Search Results

open access

Sociological Applications of Topic Extraction Techniques: Two Case Studies

Description: Limited research has been conducted with regards to the applicability of topic extraction techniques in Sociology. Addressing the modern methodological opportunities, and responding to the skepticism with regards to the absence of theoretical foundations supporting the use of text analytics, I argue that Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA), complemented by other text analysis techniques and multivariate techniques, can constitute a unique hybrid method that can facilitate the sociological interpretations of web-based textual data. To illustrate the applicability of the hybrid technique, I developed two case studies. My first case study is associated with the Sociology of media. It focuses on the topic extraction and sentiment polarization among partisan texts posted on two major news sites. I find evidence of highly polarized opinions on comments posted on the Huffington Post and the Daily Caller. The highest polarizing topic was associated with a commentator’s reference on Hoodies in the context of the Trayvon Martin’s incident. My findings support contemporary research suggesting that media pundits frequently use tactics of outrage to provoke polarization of public opinion. My second case study contributes to the research domain of the Sociology of knowledge. The hybrid method revealed evidence of topical divides and topical “bridges” in the intellectual landscape of the British and the American sociological journals. My findings confirm the theoretical assertions describing Sociology as a fractured field, and partially support the existence of more globalized topics in the discipline.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Zougris, Konstantinos
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Animated Autoethnographies: Using Stop Motion Animation As a Catalyst for Self-acceptance in the Art Classroom

Description: As a doctoral student, I was asked to teach a course based on emerging technologies and postmodern methods of inquiry in the field of art education. The course was titled Issues and Applications of Technology in Art Education and I developed a method of inquiry called animated autoethnography for pre-service art educators while teaching this course. Through this dissertation, I describe, analyze, interrogate, value, contextualize, reflect on, and artistically react to the autoethnographic animated processes of five pre-service art educators who were enrolled in the course. I interviewed the five participants before and after the creation of their animated autoethnographies and incorporated actor-network theory within the theoretical analysis to study how the insights of my students’ autoethnographies related to my own animations and life narratives. The study also examines animated autoethnography as a method of inquiry that may develop or enhance future teaching practices and encourage empathic connections through researching the self. These selected students created animations that accessed significant life moments, personal struggles, and triumphs, and they exhibited unique representations of self. Pre-service art educators can use self-research to create narrative-based short animations and also use socio-emotional learning to encourage the development of empathy within the classroom. I show diverse student examples, compare them to my own animations, and present a new model of inquiry that encourages the development of self by finding place in chaos, loving the unknown, embracing uncertainty, and turning shame into a celebration of life.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Blair, Jeremy Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Intensive Short-term Child Centered Play Therapy and Externalizing Behaviors in Children

Description: Play therapists use children’s natural symbolic play as a method of mental health treatment (Landreth, 2012). Meta-analysis research has demonstrated the effectiveness of treating children with play therapy (Bratton, Ray, Rhine, & Jones, 2005), and child-centered play therapy (CCPT) has proven to be an effective treatment for children with externalizing behaviors such as aggression and other disruptive behavior (Bratton & Ray, 2000; Bratton et al., 2005). Some studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of brief and short-term CCPT, such as twice weekly within two to three months (Blanco & Ray, 2011; Shen, 2002) and when delivered in an intensive format, conducting 12 sessions within three weeks (Jones & Landreth, 2002). In this current study, I sought to determine the effectiveness of intensive CCPT with children identified as having externalizing problem behaviors. Participants were recruited from public schools in the urban area of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia area. A total of 24 participants completed the study: 18 boys and 6 girls aged 6 to 9 years old (M = 7); 17 Australian Caucasians, 1 English (UK) Caucasian, 1 Asian, 3 Hispanic/Latino, and 2 Biracial. Participants were randomly assigned: 12 to the experimental group and 12 to the wait-list control group. Children in the experimental group received 20 intensive CCPT sessions: twice daily for 10 days. For each child participant, a parent completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and a teacher completed the CBCL Teacher’s Report Form (TRF) three times: at pretest, posttest, and one-week follow-up. Mixed between-within ANOVAs were conducted applying an alpha level of .05 to interpret statistical significant and η2 calculation to assess practical significance. Follow-up results indicated a statistically significant interaction effect on CBCL Externalizing score, F (2, 44) = 14.747, p < .001, with a large effect size of η2 = .277. Results also indicated a statistically significant …
Date: August 2015
Creator: Ritzi, Rochelle M.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Collaborative Crossover: Identifying Classical Vocal Collaborative Piano Practices in Jazz Vocal Accompanying

