UNT Theses and Dissertations - 280 Matching Results

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An 8-Step Program: Shaping and Fixed-Time Food Delivery Effects on Several Approximations and Undesired Responses in Goats.

Description: This study investigated the effects of a shaping program for halter training across 8 steps in the program and 4 trial-terminating, or "undesirable," responses. Three La Mancha goats (Capra hircus) located at the Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville, Texas were used for the study. A fixed-time 15 s (FT-15 s) was used during the baseline conditions, to examine the effects of response contingent and response-independent food deliveries, as well as to examine what preliminary steps might not necessarily have to be shaped. All 3 goats successfully learned to allow the halter to be placed on them and to lead on the halter, although 2 of the 3 goats required an additional task analysis for the fifth step to further break down that approximation. Several of the early steps selected by the researchers were not necessary to complete the program, as determined by the baseline condition.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Fernandez, Eduardo J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Accessing Information on the World Wide Web: Predicting Usage Based on Involvement

Description: Advice for Web designers often includes an admonition to use short, scannable, bullet-pointed text, reflecting the common belief that browsing the Web most often involves scanning rather than reading. Literature from several disciplines focuses on the myriad combinations of factors related to online reading but studies of the users' interests and motivations appear to offer a more promising avenue for understanding how users utilize information on Web pages. This study utilized the modified Personal Involvement Inventory (PII), a ten-item instrument used primarily in the marketing and advertising fields, to measure interest and motivation toward a topic presented on the Web. Two sites were constructed from Reader's Digest Association, Inc. online articles and a program written to track students' use of the site. Behavior was measured by the initial choice of short versus longer versions of the main page, the number of pages visited and the amount of time spent on the site. Data were gathered from students at a small, private university in the southwest part of the United States to answer six hypotheses which posited that subjects with higher involvement in a topic presented on the Web and a more positive attitude toward the Web would tend to select the longer text version, visit more pages, and spend more time on the site. While attitude toward the Web did not correlate significantly with any of the behavioral factors, the level of involvement was associated with the use of the sites in two of three hypotheses, but only partially in the manner hypothesized. Increased involvement with a Web topic did correlate with the choice of a longer, more detailed initial Web page, but was inversely related to the number of pages viewed so that the higher the involvement, the fewer pages visited. An additional indicator of usage, the average amount ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Langford, James David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Acculturative Processes and Their Impact on Self-Reports of Psychological Distress in Mexican-American Adolescents

Description: The current study examined the effects of acculturative processes on the self-report of behavioral problems in Hispanic children ages 11-14. Acculturation was measured by the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II (ARSMA-II) (ã Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, www.sagepub.com) (Cuellar, Arnold, and Maldonado, 1995) and the self-report of behavioral symptoms was assessed using the Youth Self-Report (ã T.M. Achenbach, Burlington, VT, www.aseba.com) (Achenbach, 1991). It was hypothesized that while both the linear and orthogonal categories of acculturation would account for a significant proportion of the variance in behavior problems in this age group, the orthogonal model would account for a larger proportion of variance due to its multidimensional nature. As well, it was hypothesized that the experimental Marginalization scales of the ARSMA-II would be predictive of behavioral problems. Multivariate analysis of variance was used to test these hypotheses and results were non-significant for the linear, orthogonal, and marginalization categories. The effects of the ethnic/cultural homogeneity of the region from which the sample was drawn, the buffering of social support, and the developmental aspects of ethnic identity are discussed as factors which may have influenced the potential impact of acculturative stress on psychological and behavioral functioning.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Garrison, Lance A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Approach to the Critical Evaluation of Settings of the Poetry of Walt Whitman: Lowell Liebermann's Symphony No. 2

