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Selecting Optimal Residential Locations Using Fuzzy GIS Modeling
Integrating decision analytical techniques in geographic information systems (GIS) can help remove the two primary obstacles in spatial decision making: inaccessibility to required geographic data and difficulties in synthesizing various criteria. I developed a GIS model to assist people seeking optimal residential locations. Fuzzy set theory was used to codify criteria for each factor used in evaluating residential locations, and weighted linear combination (WLC) was employed to simulate users' preferences in decision making. Three examples were used to demonstrate the applications in the study area. The results from the examples were analyzed. The model and the ArcGIS Extension can be used in other geographic areas for residential location selection, or in other applications of spatial decision making.
A Geoarchaeological Investigation of Site Formation in the Animas River Valley at Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM
This paper presents an investigation of sedimentary deposition, soil formation, and pedoturbation in the Animas River Valley to determine the provenience of archaeological deposits in an open field at Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM outside of the Greathouse complex. Four stratigraphic pedounits correlated with active fan deposition have been proposed for the lower terrace in the project area with only one of these units retaining strong potential for buried archaeological deposits from the Anasazi late Pueblo II/Pueblo III period. The distal fan on the lower terrace and the Animas River floodplain appear to show poor potential for archaeological deposits either due to shallow sediment overburden with historic disturbance or alluvial activity during or after occupation. Based on these findings, four other zones of similar fan development have been identified throughout the Animas Valley and are recommended for subsurface testing during future cultural resource investigations.
Bioaccumulation of triclocarban, triclosan, and methyl-triclosan in a North Texas wastewater treatment plant receiving stream and effects of triclosan on algal lipid synthesis.
Triclosan (TCS) and triclocarban (TCC), widely used antimicrobial agents found in numerous consumer products, are incompletely removed by wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) processing. Methyl-triclosan (M-TCS) is a more lipophilic metabolite of its parent compound, TCS. The focus of this study was to quantify bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) for TCS, M-TCS, and TCC in Pecan creek, the receiving stream for the City of Denton, Texas WWTP by using field samples mostly composed of the alga Cladophora sp. and the caged snail Helisoma trivolvis as test species. Additionally, TCS effects on E. coli and Arabidopsis have been shown to reduce fatty acid biosynthesis and total lipid content by inhibiting the trans-2 enoyl- ACP reductase. The lipid synthesis pathway effects of TCS on field samples of Cladophora spp. were also investigated in this study by using [2-14C]acetate radiolabeling procedures. Preliminary results indicate high TCS concentrations are toxic to lipid biosynthesis and reduce [2-14C]acetate incorporation into total lipids. These results have led to the concern that chronic exposure of algae in receiving streams to environmentally relevant TCS concentrations might affect their nutrient value. If consumer growth is limited, trophic cascade strength may be affected and serve to limit population growth and reproduction of herbivores in these riparian systems.
A Spatial-Temporal Analysis of Retail Location and Clustering: A Case Study of Port Huron, MI
Retail geography is a field of study that is growing in significance and importance within the academic, business, economic, and governmental realms. This study's main focus is on the changing retail environment with regards to business location and function within a small Midwestern city. The research focuses on Port Huron, Michigan because of the growth and shift of the retail community within the city over the past twenty years. The study specifically examines the changing influence and roles of Port Huron's central business district and of Birchwood Mall a retail development opened on the urban area's north end in 1990. The study uses the chi-squared, ANOVA, and cross tabulation statistical tests to analyze the changing geography of retail functions in the city. These statistics are used along with relative entropy equations to distinguish areas of high diversification, changing area functions, and common locations for multiple retail types.
The Lp Spaces of Equivalence Classes of Lebesgue Integrable Functions
The purpose of the paper is to prove that the Lp spaces, p ≥ 1, of equivalence classes of functions are Banach spaces.
A Meaningful Task: Investigating Into the Culture of Assessment in the Art Classroom of the Schools in Denton
This is an enterpretivist cultural study on how the lively idea of assessment is enacted by the art teachers, students and administrators in Denton school art education, North Texas, the United States. This ethnographic research aims to extend understanding on assessment as vivid cultural and social dynamics that both reflects and enlivens varied and interconnected values promoted and shared among the people involved. Through a perspective of the culture of assessment, this study is expected to facilitate insights on art education as lived, purposeful experience bearing suggestions on a certain social environment and historical implications. Such insights as sought further illuminate specific understandings on art education in different cultural societies, such as China. From a Chinese native viewpoint, the researcher broadens her horizons on connection and independence important for informative performance of art education in the discourses of modern nation and schooling, as well as globalization. It is hoped that this study will interest other art educators, teachers, and researchers to make multiple and continuous efforts in further exploring the culture of assessment with cultural and historical consciousness and knowledge.
Postpartum Depression: A Sociocultural Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Adolescent and Adult Hispanic Mothers
This dissertation is a mixed methods analysis investigating postpartum depression as it is experienced by self-reported depressed Mexican American adolescent and adult mothers. The qualitative portion of this study explores pregnancy and motherhood to better understand meanings attached to depression. Six adolescent and six adult mothers, were recruited from the Dallas/Fort-Worth area. Each was interviewed twice, using semi-structured interview guides. The quantitative phase utilizes a national sample of self-reported depressed Hispanic mothers to identify breastfeeding behavior and mothers' perceptions of the physical health of their babies. Specifically, a secondary analysis of the National Survey of Children's Health, 2003 was used to supplement the qualitative data. This study provides a theoretical framework of fragmented identity to explain socio-cultural factors contributing to postpartum depression among Mexican American adolescent and adult mothers. Common themes leading to a fragmented identify were indentified. Contributors to postpartum depression include: unplanned pregnancy, internal struggle between cultures, body image and family conflict. Stigma associated with teen motherhood also contributed to depression among adolescent mothers while the medicalization of childbirth was a contributing factor of depression among the adult mothers. Additionally, the duration of breastfeeding and mothers' perceptions of their babies' physical health were impacted by depression, but breastfeeding initiation was not.
Understanding How Jurors Award Civil Damages: A Test of Affect Control Theory
This dissertation examines predictors of juror-determined damage awards among 377 juror eligible mock jurors. Citizens reporting for jury duty in a large metropolitan county on five days when the study was conducted were invited to participate. Scenarios were created that varied both case facts and witness emotion during trial testimony. Results indicate that Affect Control Theory can be applied to the situation of juror-determined damage awards and is helpful in scientifically explaining some of the variation of both compensatory and punitive damage awards.
