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 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Ability of Offenders with Psychopathic Traits to Simulate Cognitive and Affective Empathy

Ability of Offenders with Psychopathic Traits to Simulate Cognitive and Affective Empathy

Date: August 2013
Creator: Robinson, Emily V.
Description: The accurate assessment of psychopathy constitutes a critical component of forensic assessments addressing offender populations. Among the core characteristics of psychopathy, the interpersonal component of deception and empathic deficits are prominently observed in offenders with psychopathic traits. Given the negative consequences of being classified as a psychopath, offenders may be likely to minimize their psychopathic traits. In particular, no research has investigated whether offenders with psychopathic traits are able to simulate empathy in an effort to mask their cognitive or affective empathy deficits (e.g., lack of remorse about offenses). The present study aims to contribute to the literature with regard to the simulation of empathy. Using a mixed between- and within-subjects design, 81 male detainees were placed into (a) a low psychopathy group, (b) a moderate psychopathy group, or (c) a high psychopathy group based on the Psychopathy Checklist – Revised. For the within-subjects component, all offenders answered empathy questionnaires under genuine and simulation conditions. Results indicate the sample possessed cognitive empathy, but did not display affective empathy under genuine instructions. Under simulation instructions, participants significantly increased their scores on several empathy measures. The implications of simulated empathy and comparisons between groups regarding simulation abilities are discussed.
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Accountability in Schools:  a Study of High School Accountability Ratings and College Success

Accountability in Schools: a Study of High School Accountability Ratings and College Success

Date: August 2013
Creator: Orsborn, Shannon
Description: The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between high school campus accountability ratings, college readiness indicators, and the percent of students who achieved first year college success. Correlation and multiple regression analyses were used to analyze the relationship between the variables. Data was analyzed for two-year and four-year postsecondary educational institutions which were divided by eight school district types. Regression analysis of the relationship between high school campus accountability ratings and the percent of students who achieved first year college success for four- year post secondary educational institutions revealed statistically significant results ranging from R2 =.179 to R2 = .220. Similar results were found for two-year post secondary educational institutions with statistically significant results ranging from R2 = .049 to R2 = .218. The results indicated negligible to small relationships between the variables. Regression results of the analysis for the relationship between college readiness indicators and the percent of students who achieved first year college success revealed statistically significant results for 2 - year post secondary educational institutions ranging from R2 = .077 to R2 = .596 and for 4 -year post secondary educational institutions ranging from R2 = .048 to R2 = .304. These results indicated ...
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Accuracy and Interpretability Testing of Text Mining Methods

Accuracy and Interpretability Testing of Text Mining Methods

Date: August 2013
Creator: Ashton, Triss A.
Description: Extracting meaningful information from large collections of text data is problematic because of the sheer size of the database. However, automated analytic methods capable of processing such data have emerged. These methods, collectively called text mining first began to appear in 1988. A number of additional text mining methods quickly developed in independent research silos with each based on unique mathematical algorithms. How good each of these methods are at analyzing text is unclear. Method development typically evolves from some research silo centric requirement with the success of the method measured by a custom requirement-based metric. Results of the new method are then compared to another method that was similarly developed. The proposed research introduces an experimentally designed testing method to text mining that eliminates research silo bias and simultaneously evaluates methods from all of the major context-region text mining method families. The proposed research method follows a random block factorial design with two treatments consisting of three and five levels (RBF-35) with repeated measures. Contribution of the research is threefold. First, the users perceived a difference in the effectiveness of the various methods. Second, while still not clear, there are characteristics with in the text collection that affect the ...
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Adventure Based Counseling: Exploring the Impact of Abc on Adaptive Functioning in High School Males

Adventure Based Counseling: Exploring the Impact of Abc on Adaptive Functioning in High School Males

Date: August 2013
Creator: Christian, David D.
Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of ABC on adaptive functioning in high school males. Specifically, a pretest/posttest, experimental design (N = 46; Caucasian = 26, Hispanic = 20) was used to examine the changes in adaptive and maladaptive functioning in ABC participants (n = 21) compared to those in a control/waitlist group (n = 25) as measured by the Behavior Assessment System for Children, second edition (BASC-2). Participants randomly assigned to the treatment group engaged in 10 ABC sessions. In order to better understand group process in ABC, I had experimental group participants complete the Group Climate Question Short form (GCQ-S) three times during the intervention. A mixed between/within subjects ANOVA of the BASC-2 scores revealed a statistically significant increase in adaptive functioning for both groups, F(1, 33) = 8.58, p < .01, with a partial eta squared of .21 indicating a large effect. There was no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control/waitlist groups, F(1, 33) = .064, p = .80, and a very small effect size (partial eta squared < .01). A repeated measures ANOVA of the GCQ-S scores revealed a statistically significant increase in engagement, F(2, 38) = 4.067, p = ...
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Alchemies

