UNT Libraries - Browse


Ability Estimation Under Different Item Parameterization and Scoring Models

Description: 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.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Si, Ching-Fung B.

Adolescent Psychopathy in an Adjudicated Male Population: The Role of Sensation Seeking, Impulsivity, and Externalizing Disorders

Description: Psychopathy, as conceptualized by Cleckley (1941), describes a constellation of psychological and behavioral correlates including superficial charm, untruthfulness, lack of remorse or shame, poor judgment, and failure to learn from experience. Based on Cleckley's initial work, Hare (1991) developed a two-factor model of psychopathy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles that sensation seeking, impulsivity, ADHD, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder have on adolescents classified as psychopaths. The participants consisted of 79 adjudicated male adolescents in a maximum-security facility. As hypothesized, adolescent male psychopaths had higher levels of sensation seeking, impulsivity, conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. A discriminant function analysis found that sensation seeking, impulsivity, ADHD, Conduct Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder was moderately useful in classifying adolescent psychopathy. The results suggest that behavioral dysregulation is an important aspect of adolescent psychopathy. The relationship of these data to theories of adolescent psychopathy is discussed.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Vitacco, Michael J.

Alcohol and Other Drugs: Attitudes and Use Among Graduate/Professional Students at a Health Science Center

Description: Alcohol and other drug use continue to be a major issue on college and university campuses. Few studies have examined alcohol and other drug related issues for a graduate or professional student population. This study examines attitudes, incidents, and consequences of alcohol and other drug use among students enrolled at an academic heath science center. This study incorporated a descriptive research design and utilized the CORE Alcohol and Drug Survey for the collection of data. The data were then analyzed using descriptive statistics and represented in tables as frequencies and percentages. The survey was mailed to all students enrolled in didactic course work at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) during the fall 2001 semester. This included master's students in physician assistant studies, master's and doctoral students in the biomedical sciences, master's and doctoral students in public health, as well as first and second year medical students. Of the 565 students enrolled in didactic course work, 321 responded to the survey for a return rate of 56.8 %. Statistically significant findings are reported for students at UNTHSC in relation to perceptions of use, actual use, reasons for use, and consequences for use. Similar findings are shown relative to age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, and academic program. Additionally, the UNTHSC students reported statistically significant lower levels of alcohol and drug use, as well as consequences of use than the students represented in the CORE Institutes 2000 national data set. This study identifies the need to investigate alcohol and drug related attitudes, behaviors, and consequences among students studying for professions in health related fields. However, the findings are only relevant to UNTHSC and cannot be generalized to any other population. The study provides personnel at UNTHSC a guide for the development of prevention and intervention programs.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Moorman, Mark Thomas

An Analysis of Periodic Rhythmic Structures in the Music of Steve Reich and György Ligeti

Description: The compositions of Steve Reich and György Ligeti both contain periodic rhythmic structures. Although periods are not usually easily perceived, the listener may perceive their combinations in a hierarchy of rhythmic structures. This document is an attempt to develop an analytical method that can account for this hierarchy in periodic music. I begin with an overview of the features of Reich's and Ligeti's music that contribute to the property of periodicity. I follow with a discussion of the music and writings of Olivier Messiaen as a precedent for the periodic structures in the music of Reich and Ligeti. I continue by consulting the writings of the Israeli musicologist Simha Arom and describing the usefulness of his ideas and terminology in the development of my method. I explain the working process and terminology of the analytical method, and then I apply it to Reich's Six Pianos and Ligeti's Désordre.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Isgitt, David

Analysis Of Sequential Barycenter Random Probability Measures via Discrete Constructions

Description: Hill and Monticino (1998) introduced a constructive method for generating random probability measures with a prescribed mean or distribution on the mean. The method involves sequentially generating an array of barycenters that uniquely defines a probability measure. This work analyzes statistical properties of the measures generated by sequential barycenter array constructions. Specifically, this work addresses how changing the base measures of the construction affects the statististics of measures generated by the SBA construction. A relationship between statistics associated with a finite level version of the SBA construction and the full construction is developed. Monte Carlo statistical experiments are used to simulate the effect changing base measures has on the statistics associated with the finite level construction.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Valdes, LeRoy I.

An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Computer Assisted Instruction in General Chemistry at an Urban University.