Weapons in the City: Weapon Use in Chicago Homicide Cases
This study used data from the homicides in Chicago 1965-1995 dataset (N=9,340) to examine the relationship between the use of certain types of weapons in criminal homicides by gender, race, age, victim-offender relationship, motive, location, and changes over time. Differential association and sex-role theory were utilized to argue why gender differences would occur in type of weapon used in a homicide. Subculture of violence theory was used to emphasize that the place where the homicide occurs, the relationship between the victim and offender, motive of the offender, and the remaining variables affects the type of weapon used to kill. Significant relationships were found for all bivariate analyses performed. The type of weapon used to kill differs most by sex of offender, resulting in a moderately strong association. The type of weapon used to kill differs least by age of offender and although statistically significant, the association between the two is very weak.
Working Lifestyles and Sleepless Nights: The Role of Work in Patient Explanatory Models of Insomnia
Interviews conducted with patients receiving treatment for insomnia at one of two sleep medicine clinics, located in Texas and Oregon, suggest that work is a pivotal influence in shaping the respondents' interpretations, explanations and behaviors relating to insomnia. "Work" includes such facets as the nature of one's occupation, the associated volume or amount of work required, mental demands related to work, work schedules and work-related stress. Specifically, results reveal: 1) nearly 60% of the sample identify work as a primary or perpetuating cause of their insomnia, 2) respondents often report work as influencing the nature and importance of their sleep, 3) sleep is considered a problem, and medical intervention is solicited, after work is affected, and 4) work performance is a major consideration in determining treatment efficacy and compliance.
Reformulating a link between social influence network theory and status characteristics theory and a method for testing that link.
The impact of social influence from others on choices made by subjects and how this influence accumulates was studied by secondary analysis of reported experimental data. To explain this impact a link is proposed between social influence network theory (SINT) and status characteristics theory (SCT). The link formula transforms stay probabilities for different status relationships of subject with one disagreeing other agent into horizontal axis coordinate values while stay probabilities of subject given two disagreeing others are transformed into vertical-axis coordinate values corresponding to the horizontal axis values for further analyses. The results support the utility of the proposed link between the two theories.
Social (Dis)organization and Terror related Crimes in Turkey
The primary focus of this study is to explore the relationship between structural factors of a specific society and occurrence of terror related crimes. Accordingly, the objective of this study is to examine how or to what extent social disorganization theory, which is the basic theoretical foundation of this study, can explain terrorism related crimes in Turkey. Although several previous studies investigated the social and structural dimensions of terrorism in a country, many of those studies did not go beyond investigating the impacts of traditional structural factors such as poverty, inequality, and education on terrorism. This study goes a step further by adding the mediating factors between those primary social disorganization variables and terror related crimes. Direct, indirect and, total effects of structural variables on terrorism through the mediating variables, that is prevalence of voluntary associations and religious institutions, are examined. Findings obtained from multivariate and mediation analyses show that while some structural variables such as education and poverty are directly related to distribution of terror related crimes, this relationship became indirect through the mediating variables for other structural variables such as residential mobility and unemployment. Results suggest that rather than overreliance on traditional antiterrorism strategies which are mostly depending on the public level control such as law enforcement process, programs supported by other levels of social control, that is, parochial and private levels must be encouraged.
Academic excellence and instructional expenditures in Texas.
Public school per pupil costs and demands for better performance have increased over the past several decades. While the overall per pupil expenditures have increased, the percent of the educational dollar directed toward instructional activities has remained at approximately 60%. A grass-roots movement known as the "65% Solution" caught national attention by claiming that schools are not efficiently allocating resources into areas that have the greatest link to student achievement, such as instruction. Proponents of the 65% Solution claim that per pupil expenditures can be increased by shifting funds from areas considered non-instructional to areas that directly impact student instruction, such as teachers and instructional materials. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between district Panel Recommended and Commended Performance TAKS Reading/ELA and Math results and three measurements of instructional expenditures, Instructional Staff Percent; TEA Instructional Expenditure Ratio; and the NCES Instructional Expenditure Ratio (65% Solution), in Texas public schools. Data was collected from the 2003-2004 AEIS report. Multiple regression was used to conduct the analyses. In most instances, there was little, if any, relationship between TAKS Reading/ELA and TAKS Math, and the Instructional Staff Percent (ISP), TEA Instructional Expenditure Ratio (TIER), and NCES Instructional Expenditure Ratio (NIER). However, a low to moderate relationship was discovered in the comparison of TAKS Reading/ELA, and the ISP and TIER. This result was the same for both the Panel Recommended and Commended Performance. In every instance, the ISP and TIER showed positive, statistically significant, relationships to TAKS results. The NIER, or 65% Solution, had the lowest correlation and was statistically insignificant in three out of four analyses.
El ékfrasis en la Poesía De Manual Machado
Manuel Machado is known as one of the most innovative Spanish modernist poets of the twentieth century. Despite his recognition as a literary figure in Spain, the mimetic descriptions in Machado's poetics are interpreted as mere innovations in Spanish poetry. Those mimetic descriptions are examples of ekphrasis in Spanish literature. Ekphrasis is both a literary and representational art. The mimetic dimension in Machado's poetry is ignored or misinterpreted by the critics of his poetics. This study written in Spanish investigates the use of ekphrasis in terms of Machado's poetic style. An analysis of Manuel Machado's ekphrastic poems will determine: ekphrastic poetry is a representational art; how visual and acoustic aspects of Machado's poems create enargeia; and the manifestation of ekphrasis in Spanish verse. In using Machado's poems, this project will contribute to future explorations of ekphrasis in Spanish literature.
Identity issues in Asian-American children's and adolescent literature (1999-2007).
Published research suggests that literature should transmit ethnic and societal values as well as reassure one's own confidence and self-respect. This study provides a model for examining Asian-American children's and adolescent literature critically from the perspective of identity issues. It examines fifteen award-winning Asian-American children's and adolescent titles written by writers of that culture and published in the United States from 1999 to 2007, with a focus on Chinese (Taiwanese) American, Korean American, and Japanese American books. As published studies indicate, self, social, and ethnic identities are significantly intertwined. Hence, a content analysis was conducted based on these three major groups of categories. The findings of the study demonstrate that even though the selected books cover all three aspects of the identity issues to a certain degree, a considerably greater number of depictions of ethnic identities are made over those of internal identities and social identities. Moreover, less than half of the main characters assume an active role in improving the difficult situation. Two major voids regarding the presentation of social identities are successful social integration and positive social interactions. Recommendations for teaching, writing, illustrating, publishing, and future research are suggested, including publishing more Asian-American books which present an optimistic outlook on life, active conflict-resolving behaviors, and a balance of gender among individuals with whom the main character interacts.
