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Plebiscites

Plebiscites

Date: May 2015
Creator: Fonseca Acosta, Rosa
Description: This study investigates factors that can influence leaders to use plebiscites to settle territorial claims. A quick survey of the plebiscite literature shows that the method has been extensively mentioned in the legal, historical, and philosophical fields (mostly through case studies) but less so in political science. This thesis is the first attempt, to my knowledge, to quantitatively investigate the different factors that can influence a leader to use a plebiscite. Using the latest version of the ICOW dataset, I test political and economic theories to try to explain the variation in the decision outcome. This study includes the following variables: identity ties, economic strength, an interaction between identity ties and economic strength, internal constraints (regime type and violent interaction), and external constraints (membership to international organizations). The results suggest that identity ties offer the strongest explanation as to why leaders settle a territorial claim with a plebiscite. Plebiscites have been rarely used to settle territorial claims, but when used they tend to settle cases permanently. This thesis serves as an attempt to revive a method that while difficult to agree upon, can be successful in resolving territorial claims permanently, and more importantly peacefully.
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The Spiritual but Not Religious: Who Are They, and Who Is More Likely to Be One?

The Spiritual but Not Religious: Who Are They, and Who Is More Likely to Be One?

Date: May 2015
Creator: Gabhart, Elizabeth A.
Description: The “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) are a rising social group in America in the past two decades, but social scientists and the general public know quite little about this group. Using the pooled 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 GSS data, this study examines who the SBNR are and who is more or less likely to be SBNR controlling for other variables. Descriptive analysis reveals that, compared to the general U.S. adult population, the SBNR group has slightly more males, is slightly younger, has fewer racial minorities, is better educated, and is slightly higher in social class. Additionally, more SBNR are from the Northeast and West than the general population, are slightly more urban, fewer are currently married, fewer have children, more have had homosexual sex, and more were religious Nones when they were 16 years old. Logistic regression analysis of the SBNR finds that, holding other variables constant, Americans who are more educated, live in Northeastern or Western regions, have homosexual sex, or had no religion at age 16 are more likely to be SBNR than their respective counterparts. Those who are racial minorities, live in the South or the Midwest, are currently married, or have children are less ...
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Assessing Workplace Design: Applying Anthropology to Assess an Architecture Firm’s Own Headquarters Design

Assessing Workplace Design: Applying Anthropology to Assess an Architecture Firm’s Own Headquarters Design

Date: December 2014
Creator: Ramer, S. Angela
Description: Corporations, design firms, technology, and furniture companies are rethinking the concept of the ‘workplace’ environment and built ‘office’ in an effort to respond to changing characteristics of the workplace. The following report presents a case study, post-occupancy assessment of an architecture firm’s relocation of their corporate headquarters in Dallas, TX. This ethnographic research transpired from September 2013 to February 2014 and included participant observation, employee interviews, and an office-wide employee survey. Applying a user-centered approach, this study sought to identify and understand: 1) the most and least effective design elements, 2) unanticipated user-generated (“un-designed”) elements, 3) how the workplace operates as an environment and system of design elements, and 4) opportunities for continued improvement of their work environment. This study found that HKS ODC successfully increased access to collaborative spaces by increasing the size (i.e. number of square feet, number of rooms), variety of styles (i.e. enclosed rooms, open work surfaces), and distribution of spaces throughout the office environment. An increase in reported public transit commuting from 6.5% at their previous location to 24% at HKS ODC compares to almost five times the national public transit average (5%) and fifteen times the rate of Texas workers (1.6%) and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, ...
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Through an Open Window

Through an Open Window

Date: May 2015
Creator: Bingham, Christie
Description: The poems in this collection are elegiac; celebrations of losses and failures, tributes to the daily doldrums that are at the center of human experience. They threaten to expose the uncertainty that exists and refuses to exist in our everyday lives. They explore the otherness associated with the individual and often turn to the universal formulas of music and physics to make order of the world around them. Often times the Speaker finds that the seeming chaos manifests within her already orderly life, the daily routines of work and family. Poetic magic, so to speak, weds this ordered chaos to the laws of nature and its routines, especially birds, which makes a recurrent appearance throughout the manuscript.
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First Movement of the Beethoven Third Piano Concerto: An Argument for the Alkan Cadenza

First Movement of the Beethoven Third Piano Concerto: An Argument for the Alkan Cadenza

Date: May 2015
Creator: Ding, Yang
Description: The goal of this dissertation is not only to introduce the unique cadenza by Alkan but also to offer an argument from the performer’s point of view, for why Alkan’s cadenza should be considered when there exists a cadenza by Beethoven himself, not to mention those by a number of other composers, both contemporaries of Beethoven and later. Information in reference to the brief history of the cadenza and the pianoforte in the time of Mozart and Beethoven is presented in Chapter 2. A brief bibliography about Alkan is presented in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 describes not only the cadenza in the era of Alkan, but also a comparison which is presented between Beethoven and Alkan's cadenzas. Examples of the keyboard range, dynamic contrast, use of pedal and alternating notes or octaves, and creative quote are presented in Chapter 4. In conclusion, the revival of Alkan's cadenza is mentioned, and the author's hope to promote the Alkan's cadenza is presented in Chapter 5.
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Information Seeking Behaviors in a Population of Assistive Mobility Device Users

