Dennis Munk

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Two mildly mentally retarded adults, living in a semi-independent residential program received training in solving common social problems. The subjects were trained to perform five problem-solving component skills: (1) identifying the problem, (2) defining a goal, (3) evaluating a solution, (4) evaluating alternative solutions, and (5) selecting a best solution. The five component skills were trained in sequence, as a multiple-baseline across skill behaviors design. It was hypothesized that the training program would successfully improve the subjects' ability to perform the component skills when solving trained and unfamiliar problems. The unfamiliar problems were included to test generalization of skill. The training program was also expected to improve an effectiveness rating given to each solution by the experimenter. Results indicated that the subjects did acquire the five component skills, and that the skills immediately generalized to novel situations. The quality of the subjects' solutions was not affected by the training.