Description: Walt Whitman's poetry continues to inspire composers of choral music, and the growing collection of musical settings necessitates development of a standard evaluative tool. Critical evaluation of the musical settings of Whitman's work is difficult because the extensive body of verse is complex and of uneven quality, and lack of common text among compositions makes comparison problematical. The diversity of musical styles involved further complicates the issue. Previous studies have focused on either ideology or style, but none have united the two critical approaches, thus restricting potential for deeper understanding of the music. This study proposes an approach to critical evaluation of Whitman settings that applies hermeneutics, or a blend of analysis and criticism, to the process. The hermeneutic approach includes an examination of the interrelationship between musical form and style and the composer's ideology, which is revealed through his/her treatment of Whitman's poetry and analyzed in light of cultural influences. Lowell Liebermann (b. 1961) has composed a large scale choral/orchestral setting of Whitman texts in his Symphony No. 2, opus 67 (1999). The selection, placement, and treatment of poetry in Symphony No. 2 provide a window into the composer's mind and his place in the current musical climate. Liebermann's setting reveals his interest in Whitman's search for spirituality and the human spirit's transcendence over time and space. His understanding of Whitman is filtered through a postmodern cynicism, which he seeks to remedy with his nostalgic neo-Romantic style. Chapter One provides an introduction to Whitman's life and examination of his poetry's themes, style, and reception. Chapter Two outlines issues relevant to criticism of Whitman settings and proposes an approach to critical analysis. Chapter Three applies the critical method to Liebermann's Second Symphony, drawing conclusions about its place in contemporary culture.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Kenaston, Karen S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Benefits of Adult Piano Study as Self-Reported by Selected Adult Piano Students.

Description: The purpose of this study was to assess the benefits that selected adult piano students reported receiving from their study. Adult piano students (N = 711) from 24 states representing all geographic regions of the U.S. each completed a questionnaire containing 31 individual benefit items. These benefits were organized into 3 categories: Personal, Skill, and Social/Cultural. The demographic characteristics of the study population were consistent with the findings of other adult music research. Students indicated the existence (yes or no) of each benefit and rated the importance of existing benefits on a scale of 1-10. The category of Skill Benefits was the most agreed upon and highest rated category in the study, with over 90% agreement for each of the 7 Skill Benefits. The 14 Personal Benefits were also rated highly, particularly benefits related to self-actualization and fun. Self-related Personal Benefits were rated moderately, while more introverted Personal Benefits such as Imagination/Creativity, Spirituality, and Aesthetic Appreciation were lower rated benefits. The 10 Social/Cultural benefits were the lowest rated and least important benefits in the study. The most agreed upon benefits were Skill Improvement, Musical Knowledge, Musicianship, Accomplishment, Skill Refinement, Technique, Play/Fun, Escape from Routine, and Music Listening. The highest rated benefits in terms of importance were Dream Fulfilled, Technique, Accomplishment, Escape from Routine, Skill Improvement, Musicianship, Musical Knowledge, Play/Fun, Skill Refinement, and Personal Growth.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Jutras, Peter J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Candidates' Perception of Training and Self-Efficacy in Traditional and Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs.

Description: This research was encouraged by the tremendous demand for teachers. Two million new teachers will be needed in the United States over the next decade. The teacher shortage has school administration, school boards, education agencies, and institutions of higher education investigating how to train and retain more teachers. Alternative certification programs have been developed to address the teacher shortage. This study examined the effectiveness of traditionally and alternatively certified teachers in two separate programs with regard to their self-efficacy, perception of their training, and their ExCET scores. Traditional candidates (10) and alternative candidates (74) were examined using survey research. According to this data on self-efficacy, perception of training, and ExCET passing rates, there is no significant difference between those teachers who receive traditional training and those who are trained in alternative certification programs.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Thompson, Tierney M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Case Study of Characteristics and Means of Person-to-Person Influence in American Kodály Music Education: Katinka Scipiades Dániel

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics and means of Katinka Dániel's interpersonal influences through the perceptions of 20 selected students, protégés, and colleagues, and to study the behavioral and attitudinal changes they attributed to her influence. A case study design and structured interview questionnaire were used to study four variables coming from the social sciences' literature on influence: legitimate authority, attractiveness, expert authority, and trustworthiness. Responses were qualitatively analyzed to determine the role those variables played in Dániel's interpersonal influence. All interviewees were music teachers who used the Kodály method in their teaching and have studied or worked with Dániel. Two images of Dániel emerged from the interviews. The first, a business-like image, emanated from Dániel's work in the classroom, and the second, a maternal image, came from personal relationships with her students and associates. Attractiveness (defined as a willingness to respond positively to the requests of an influential person because one respects that individual and wants to obtain that person's approval) proved to be the principal characteristic of influence, followed by legitimate authority, then expertise. Trustworthiness played a lesser role. The greatest effect of Dániel's influence was on the interviewees' teaching. Among the factors interviewees described as influential were her expectation they would succeed, her position as role model, praise and encouragement, and gestures of generosity and concern. Interviewees were not in agreement as to whether she used persuasion or coercion. Direct verbal communication served a principal role in Dániel's influence, and though her criticism was described as forthright and bluntly honest, interviewees often accepted it. This was because most believed she was focused on their best interest, because her motives were not considered self-serving, and because they saw the reasons for her criticism as stemming from her high ideals and the desire to see ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Ferrell, Janice René
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characterization of Iron Oxide Deposits Formed at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station

