EDST 391 Intelligence in Everyday Life


P/F Writing Assignment for Day 12

Mental retardation


  • Koegel & Edgerton ("Black 'six-hour retarded children' as adults")  
  • Kenney ("When one falters...")  
  • Matarazzo ("Degrees of mental retardation")
  • NBC video ("The struggle to be normal--fitting in")

Note: SSI = Supplemental Security Income. These are monthly support payments from the Social Security Administration to people with disabilities.

In today's readings, you will be getting an up-close-and-personal look at what it is like to function at the low end of the IQ bell curve. Koegel & Edgerton provide a good summary of the adult lives of one group of mildly retarded individuals in the United States. Let's try to extract some patterns from these case studies.

  1. We saw in earlier readings that many job duties that involve dealing with people are complex and g loaded. However, some of the retarded adults in the Koegel and Edgerton study seemed to do very well interpersonally. Are these two findings contradictory? Look carefully at the kinds of social skills these more socially successful individuals possessed. First, which social specific social skills did they have--and not have? Second, were some of the "skills" actually personality traits? You might wish to look again at the list of "big five" personality traits.
  2. Some of the retarded adults were definitely “making it.” Does this contradict your earlier readings’ claim that low-IQ individuals are hobbled in life due to low IQ? Also, what did “making it” mean, and how secure was it? Please also draw from the Kenney article in answering this question.

You signed up to represent or “be” one of the individuals in the readings. Be prepared to discuss this person’s life.