Alchemies

Date: August 2013
Creator: Heffner, Christopher Daniel
Description: This thesis consists of a collection of poems and a critical preface. The preface is a discussion of Elizabeth Bishop's descriptive mode, as demonstrated by three of her poems: "Sandpiper," "The Monument," and "Santarém." I argue for Bishop's descriptions as creative acts, and examine the gestures that help her make the reader aware of the shaping power she exercises.
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Altruism and Depression: Exploring This Relationship and the Mechanisms Behind It

Altruism and Depression: Exploring This Relationship and the Mechanisms Behind It

Date: August 2013
Creator: Wright, Brittney, C.
Description: The impact of environmental influences on depression has been well established by research. In particular, it is known that receiving/perceiving adequate social support has a protective influence on depression. Less is known about the protective benefits of providing support to others, namely in the form of altruistic, empathetic, or prosocial behavior. While research has shown that having altruistic attitudes and engaging in altruistic behaviors has a positive impact on physical health and mental well-being, studies on the association between altruistic attitudes and/or behavior and depression are limited. The present study examined the relationship between altruism and depression, and hypotheses were tested that allow for explanation of why altruism may protect against depression. A sample of 303 participants was recruited from the University of North Texas and the surrounding community. Participants completed an online survey that examined their altruistic activities, details regarding these activities, their prosocial attitudes, and their current level of depression. Results did not support that level of involvement in altruistic activities is directly related to depression severity. However, outcomes from involvement in altruistic activities, including sense of overburden from participating in altruistic activities, level of social interaction with other helpers and those helped during altruistic activities, and sense ...
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Analyzing Patterns Within Academic and Legal Definitions: a Qualitative Content Analysis of the Term "Cyberbullying"

Analyzing Patterns Within Academic and Legal Definitions: a Qualitative Content Analysis of the Term "Cyberbullying"

Date: August 2013
Creator: Winn, Matthew R.
Description: Regardless of culture or nation, students today are experiencing bullying via technology. With the rise of technology, this abuse has the ability to become more far-reaching, and more pervasive than ever. These students face oppression, and in some cases severe imbalances of power. Current research is being conducted and laws created based on varying operational and conception definitions of the term "cyberbullying." This study aims to analyze and provide a coherent definition for the term "cyberbullying" as it is used in research and legislation, especially in the context of today's educational environments. The results help shed light on the large variances in the term and suggestions are made to clarify the definition as the field continues to move forward.
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Automated Real-time Objects Detection in Colonoscopy Videos for Quality Measurements

Automated Real-time Objects Detection in Colonoscopy Videos for Quality Measurements

Date: August 2013
Creator: Kumara, Muthukudage Jayantha
Description: The effectiveness of colonoscopy depends on the quality of the inspection of the colon. There was no automated measurement method to evaluate the quality of the inspection. This thesis addresses this issue by investigating an automated post-procedure quality measurement technique and proposing a novel approach automatically deciding a percentage of stool areas in images of digitized colonoscopy video files. It involves the classification of image pixels based on their color features using a new method of planes on RGB (red, green and blue) color space. The limitation of post-procedure quality measurement is that quality measurements are available long after the procedure was done and the patient was released. A better approach is to inform any sub-optimal inspection immediately so that the endoscopist can improve the quality in real-time during the procedure. This thesis also proposes an extension to post-procedure method to detect stool, bite-block, and blood regions in real-time using color features in HSV color space. These three objects play a major role in quality measurements in colonoscopy. The proposed method partitions very large positive examples of each of these objects into a number of groups. These groups are formed by taking intersection of positive examples with a hyper plane. ...
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Blueline Concerto: Critical Essay

Blueline Concerto: Critical Essay

Date: August 2013
Creator: Lamb, Christopher
Description: The purpose of this critical essay is two-fold. First, the essay presents a detailed critical analysis of my original composition, Blueline Concerto for bass trombone and wind ensemble. Second, using Blueline Concerto, the essay presents preliminary findings of my study to develop an approach to composing that takes into account the musicians' health, specifically regarding noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). Through various hypothesized composition- and orchestral-based approaches, I test effectiveness on changes in NIHL risk while also noting that artistic merit and compositional integrity is preserved.
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Centers of Invariant Differential Operator Algebras for Jacobi Groups of Higher Rank

Centers of Invariant Differential Operator Algebras for Jacobi Groups of Higher Rank

Date: August 2013
Creator: Dahal, Rabin
Description: Let G be a Lie group acting on a homogeneous space G/K. The center of the universal enveloping algebra of the Lie algebra of G maps homomorphically into the center of the algebra of differential operators on G/K invariant under the action of G. In the case that G is a Jacobi Lie group of rank 2, we prove that this homomorphism is surjective and hence that the center of the invariant differential operator algebra is the image of the center of the universal enveloping algebra. This is an extension of work of Bringmann, Conley, and Richter in the rank 1case.
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