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Journal of Near-Death Studies, Volume 21, Number 4, Summer 2003

Description: Quarterly journal publishing papers related to near-death experiences, including research reports; theoretical or conceptual statements; expressions of a scientific, philosophic, religious, or historical perspective on the study of near-death experiences; cross-cultural studies; individual case histories; and personal accounts of experiences or related phenomena. Table of contents for each issue in volume 21 on page 257.
Date: Summer 2003
Creator: Greyson, Bruce

Letter to the Editor

Description: Letter written to the editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies on the topic "Critics of Near-Death Experiences as Evidence for Survival: A Methodological Note."
Date: Summer 2003
Creator: Lester, David
Item Type: Letter

Letters to the Editor

Description: Two letters written to the editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies on the following topics: "William James and Near-Death Experiences" and "Critics of Near-Death Experiences as Evidence for Survival: A Methodological Note."
Date: Summer 2003
Creator: Reinhart, Philip B. & Lester, David
Item Type: Letter

Carbon Sequestration - Field Hearing

Description: This brief document contains remarks by Dr. James Mahoney to the U.S Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Date: June 6, 2003
Creator: Mahoney, James R.
Item Type: Text

Effective Sea System and Case Studies

Description: This report describes SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment), and case studies demonstrating the merits of SEA in Europe and North America. The report is aimed at helping readers understanding and implementing SEA.
Date: June 2003
Creator: Hayashi, Kiichiro; Sadler, Barry; Verheem, Rob; Dusik, Jiri & Tomlinson, Paul
Item Type: Text

Report on the TCO/GCP Terrestrial Carbon Observations and Model-Data Fusion Workshop

Description: The global carbon cycle is of intense interest to policy-makers, the scientific community, and public organizations. As a result, numerous new programmes and projects have been developed over the last few years. TCO and GCP are two such complementary initiatives which share a common goal of advancing the availability of more accurate and mutually consistent estimates of terrestrial carbon sources, sinks and processes, regionally and globally, through syntheses of observations and models. The workshop was intended to advance the availability of more accurate and mutually consistent estimates of the distribution of carbon sources and sinks at a regional and global level. This goal can be achieved by convergence of in situ and satellite observations, experiments and modelling strategies; improvements in data acquisition and sharing; and product generation, distribution and use. The workshop focused on the following questions and associated issues: 1. What carbon cycle data products could be routinely produced from a carbon observation system based on model-data and model-data fusion? 2. What are the main conceptual approaches to assimilating atmospheric carbon content, terrestrial carbon flux and remotely sensed data into coupled atmospheric circulation-carbon cycle models? 3. What is the present and eventual uncertainty regarding the main carbon fluxes at global and regional scale, and how will it be reduced by projects currently underway and about to begin? 4. In what regions, and on what topics, will new data inputs make the largest contribution to reducing the residual uncertainties? What actions should be taken to overcome the gaps and limitations identified?
Date: June 2003
Creator: Quegan, Shaun
Item Type: Text

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.

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

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.

Agent-Based Architecture for Web Deployment of Multi-Agents as Conversational Interfaces.

Description: Agent-based architecture explains the rationale and basis for developing agents that can interact with users through natural language query/answer patterns developed systematically using AIML (artificial intelligence mark-up language) scripts. This thesis research document also explains the architecture for VISTA (virtual interactive story-telling agents), which is used for interactive querying in educational and recreational purposes. Agents are very effective as conversational interfaces when used along side with graphical user interface (GUI) in applications and Web pages. This architecture platform can support multiple agents with or with out sharing of knowledgebase. They are very useful as chat robots for recreational purposes, customer service and educational purposes. This platform is powered by Java servlet implementation of Program D and contained in Apache Tomcat server. The AIML scripting language defined here in is a generic form of XML language and forms the knowledgebase of the bot. Animation is provided with Microsoft® Agent technology and text-to-speech support engine.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Pothuru, Ranjit Kumar

Analysis of Japanese Exports and Imports of Rice

Description: This research shows that the Japanese rice policy has affected the volume of exported and imported rice; moreover, multilateral and bilateral agreements have also affected Japanese rice policy. Japan's institution of subsidies and trade barriers has made its rice products too expensive for foreign trade and its domestic consumers. Since the WTO agreement has forced Japan to open its market gradually over six years, Japan may be unable to compete internationally because of its limited land, high labor costs, and the field utility fees.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Shiraiwa, Toshio

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.

Benchmark-based Page Replacement (BBPR) Strategy: A New Web Cache Page Replacement Strategy

Description: World Wide Web caching is widely used through today's Internet. When correctly deployed, Web caching systems can lead to significant bandwidth savings, network load reduction, server load balancing, and higher content availability. A document replacement algorithm that can lower retrieval latency and yield high hit ratio is the key to the effectiveness of proxy caches. More than twenty cache algorithms have been employed in academic studies and in corporate communities as well. But there are some drawbacks in the existing replacement algorithms. To overcome these shortcomings, we developed a new page replacement strategy named as Benchmark-Based Page Replacement (BBPR) strategy, in which a HTTP benchmark is used as a tool to evaluate the current network load and the server load. By our simulation model, the BBPR strategy shows better performance than the LRU (Least Recently Used) method, which is the most commonly used algorithm. The tradeoff is a reduced hit ratio. Slow pages benefit from BBPR.
Date: May 2003
Creator: He, Wei

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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