Handbook of Mental Deficiency: Psychological Theory and Research

By Norman R. Ellis | Go to book overview

16
LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION OF MENTAL DEFECTIVES

Joseph E. Spradlin1


INTRODUCTION

The term "language," as commonly used, refers to a conglomeration of events ranging from gestures to hieroglyphics. However, within the present context language will refer to the speech and gestures of a speaker and to the responses to speech and gestures made by a listener. The term "speaker" refers to a person who makes either a speech or a gestural response. The term "listener" refers to the person who responds to either a speech or a gestural response.

Communication simply refers to language which is interpersonal. Ordinarily communication involves verbal exchange; however, it need not. Communication can be one way, as in the case of commands. The response of the listener need not be immediate for communication to occur. For example, a speaker may tell his listener, "When you go to the grocery store, bring me a pack of cigarettes." Usually the listener will make a verbal response to such a request, but he might not. However, if at a later time the listener brought the speaker the package of cigarettes, then communication would have occurred.

In view of the above statement the reader might expect a discussion of speech, gestures, the listener's reaction to speech and gestures (language comprehension), and the various interactions of speaker-listener behavior. Actually, the state of language research in the area of mental deficiency

____________________
1
The author is field director for the Parsons Research Project, which is jointly sponsored by the Bureau of Child Research at the University of Kansas and the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center. The Parsons Research Project is supported in part by NIMH grant MH 111. The author is very much indebted to members of the Project staff for every phase of development of the chapter and especially to Mrs. Ruth Staten for typing the manuscript.

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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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