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October 2021

Implications of selected social psychological theories on life-long skill generalization: Considerations for the music therapist

Journal/Book: Music Therapy Perspectives. 1987; 4: Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. National Association for Music Therapy 8455 Colesville Rd., Suite 930 20910 Silver Spring, Maryland USA. 29-33.

Abstract: Descriptions of music therapy services frequently emphasize the importance of changing behavior, promoting growth and self-development, and improving a person's overall quality of life. To achieve these general goals of therapy, the progress noted in structured settings must generalize into the client's skill repertoire. Historically, publications about music therapy techniques have reflected research findings in behavioral psychology, while briefly noting pertinent applications to social situations. This article specifically discusses how the social psychological constructs of attribution theory and learned helplessness may promote life-long skill generalization. Implications for current music therapy services focus on how these constructs may refine the therapy process in respect to reinforcement techniques and contrivance. ABSTRACT 2: Describes how the social psychological constructs of attribution theory and learned helplessness may promote lifelong skill generalization. Implications for current music therapy services focus on how these constructs may refine the therapy process with respect to reinforcement techniques and contrivance. It is suggested that for successful experiences, an internal locus of control should be stressed in feedback; for experiences that present difficulties, feedback should emphasize an external locus of control. It is argued that music therapists can assist their clients to develop a realistic sense of their abilities and to learn how to deal effectively with the realities of society using these constructs.

Note: attribution & learned helplessness theories; skill generalization; implications for music therapy

Keyword(s): generalization, skills, skill-analysis, skill-development, theory, social-psychology.


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