Socioeconomic variables associated with the reports of controlling behaviors in current relationships among abused and non-abused females.
This study examined the relationship between reports of controlling behaviors and education/income in a sample of 297 abused women and 2951 non-abused women in married or cohabitating relationships. This study confirmed that women who reported abuse were more likely to report all five of the controlling behaviors than women who did not report abuse. However, the abuse and non-abuse samples did show similar relationships between the controlling/isolating behaviors and the SES variables. This study found that the higher the respondent's or their partner's education and income, the less likely they were to report controlling/isolating behaviors. Also, the respondent's education and income had the same number of statistically significant relationships with the controlling behaviors as the partner's education and income.
Television viewing habits of Christians.
This dissertation examines possible differences in media habits and tastes between Christians and non-Christians. The study utilizes data from singles Internet personal advertisements to determine whether or not Christians, especially those with high levels of religiosity or who may be part of the Christian Right, have different television viewing patterns. Three models were developed using multivariate data analysis and logistic regression to examine Christians' television viewing habits regarding reality shows, soap operas, and news. The first model looks at the viewing habits of Christians, the second model examines the viewing habits of Christians attending religious services at least monthly, and the third model analyzes the viewing habits of Christians attending religious services at least monthly and having conservative political views. No significant differences were found in viewing habits between Christians and non-Christians for any of the three models. Although the results of this study cannot be generalized to Christians as a whole, they suggest that Christians in this sample might have adopted secular practices with regard to their television viewing habits.
An assessment of technology learning styles, skills, and perceptions among teachers of grades pre-kindergarten through four.
This study investigated whether a relationship exists between learning style and the self-reported technology-related needs, beliefs, stages of adoption, software expertise, and technology competencies of teachers in a large suburban school district. The Gregorc Style Delineator was used to identify dominant learning style, and the Snapshot Survey was used to measure technology-related needs, beliefs, stages of adoption, and software expertise. Technology competencies were measured using the Technology in Education Competency Survey. Data collected from 499 participants was included in data analysis. The study was conducted at each of the 12 elementary schools of a large suburban district in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The findings suggest that there is a significant relationship between learning style and the technology-related needs, stages of adoption, software expertise, and competencies of teachers. The relationship between learning style and technology-related needs was significant at the p < .01 level. The relationships between learning style and technology-related stages of adoption, software expertise, and technology competencies were significant at the p < .05 level. Members of the abstract sequential [AS] learning style group reported having significantly fewer needs and significantly higher stages of adoption, software expertise, and competency than members of one or more of the other learning style groups. More research is recommended to determine whether these findings could be utilized to improve teacher staff development in the area of technology. Possible applications may include mentoring programs and the customization of training models to more closely match learning style profiles.
The Big Five Personality Characteristics of World of Warcraft Players
This study is a comparative analysis of the personality characteristics of a sample of World of Warcraft players (n = 147) and a large normative sample (n = 20,993). The 120-item International Personality Item Pool, based on the five factor model, is used. Independent t-tests were conducted and statistical significance was found for some factors; however, the effect sizes were small, indicating a limited practical difference between the two groups.
Terrorism and strain: An exploratory analysis of the impact that individual strain and negative affect have on violent behavior among trained Turkish Hezbollah members.
This study attempts to explore the strains that terror organization members experience prior to the training process in the organization. The primary goal of this research is to understand the relationship between the earlier experienced strains of terrorists and their violent behaviors. In the study a Turkish Hezbollah terror organization sample (N = 144) was utilized in the frame of Agnew's (1992) general strain theory. Initially, quantitative methods, such as bivariate analysis and multivariate analysis, were utilized to identify the cumulative effect of strains on the violent behaviors of terrorists. Later, by utilizing case studies with a qualitative approach the mediating effect of negative emotions (anger, frustration, depression and fear) were identified. This study found that among Turkish Hezbollah members, prior to joining the terrorist organization, individuals who experience higher levels of strain are more likely to perform violent acts when compared to individuals who experience lower levels of strain. This study affirmed earlier studies on strain-crime relationship. Moreover, utilized case studies support that negative emotions -specifically anger- mediate between strains and violent actions. In sum, this research retests and builds on Agnew's theory and argues that general strain theory can help terrorism studies to understand the sources of strains of terrorists and the effect of strains on their violent behavior.
Ability Estimation Under Different Item Parameterization and Scoring Models
A Monte Carlo simulation study investigated the effect of scoring format, item parameterization, threshold configuration, and prior ability distribution on the accuracy of ability estimation given various IRT models. Item response data on 30 items from 1,000 examinees was simulated using known item parameters and ability estimates. The item response data sets were submitted to seven dichotomous or polytomous IRT models with different item parameterization to estimate examinee ability. The accuracy of the ability estimation for a given IRT model was assessed by the recovery rate and the root mean square errors. The results indicated that polytomous models produced more accurate ability estimates than the dichotomous models, under all combinations of research conditions, as indicated by higher recovery rates and lower root mean square errors. For the item parameterization models, the one-parameter model out-performed the two-parameter and three-parameter models under all research conditions. Among the polytomous models, the partial credit model had more accurate ability estimation than the other three polytomous models. The nominal categories model performed better than the general partial credit model and the multiple-choice model with the multiple-choice model the least accurate. The results further indicated that certain prior ability distributions had an effect on the accuracy of ability estimation; however, no clear order of accuracy among the four prior distribution groups was identified due to an interaction between prior ability distribution and threshold configuration. The recovery rate was lower when the test items had categories with unequal threshold distances, were close at one end of the ability/difficulty continuum, and were administered to a sample of examinees whose population ability distribution was skewed to the same end of the ability continuum.
Measures and Correlates of Daily Spiritual Experiences
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Although a change of religious landscape in America in recent years has been suggested and widely accepted in the social sciences, most studies tend to focus on measures of religiosity and how it is changing. The subject of spirituality and its correlates seem to be mostly ignored. This study utilizes nationally representative data generated for the first time in General Social Survey (GSS) on the subject of spirituality to measure Americans' spirituality and daily spiritual experiences and their most significant correlates. In this study, most Americans (89%) showed to have some degree of spirituality and daily spiritual experiences. Moreover, variables of gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, religious origin, and residence in conservative region when growing up shown to be significant predictors of spirituality.