Description: The science-major General Chemistry sequence offered at the University of Houston has been investigated with respect to the effectiveness of recent incorporation of various levels of computer technology. As part of this investigation, questionnaire responses, student evaluations and grade averages and distributions from up to the last ten years have been analyzed and compared. Increased use of web-based material is both popular and effective, particularly with respect to providing extra information and supplemental questions. Instructor contact via e-mail is also well-received. Both uses of technology should be encouraged. In contrast, electronic classroom presentation is less popular. While initial use may lead to improved grades and retention, these levels decrease quickly, possibly due to a reduction in instructor spontaneity.
Date: May 2002
Creator: McGuffey, Angela

And Drops of Rain Fall Like Tears: A Composition for Electroacoustic Music and Video

Description: And Drops of Rain Fall Like Tears is a composition for electroacoustic music with an optional ambient video component. The composition consists of a single movement electroacoustic work twenty-two minutes in duration. The piece creates an immersive sonic environment within the confines of a typical concert space, thereby recreating the powerful temper and subtle beauty of nature from different sonic perspectives. The paper is divided into four chapters, each discussing an element of the piece in detail. The introduction presents background information and compositional approach for the composition. Chapters 1 through 4 present detailed information related to the creation of both the electroacoustic music and video elements of the piece. Chapter 4 contains relevant information to the performance of the piece.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Thompson, Michael Allen

An Annotated Bibliography of Mobile Agents in Networks

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to present a comprehensive colligation of applications of mobile agents in networks, and provide a baseline association of these systems. This work has been motivated by the fact that mobile agent systems have been deemed proficuous alternatives in system applications. Several mobile agent systems have been developed to provide scalable and cogent solutions in network-centric applications. This thesis examines some existing mobile agent systems in core networking areas, in particular, those of network and resource management, routing, and the provision of fault tolerance and security. The inherent features of these systems are discussed with respect to their specific functionalities. The applicability and efficacy of mobile agents are further considered in the specific areas mentioned above. Although an initial foray into a collation of this nature, the goal of this annotated bibliography is to provide a generic referential view of mobile agent systems in network applications.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Sriraman, Sandhya

Anything Like Us

Description: Anything Like Us is a collection of poems with a critical introduction. In this introduction, I explore modern alternatives to Romantic and Neo-Romantic lyric expression. I conclude that a contemporary lyric that desires to be, in some fashion, about itself, must exhibit an acceptance of the mediating influences of time and language, while cultivating an inter-subjective point-of-view that does not insist too much on the authority of a single, coherent voice. The poems in Anything Like Us reflect, in both form and content, many of the conclusions advanced in the introduction. Nearly all the poems concern the desire for, and failure to find, meaningful connections in an uncertain world .
Date: August 2002
Creator: Roth, Matthew

Application of Thermomechanical Characterization Techniques to Bismuth Telluride Based Thermoelectric Materials

Description: The thermoelectric properties of bismuth telluride based thermoelectric (TE) materials are well-characterized, but comparatively little has been published on the thermomechanical properties. In this paper, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and differential scanning calorimetry data for bismuth telluride based TE materials is presented. The TE materials' tan delta values, indicative of viscoelastic energy dissipation modes, approached that of glassy or crystalline polymers, were greater than ten times the tan delta of structural metals, and reflected the anisotropic nature of TE materials. DMA thermal scans showed changes in mechanical properties versus temperature with clear hysteresis effects. These results showed that the application of DMA techniques are useful for evaluation of thermophysical and thermomechanical properties of these TE materials.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2002
Creator: White, John B.

Approaches to Nature Aesthetics: East Meets West

Description: Nature aesthetics is examined as an approach to environmental ethics. The characteristics of proper nature appreciation show that every landscape can be appreciated impartially in light of the dynamic processes of nature. However, it is often claimed that natural beauty decreases if humans interfere into nature. This claim leads to the separation of human culture and nature, and limits the number of landscapes which can be protected in terms of aesthetic value. As a solution to this separation, a non-dualistic Japanese aesthetics is examined as a basis for the achievement of the coexistence of culture and nature. Ecological interrelationships between human culture and nature are possible by means of an aesthetic consciousness in terms of non-hierarchical attitudes.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Toyoda, Mitsuyo

Assessing the Effect of Inquiry-Based Professional Development on Science Achievement Tests Scores.

