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Speech and Thought in Severe Subnormality.

Samuel A. Kirk, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;9(6):641-642. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720180113026.
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This is a British book about imbeciles, defined as mental defectives who obtain IQ's between 25 and 50. Unlike other books on mental deficiency where the emphasis is on etiology and clinical characteristics, Speech and Thought in Severe Subnormality emphasizes the behavioral characteristics relating primarily to cognitive development. Although the book is entitled Speech and Thought the contents of the book describe theories and experiments on learning and problem solving, perception, communication, thought and language, the like and cross modalities in coding, and recall and recognition.

The breadth and general scope of the book may be illustrated by the major theories used to explain the results of experiments. These theories come primarily from general psychology and child development and include those of Hebb of Canada, Piaget of Switzerland, Luria of the Soviet Union, and Bruner of the United States. In writing this book Drs. O'Connor and Hermelin supplemented theories and


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