Description: The presence of deposits leading to corrosion of the steam generator (SG) systems is a major contributor to operation and maintenance cost of pressurized water reactor (PWR) plants. Formation and transport of corrosion products formed due to the presence of impurities, metallic oxides and cations in the secondary side of the SG units result in formation of deposits. This research deals with the characterization of deposit samples collected from the two SG units (unit 1 and unit 2) at Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station (CPSES). X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometry (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) techniques have been used for studying the compositional and structural properties of iron oxides formed in the secondary side of unit 1 and unit 2. Magnetite (Fe3O4) was found to be predominant in samples from unit 1 and maghemite (g-Fe2O3) was found to be the dominant phase in case of unit 2. An attempt has been made to customize FTIR technique for analyzing different iron oxide phases present in the deposits of PWR-SG systems.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Namduri, Haritha
Partner: UNT Libraries

Coaching Behavior Preferences of Interscholastic Athletes

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine whether coaching behavior preferences of interscholastic athletes differ as a function of gender and type of sport. The Coaching Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ; Martin & Barnes, 1999) was administered to 372 interscholastic athletes. The mean scores of the participants' responses to each subscale on the CBQ were the dependent variables and gender and type of sport were the independent variables. Descriptive statistics revealed that female and male interscholastic athletes who perform on coactive, mixed, and interactive sport teams preferred coaches who engage in supportive and instructional behaviors, as opposed to non-responses or negative responses. A 2 (Gender) X 3 (Type of Sport) MANOVA and discriminant function analyses indicated that gender and the degree of interdependency between group members affects preferred coaching behavior. Thus, coaches should consider situational factors and personal characteristics when working with interscholastic athletes.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Kravig, Seth Dayton
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparative Analysis of Management and Employee Job Satisfaction and Policy Perceptions.

Description: The purpose of the study was to investigate the perceptions of job satisfaction as defined by management and nonmanagement employees and to compare both parties' perceptions of organizational benefits to a list prepared by the organization's benefit personnel. Turnover is costly to the organization, both in money and in the impact it has on those individuals remaining with the organization. Every effort should be undertaken to reduce the amount of turnover within the organization. A contributing factor leading to turnover may be a gap between what the employees believe is important to them and what management believes is important to the employees. The boundaries of the gap need to be identified before any effort can be made to reduce or bridge the gap. Once the boundaries are identified, policies can be analyzed and the possibility of reducing the gap investigated. Management as a whole must be aware of the needs and wants of their employees before any attempt to develop a retention strategy is undertaken. This knowledge can be acquired only through two-way communication with the employee. The communication process includes the simple process of asking employees for this information and then listening to how they respond. This study suggests that little difference exists in perception of job satisfaction importance for gender, age group, length of time with the organization, topic training hours, and between management and nonmanagement employees. However, perception gaps exist between the job satisfaction items addressed by organizational policies and procedures and those perceived by employees. Additional studies that include a number of varied organizations are needed before extensive generalizations can be made.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Andrews, Charles G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of Skill Level of Parents Trained in the Landreth Filial Therapy Model and Graduate Students Trained in Play Therapy

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine if parents trained in the Landreth Filial Therapy Model could demonstrate child-centered play therapy skills as effectively as graduate play therapy students who completed an Introduction to Play Therapy course. The participants in both the parent group and the graduate student group were videotaped in play sessions with children pre- and post-training in order to measure change in adult empathic behavior as defined on the Measurement of Empathy in Adult-Child Interaction (MEACI). The specific skills measured in this study were (a) communicating acceptance to the child, (b) allowing the child to direct his or her own play during the play sessions, (c) demonstrating appropriate levels of involvement in the child's play, and (d) demonstrating empathic behavior toward the child. The Landreth Filial Therapy Model is a training system that utilizes both didactic and dynamic means to train parents and other paraprofessionals to be therapeutic agents of change with children. Parents are taught child-centered play therapy skills to use in weekly home play sessions with their children in order to strengthen the emotional bond between parent and child. The Introduction to Play Therapy course is a graduate-level counseling course at the University of North Texas taught by Dr. Garry Landreth. The course focuses on the philosophy, theory, and skills of child-centered play therapy. Students enrolled in this course typically plan to use play therapy in professional settings. The filial-trained parent group (n = 21) consisted of the experimental group of single parents from Bratton and Landreth's (1995) study, Filial Therapy with Single Parents, Effects of Parental Acceptance, Empathy and Stress. The parents met for weekly 2-hour filial therapy sessions over the course of 10 weeks and conducted six or seven 30-minute play sessions at home with their child-of-focus. The graduate student group (n ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Elling, Roseanne Paul
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparisons of Improvement-Over-Chance Effect Sizes for Two Groups Under Variance Heterogeneity and Prior Probabilities