Description: This study analyzed student test scores to determine if teacher participation in an inquiry-based professional development was able to make a statistically significant difference in student achievement levels. Test scores for objectives that assessed the critical thinking skills and problem-solving strategies modeled in a science inquiry institute were studied. Inquiry-based experiences are the cornerstones for meeting the science standards for scientific literacy. State mandated assessment tests measure the levels of student achievement and are reported as meeting minimum expectations or showing mastery for specific learning objectives. Students test scores from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test (TAAS) for 8th grade science and the Biology End Of Course (EOC) exams were analyzed using ANCOVA, Chi Square, and Logistic Regression, with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) 7th Grade Science Subtest as covariate. It was hypothesized that the students of Inquiry Institute teachers would have higher scale scores and better rates of mastery on the critical thinking objectives than the students of non-Institute teachers. It was also hypothesized that it would be possible to predict student mastery on the objectives that assessed critical thinking and problem solving based on Institute participation. This quasi-experimental study did not show a statistically significant difference between the two groups. The effects of inquiry-based professional development may not be determined by analyzing the results of the standardized tests currently being used in Texas. Inquiry training may make a difference, but because of factors such as the ceiling effect, insufficient time to implement the program, and test items that are intended to but do not address critical thinking skills, the TAAS and EOC tests may not accurately assess effects of the Inquiry Institute. The results of this study did indicate the best predictor of student mastery for the 8th grade science TAAS and Biology EOC may ...
Date: December 2002
Creator: Dickson, Teresa K.

Assessing the Efficacy of Learning Communities at Four North Texas Community Colleges.

Description: This observational study involving intact groups and convenient sampling examined learning communities at four North Texas Community Colleges. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a significant difference in cathectic learning climate, inimical ambiance, academic rigor, affiliation and structure among students in learning communities and freestanding classes. Learning communities are gaining nationwide popularity as instruments of reform in Higher Education. Recent studies have discussed the benefits of learning communities to student, faculty and institutions. As learning communities are gaining popularity, especially at the community college level, there is a need to determine if the learning communities are significantly different than freestanding classes. The College Classroom Environment Scales, developed by Winston, Vahala, Nichols, Gillis, Wintrow, and Rome (1989), was used as the survey instrument for this study. Using SPSS 10.1, a multivariate analysis of variance, (Hotelling's T2) was performed on five dependent variables: cathectic learning climate (CLC), inimical ambiance (IA), academic rigor (AR), affiliation (AF), and structure (ST), which yielded a significant difference. The independent variable was learning community compared to freestanding classes (group). Follow-up independent t tests were also conducted to evaluate the differences in the means between the two groups and to explore which dependent variables contributed to the multivariate difference, which resulted in significant differences in inimical ambiance, affiliation and structure. The researcher concludes that learning communities make a difference for some learners, but not necessarily all and that more research needs to be conducted to find the answers to the questions concerning the efficacy and sustainability of learning communities in higher education.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Dodd, Patricia M.

An Assessment of the Parent Orientation Program at the University of North Texas

Description: Although most institutions offer a parent program option to the orientation program, there has been little formalized research into the quality, planning or programming of parent orientation. There has been very little research into the impact parent orientation has on parents and whether or not they feel that such programs have met their needs, particularly by gender, minority status, educational background, or by geographic distance from the institution. This study seeks to determine the effectiveness of the parent orientation program at the University of North Texas to the parents who participate in this program. The study attempts to measure whether parents feel that they have adequate information about the institution to adequately support their student through the college transition; if parents feel welcomed by the UNT campus community; and if they feel that they have developed resources and institutional contacts that may be useful in the future in assisting their child to have a successful college experience at UNT. The study, conducted in the summer of 2002, had 736 respondents. An instrument developed to determine parent's perceptions of the effectiveness of the parent orientation program consisted of 31 questions using a Likert scale. A t-Test was utilized to analyze the data because it is designed to compare the means of the same variable with two different groups. Generally, all aspects of the parent orientation program were found to be positive by each subgroup. Parents found value in the orientation program and how it prepared them to support their new college student. In all four components studied, women had a stronger feeling than the males. Minority status had no significant impact on the outcomes of orientation according to the participants. Educational background proved not to be a significant factor. Distance parents lived from UNT revealed significant difference in three of the ...
Date: December 2002
Creator: With, Elizabeth

Attrition Rates of Teachers Trained in Alternative Teacher Certification Programs, Those Trained in the Centers for the Professional Development of Teachers, and Those Trained in Traditional University Programs.

Description: This study uses teacher employment data provided by the State Board for Educator Certification to examine the similarities and differences between initial employment and attrition rates of teachers trained in three prevalent types of Texas teacher preparation programs; alternative certification programs (ACP), the centers for professional development of teachers (CPDT), and traditional certification programs (TCP). The population for the study includes all Texas teachers who completed training in these programs in 1995, 1996, and 1997. The study found that ACP participants gain employment as Texas public school teachers at a significantly higher rate than their CPDT and TCP trained peers in year-one after completion of their training. However, ACP completers experience higher attrition rates in each of the subsequent years investigated. The study concludes that the overall cumulative attrition rate of new teachers trained in these programs is not as pronounced as originally presumed, but that low production levels cannot keep up with the growing demand for new teachers. Teacher preparation program leaders must seek ways to recruit and train more teachers.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Harris, Steven A.