Description: Classical vocal collaborative piano and jazz vocal accompaniment are well-established fields with long-standing performance traditions. Classical collaborative performance practices have been researched and codified, but jazz accompanying practices largely remain in the domain of aural tradition. Both classical and jazz accompaniment share associated practices, such as rubato, transposition, and attention to lyric diction and inflection, but there is little previous investigation into the idea that classical collaborative practices might apply to jazz accompanying. This research examines jazz piano accompanying practices in sung verses of standard tunes to demonstrate how accomplished jazz pianists intuitively use many of the same techniques as classical collaborative pianists to create balance with singers. Through application of expressive microtiming analysis to graphical displays of transcribed recorded performances, a strong correlation is established between the classical and jazz vocal accompanying traditions. Linking classical practices to jazz potentially creates a foundation for jazz accompanying pedagogy.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Morgenroth, David Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

An Empirical Study of Software Debugging Games with Introductory Students

Description: Bug Fixer is a web-based application that complements lectures with hands-on exercises that encourage students to think about the logic in programs. Bug Fixer presents students with code that has several bugs that they must fix. The process of fixing the bugs forces students to conceptually think about the code and reinforces their understanding of the logic behind algorithms. In this work, we conducted a study using Bug Fixer with undergraduate students in the CSCE1040 course at University of North Texas to evaluate whether the system increases their conceptual understanding of the algorithms and improves their Software Testing skills. Students participated in weekly activities to fix bugs in code. Most students enjoyed Bug Fixer and recommend the system for future use. Students typically reported a better understanding of the algorithms used in class. We observed a slight increase of passing grades for students who participated in our study compared to students in other sections of the course with the same instructor who did not participate in our study. The students who did not report a positive experience provide comments for future improvements that we plan to address in future work.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Reynolds, Lisa Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Early Second-career Faculty: a Phenomenological Study of Their Transition Into a New Profession

Description: In this phenomenological study I investigated the experiences of early second-career, tenure-track faculty members who entered academe after working in a position outside of higher education for at least five years. The purpose of this study was to learn about experiences and factors that contributed or impeded to the success of second-career faculty members. Eight early second-career faculty members, from a four-year university located in the Dallas Metroplex area, were interviewed. Participants demographics were ages 34 to 68 with the average age being 45; 50% male and 50% female; and one African American, six Caucasian, and one Hispanic and/or Latino. Participants’ previous professional experience was a benefit in teaching and relating to students, in understanding the complex university bureaucracy, and in setting goals. The participants reported that mentoring, whether formally assigned by the institution or through informal means such as departmental colleagues or professional organizations, was a benefit to all of the participants. A primary area of concern for the participants was collaboration and collegiality with other faculty members. Participants stated that traditional faculty members lack the skills and training to collaborate effectively in researching and in joint teaching endeavors. Participants reported that they had to monitor and restrain their opinions during interactions with departmental colleagues during the probationary period leading up to tenure decisions because the participants fear retaliation by co-faculty members who will vote on whether to grant them tenure. These participants bring a wealth of industry experience and knowledge to the university. Administrators, departmental chairs, and future early second-career faculty members will find that this research provides recommendations that, if heeded, will ensure a long and productive mutually beneficial affiliation.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Assaad, Elizabeth A.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Teachers’ Concerns and Uses of iPads in the Classroom with the Concerns-based Adoption Model