Social Vulnerability and Faith in Disasters: an Investigation Into the Role of Religion in New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina
Disasters are an ever increasing phenomena in our society, resulting in many people being adversely affected. the social vulnerability paradigm explores the social, economic and political factors which contribute to certain populations being disproportionately affected by disasters. However, the paradigm has not yet begun to investigate the cultural or religious ideologies which may affect a population's behavior in disaster. This study is an exploratory investigation into whether religious ideologies may impact a person's decision to prepare, or not, in the event of a disaster. Specifically, it seeks to investigate whether a person who holds a belief that natural disasters are under God's control will prepare for the hazard? the study undertaken five years after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans show that religious ideology is closely linked with one's capacity to prepare for the hazard which is closely tied in with social structure. It may appear that a person's 'fatalistic' attitude is tied to economic inability to prepare for a hazard. This does not mean that they will not prepare but that preparation may include prayer as their initial attempt to mitigate.
A study of continuing bonds and their impact on life attitudes in parents of murdered children.
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For most of the past century, the positive outcome of grief in the West was characterized as the relinquishment of the bond to the deceased. Phrases such as "let go", "move on", and "get over it" were, and continue to be, common to the language of this pursuit. This 'breaking bonds' perspective does not take into account other means of grief resolution, nor does it consider historical or cultural findings. Consequently, reports of bereaved parents who indicate resolution of grief yet maintain a continued relationship with their deceased child were not given much attention until the 1990s. This research employed a Durkheimian approach, taking the social bond as the starting point of inquiry and examined continuing bonds of parents to their murdered children. How these bonds were related to the parents' attitudes of re-investing in life and their level of grief was measured. The relationship between the parents' level of grief and their life attitudes was also assessed. The sample consisted of 46 parents living in North Texas whose child had been murdered three or more years ago. A triangulated methodology was utilized and the data were collected by means of participant observation, unstructured interviews, and a mailed questionnaire which obtained information on continuing bonds, level of grief, life attitudes and demographic variables. Multiple regression techniques were utilized to analyze the quantitative data. Parents on the Continuing Bonds Scale reported high levels of bonds with their deceased child. Contrary to expectation, the level of continuing bonds parents maintained with their children was found to be independent of other variables in the study. The relationship between parents' level of grief and their life attitudes was inverse in that higher levels of grief were associated with lower levels of re-investing in life. The finding of the independence of the Continuing Bonds Scale indicates the parent's level of grief and life attitudes are not related to continuing bonds; the bonds exist regardless. The relationship between level of grief and life attitudes points to a crisis of meaning.
Auditors’ Information Search and Documentation: Does Knowledge of the Client Preference Or PCAOB Accountability Pressure Matter?
Auditors regularly make judgments regarding whether a client’s chosen accounting policy is appropriate and in accordance with generally accepted accounting Principles (GAAP). However, to form this judgment, auditors must either possess adequate topic-specific knowledge or must gain such knowledge through information search. This search is subject to numerous biases, including a bias toward confirmation of a client’s preference. It is important to further our understanding of bias in auditors’ information search to identify its causes and effects. Furthering our understanding is necessary to provide a basis for recommending and evaluating a potential debiaser, such as accountability. the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) annually inspects the audit files of selected engagements, which introduces a new form of accountability within the auditing profession. This new form of accountability has come at great cost, however, there is little empirical evidence regarding its effects on auditors’ processes. As such, it is important to understand whether the presence of accountability from the PCAOB is effective in modifying auditors’ search behaviors to diminish confirmation bias. Using an online experiment, I manipulate client preference (unknown vs. known) and PCAOB accountability pressure (low vs. high) and measure search type (information –focus or decision-focus), search depth (shallow or deep) and documentation quality. I investigate whether auditors’ information search behaviors differ based on knowledge of client’s preference and in the presence of accountability from an expected PCAOB inspection. I also investigate whether differences in auditors’ information search behaviors influence documentation quality, which is the outcome of greatest concern to the PCAOB. I hypothesize and find a client preference effect on information search type such that auditors with knowledge of the client preference consider guidance associated with the client’s preference longer than those without knowledge of the client’s preference. Contrary to expectations, PCAOB accountability pressure does not influence information search depth. with respect to documentation quality, I find that auditors engaged in a more information-focused search have higher documentation quality. Further, as expected, auditors who initially engage in a decision-focus and deep search have higher documentation quality than those auditors who initially engaged in a decision-focused but shallow search.
Balanced scorecards: An experimental study of the effects of linking the evaluators' and subordinates' balanced scorecards on performance evaluation.
In the early 1990s, Robert Kaplan and David Norton introduced and developed a new performance measurement and management system called the balanced scorecard (BSC). Most studies have found that evaluators tend to ignore or are not willing to use nonfinancial measures. This study attempts to examine whether the explicit linkage between the evaluator's BSC and the subordinate's BSC makes the evaluators use nonfinancial measures in performance evaluation. This study used an experimental design where subjects were asked to evaluate two managers' performance under explicit linkage versus nonexplicit linkage conditions. The difference between performance evaluation scores of the two managers under the two linkage conditions captures the influence of explicit linkage between BSCs on performance evaluation. I used regression analyses to test my hypothesis. The results of the regression analyses support my hypothesis. This study attempts to explore one possible reason for evaluators' not using nonfinancial measures much in performance evaluation. It is the first one that studies the influence of the linkage between the BSCs on performance evaluation.
The Effect of an Eight-Week Training Program upon Leg Strength and Running Speed in Middle-School-Age Boys
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of an eight-week weight training program upon leg strength and running speed of middle-school-age boys.
Does the knowledge of unaudited account balances adversely affect the performance of substantive analytical procedures?
Auditors use substantive analytical procedures to make assertions about the adequacy and appropriateness of client balances. The analytical procedure process consists of auditors creating independent account expectations and corroborating unusual fluctuations through obtaining and evaluating additional audit evidence. Prior analytical procedure research has found that knowledge of clients' unaudited account balances biases auditors' expectations towards the current year figures. However, this research has failed to examine the impact of biased expectations on the subsequent stages of analytical procedures. This dissertation assesses the full impact of biased account expectations on auditors' use of analytical procedures. I experimentally test the hypotheses of my dissertation through administering an experiment to senior level auditors. After inducing an account expectation bias that favors the client account balance in half the participants, I examine the auditors' cognitive investigation into an unusual account fluctuation. The results indicate that a biased account expectation negatively affects auditors' judgment quality. In particular, a biased expectation leads auditors to favor hypotheses and additional information that supports the proposition that the client's balance is reasonably stated. Alternatively, auditors with unbiased account expectations are more willing to consider all hypotheses and are able to identify the most pertinent additional information to the decision task. As a result of the different decision strategies employed, auditors who form unbiased account expectations are significantly more likely than auditors with biased account expectations to identify the correct relationship among the underlying data and the proposed hypotheses during a substantive analytical procedure.
