A SOCIAL LEARNING APPROACH TO MENTAL RETARDATION1
Rue L. Cromwell
The clinical psychologist, as he performs his professional chores, cannot say he has a thorough identification and understanding of all the important factors involved in his activities. Psychodiagnostic, psychotherapeutic, and consultative work, when it is successful and when it is not, is yet greatly a product of the artistic and wise use of common sense rather than of scientific understandings. This truth calls for no apology. The history and present status of other scientifically based service disciplines are reassuring enough. The concern of the clinician about this matter need only be for ways to advance and refine his skills in service to individuals.
That basic research is effective for making these changes is a premise of this chapter and of this book. To have better psychodiagnostic constructs and methods, better therapeutic approaches, or better consultative work on the environmental and organismic conditions necessary for behavior to become what we now call "adjusted" and "habilitated," more advanced understandings are needed of the underlying phenomena. That these advanced understandings will lead to improved clinical practices is the premise of the basic research clinician. This does not imply that research should not be done concurrently on the applied level or that service work should not advance and thereby provide a wake of ideas for the basic researcher. Let each person follow his own interests and skills. An implication is indeed____________________