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the role of high school teachers’ concerns, willingness, aptitude, and use of iPads in the classroom during the adoption of a new technology. The design of this case study included a sample of eight teachers from the English, math, science, and history departments who were surveyed, observed, and interviewed using the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM). This study is guided by three research questions: (1) What are teachers’ concerns about using iPads in the high school English, math, science, and history classrooms? (2) What are teachers’ levels of iPad use in the English, math, science, and history classrooms? (3) What are teachers’ pedagogical practices as they use iPads in the English, math, science, and history classrooms? To research these questions, the study measured teacher concerns with the triangulation of three diagnostic instruments from the Concerns-Based Adoption Model: the Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ), the Innovation Configurations Map (IC Map), and the Levels of Use (LoU) matrix. The CBAM model was used to address the scarcity of literature regarding iPad use in content-area classrooms. The findings from the research show that the impact of introducing a new technology is more multifaceted than previously assumed. A teacher’s inclination and skill to use a new technology with their students varies considerably within a school and different approaches are observed across subject areas such as English, math, science, and history. When the Concerns-Based Adoption Model is used in organizational change, teacher concerns are revealed, which leads to finding opportunities for intervention and support by change facilitators who help individuals progress in the adoption of an innovation.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Stewart, Gail
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Using Your Imagination to Pursue Goals: Diminishing the Effects of Visceral Temptations

Description: Consumers consistently set goals for themselves. Despite good intentions, consumers often deviate from their goals. If consumers understand the benefits that arise from goal success, then why do most consumers fail to accomplish goals? Often, temptations are more appealing than achievement of goals; temptations are tangible while the benefits of a goal are difficult to grasp. An individual who uses his/her imagination to visualize goal success makes the goal more present-minded and attainable (Oettingen 2000). Thus, imagination facilitates self-efficacy, the belief in one’s ability to reach a goal. Higher self-efficacy, then, provides an individual with the willpower to achieve a goal (Taylor, Pham, Rivkin, and Armor 1998). Whereas previous work has examined temptations’ relationship with goals (e.g. Fedorikhin and Patrick 2010; Wilcox, Vallen, Block, and Fitzsimons 2009; Zhang, Huang, and Broniarczyk 2010; etc.), the scope of this dissertation study differs. Rather, the research aim is to identify how consumers can overcome visceral temptations. Thus, the main objectives include: contributing new perspectives on goal research by merging the literatures on imagination and visceral cues, outlining how imagination regulates the impact of visceral temptations, and identifying the underlying mechanism that explains how imagination regulates the relationship between visceral cues and ad-evoked thoughts, through self-efficacy.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Cowan, Kirsten
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Community Gardening: a Novel Intervention for Bhutanese Refugees Living in the USA

Description: Since 2008, the United States (USA) has resettled thousands of Bhutanese refugees, providing brief financial support and pathways to citizenship. Despite the efforts of governing bodies and voluntary agencies which facilitate resettlement, many refugees struggle with adapting to the vastly different lifestyle, economy, language and social structures. In particular, effectively addressing psychological needs of this population is a challenge for service providers operating within an expensive health care system based on Western constructs of mental health. In response to this challenge, refugee resettlement agencies throughout the country use community gardens to promote psychological healing, self-sufficiency, community engagement, and a return of human dignity. Though success of these programs is being shared in the media, there has yet to be empirical data examining their impact. The current study tested whether Bhutanese refugee engagement in a community garden impacts symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD and somatic complaints. The study also investigated whether community gardening is associated with perceptions of social support and adjustment to life in the United States. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected from 50 adult Bhutanese refugees in Fort Worth, Texas. Gardening was significantly related to increased social support overall, a key factor in overall functionality within communal cultures; and specifically perceived tangible support was increased. A significant effect of gardening was also found for adjustment. Although a significant effect was not found for psychological and somatic symptoms, there is still evidence of effects on somatic complaints. Varying results from quantitative and qualitative data warrant further investigation into the nuanced work of clinical research and advocacy with refugee populations.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Gerber, Monica M.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Impact of Culture on the Decision Making Process in Restaurants

Description: Understanding the process of consumers during key purchasing decision points is the margin between success and failure for any business. The cultural differences between the factors that affect consumers in their decision-making process is the motivation of this research. The purpose of this research is to extend the current body of knowledge about decision-making factors by developing and testing a new theoretical model to measure how culture may affect the attitudes and behaviors of consumers in restaurants. This study has its theoretical foundation in the theory of service quality, theory of planned behavior, and rational choice theory. To understand how culture affects the decision-making process and perceived satisfaction, it is necessary to analyze the relationships among the decision factors and attitudes. The findings of this study contribute by building theory and having practical implications for restaurant owners and managers. This study employs a mixed methodology of qualitative and quantitative research. More specifically, the methodologies employed include the development of a framework and testing of that framework via collection of data using semi-structured interviews and a survey instrument. Considering this framework, we test culture as a moderating relationship by using respondents’ birth country, parents’ birth country and ethnic identity. The results of this study conclude, in the restaurant context, culture significantly moderates consumers’ perception of service quality, overall satisfaction, and behavior intention.of OA.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Boonme, Kittipong
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Study of Mechanical Performance of Stent Implants Using Theoretical and Numerical Approach