Investment decisions: Influence of an Internet stock message board.
The Internet provides many sources of financial information that investors can use to help with investment decisions and in interpreting companies' accounting information. One source of information is Internet stock message boards such as those at Yahoo! Finance. This source allows for anonymous postings and information exchange. Despite the possibility of the information being incorrect many individuals visit these message boards. The purpose of this study is to investigate Internet stock message boards and address the primary question: From an individual investor perspective, do message boards, which contain accounting information, influence investment decisions? The question is addressed using psychology rumor literature and attitude theories. Message board postings are a type of rumor, since not all the information is verified and is usually intended to persuade a belief or influence a decision. Further, the messages may influence an investor by causing a change in attitude about the investment. Using an experiment, message board influence on an investment decision and attitude was tested. The results indicated that individuals that received negative message board postings did have a significantly higher change in investment amount as compared to a control group that did not receive any message postings. The positive message board group and the control group were not significantly different in their amount of investment change. The results of the study also show that message board postings influenced attitude, those that received negative (positive) postings had a negative (positive) attitude about the investment. It was further found that those with a negative (positive) attitude decreased (increased) their investment. Finally, contrary to expectations, investment experience did not lead to an individual being less influenced by message board postings. This study contributes to the accounting literature by investigating an additional source of Internet financial reporting that may or may not contain correct information. The SEC is concerned over the manipulative opportunities that are available within these message boards and many investors are exploring these new sources of information instead of relying on traditional accounting information. This study finds that negative postings have an influence on investment decision and possibly should be investigated as manipulative techniques.
Computational Studies of Coordinatively Unsaturated Transition Metal Complexes
In this research the validity of various computational techniques has been determined and applied the appropriate techniques to investigate and propose a good catalytic system for C-H bond activation and functionalization. Methane being least reactive and major component of natural gas, its activation and conversion to functionalized products is of great scientific and economic interest in pure and applied chemistry. Thus C-H activation followed by C-C/C-X functionalization became crux of the synthesis. DFT (density functional theory) methods are well suited to determine the thermodynamic as well as kinetic factors of a reaction. The obtained results are helpful to industrial catalysis and experimental chemistry with additional information: since C-X (X = halogens) bond cleavage is important in many metal catalyzed organic syntheses, the results obtained in this research helps in determining the selectivity (kinetic or thermodynamic) advantage. When C-P bond activation is considered, results from chapter 3 indicated that C-X activation barrier is lower than C-H activation barrier. The results obtained from DFT calculations not only gave a good support to the experimental results and verified the experimentally demonstrated Ni-atom transfer mechanism from Ni=E (E = CH2, NH, PH) activating complex to ethylene to form three-membered ring products but also validated the application of late transition metal complexes in respective process. Results obtained supported the argument that increase in metal coordination and electronic spin state increases catalytic activity of FeIII-imido complexes. These results not only encouraged the fact that DFT and multi-layer ONIOM methods are good to determine geometry and thermodynamics of meta-stable chemical complexes, but also gave a great support to spectroscopic calculations like NMR and Mossbauer calculations.
Computational studies of selected ruthenium catalysis reactions.
Computational techniques were employed to investigate pathways that would improve the properties and characteristics of transition metal (i.e., ruthenium) catalysts, and to explore their mechanisms. The studied catalytic pathways are particularly relevant to catalytic hydroarylation of olefins. These processes involved the +2 to +3 oxidation of ruthenium and its effect on ruthenium-carbon bond strengths, carbon-hydrogen bond activation by 1,2-addition/reductive elimination pathways appropriate to catalytic hydrogen/deuterium exchange, and the possible intermediacy of highly coordinatively unsaturated (e.g., 14-electron) ruthenium complexes in catalysis. The calculations indicate a significant decrease in the Ru-CH3 homolytic bond dissociation enthalpy for the oxidation of TpRu(CO)(NCMe)(Me) to its RuIII cation through both reactant destabilization and product stabilization. This oxidation can thus lead to the olefin polymerization observed by Gunnoe and coworkers, since weak RuIII-C bonds would afford quick access to alkyl radical species. Calculations support the experimental proposal of a mechanism for catalytic hydrogen/deuterium exchange by a RuII-OH catalyst. Furthermore, calculational investigations reveal a probable pathway for the activation of C-H bonds that involves phosphine loss, 1,2-addition to the Ru-OH bond and then reversal of these steps with deuterium to incorporate it into the substrate. The presented results offer the indication for the net addition of aromatic C-H bonds across a RuII-OH bond in a process that although thermodynamically unfavorable is kinetically accessible. Calculations support experimental proposals as to the possibility of binding of weakly coordinating ligands such as dinitrogen, methylene chloride and fluorobenzene to the "14-electron" complex [(PCP)Ru(CO)]+ in preference to the formation of agostic Ru-H-C interactions. Reactions of [(PCP)Ru(CO)(1-ClCH2Cl)][BAr'4] with N2CHPh or phenylacetylene yielded conversions that are exothermic to both terminal carbenes and vinylidenes, respectively, and then bridging isomers of these by C-C bond formation resulting from insertion into the Ru-Cipso bond of the phenyl ring of PCP. The QM/MM and DFT calculations on full complexes [(PCP)(CO)Ru=(C)0,1=CHPh]+ and on small models [(PCP')(CO)Ru=(C)0,1=CH2]+, respectively, offered data supportive of the thermodynamic feasibility of the suggested experimental mechanisms and their proposed intermediates.
Accuracy and Efficiency in Computational Chemistry: The Correlation Consistent Composite Approach
One of the central concerns of computational chemistry is that of efficiency (i.e. the development of methodologies which will yield increased accuracy of prediction without requiring additional computational resources – RAM, disk space, computing time). Though the equations of quantum mechanics are known, the solutions to these equations often require a great deal of computing power. This dissertation primarily concerns the theme of improved computational efficiency (i.e. the achievement of greater accuracy with reduced computational cost). Improvements in the efficiency of computational chemistry are explored first in terms of the correlation consistent composite approach (ccCA). The ccCA methodology was modified and this enhanced ccCA methodology was tested against the diverse G3/05 set of 454 energetic properties. As computational efficiency improves, molecules of increasing size may be studied and this dissertation explored the issues (differential correlation and size extensivity effects) associated with obtaining chemically accurate (within 1 kcal mol-1) enthalpies of formation for hydrocarbon molecules of escalating size. Two applied projects are also described; these projects concerned the theoretical prediction of a novel rare gas compound, FKrOH, and the mechanism of human glutathione synthetase’s (hGS) negative cooperativity. The final work examined the prospect for the parameterization of the modified embedded atom method (MEAM) potential using first principles calculations of dimer and trimer energies of nickel and carbon systems. This method of parameterization holds promise for increasing the accuracy of simulations for bulk properties within the field of materials science.
