Social skills
A social skill is any skill
A skill is the learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills...

 facilitating interaction
Interpersonal relationship
An interpersonal relationship is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This association may be based on limerence, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the...

 and communication
Social communication
The term social communication refers to using the so-called social media. However there is no standardised definition yet recognised. Generally communication requires a social nexus of at least two entities in a technical or just social relation...

 with others. Social rules and relations
Interpersonal relationship
An interpersonal relationship is an association between two or more people that may range from fleeting to enduring. This association may be based on limerence, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the...

 are created, communicated, and changed in verbal
Verbal may mean:*Non-finite verb, a verb form that functions both as a verb and as another lexical category.*A word or group of words that functions as a verb by serving as the head of a verb phrase...

 and nonverbal ways. The process of learning such skills is called socialization
Socialization is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists and educationalists to refer to the process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies...

. The rationale for this type of an approach to treatment is that people meet a variety of social problems and can reduce the stress and punishment from the encounter as well as increase their reinforcement by having the correct skills.

In behavior therapy

To behaviorists, social skills are learned behavior that allow people to achieve social reinforcement. According to Schneider & Bryne (1985), who conducted a meta-analysis of social skills training procedures (51 studies), operant conditioning
Operant conditioning
Operant conditioning is a form of psychological learning during which an individual modifies the occurrence and form of its own behavior due to the association of the behavior with a stimulus...

 procedures for training social skills had the largest effect size, followed by modeling
Observational learning
Observational learning is a type of learning that occurs as a function of observing, retaining and replicating novel behavior executed by others...

, coaching, and social cognitive techniques. Behavior analysts prefer to use the term behavioral skills to social skills. Behavioral skills training to build social and other skills is used with a variety of populations including in packages to treat addictions as in the community reinforcement and family training
Community reinforcement and family training
Community reinforcement approach and community reinforcement and family training approach are behavior therapy approaches to treating substance abuse.-Research:...

Training of behavioral skills is also used for people who suffer from borderline personality disorder
Borderline personality disorder
Borderline personality disorder is a personality disorder described as a prolonged disturbance of personality function in a person , characterized by depth and variability of moods.The disorder typically involves unusual levels of instability in mood; black and white thinking, or splitting; the...

depression, and developmental disabilities. Typically behaviorists try to develop what are considered cusp skills, which are critical skills to open access to a variety of environments.

"Social skills can be measured on about how you treat other people and how you react to them. It's a matter of dealing with the people around you. Different tests will help you to provide and tell what kind of personality you have towards others. If you are in doubt of your behavior, then you may be in touched with this kind of test. This would not help you totally, but this would serve as your guide in handling your personality towards the people whom you're reacting with." (Ledesma, 2009)


Recently the concept of social skills has been questioned. The question is whether one response is needed or whether any response tailored in a context will meet the requirements. Ramanczyk laid out a model of social acquisition for children with autism
Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their...



Social skills training is a well recognized behavior therapy. It is evidence based for several psychological disorders.
Many organizations exist for behaviour therapists around the world. The World Association for Behavior Analysis offers a certification in behavior therapy, which covers social skills training techniques In the United States, the American Psychological Association's Division 25 is the division for behaviour analysis. The Association for Contextual Behavior Therapy is another professional organization. ACBS is home to many clinicians with specific interest in third generation behaviour therapy. The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies was founded in 1966. Its headquarters are in New York City and its membership includes researchers, psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, social workers, nurses, and other mental-health practitioners, researchers, and students who...

 (formerly the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy) is for those with a more cognitive orientation. Internationally, most behaviour therapists find a core intellectual home in the International Association for Behavior Analysis
Association for Behavior Analysis
The Association for Behavior Analysis International is a nonprofit professional membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and...


See also

  • Aggression Replacement Training
    Aggression Replacement Training
    Aggression Replacement Training is cognitive behavioral intervention focused on adolescents, training them to cope with their aggressive and violent behaviors. It is a multimodal program that has three components; Social skills, Anger Control Training and Moral Reasoning...

  • Anti-social
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Circle of friends (disability)
    Circle of friends (disability)
    The Circle of Friends approach is a method designed to increase the socialization and inclusion of a disabled person with their peers. A Circle of Friends consists of a "focus" child, for whom the group was established, six to eight classroom peers, and an adult facilitator who meet once weekly to...

  • Computer widow
  • Emotional Intelligence
    Emotional intelligence
    Emotional intelligence is a skill or ability in the case of the trait EI model, a self-perceived ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. Various models and definitions have been proposed of which the ability and trait EI models are the most...

  • Intercultural competence
    Intercultural competence
    Intercultural competence is the ability of successful communication with people of other cultures.A person who is interculturally competent captures and understands, in interaction with people from foreign cultures, their specific concepts in perception, thinking, feeling and acting...

  • Introversion and extroversion
  • Metacommunicative competence
    Metacommunicative competence
    Metacommunicative competence is the ability to intervene within difficult conversations and to correct communication problems by utilizing the different ways of practical communication:...

  • People skills
    People skills
    According to the Portland Business Journal, people skills are often described as:* understanding ourselves and moderating our responses* talking effectively and empathizing accurately* building relationships of trust, respect and productive interactions....

  • Social anxiety
    Social anxiety
    Social anxiety is anxiety about social situations, interactions with others, and being evaluated or scrutinized by other people...

  • Social behavior
    Social behavior
    In physics, physiology and sociology, social behavior is behavior directed towards society, or taking place between, members of the same species. Behavior such as predation which involves members of different species is not social...

  • Social cognition
    Social cognition
    Social cognition is the encoding, storage, retrieval, and processing, in the brain, of information relating to conspecifics, or members of the same species. At one time social cognition referred specifically to an approach to social psychology in which these processes were studied according to the...

  • Social dynamics
    Social dynamics
    Social dynamics can refer to the behavior of groups that results from the interactions of individual group members as well to the study of the relationship between individual interactions and group level behaviors...

  • Social reality
    Social reality
    Social reality is distinct from biological reality or individual cognitive reality, and has been defined as 'a level of phenomena that emerges through social interactions and that cannot be reduced to the intentions of individuals'....

  • Systems intelligence
    Systems intelligence
    Systems intelligence is human action that connects sensitivity about a systemic environment with systems thinking, thus spurring a person's problem solving capabilities and invoking performance and productivity in everyday situations. Systems intelligence, abbreviated SI, is intelligent behavior in...

  • Verbal abuse
    Verbal abuse
    Verbal abuse is best described as a negative defining statement told to you or about you; or by withholding any response thus defining the target as non-existant...

External links

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