Automaticity and Hemispheric Specialization in Emotional Expression Recognition: Examined using a modified Stroop Task

Description: The main focus of this investigation was to examine the automaticity of facial expression recognition through valence judgments in a modified photo-word Stroop paradigm. Positive and negative words were superimposed across male and female faces expressing positive (happy) and negative (angry, sad) emotions. Subjects categorized the valence of each stimulus. Gender biases in judgments of expressions (better recognition for male angry and female sad expressions) and the valence hypothesis of hemispheric advantages for emotions (left hemisphere: positive; right hemisphere: negative) were also examined. Four major findings emerged. First, the valence of expressions was processed automatically (robust interference effects). Second, male faces interfered with processing the valence of words. Third, no posers' gender biases were indicated. Finally, the emotionality of facial expressions and words was processed similarly by both hemispheres.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Beall, Paula M.

Autoradiographic Localization of Carbachol-Induced Second Messenger Response in the Rat Spinal Cord Following Inflammation.

Description: This study examined central mechanisms of persistent pain using an autoradiographic technique to localize phosphoinositide hydrolysis (PI) in the rat spinal cord dorsal horn. The lateral half of laminae I-II showed the highest levels of baseline PI turnover and carbachol-stimulated PI turnover in normal animals as well as after inflammation. Inflammation resulted in increased baseline PI turnover in this region of the ipsilateral (76%) and contralateral (65%) dorsal horns. Carbachol increased PI turnover in this region in normal rats (55%) and following inflammation (ipsilateral: 46%, contralateral: 45%). The absolute magnitudes of these increases were 1.85, 2.71, and 2.51 nCi/mg, respectively. The results of this study demonstrate the involvement of PI turnover in neural mechanisms of persistent pain, and provide evidence for the involvement of cholinergic systems in this process. Because spinal cholinergic systems have been reported to be anti-nociceptive, the present results appear to reflect an upregulation of anti-nociceptive activity in response to inflammation. Thus, the spinal cholinergic system may be a regulatory site within the anti-nociceptive pathway, and may provide an attractive target for the development of new therapeutic agents.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Moore, Jack

Bandanna, An Opera by Daron Aric Hagen with Libretto by Paul Muldoon, Commissioned by the College Band Directors National Association: The Origins of an Artwork with a Glimpse at its Musical Character Development

Description: All information for this study was obtained by original source documents, interviews with the principal participants and the personal observations of the writer. A complete transcript of interviews with Daron Aric Hagen Michael Haithcockand Robert De Simone are included as appendices. In1961 the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) created its commissioning project for the purpose of contracting prominent composers to contribute works of high quality to the growing wind repertoire. Recently, CBDNA commissioned works that sought to collaborate with other disciplines within the artistic community. These collaborative works added new depth to the wind repertoire and helped advance the genre to new levels of prominence. CBDNA commissioned Daron Aric Hagen to write an opera using winds in the pit. He titled the work Bandanna, based on Shakespeare's Othello. Hagen contracted Paul Muldoon to write the libretto. A consortium of 79 member schools contributed to the project. A total of $100,000.00 was paid to the composer. The Director of Bands at Baylor University conducted the premiere performance of Bandanna during the 1999 CBDNA convention on 25 February 1999. Hagen assigned instrumental, thematic and harmonic attributes to each character. There are literally thousands of interactions between these elements that weave a tight pattern of organic unity into the entire work, making it exceptionally rich with symbolism and innuendo. Though still in its infancy, the uniqueness of this work both in the manner in which it came into being and through its artistic merits are fascinating. Only the future will determine whether Bandanna has true longevity or will fade into the background as a historical curiosity.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Powell, Edwin C.

A Behavioral Economic Analysis of the Effects of Unit Price Sequence on Demand for Money in Humans.