To Date or Not to Date? Religious and Racial Dating Choices Among Conservative Christians
This study focuses on exploring the reasons behind dating choices concerning religion and race. Studies report that race is more important than religion in choosing dating partners. Understanding religious and racial dating preferences and choices can help uncover group relations in the larger society. The present study examines the reasons why someone may be willing to date a group outside their religion but not a group outside their race. A pre-interview survey questionnaire was used to locate interview participants. The first 20 respondents who met the specific criteria of being White, single, and a conservative Christian were selected for a qualitative phone interview. To qualify, the respondents needed to be willing to date at least one group that was not Christian, but unwilling to date certain groups outside their race. The interviews were transcribed and the content was analyzed for patterns and themes using the Grounded theory. The results revealed that all the respondents except one were unwilling to date a Black individual and five were unwilling to date any race but White. The least likely to be considered as dating partners for religious groups were the Muslims and atheists. For race, many of the participants viewed Hispanics and Asians as more culturally or physically similar to them than Blacks. The main reasons why the respondents indicated they were willing to date Jewish and agnostic individuals were that they perceived them as similar to themselves in their belief systems. For both religion and race, the respondents were more willing to consider dating groups that were considered to have less stigma in society. The concept of stigma provides a framework for examining the respondents dating choices.
Layered Double Hydroxides: Morphology, Interlayer Anion, and the Origins of Life
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The preparation of layered double hydroxides via co-precipitation of a divalent/trivalent metal solution against a base results in 1 mm LDH particles with a disorganized metal lattice. Research was performed to address these morphological issues using techniques such as Ostwald ripening and precipitation via aluminate. Another interesting issue in layered double hydroxide materials is the uptake and orientation of anions into the interlayer. Questions about iron cyanide interlayer anions have been posed. Fourier transform infared spectroscopy and powder x-ray diffraction have been used to investigate these topics. It was found that factors such as orientation, anion charge, and anion structure depended on the divalent/trivalent metal ratio of the hydroxide layer and reactivity time. The cyanide self-addition reaction is an important reaction of classical prebiotic chemistry. This reaction has been shown to give rise to amino acids, purines and pyrimidines. At cyanide concentrations similar to that expected on the early earth, hydrolysis to formamide rather than self-addition occurs. One theory to alleviate this side reaction is the use of minerals or clays that are thought to concentrate and catalyze prebiotics of interest. Layered double hydroxides have been studied as a catalyst for this reaction.
Autonomic Balance and Control of Stress for Participants Identified as High or Low Hostile and as Having a Positive or No Family History of Cardiovascular Disease
The influence of autonomic activation in response to controllable versus noncontrollable stress, anger imagery induction, and relaxation imagery was studied among 80 participants between the ages of 18 and 34. Participants differed in level of trait hostility as assessed by the Irritability Subscale of The Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (Buss & Durkee,1957) and the Ho scale of the Cook-Medley Hostility Inventory (Cook & Medley, 1954). Groups were further subdivided with regards to either having a positive family history of cardiovascular disease or having no significant history. Results were obtained through analyses of electrocardiograph R-R intervals which produced an index of autonomic nervous system activation. Findings supported hypotheses involving the relations between autonomic balance and stress and hostility for the female and male populations. Among both populations, parasympathetic regulation was diminished during anger induction for individuals with high levels of trait hostility and having a family history of cardiovascular disease. Similar results were obtained for men during relaxation imagery induction.
Investigation of the Pressure Dependence of SO3 Formation
The kinetics of the pressure dependent O + SO2 + Ar reaction have been investigated using laser photolysis resonance fluorescence at temperatures of 289 K, 399 K, 581 K, 699 K, 842 K and 1040 K and at pressures from 30-665 torr. Falloff was observed for the first time in the pressure dependence. Application of Lindemann theory yielded an Arrhenius expression of k(T) = 3.3 x 10-32exp(-992/T) cm6 molecule-1 s-1 for the low pressure limit and k(T) = 8.47 x 10-14exp(-468/T) cm3 molecule-1 s-1 for the high pressure limit at temperatures between 289 and 842 K. The reaction is unusual as it possesses a positive activation energy at low temperature, yet at higher temperatures the activation energy is negative, illustrating a reaction barrier.
Metro Environmental: The impact of training HVAC technicians using the SightPros-VirTechs system for remote, wireless, Internet video assistance.
This qualitative study explored the overall impact of training HVAC technicians using the SightPros-VirTechs system for remote, wireless, internet video assistance at a small HVAC company, Metro Environmental. John Thomason, the president/co-owner developed a website and a new SightPros communication tool that allows wireless, one-on-one, just-in-time, high-quality, video-monitored instructions between an expert at one site and a technician at another site. Metro Environmental successfully used the SightPros-VirTechs system to train a new apprentice remotely. The apprentice and expert changed their normal and routine physical activities because the expert worked remotely and the apprentice worked on-site. Within just a few months, the apprentice proved competent enough to go to customer accounts without more experienced technicians nearby. The technicians express excitement about the SightPros communication tool as a way to contact remote experts whenever needed. The customer and business contacts also give good reviews and suggest other benefits. The expert permanently captures the communications so the company can use the saved video for many applications, especially training. The dissertation provides a list of recommendations to trainers/educators for similar applications.
Regional airline qualifications: A study in the marketability of higher education graduates.
The recent emergence and growth of the regional airlines in the United States has placed a strain on the supply of pilots that are needed for staffing scheduled flights. This present pilot shortage is presenting challenges for 2-year colleges and 4-year universities with aviation programs to produce more pilot graduates in less time to meet the staffing demands made by the regional airlines. With this shortage, the pressing issues of how to train and hire qualified pilots to fly technologically advanced regional airline jet aircraft have forced the industry to demand more aviation skills from a shrinking market of aviation pilot candidates. Colleges and universities with aviation programs have been forced to compete with outside private aviation schools on a larger scale in the training of collegiate students for airline employment opportunities. The primary purpose of this study was to expose any inadequacies in the higher-education aviation curricula and to propose changes needed to better qualify aviation students in the hiring process at regional air carriers. This study concentrated on the principle that higher education is necessary for advancing a pilot's aptitudes and abilities to perform the highly technical tasks of a professional pilot in a regional airline environment. The avenues of obtaining aviation experience along with flight certificates and ratings in an academic environment from 2-year colleges and 4-year universities with aviation programs is examined, along with qualifying these schools with the criteria regional airlines expects from new pilots hired. A survey was used to poll the pilots from two regional airlines that were based in Texas. By analyzing the responses from the returned surveys, the quality of training that existed in higher education aviation programs was revealed. The study confirmed the value of advising a path of higher education for students embarking on an aviation career as a pilot for a regional airline. The study concluded that 2-year colleges and 4-year universities with aviation programs are meeting the present demands made by the regional airlines.