Description: The distributional properties of improvement-over-chance, I, effect sizes derived from linear and quadratic predictive discriminant analysis (PDA) and from logistic regression analysis (LRA) for the two-group univariate classification were examined. Data were generated under varying levels of four data conditions: population separation, variance pattern, sample size, and prior probabilities. None of the indices provided acceptable estimates of effect for all the conditions examined. There were only a small number of conditions under which both accuracy and precision were acceptable. The results indicate that the decision of which method to choose is primarily determined by variance pattern and prior probabilities. Under variance homogeneity, any of the methods may be recommended. However, LRA is recommended when priors are equal or extreme and linear PDA is recommended when priors are moderate. Under variance heterogeneity, selecting a recommended method is more complex. In many cases, more than one method could be used appropriately.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Alexander, Erika D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Complexity as a Form of Transition From Dynamics to Thermodynamics: Application to Sociological and Biological Processes.

Description: This dissertation addresses the delicate problem of establishing the statistical mechanical foundation of complex processes. These processes are characterized by a delicate balance of randomness and order, and a correct paradigm for them seems to be the concept of sporadic randomness. First of all, we have studied if it is possible to establish a foundation of these processes on the basis of a generalized version of thermodynamics, of non-extensive nature. A detailed account of this attempt is reported in Ignaccolo and Grigolini (2001), which shows that this approach leads to inconsistencies. It is shown that there is no need to generalize the Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy by means of a non-extensive indicator, and that the anomaly of these processes does not rest on their non-extensive nature, but rather in the fact that the process of transition from dynamics to thermodynamics, this being still extensive, occurs in an exceptionally extended time scale. Even, when the invariant distribution exists, the time necessary to reach the thermodynamic scaling regime is infinite. In the case where no invariant distribution exists, the complex system lives forever in a condition intermediate between dynamics and thermodynamics. This discovery has made it possible to create a new method of analysis of non-stationary time series which is currently applied to problems of sociological and physiological interest.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Ignaccolo, Massimiliano
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Concept of Dignity in the Early Science Fiction Novels of Kurt Vonnegut.

Description: Kurt Vonnegut's early science fiction novels depict societies and characters that, as in the real world, have become callous and downtrodden. These works use supercomputers, aliens, and space travel, often in a comical manner, to demonstrate that the future, unless people change their concepts of humanity, will not be the paradise of advanced technology and human harmony that some may expect. In fact, Vonnegut suggests that the human condition may gradually worsen if people continue to look further and further into the universe for happiness and purpose. To Vonnegut, the key to happiness is dignity, and this key is to be found within ourselves, not without.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Dye, Scott Allen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Construct Validity of Psychopathy in Mentally Disordered Offenders: A Multi-trait Multi-method Approach

Description: Psychopathy continues to receive increased attention due to the negative outcomes, including recidivism, violence, and poor treatment amenability. Despite the vast amount of attention psychopathy has received, research on its applications to mentally disordered offenders remains sparse. The current study explored the relationship between psychopathy, depression, anxiety, and psychotic disorders. It also investigated the comparative fits of two and three-factor models of the PCL-R with mentally disordered offenders. Participants consisted of 96 inmates placed in the mental health pod at Tarrant County Jail. A Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) with testlets found the three-factor PCL-R model had excellent fit (Robust Comparative Fit Index = 1.00). Psychopathy was found to be a construct independent of mental disorders. Two exceptions were (a) a modest correlation between anxiety and Impulsive and the Irresponsible Lifestyle factor of the PCL-R (r = 0.20) and (b) a modest negative correlation between Deficient Affective Experience of the PCL-R and mania (r = -.37). Based on the current data, treatment programs for mentally disordered offenders are suggested that focus on both behavioral and personality aspects of psychopathy.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Vitacco, Michael J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Czech Republic's Transition: The Environment and Human Rights

