T. Blackledge, J. Ciarrochi, & F. Deane (Eds.), Acceptance and commitment therapy: Current directions (pp. 151- 173). Bowen Hills QLD: Australian Academic Press.

Zettle, R. D. (2005). The evolution of a contextual approach to therapy: From comprehensive distancing to ACT. International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, 1(2), 77-89.


Gird, S., Zettle, R. D., Webster, B. K., & Hardage-Bundy, A., (2012, July).  Developing a quantitative measure of self-as-context.  In R. D. Zettle (Chair), Sizing up Selfing:  Efforts to assess self-as-context.  Symposium conducted at the ACBS Annual World Conference X, Washington, DC.

Carrasquillo, N., & Zettle, R. D. (2010, June). Enhancing self as context and pain tolerance. In R. D. Zettle (Chair), Perspectives on perspective taking. Symposium presented at the ACBS Annual World Conference VIII, Reno, Nevada.

Gird, S., Zettle, R. D., Renollet, D., Webster, B. K., & Latronica, B. (2010, June). Developing a spirituality inventory. In R. D. Zettle (Chair), Perspectives on perspective taking. Symposium presented at the ACBS Annual World Conference VIII, Reno, Nevada.


Dr. Robert D. Zettle, Professor
411 Jabara Hall


Graduate Students:

Nakisha Carrasquillo, M. A.
439 Jabara Hall
Angela Cathey, M. A.
404 Jabara Hall
Suzanne Gird, M. A.
439 Jabara Hall
Angie Hardage-Bundy, M. A.
439 Jabara Hall
Sarah Staats
413 Jabara Hall
Jeff Swails
404 Jabara Hall


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Contextual Behavioral Science Lab, 2013

Back row: Jeff Swails, Angie Hardage-Bundy, Nakisha Carrasquillo,
Dr. Rob Zettle, Sarah Staats, Suzanne Gird
Front row: Sarah Heiman, Charles Hayes, Angela Cathey