Description: The coronary heart disease kills more than 350,000 persons/year and it costs $108.9 billion for the United States each year, in spite of significant advancements in clinical care and education for public, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are leading cause of death and disability to the nation. A cardiovascular disease involves mainly heart or blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries) or both, and then mainly occurs in selected regions and affects heart, brain, kidney and peripheral arteries. As a surgical interventions, stent implantation is deployed to cure or ameliorate the disease. However, the high failure rate of stents used in patients with peripheral artery diseases has lead researchers to give special attention towards analyzing stent structure and characteristics. In this research, the mechanical properties of a stent based on the rhombus structure were analyzed and verified by means of analytical and numerical approaches. Theoretical model based on the beam theory were developed and numerical models were used to analyze the response of these structures under various and complex loading conditions. Moreover, the analysis of the stent inflation involves a model with large deformations and large strains, nonlinear material properties need to be considered to accurately capture the deformation process. The maximum stress values were found to occur in localized regions of the stent. These regions were generally found along the inner radii of each of the connected links connecting each of the longitudinal struts. Stress values throughout the whole stent were typically much lower. The peak engineering stress values were found to be less than the material ultimate strength (limit stress 515Mpa), indicating a safe stent design throughout expansion range. Lastly, the rheological behavior of blood can be quantified by non-Newtonian viscosity. Carreau model is introduced and simulates the situation in the artery, then the available shear stress in the model would …
Date: August 2015
Creator: Yang, Hua
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Effects of a Computer-based Self-instructional Training Package on Novice Instructors’ Implementation of Discrete Trial Instruction and a Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Intervention

Description: Discrete trial instruction (DTI) and naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions (NDBIs) are often incorporated into early intensive behavioral interventions for young children with autism. Recent advances in staff training methods have demonstrated that self-instructional manuals, video models, and computer-based training are effective and efficient ways to improve staff implementation of these teaching strategies however research in this area is limited. The current evaluation assessed the effects of a computer-based training package including self-instructional manuals with embedded video models on direct-care staff’s implementation of DTI and an NDBI. All participants’ DTI teaching fidelity increased during role-plays with an adult and with a child with autism and all participants increased teaching fidelity across untrained instructional programs. In addition, moderate improvement was demonstrated following NDBI training on the use of correct prompts, environmental arrangements, and response interaction. Together, these results indicate that therapists are able to acquire a large number of skills using two teaching techniques, DTI and NDBI, following brief computer-based training.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Horsch, Rachel M.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Graduate Counseling Students’ Preferences for Counselor Educators’ Teaching Dispositions, Orientations, and Behaviors: a Q Methodology Inquiry