Description: This exploratory case study considers the Czech Republic from 1993 thru 2002 by examining two links: first, between transition and the environment.; second, between the environment and human rights. The study examines data from the Czech Ministry of Environment, the European Union, the World Bank, and Freedom House. The purpose of this study is to better understand the Czech Republic and to generate hypotheses that might be used in future cross-national studies. Chapter III provides the underlying theory linking the environment and human rights. Chapters IV, V, and VI discuss the data and the two links and suggest hypotheses for future research. Chapter VII draws conclusions about states in transition, the environment, and human rights and encourages future integrative research.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Buck, Ryan D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Damned Good Daughter.

Description: My dissertation is a memoir based on my childhood experiences growing up with a mentally ill mother. She exhibited violence both passive and aggressive, and the memoir explores my relationship with her and my relationship with the world through her. "Damned Good Daughter" developed with my interest in creative nonfiction as a genre. I came to it after studying poetry, discovering that creative nonfiction offers a form that accommodates both the lyric impulse in poetry and the shaping impulse of story in fiction. In addition, the genre makes a place for the first person I in relation to the order and meaning of a life story. Using reverse chronology, my story begins with the present and regresses toward childhood, revealing the way life experiences with a mentally ill parent build on one another.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Yeatts, Karen Rachel
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Descriptive Study of the Intelligence Community in the United States of America

Description: This treatise represents a descriptive study of the intelligence community in the United States. It explores the ramifications of terrorism on the intelligence function, post September 11, 2001. In-depth discussions concerning the structure of the U.S. intelligence community are presented as well as a focus on the defined steps of the intelligence process: planning and directions, collection, analysis, production, and dissemination. The final aspect of this study poses questions and issues relating to the restructuring of the U.S. intelligence community in light of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Ucak, Hursit
Partner: UNT Libraries

Developmental Patterns of Metabolism and Hematology in the Late Stage Chicken Embryo (Gallus Domesticus) at Two Incubation Temperatures.

Description: How temperature affects physiological development in the chicken embryo is unknown. Embryos incubated at 38°C or 35°C showed no difference in growth or survival. The time to hatching was longer in 35°C than 38°C embryos (23.7 vs. 20.6 days), but unaffected was the relative timing of appearance of developmental landmarks (internal, external pipping). At stage 43-44, 38°C embryos maintained oxygen consumption around 1 mL/g/h despite acute temperature reduction (suggesting thermoregulatory maturation), unlike 35°C embryos. In 35°C embryos the lower oxygen-carrying capacity and temperature insensitive blood O2 affinity (P50 about 30 mmHg) may restrict O2 delivery to tissues, limiting metabolism during decreased ambient temperature. Reduced incubation temperature retards normal hematological and thermoregulatory development.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Black, Juli
Partner: UNT Libraries

Dimensional Assessment of Empowerment in Organizations

Description: This research project was inspired by a survey that was designed to help an organization determine how well it was doing in its efforts to empower associates and achieve a goal of continuous improvement. Initial review of the survey created suspicion that the survey was not built around the appropriate dimensions to accurately measure the level of empowerment in organizations. As such, the survey was psychometrically analyzed to determine the validity of the instrument as a measure of empowerment. Additionally, an extensive review of the literature was performed to determine new dimensions that would most accurately measure empowerment. Eight dimensions (culture, trust, accountability, leadership, ability, commitment, responsibility, and communication) were put forth as the most appropriate to measure empowerment. Subject matter experts with knowledge and experience in the area of organizational empowerment reviewed the new dimensions for accuracy and fit with the original survey items.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Bodner, Sarah L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Divine and the Everyday Devil (Short Stories)

Description: Divine and the Everyday Devil contains a scholarly preface that discusses the experiences and literary works that influenced the author's writing with special attention in regards to spirituality and sexuality. The preface is followed by six original short stories. "Evil" is a work addressing a modern conception of evil. "Eschatology" concerns a man facing his own mortality. "The Gospel of Peter" tells the story of a husband grappling with his wife's religious beliefs. "The Mechanics of Projects" relates the experiences of a woman looking for love in Mexico. "The Rocky Normal Show" involves a husband growing apart from his wife and "Mutant: An Origin Story" is about a teenager trying to find his own unique identity.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Burks, T. Stephen
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Domestic Politics of Entering International Communities: An Exploratory Analysis