Faculty training and professional development programs designed to impact Web-based instruction in higher education: A faculty perspective.
Web-based instruction has fast become a common component of higher education. Although such instruction began as a supplemental form of interaction, it has now become a basic aspect of many college courses and degree programs. If teacher and student are not in the same place at the same time, it becomes necessary to introduce a communications medium that will not only deliver information but also provide a channel of interaction between them. This study focused on faculty training and development programs designed to impact Web-based instruction in higher education at the five largest state-funded universities in Texas within a college of education. The instrument used in this study was developed by the research to collect data relating to faculty perception of training and development opportunities available to them at their institutions, perceptions of administrative support, and technical support. The objective was to determine if there was a relationship between these items listed above and faculty members' levels of confidence and perceptions of effectiveness when teach Web-based courses. The population consisted on 151 faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas, and Texas Tech University. This research study suggests that full-time tenure track faculty members at the five largest state-funded universities in Texas perceive that the amount of formal training they have received increases their ability to teach Web-based courses effectively and that the amount of formal training received also increases their perceived level of confidence when teaching Web-based courses. The researcher discovered similar results when faculty members were asked about their perceived level of institutional commitment and current initiatives for teaching Web-based courses.
Hiring preferences of employers of entry-level biomedical equipment technicians in Texas.
This study examined the signaling strength, or marketing power, of the most common qualifications of entry-level biomedical equipment technicians (BMETs) in Texas, based on stated hiring preferences of BMET managers, using order ranking of fictitious resumes. This study also sought to determine whether certification status, education background, military training background as a BMET, or type of employer [hospital or ISO] of the hiring manager had an effect on hiring preference for applicant qualifications of associate degree, military training as a BMET, or certified biomedical equipment technician (CBET) certification candidacy. Participants were asked to rank 16 fictitious resumes representing the most common qualifications of entry-level BMETs and to fill out a background questionnaire regarding their education, military, certification, and employer. The number of times each resume ranked in first place was tabulated and inter-rater reliability was calculated. Resumes with qualifications of associate degree versus military training as a BMET were compared at three levels of work experience. A chi-square test for independence was conducted for the comparisons to determine whether work experience influenced preference. Chi-square tests were also conducted for comparisons of associate degree with candidacy for CBET certification versus associate degree and military training with CBET candidacy versus military training. No statistically significant results were found for the chi-square tests, indicating that work experience did not significantly influence participant preferences for the compared qualifications. BMET hiring managers indicated a preference for combinations of qualifications rather than any single qualification. Correlations in hiring managers' educational background, certification status, military training as a BMET, type of employer, and preference for applicant qualifications were examined. Statistically significant correlations were found between participants' preference for associate degree or military training and level of education, military training background, and type of employer. Statistically significant correlations were also found between participants' preference of military training with CBET candidacy over military training alone and military training as a BMET background as well as certification background.
Jobs for America's Graduates: A school-to-career program.
The purpose of this study was to examine a school-to-career program created and operated by a non-profit organization called Jobs for America's Graduates, Inc. (JAG). During the school year 2003-2004, they provided this service to 12,205 students in 426 schools and 21 states. Data was collected to measure the following: (a) were they successful in helping students graduate from high school, find a career, enter postsecondary education or the military; (b) how many of the youth were still employed 12 months after graduation; and (c) did school demographic and socioeconomic factors affect JAG's performance. JAG is a 25 year old organization that works with at-risk youth to help them graduate from high school and move into gainful employment, further education or the military. They provide students with nine months of in school instruction, mentoring, career connections and 12 months of follow-up service. Data was collected by job specialists through job placement reports and 12 month follow-up reports. School demographic and socioeconomic information was collected via the Internet. This study discovered that JAG students are graduating from high school at levels well above the national rates, attaining 90% graduation rather than the average of 68% (Swanson, 2004a). A year after graduation the data revealed similar good news: 25% were enrolled in college, 5% in the military and 55% were working full time. Another interesting revelation showed that neither high school socioeconomic or demographic factor affected the high school graduation rate for JAG participants, which is contrary to most current research.
Learning Style and Preferred Mode of Delivery of Adult Learners in Web-Based, Classroom, and Blended Training
The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between adult learners' preferred learning style and preference for delivery mode. The subjects (n=61) were technical and billing support call center employees from an Internet company in Dallas, Texas. The participants were randomly assigned to one of six groups and given Kolb's Learning Style Inventory to assess their preference for learning style. They received training on three modules of &#8220;Influencing Others Positively,&#8221; with each module delivered via one of three methods (web-based, classroom, and blended). Participants were also administered two surveys. The first survey collected demographic information and asked which method that they expected they would prefer. The second survey was administered after the course and asked them to rank their preferences for delivery method. It was hypothesized that learning style would be significantly associated with preference for delivery method. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and a chi-square test of independence for the variables learning style and preferred mode of delivery. Although the chi-square test of independence did not produce statistical significance, some interesting trends were identified in the data. Specifically, a majority of the participants preferred a blended approach to training delivery (a combination of self-paced web-based training and classroom group exercises). No Divergers preferred classroom training and no Accommodators preferred web-based training. Additionally, a logistic regression analysis indicated that Assimilators were six times more likely than Divergers to prefer a blended approach to training (p=.10). Further studies should utilize other learning style theories, explore different types of learning outcomes and delivery methods, and include a larger sample from different organizations. Training needs assessments should include learning style inventories as part of the audience analysis prior to training development.
The Cherokee Language and Culture: Can Either Survive?
One of the three-fold purposes of this study is to indicate the relationship between the cultural advancements of the Cherokees and the development and implementation of a written, printable language into their culture. In fulfilling a second purposes, the study emphasizes the influence of literacy on the social values of the Cherokees. The third purpose is to consider the idea of the Cherokees themselves that bi-lingual education, first in Cherokee, then in English, and a renewed national pride and productivity in literacy could go far in solving the problems of social alienation and educational negativism that exist among un-assimilated Cherokees.