Description: Teaching is a central role of counselor educators. However, teaching in counselor education lacks guiding standards or best practice recommendations. Existing scholarly dialogue predominantly features the perspectives of educators and addresses content knowledge, techniques, activities, and assignments for courses across the curriculum with relatively less emphasis on foundations of teaching. The purpose of this study was to develop greater understanding of counselor educator dispositions, orientations, and behaviors that students perceive as important to their learning. Q methodology was utilized to gather and distill counselor education students’ (N = 48) preferences for characteristics identified via focus groups and a comprehensive literature review. Factor analysis revealed four distinct factors, upon which 45 participants’ sorts loaded and which accounted for 41% of total variance. The findings of this study support the importance of the person of the counselor educator in the teaching and learning process in addition to behavioral characteristics. Moreover, these findings support the use of student learning style assessments and customization of course facilitation to fit students’ unique preferences and values.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Hurt, Kara Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Academic, Social and Emotional Functioning of College Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Description: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is frequently associated with negative occupational, social and psychological outcomes among community samples of adults; as such, it is expected that college students with ADHD face similar struggles. The research targeting this group of individuals, however, is sparse and tempered by significant limitations. The current study aimed to address methodological limitations in the current literature by including instruments to formally diagnosis ADHD and comorbid disorders, utilizing psychometrically sound instruments and comparing functioning of college students with ADHD across gender and subtype. It was hypothesized that participants with ADHD would report lower GPAs, higher levels of emotional distress and negative relationship characteristics than participants without ADHD. It was also hypothesized that participants with ADHD-combined type (ADHD-C) would report higher levels of substance and alcohol use than participants with ADHD-predominately inattentive type (ADHD-I), and that participants with ADHD-I would report higher levels of anxiety and depression than participants with ADHD-C. Women diagnosed with ADHD were expected to report higher levels of anxiety and depression than men diagnosed with ADHD; whereas, men diagnosed with ADHD were expected to report higher levels of substance and alcohol use than women. MANOVA, ANOVA and Mann-Whitney U tests were conducted to test hypotheses. Results revealed no significant differences between the ADHD and comparison group on GPA and relationship characteristics. Participants diagnosed with ADHD did report significantly higher emotional distress than participants in the comparison group. No differences in GPA or relationship characteristics were found across ADHD subtype or gender. Overall, these findings provide evidence to suggest that college students with ADHD are functioning relatively well compared to their non-ADHD peers.
Date: August 2015
Creator: McKelvy, Tara N.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Readiness of Indonesian Academic Libraries for Open Access and Open Access Repositories Implementation: a Study on Indonesian Open Access Repositories Registered in OpenDOAR

Description: Scholarly and scientific communication has a long history, while the Open Access (OA) movement began to take part in this communication with the emergence of Internet in the late 1960s and the web that emerged in mid-1990s. OA is beneficial for sharing knowledge because the OA movement demands scholarly literature freely available on the internet and it is free of most licensing restriction copyright. OA will close the barrier of access to knowledge. The OA movement in Indonesia may be considered slow. So far, only 33 academic libraries have registered their repositories with OpenDOAR, which is still small compared to the total number of HE institutions in Indonesia. Those 33 OARs vary in the stages of development. Some have already had large size of contents, while others are still developing. Using Weiner’s theory of organizational readiness for change, this mixed method investigates the readiness of academic librarians for Open Access Repository implementation. The results show that academic librarians in Indonesia are somewhat familiar with OA and OAR. However, their understanding of OA is still limited to the technical nature of it. They also know the benefits of OA in relation to scholarly communication and are ready to implement OAR, but the implementation was mostly based on the goal of achieving a specific rank in the world-class university ranking and Webometrics. They implemented Open Access Repositories with limited technological infrastructure, skills, and limited knowledge of OA.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Priyanto, Ida F.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Supporting Mathematics Understanding Through Funds of Knowledge

Description: Parents are often criticized for the types of roles they play in their children’s education. Rather than assuming parents do not contribute to their children’s learning, this study identified the various ways Hispanic parents support mathematics learning in the home. Using a funds of knowledge lens, the history, practices, and experiences of families that contributed to their children’s mathematics understanding was explored. The purpose of this study was to identify the unique funds of knowledge among three Hispanic families living in the same city, specifically, how parents supported their children’s mathematics learning through funds of knowledge. Five Hispanic parents from three households participated in a series of three home interviews. The semi--‐structured interviews addressed family, school, and educational history of the parents, routines of the household, and perceived roles parents played in their children’s mathematics learning. Participants contributed to their children’s mathematics learning through various funds of knowledge including time management, music, sports, construction, shopping, and cooking. Participating parents shared knowledge with their children through questioning and discussion, providing experiences, and promoting practice. In this study, participants valued education and supported their children’s mathematics learning at home and school activities. This study contributes to the existing funds of knowledge research by expanding the work on how Hispanic parents support mathematics learning.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Williams, Julie J.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Synthesis of Gold Complexes From Diphosphine Ligands and Screening Reactions of Heterocyclic Acetylacetonato (ACAC) Ligands with Transitional Metal Complexes

