Handbook of Mental Deficiency: Psychological Theory and Research

By Norman R. Ellis | Go to book overview

15
PERCEPTUAL PROCESSES

George Spivack

The purpose of this chapter is to review studies dealing with perceptual processes in mental retardates. The goal is not to draw theoretical conclusions, nor point to the significance of any particular study. Theory is considered in other chapters. An attempt will be made, however, not only to review perceptual studies, but also to draw certain conclusions about the status of empirical studies in this area and to point to certain methodological issues of importance when doing perceptual research with retardates. Although this appears as a fairly straightforward task, two issues immediately demand attention: What is to be meant by (1) perceptual processes, and (2) mental retardation. There has been long and continuing debate on both counts. For the sake of presentation, therefore, the reviewer will arbitrarily delimit these areas without attempting to justify these particular delimitations as the only ones possible.

Over the past two decades, attention paid to perception has dramatically increased. It has been stimulated by issues such as the effects of needs or values on perceptual responses, the potency of stimulus qualities and cognitive attitudes in determining the extent of play of central factors, and more recently the question of what is learned in perceptual learning situations. At times perception has been defined quite narrowly, while at other times it is difficult to see the difference between what are called perceptual responses and responses usually described as reflecting personality functioning. The fact that the term "perception" has been used to refer to varying operations has led some to address themselves to the issue of definition and to caution others regarding some of the dangers inherent in too broad or loose a conceptualization.

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Handbook of Mental Deficiency: Psychological Theory and Research
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contributors vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Contents xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I 9
  • 1 - Field Theory in Mental Deficiency 11
  • Introduction 11
  • References 36
  • 2 - A Social Learning Approach to Mental Retardation 41
  • Summary 86
  • References 86
  • 3 - Hull - Spence Behavior Theory and Mental Deficiency 92
  • Introduction 92
  • A Summing-Up 129
  • References 129
  • 4 - The Stimulus Trace and Behavioral Inadequacy 134
  • Summary 155
  • References 155
  • 5 - The Role of Attention in Retardate Discrimination Learning 159
  • References 220
  • 6 - Intelligence and Brain Damage 224
  • References 251
  • 7 - Genetic Aspects of Intelligent Behavior 253
  • References 291
  • 8 - The Application of Piaget's Theory to Research in Mental Deficiency 297
  • Introduction 297
  • References 323
  • 9 - Social Psychologies of Mental Deficiency 325
  • Summary 348
  • References 348
  • 10 - Psychological Studies of Mental Deficiency in the Soviet Union 353
  • Part II 389
  • 11 - Learning: Verbal, Perceptual-Motor, and Classical Conditioning 391
  • References 420
  • 12 Discrimination Learning 424
  • 12 Discrimination Learning 436
  • 13 - Problem - Solving and Conceptual Behavior 439
  • Conclusions 458
  • References 458
  • 14 - Sensory Processes and Mental Deficiency 463
  • Summary 476
  • References 476
  • 15 - Perceptual Processes 480
  • Conclusions 506
  • References 507
  • 16 - Language and Communication of Mental Defectives 512
  • Introduction 512
  • Summary and Overview 550
  • References 550
  • 17 - Psychophysiological Studies in Mental Deficiency 556
  • 17 - Psychophysiological Studies in Mental Deficiency 569
  • References 571
  • 18 - Abnormal Behavior and Mental Deficiency 574
  • Introduction 574
  • Summary and Conclusions 595
  • References 595
  • 19 - Motor Skills in Mental Deficiency 602
  • Summary 626
  • References 626
  • 20 - Research in Activity Level 632
  • Summary 657
  • References 657
  • 21 - Academic Skills 664
  • Summary 687
  • References 687
  • Contributors 691
  • Name Index 699
  • Subject Index 713
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