Handbook of Mental Deficiency: Psychological Theory and Research

By Norman R. Ellis | Go to book overview
Annett ( 1957) and others have suggested that vocational training centers for the retarded can improve training procedures and job selection possibilities by making time-and-motion studies of various jobs. These would include analyses of specific psychomotor functions involved. A more precise definition of these functions should lead to more accurate appraisal of the motor performance required. Gross and fine movements involving coordination, precision, force, and speed could then be translated into more effective training procedures. In turn, these should lead to a higher level of employability of people with retarded mental ability.
SUMMARY
Clinical observations and research studies indicate that the mentally retarded tend to demonstrate less motor competence and skill than do normals of the same sex and same age. This is true for tasks requiring precise movements and reactions as well as for those requiring complex skills and gross motor coordination. There is correspondence between general ranges of mental ability and motor performance; the severely retarded are not as capable as the moderately retarded, and the moderately retarded as a group are not as proficient as people in the normal range of intelligence.While there is little doubt that lesions in the central nervous system contribute significantly to both motor and mental retardation, little has been reported about specific relationships between these variables. It is possible that delayed maturation of motor functions, as a correlate of delay in general body maturation, plays some part in the differences observed between retarded and normal subjects. It is also reasonable to assume that less stimulation and fewer or less appropriate reinforcements for learning motor skills may play a considerable part in the lowered motor-response rate and general motor proficiency of mental defectives.Several motor-proficiency tests are available for use with different age groups. Primary emphasis has been placed on evaluating the motor skills of children and adolescents. The best of the measures of gross motor ability (the 1955 revision of the Lincoln-Oseretsky Motor Development Scale) is in need of some refinement. Other measures lack either standardization or comprehensiveness in order to provide either precise measurement or wide- range generalizations. No general "motor factor" has been elucidated.Motor proficiency has implications for educational, vocational, social, and recreational activities of mental defectives. More thorough analyses of the components of motility that contribute to such activities are required before conclusive generalizations can be drawn about the relationship of motor and mental abilities. Vocational implications of motor proficiency suggest the need for more refined job appraisal and training procedures for the mentally retarded.
REFERENCES
AMMONS, R. B., et al. "Long term retention of perceptual motor skills". J. exp. Psychol., 1958, 55, 318-328.

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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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