Information Seeking Behaviors in a Population of Assistive Mobility Device Users

Date: May 2014
Creator: White, Mel
Description: The author explores the current state of information exchange and access in the procurement process for mobility assistive equipment. While the idealized model is of a linear process starting with a need and ending with the purchase, in practice the procedures for acquiring a device such as a wheelchair or electric scooter can be a time consuming task that involves client, family, medical care specialists, vendors, manufacturers, insurance companies and possibly alternate sources of funding. This study utilized Participatory Action Research (PAR) to collect both qualitative and quantitative data about information sources such as the Internet, the medical community, and vendors. The findings of this study suggest that in spite of the presence of the Internet, overall primary sources are similar to the traditional model and that for most there is no one source that could be easily accessed for information. A brief examination is made of the “Information landscape” utilized in the process and a brief discussion of two relatively unmentioned information sources: expos and the wheelchair sports community.
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Refining the Definition and Detection of Response Styles: An Initial Examination of Defensiveness and Feigning on the Personality Inventory for DSM-5

Refining the Definition and Detection of Response Styles: An Initial Examination of Defensiveness and Feigning on the Personality Inventory for DSM-5

Date: May 2015
Creator: Fiduccia, Chelsea E.
Description: The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM 5) presents an alternate model for personality disorders, blending categorical and dimensional assessment into a hybrid diagnostic procedure. Released concurrently, the Personality Inventory for DSM 5 (PID 5) measures the five domains and 25 facets that comprise the trait components of this hybrid model. However, the PID 5 currently lacks validity indicators to capture intentionally distorted responding. The current study investigated the susceptibility of the PID 5 to defensiveness and feigning among a large sample of undergraduate students. First, a detailed desirability analysis (N = 465) was conducted of the PID 5 items and response options. Responses from the study were used to create three desirability based validity scales. Next, in a between-subjects simulation design (N = 128), the effects of faking were explored at domain and facet levels. As a result, two symptom based validity scales were created. In a separate validation sample (N = 134), the five newly created validity scales were compared with the Paulhus Deception Scales for capturing both defensiveness and feigning. All five scales were evaluated for ruling out faking (i.e., identifying likely genuine respondents) and ruling in either defensiveness or feigning. ...
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Enacting Community Through the Arts

Enacting Community Through the Arts

Date: December 2014
Creator: Keller, Sarita Talusani
Description: This study is concerned with the roles and relationships between artists-in-residence, community audiences, and program coordinators/art educators as they engage together in community arts programs. This study takes place at Project Row Houses (PRH), a community arts organization located in Houston, Texas and focuses on the artist-in-residence program, which commissions a group of national and international artists for a 6-month period to create art installations in relation to the community and its African-American heritage. This ethnographic case study is based on the activities and events surrounding the 2008 PRH exhibition, Round 29, Thunderbolt Special: The Great Electric Show and Dance, after Sam Lightnin’ Hopkins and employed qualitative data gathering methods of participant-observation, conducting semi-structured, open-ended, in-depth interviews, and through document collection, and contextual information. Observations were recorded through field notes, photographs, and video. Interviews were conducted with 3 artists-in-residence, 3 community audience members, and 3 program coordinators or staff members involved with the program, regarding their experiences at the site and experiences with each other. My analysis presents the roles of artist, community audience, and program coordinator/art educator through three sections on cultural work. Within these sections I discuss topics related to the power of voice, situatedness, and creativity, as ...
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Improving Processing Efficiency for Forensic DNA Samples

Improving Processing Efficiency for Forensic DNA Samples

Date: May 2015
Creator: Connon, Catherine Cupples
Description: The goal of this project was to reduce processing time for forensic DNA testing without incurring significant added costs and/or the need for new instrumentation, while still generating high quality profiles. This was accomplished by: 1) extraction normalization using the ChargeSwitch® Forensic DNA Purification Kit such that a small range of DNA concentrations was consistently obtained, eliminating the need for sample quantification and dilution; 2) developing fast PCR protocols for STR primer sets using shorter amplification methods, low volume reactions and non-fast thermal cyclers; and 3) developing a quicker 3130xl Genetic Analyzer detection method using an alternative polymer/array length combination. Extraction normalization was achieved through a reduction in bead quantity, thereby forcing an increase in bead binding efficiency. Four products (AmpliTaq Gold® Fast PCR Master Mix, KAPA2G™ Fast Multiplex PCR Kit, SpeedSTAR™ HS DNA Polymerase and Type-it Microsatellite PCR Kit) were evaluated for low volume (3μl) fast PCR on a 384-well Veriti® thermal cycler with the Identifiler primer set. KAPA2G™ was selected for 3μl fast PCR protocols using PowerPlex 16 HS and Identifiler Plus primer sets (42-51min), as well as 5μl and 6μl Identifiler fast reactions on a 9700 thermal cycler (51-60min). Alternative detection (POP-6™/22cm) achieved 24-28min run times, but ...
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A Predictive Model of Adolescent Persistence in Counseling

A Predictive Model of Adolescent Persistence in Counseling

Date: May 2015
Creator: Holm, Jessica M.
Description: Adolescence is a developmental period characterized by profound social and emotional changes. Counseling can serve as a protective factor for decreasing the long-term negative emotional effects. Despite this fact, counselors continue to struggle with high rates of attrition among adolescent clients. When examining trends of client persistence in counseling across the lifespan, researchers found a relationship between the presence of internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Additionally, they found that high levels of familial stress predicted premature termination from counseling. The purpose of the current study was to create a predictive model of adolescent persistence in counseling. I examined both personal and environmental characteristics of adolescents who sought counseling services (N = 72) from an on-campus university counseling clinic that serves as a training facility for master’s and doctoral students at an accredited counselor education program in the southwestern United States. Participants were predominantly White (67.6%, n = 50), with a mean age of 14.23 (SD = 1.65). Nearly 60% (n = 44) of the clients were female, and 37.8% were male (n = 28). Beyond descriptive variables, eight predictor variables were examined: adolescent involvement in their intake, time spent on the wait list, four domains of parental stress, and parent perceptions ...
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