Description: Three groups of participants were exposed to different unit price sequences. Unit prices for all groups ranged from unit price 1 to 21. Analyses of demand curves, response rates, session duration, and elasticity coefficients suggest that the sequence of exposure to unit prices can affect the elasticity of demand. In addition, the size of unit price contrast, direction of unit price change, and proximity to experimental milestones also may affect the consumption of monetary reinforcers.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Williams, Jack Keith

Better Teaching Model? Middle School Science Classroom Using the 4MAT Instructional Strategy vs. Lessons Created Without this Model

Description: The problem investigated was the need for effective and efficient learning for middle school science students to meet expectations set in Goals 2000. The use of the 4MAT Instructional Method was investigated as a possible method for attainment of current science standards. The study included one middle school science instructor's classes with 89 participating students. Measurements were taken and comparisons drawn using three assessment methods to determine if improved academic achievement and attitude scores resulted. Data analysis yielded no significant conclusion in either academic achievement or attitude improvement; however, observations of the researcher indicated potential usefulness of the 4MAT approach. The t-value calculated in the assessment methods was insufficient with a .05 probability of error present in the findings. The limitations of the study skewed the results and outweighed the possible observational insight.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Delaney, Alice

Beyond GNP: Economic Freedom as a Determinant of Basic Human Needs.

Description: Research concerning ‘basic needs' in the Human Rights literature has consistently found a positive and significant relationship between measures of wealth and basic needs provision. This study utilizes a relatively new measure of economic freedom to test hypotheses regarding general macro-economic policy decisions and basic needs outcomes. A pooled dataset of 138 countries over four years is examined using OLS panel regression controlling for both' year' and ‘country,' in a standard basic needs model. Consistent and systematic differences between economic freedom effects in OECD nations and non-OECD nations are revealed. The Economic Freedom Index has both theoretical and empirical advantages over previous measures of wealth and economic freedom, allowing human rights scholars to test specific economic policy decisions as they affect basic needs outcomes.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Juenke, Eric

Blackland Prairie

Description: Blackland Prairie contains a scholarly preface, “Cross Timbers,” that discusses the emerging role of place as a narrative agent in contemporary fiction. The preface is followed by six original short stories. “Parts” depicts the growth of a boy's power over his family. “A Movie House to Make Us All Rich” involves the sacrifice of familial values by the son of Italian immigrants in the early 20th century. “The Place on Chenango Street” is about a man who views his world in monetary terms. “The Nine Ideas For A Happier Whole” explores the self-help industry and personal guru age. “All The Stupid Things I Said” is about a long-separated couple meeting for very different reasons. “Flooded Timber” concerns a couple who discover hidden reasons for their relationship's longevity.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Magliocco, Amos

Breaking Through: A Composition for Symphony Orchestra

Description: Breaking Through is a single-movement composition for symphony orchestra based on a fourteen-note melody. Every harmonic and melodic figure except the bass line is derived from this source melody. The structure of the work is based on a number of musical dichotomies that work on both local and large-scale levels. The local dichotomies contrast consonance with dissonance and ambiguity with clarity (in respect to texture and rhythm). The dichotomy of two-part form versus three-part form and the dichotomy of simplicity versus complexity operate on the large scale. The unity lended by the single source melody coupled with the contrasts furnished by the aforementioned dichotomies allow Breaking Through to be both coherent and interesting.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Dribus, John Alexander

Burying the War Hatchet: Spanish-Comanche Relations in Colonial Texas, 1743-1821

Description: This dissertation provides a history of Spanish-Comanche relations during the era of Spanish Texas. The study is based on research in archival documents, some newly discovered. Chapter 1 presents an overview of events that brought both people to the land that Spaniards named Texas. The remaining chapters provide a detailed account of Spanish-Comanche interaction from first contact until the end of Spanish rule in 1821. Although it is generally written that Spaniards first met Comanches at San Antonio de Béxar in 1743, a careful examination of Spanish documents indicates that Spaniards heard rumors of Comanches in Texas in the 1740s, but their first meeting did not occur until the early 1750s. From that first encounter until the close of the Spanish era, Spanish authorities instituted a number of different policies in their efforts to coexist peacefully with the Comanche nation. The author explores each of those policies, how the Comanches reacted to those policies, and the impact of that diplomacy on both cultures. Spaniards and Comanches negotiated a peace treaty in 1785, and that treaty remained in effect, with varying degrees of success, for the duration of Spanish rule. Leaders on both sides were committed to maintaining that peace, although Spaniards were hampered by meager resources and Comanches by the decentralized organization of their society. The dissertation includes a detailed account of the Spanish expedition to the Red River in 1759, led by Colonel Diego Ortiz Parrilla. That account, based on the recently discovered diary of Juan Angel de Oyarzún, provides new information on the campaign as well as a reevaluation of its outcome. The primary intention of this study is to provide a balanced account of Spanish-Comanche relations, relying on the historical record as well as anthropological evidence to uncover, wherever possible, the Comanche side of the story. The ...
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Lipscomb, Carol A.