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PSYC 3850 (88)
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Article 2

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PSYC 3850

Article 2 Defining Mental Retardation A Matter of Life or Death By Litchen WSimon E W the Supreme Court ruled against the execution of convicted murderers with mental retardation has literally raised the stakes of psychological diagnosis to a matter of life and death greatly raises the stakes for psychologists to diagnose who is mentally retarded and who is notwe propose a total quotient TQ that combines both IQ and adaptive behavior scores which improves the diagnosis of mental retardation it would make the courts decisions more accurate and thus fairerIQ has played an important role in the definition and diagnosis of mental retardationAn IQ of 70 two standard deviations SDs below the mean is now used by definition with the predetermined outcome that about 25 of the population is classed as within the range of mental retardation high stakes decisions should not be based on one single test therefor introduced adaptive behaviour as another component of classificationabout 25 of the United States population or about 75 million persons would meet this definitional criterion of mental retardation If the same two SD rule were also applied to adaptive behavior scales assuming a correlation of 2 between the two scales the number of persons with mental retardation would fall to 411000the proposal to expand the definition of mental retardation to include both intellectual functioning and social adaptation has caused a dilemma slight changes were made over the years bu
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