Description: Syntheses of diphosphine gold (I) complexes from gold THT and two ligands, 4, 5-bis (diphenylphosphino)-4-cyclopenten-1, 3-dione (BPCD) and 2,3-bis(diphenylphosphino)-N-phenylmaleimide (BPPM), were done separately. The reactions happened under ice conditions followed by room temperature conditions and produced two diphosphine gold (I) complexes in moderated yield. Spectroscopic results including nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and X-ray crystallography were used to study and determine the structures of the products formed. Moreover, X-rays of all newly synthesized diphosphine gold (I) complexes were compared with the known X-ray structures of other phosphine and diphosphine gold (I) complexes. There were direct resemblances in terms of bond length and angle between these new diphosphine gold (I) complex structures and those already published. For instance, the bond lengths and angles from the newly prepared diphosphine gold (I) complexes were similar to those already published. Where there were some deviations in bond angles and length between the newly synthesized structures and those already published, appropriate explanation was given to explain the deviation. Heterocyclic ligands bearing acetylacetonate (ACAC) side arm(s) were prepared from ethyl malonyl chloride and the heterocyclic compounds 8-hydroxylquinoline, Syn-2-peridoxyaldoxime, quinoxalinol and 2, 6-dipyridinylmethanol. The products (heterocyclic ACAC ligands) from these reactions were screened with transition metal carbonyl compounds in thermolytic reactions. The complexes formed were studied and investigated using NMR and X-ray crystallography. Furthermore, the X-ray structures of the heterocyclic ACAC ligand or ligand A and that of rhenium complex 1 were compared with similar published X-ray structures. The comparison showed there were some similarities in terms of bond length and bond angles.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Nyamwihura, Rogers
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Therapist (Dis)Continuity, Therapeutic Relationship, and (Premature) Termination in a Psychology Training Clinic

Description: Premature termination is a substantial problem with significant adverse effects for clients, therapists, and treatment organizations. Unfortunately, it is also a relatively common phenomenon within mental healthcare settings. Across varied mental healthcare settings, rates of premature termination have reportedly ranged from 19.7 % to 40 %. Perhaps not surprisingly, the rate of premature termination in training clinics is substantially higher than in community mental health settings and private practice, with 75 to 80 % of clients ending treatment services prematurely. The purpose of this study was to explore the combined effect of intake therapist continuity or discontinuity, and quality of the therapeutic relationship on premature termination. Intake therapist continuity, measures of working alliance, and termination outcome from 524 clients at the University of North Texas Psychology Clinic were utilized for adults receiving individual therapy services between August 2008 and August 2013. Results of the study suggest intake therapist continuity did not predict subjective termination status (X2(2, n = 524) = 1.61, p = 0.45), nor did it predict change in symptomology status (X2(3, n = 453) = 1.14, p = 0.77). Additionally, working alliance predicted subjective termination status (X2(6, n = 212) = 21.17, p < 0.01), but not change in symptomology status (X2(9, n = 208) = 6.27, p = 0.71). The findings of the current study are discussed, as well as suggestions for further research related to client, therapist, treatment, and procedural variables and their impact on premature termination.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Al-Jabari, Rawya M.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Three Essays on Social Media: the Effect of Motivation, Participation, and Sentiment on Performance

Description: In recent years, social media has experienced tremendous growth in the number of users. Facebook alone has more than 1.3 billion active users and Twitter has attracted over 600 million active users. Social media has significantly changed the way humans communicate. Many people use social media to keep in touch with family and friends and receive up-to-date information about what happens around the world. Politicians are using social media to support their campaigns. Use of social media is not restricted to individuals and politicians. Businesses are now using social media to promote their products and services. Many companies maintain Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep in touch with their customers. Consumers also use social media to receive information about products/services. Online product reviews are now an important source of information for consumers. This dissertation aims to address one fundamental research question: how do individual differences among users lead to different levels of performance on social media? More specifically, this dissertation investigates the motivations of use and the predictors of performance in the context of social media. We utilize sentiment mining to predict performance in different types of social media including information diffusion in Twitter and helpfulness and readership of online consumer reviews. The results show how different motivations lead to different levels of participation in social media and level of participation consequently influences performance. We also find that sentiment of the messages posted on social media significantly influence their performance.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Salehan, Mohammad
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Establishing a History and Trajectory of LGBT and Queer Studies Programs in the American Research University: Context for Advancing Academic Diversity and Social Transformation

