Steven C. Hayes, PhD, is Nevada Foundation Professor in the department of psychology at the University of Nevada. An author of thirty-four books and more than 470 scientific articles, he has shown in his research how language and thought leads to human suffering, and cofounded ACT, a powerful therapy method that is useful in a wide variety of areas. Hayes has been president of several scientific societies and has received several national awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy.
He runs the leading Ph.D program in Behavior Analysis, and coined the term Clinical Behavior Analysis. He is known for devising a behavior analysis of human language and cognition called Relational Frame Theory, and its clinical application to various psychological difficulties, such as anxiety.
Hayes has been President of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association, of the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology, the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy (now known as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies), and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. He was the first Secretary-Treasurer of the American Psychological Society (now known as the Association for Psychological Science), which he helped form.
Hayes' work is somewhat controversial, particularly with his coined term "Relational Frame Theory" to describe stimulus equivalent research in relation to an elaborate form of B.F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior (also referred to as verbal operants).
An author of 38 books and 550 articles, in 1992 he was listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as the 30th "highest impact" psychologist in the world during 1986-1990 based on the citation impact of his writings during that period.
According to Time columnist John Cloud, "Steven Hayes is at the top of his field. A past president of the distinguished Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, he has written or co-written some 300 peer-reviewed articles and 27 books. Few psychologists are so well published".