Description: In the last thirty years, there has been a significant increase in the globalization process, or as other refer to it, the internationalization, free trade, or liberalization. This trend was reflected in the increasing number of newly formed international organization (economic and security) as well as in the increased membership in the already existing ones. The evidence of this trend has been particularly visible since the end of the Cold War, when the race of the Eastern European countries to enter international organizations has been as competitive as ever. Nonetheless, a number of countries, upon careful evaluation and consideration of membership, has opted out of the opportunity to enter such international agreements. The question that this paper addresses is how do countries decided whether to enter or not international organizations? In other words, what elements, processes, and motives lie behind the decision of countries to commit to a new membership? Most of the studies that have addressed this topic have done so from an international perspective as they addressed the politics between countries, as well as the costs and benefits in terms of power, sovereignty, and national income once in the organizations. This paper, on the other hand, approaches the issue from a comparative perspective, both economic and political. It attempts to answer the research question by looking at the domestic sources of decision -making and how they influence this decision. Namely, a decision to become more open to trade has several implications for a country, depending on its size, and already established trade openness, among other factors. The impact of increased openness will most seriously affect the domestic players, both negatively and positively. Thus, in considering the impact that the policy could have on their welfare, players align their interests in order to express their preferences on the issue ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Radin, Dagmar
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Dynamic Foundation of Fractal Operators.

Description: The fractal operators discussed in this dissertation are introduced in the form originally proposed in an earlier book of the candidate, which proves to be very convenient for physicists, due to its heuristic and intuitive nature. This dissertation proves that these fractal operators are the most convenient tools to address a number of problems in condensed matter, in accordance with the point of view of many other authors, and with the earlier book of the candidate. The microscopic foundation of the fractal calculus on the basis of either classical or quantum mechanics is still unknown, and the second part of this dissertation aims at this important task. This dissertation proves that the adoption of a master equation approach, and so of probabilistic as well as dynamical argument yields a satisfactory solution of the problem, as shown in a work by the candidate already published. At the same time, this dissertation shows that the foundation of Levy statistics is compatible with ordinary statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. The problem of the connection with the Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy is a delicate problem that, however, can be successfully solved. The derivation from a microscopic Liouville-like approach based on densities, however, is shown to be impossible. This dissertation, in fact, establishes the existence of a striking conflict between densities and trajectories. The third part of this dissertation is devoted to establishing the consequences of the conflict between trajectories and densities in quantum mechanics, and triggers a search for the experimental assessment of spontaneous wave-function collapses. The research work of this dissertation has been the object of several papers and two books.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Bologna, Mauro
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of a Laboratory-based, In-context, Constructivist Teaching Approach on Preservice Teachers' Science Knowledge and Teaching Efficacy.

Description: This study began with a concern about elementary teachers, as a whole, avoiding the teaching of science in the elementary classroom. The three main factors noted as reasons for this avoidance were: (1) minimum science requirements to reach certification, leading to a lack of preparedness; (2) lack of exposure to science in elementary school; and (3) general dislike for and understanding of science leading to a low self-efficacy in science teaching. The goal of the Environmental Science Lab for Elementary Educators (ESLEE) was to conduct an intervention. The intervention was lab-based and utilized in-context, constructivist approaches to positively influence participants' abilities to retain science content knowledge and to affect their belief in themselves as teachers. This intervention was created to respond to all three of the main avoidance factors noted above. The research utilized a quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest control group design. Two pretests and two posttests (science teaching efficacy and content knowledge) were given to all 1,100 environmental science lab students at the participating institution over two long semesters. Three experimental/control groups were formed from this population. The Experimental Group was comprised of 46 students who participated in the ESLEE Intervention. Control Group 1 was comprised of 232 self-described preservice educators (SDPEEs) in "regular" labs. Control Group 2 was comprised of 62 nonSDPEEs taught by ESLEE instructors in "regular" lab settings. A DM MANOVA was used to analyze the data. The results demonstrated that the ESLEE Intervention was statistically significant at the p> .05 level for science teaching efficacy between the Experimental Group and Control Group 1, and was statistically significant for both content knowledge and efficacy between the Experimental Group and Control Group 2. More notably, the effect size (delta) results ranged from .19 to .71 and .06 to .55 (partial eta squared) and demonstrated the practical significance of implementing ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Thompson, Ruthanne
Partner: UNT Libraries