A Study of Student's Perceptions of Blended Learning Environments at a State-Supported Postsecondary Institution
The purpose of this study was to conduct exploratory research regarding students' perceptions of blended learning environments at a state supported postsecondary institution. Specifically investigated were students' overall perceptions of blended learning environments, the reasons they chose to take a blended course, and whether generational differences existed in students' affected perceptions. An electronic survey was distributed to students enrolled in blended learning courses at the end of the spring 2009 term.
Diversity Revealed: Photovoice Methodology as a Means for Understanding How Teens Construct Diversity
Through the partnership of standpoint theory and photovoice method, the present study looked at how teenagers, attending a multicultural education camp, define diversity, as well as what the participants considered to be the benefits and limitations of diversity. Standpoint theory gives the theoretical perspective to understand the marginalized voice of teenagers, while photovoice provides the tools to better capture and understand their marginalized voice. This study was situated in a professionally-developed camp, Camp CommUNITY, that emphasizes multicultural awareness amongst teens. Nine participants and 46 pictures were analyzed. Resulting from open coding, 11 categories and 6 themes were identified. Each theme and definitions of diversity are approached with a dialectical perspective, yielding to the model of dialectical dimensions of diversity. To answer Research Question 2, participants identified both benefits and limitations for photovoice method. Additional theoretical, practical, and methodological implications, limitations, and directions for future research are addressed.
A study of the relationship between work experience and occupational work ethic characteristics of baccalaureate nursing students.
The primary purpose of this study was to test the theory of experiential learning by measuring to what extent work experience predicts the work ethic characteristics of students in baccalaureate nursing programs at three regional universities in Texas, including Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Tarleton State University in Stephenville, and West Texas A&M University in Canyon. Work experience is the amount full-time or part-time on-the-job experience. Work ethic attributes are referred to as considerate, ambitious, dependable, and cooperative. Results generated in this study failed to reject the null hypotheses, which means that work experience, does not provide evidence of the ability to predict the development of work ethic characteristics in baccalaureate nursing students who participated in this research study. Knowledge generated in this study provided alternative directions for future research with respect to the relationship between work experiences and work ethic characteristics in nursing students. Such research may be useful to nursing educators and trainers in the design and delivery phases of the educational process for nurses.
Improving learner reaction, learning score, and knowledge retention through the chunking process in corporate training.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the application of the chunking process to the design and delivery of workforce training. Students in a 1-hour course (N = 110) were measured on learner reaction, learning score achievement, and knowledge retention to see whether or not chunking training in a 1-hour session into three 20-minute sessions to match adult attention span resulted in a statistically significant difference from training for 1-hour without chunking. The study utilized a repeated measures design, in which the same individuals in both the control group and experimental group took a reaction survey instrument, a posttest after the training, and again 30 days later. Independent samples t tests were used to compare the mean performance scores of the treatment group versus the control group for both sessions. Cohen's d was also computed to determine effect size. All hypotheses found a statistically significant difference between the experimental and control group.
An investigation of prior learning assessment processes in Texas public universities offering nontraditional baccalaureate degrees.
Undergraduate enrollment in colleges and universities has grown and changed drastically over the past 2 decades, with a significant portion of this growth coming from the increased number of nontraditional students who have made the decision to make their way onto college and university campuses to pursue a college degree. Due to these changes, many institutions of higher education have had to rethink the way they have historically operated. In an attempt to better meet the needs and demands of adult nontraditional students, colleges and universities have reviewed their existing programs and instituted programs that allow for the awarding of academic credit for prior learning. For those institutions of higher education involved in the prior learning assessment (PLA) process and interested in providing a quality program, an increased emphasis and focus should be on the importance of determining what a learning activity is, and more importantly, what constitutes college-level learning. This study focused on the identification and profiling of prior learning assessment (PLA) processes in Texas public universities offering nontraditional baccalaureate degree programs, the identification of commonalties among such programs, and the determination of program quality based on established standards. The instrument utilized in this study was designed on Urban Whitaker's 10 Standards of Good Practice. The population consisted of those public institutions of higher education in Texas that offer the Texas CIP code 30.9999.40 - Applied Arts and Sciences - baccalaureate degree. A within-stage mixed-model methodology was used. Open-ended questions were used to strengthen the data obtained from the quantitative portion. This research study suggests that, although there are similarities with regards to the types of PLA processes used in the awarding of PLA credit, many of the organizations could benefit from an evaluation of their current policies, procedures, and/or common practices related to the process of awarding credit via prior learning assessment as they relate to overall quality.
The effects of a career education program on the career choices of fifth-grade students.
The career development of students, demonstrated by students' career interest, is important for a more effective career education program. This study focused on the career choices of fifth grade students through the use of a career interest inventory before and after the use of a career education program. The design was experimental, and the purpose was to determine if there were differences in the career interest of fifth grade students who participated in a career education program compared with the career interest of fifth grade students who did not participate in a career education program. The COPS-PIC Picture Inventory of Careers (COPS-PIC) was used as a pretest and posttest for fifth grade students to determine baseline career interests. The COPS-PIC career inventory results were incorporated into the career education program and served as a career planning guide for incorporating students' input into career choices and exploration of those choices for a better understanding of the process of finding out who they want to be and what type of careers exists. The experimental group was provided instruction and career exploration opportunities for 4 weeks. The control group was not provided career education instruction and career exploration opportunities. This study suggests that fifth grade students who participated in a career education program were able to make more concentrated career choices at higher levels of interest after participating in the career education program. Additional studies that include the use of career interest inventories and a career education program are needed before extensive generalizations can be made.
Equivalency of paper-pencil tests and computer-administered tests.
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Are computer-administered versions of a multiple choice paper-pencil test equivalent? This study determined whether there were any significant differences between taking a traditional pencil-paper test and taking the same test using a computer. The literature has shown that there are intervening variables that have caused differences when not controlled. To prove equivalency between test modes, scores have to have similar means, dispersions, and shapes; the ranked-order of the scores must also be similar. Four tests were given over the course of a 16-week semester. The sample was divided, half taking paper-pencil tests and half taking the same test administered by a computer. The mode of administration was switched with each test administration. The analysis showed that, when the intervening variables were controlled, the two modes of administration were equivalent. The analysis used a 2x4 ANOVA, which showed no difference between test modes, but showed that each test administration was significantly different. The Levene statistic was used to test whether dispersions were equivalent and confidence intervals were established to test the kurtosis and skewness statistics. Finally, each of the test scores were transformed into their Normal Curve Equivalents so that Pearson's coefficient could be used to determine the equivalency of the ranked-orders.