Description: The system of higher education in the United States of America has retained some of its original character yet it has also grown in many ways. Among the contemporary priorities of colleges and universities are undergraduate student learning outcomes and success along with a growing focus on diversity. As a result, there has been a growing focus on ways to achieve compositional diversity and a greater sense of inclusion with meaningful advances through better access and resources for individuals from non-dominant populations. The clearest result of these advances for sexual and gender diversity has been a normalization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) identities through positive visibility and greater acceptance on campus. However, it appears that relatively few institutions have focused on improving academic diversity and students’ cognitive growth around LGBTQ issues. Through historical inquiry and a qualitative approach, this study explored the fundamental aspects of formal LGBTQ studies academic programs at some of the leading American research universities, including Cornell University, the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Texas at Austin – a purposeful sample chosen from the Association of American Universities (AAU) member institutions with organized curricula focused on the study of sexual and gender diversity. The analysis of primary and secondary sources, including documents and interviews, helped create historical narratives that revealed: a cultural shift was necessary to launch a formal academic program in LGBTQ studies; this formalization of LGBTQ studies programs has been part of the larger effort to improve the campus climate for sexual and gender diversity; and there has been a common pattern to the administration and operation of LGBTQ studies. Clearly, the research shows that LGBTQ studies, as a field of study and formal curriculum, has become institutionalized at the American research university. A key outcome of this …
Date: August 2015
Creator: Kessler, M. David
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Saving Face: A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Retail Patronage in Consumers' Skincare Purchase Decisions

Description: The skincare sector is among the fastest growing consumer branded products, boasting unprecedented growth rates in emerging markets, as well as steady growth in developed and post-developed markets. Yet, a more relevant question to marketers of branded skincare products is what factors influence consumers’ decisions about where to buy such products, and whether or not to spread positive word-of-mouth (WOM) about products and store preferences. Sirgy’s (1982, 1985) self-congruence theory postulates that the greater the match between a consumer’s self-image and the image of a retailer’s typical patron, the greater the likelihood that the consumer will prefer and patronize that retailer. However, a review of the literature on self-image congruence shows a lack of consensus with respect to: 1) the effect of self-image congruence on retail patronage, and 2) the relative strength of the four dimensions (i.e., actual/ideal self- and social/ideal social self-image) of self-image congruence on consumer preferences and choices (e.g., Ibrahim & Najjar, 2008; Kang, Tang, Lee, & Bosselma, 2012). Further, Sirgy, Grewal, and Mangleburg (2000) suggested that the more a consumer matches a retailer’s store attributes with those of an ideal store, the more likely the consumer will prefer and patronize the retailer. Thus, an integrative model (Sirgy et al., 2000) that captures the effects of retail environment and self-image congruence on retail patronage served as the theoretical foundation of this study. The purpose of this study was to examine interactively the effects of retail environment and self-image congruence on retail shopping experience and patronage behavior of Generation Y-aged (Gen Y) consumers with respect to skincare products (i.e., a sub-sector of cosmetics). Primary data were collected through online surveys from 336 American and 325 Chinese Gen Y consumers. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to test the hypothesized relationships between self-image congruence, functional congruence, retail shopping experience, …
Date: August 2015
Creator: Dai, Bo
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Does Device Matter? Understanding How User, Device, and Usage Characteristics Influence Risky IT Behaviors of Individuals

