SKILL GENERALIZATION THROUGH MULTIPLE EXEMPLAR TRAINING (SEVERE MENTAL RETARDATION)
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The efficacy of a group social skills training procedure, as well as a procedure for evoking the generalization of acquired skills was studied using population samples of primarily severely retarded adults. The study contained three hypotheses. The first stated that a training package which included the presentation of videotaped models performing the target skill, roleplaying, videotaped feedback with evaluatory comments, and further roleplaying, would be effective in teaching groups of severely retarded adults. The second and third hypotheses of the study stated that by presenting subjects with two exemplars of skill performance that represented the generalization of the learned skill, subjects could then perform the acquired skill in a generalized fashion as well. The two forms of generalization studied were generalization in response to persons not directly involved in training procedures referred to as environmental generalization, and generalization to facsimiles of the originally acquired skill.;In two separate procedures subjects were trained to correctly respond to requests involving an understanding of the prepositional phrase 'next to', and an adaptive response to work disruptions. In addition each procedure included further interventions with generalization exemplars, designed to evoke environmental and skill facsimile generalization.;A repeated measures counterbalanced time sequence design was used. Each procedure involved one control and two experimental groups.;Results indicated that both target skills were acquired rapidly by most subjects. Similarly environmental generalization was evidenced with both skills only after the introduction of the intervention designed to evoke it. While skill facsimile generalization was evidenced in the procedure for discouraging work disruptions only after the introduction of the additional intervention, it was significantly evidenced after acquisition training alone in the 'next to' procedure. It was suggested that the spontaneous skill facsimile generalization evidenced the relative simplicity of that skill.;Suggestions for future research included the need for a measure for the subjectively experienced difficulty in training procedures, modifications of the present procedures for other segments of the developmentally disabled population, and implications of videotaped feedback in traditional psychotherapy settings.