Description: Over the past few years, there has been a skyrocketing growth in the use of mobile devices. Mobile devices are ushering in a new era of multi-platform media and a new paradigm of “being-always-connected”. The proliferation of mobile devices, the dramatic growth of cloud computing services, the availability of high-speed mobile internet, and the increase in the functionalities and network connectivity of mobile devices, have led to creation of a phenomenon called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), which allows employees to connect their personal devices to corporate networks. BYOD is identified as one of the top ten technology trends in 2014 that can multiply the size of mobile workforce in organizations. However, it can also serve as a vehicle that transfers cyber security threats associated with personal mobile devices to the organizations. As BYOD opens the floodgates of various device types and platforms into organizations, identifying different sources of cyber security threats becomes indispensable. So far, there are no studies that investigated how user, device and usage characteristics affect individuals’ protective and risky IT behaviors. The goal of this dissertation is to expand the current literature in IS security by accounting for the roles of user, device, and usage characteristics in protective and risky IT behaviors of individuals. In this study, we extend the protection motivation theory by conceptualizing and measuring the risky IT behaviors of individuals and investigating how user, device, and usage characteristics along with the traditional protection motivation factors, influence individuals’ protective and risky IT behaviors. We collected data using an online survey. The results of our study show that individuals tend to engage in different levels of protective and risky IT behaviors on different types of devices. We also found that certain individual characteristics as well as the variety of applications that individuals use on their …
Date: August 2015
Creator: Negahban, Arash
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Attachment Theory Within Clinical Supervision: Application of the Conceptual to the Empirical

Description: Attachment theory has established itself as applicable to many types of relationships, encompassing caregiver-child, romantic, interpersonal, and psychotherapeutic interactions. This project sought to investigate the application of attachment theory to clinical supervision. Using suggestions put forth in previous work by Watkins and Riggs, this study examined the dyadic interactions inherent in both supervision and attachment. Using the working alliance as determination of the quality of supervision, attachment styles, leader-follower attachment, and attachment-based expectations were explored as predictors for supervisor-trainee dyad outcome in a training clinic for doctoral psychology students. The study design is longitudinal and prospective. Findings indicate the necessity of measurement of supervisory-specific attachment rather than general attachment, the stability of working alliance over time, and the large contribution of the leader-member attachment framework to the understanding of supervisory attachment. Implications include the importance of maintaining hierarchical, evaluative boundaries within supervisory relationship, consistent with a leader-follower dynamic.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Wrape, Elizabeth R.
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Metabolism and Action of Polyunsaturated N-acylethanolamines in Arabidopsis thaliana Seedlings

Description: The lipoxygenase (LOX) pathway plays an important role in the oxidative metabolism of polyunsaturated N-acylethanolamines (PU-NAEs). The LOX pathway functions in conjugation with hydrolysis by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and to produce oxidized NAEs during seed germination and early seedling development. When Arabidopsis seedlings were grown in low micromolar concentrations of lauroylethanolamide (NAE 12:0), growth retardation and elevated endogenous PU-NAE levels were observed due to the competitive inhibition of LOX by NAE 12:0. The elevated levels of endogenous PU-NAEs were more pronounced in genotypes with reduced NAE hydrolase capacity (faah knockouts), and less evident with overexpression of FAAH. Alterations in PU-NAE metabolism were studied in seedlings of various lox and FAAH mutants. The partitioning of PU-NAEs into oxylipin metabolites was exaggerated in the presence of exogenous linolenoylethanolamide (NAE18:3) and resulted in bleaching of cotyledons. The bleaching phenotype was restricted to a narrow developmental window (3-to-5 days after sowing), and was attributed to a reversible disruption of thylakoid membranes in chloroplasts. Biochemical and genetic evidence suggested that 9-hydro(pero)xy and 13-hydro(pero)xy octadecatrienoylethanolamides (9- and 13-NAE-H(P)OT), but not their corresponding hydro(pero)xy free fatty acids, induced cotyledon bleaching. The LOX-mediated metabolites of NAE18:3 shared some overlapping effects on seedling development with those of linoleoylethanolamide (NAE18:2) such as a reduction in seedling root growth. On the other hand, NAE18:3 oxylipin metabolites also exhibited distinct effects during seedling development such as the inhibition of photomorphogenesis. Biochemical and genetic evidence indicated that a LOX-mediated metabolite of NAE18:2, 9-hydro(pero)xy octadecadienoylethanolamide (9-NAE-H(P)OD), acted as a potent negative regulator of seedling root development, and this depended on an intact abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathway. Synergistic inhibition of root elongation between 9-NAE-H(P)OD and ABA was restricted to a narrow developmental window (3-to-5 d after sowing) of seedling development. Genetic evidence with Arabidopsis mutants in ABA synthesis (aba1, aba2), perception (pyr1, …
Date: August 2015
Creator: Keereetaweep, Jantana
Partner: UNT Libraries
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