Alumni Dissertations and Theses

 
 

Alumni Dissertations and Theses

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  • The Effects of Social Influence, Power, and Tangible Rewards on Need-Fulfillment, Coworker Attraction and Helping Behaviors

    Author:
    Stefanie Bruno
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Dr. Kristin Sommer
    Abstract:

    Much of the research on influence in the workplace has focused on identifying strategies to obtain compliance from coworkers and the effectiveness of such strategies. Little is known about why people want to influence others. Recent theory and research suggest a link between influence and need-fulfillment, interpersonal attraction, and helping behavior. Three studies were designed to examine these links and to observe how common workplace elements, specifically power and rewards, impact the psychological and interpersonal benefits of successfully influencing coworkers. Studies 1 and 2 examined how the possession of power by either the source or target of influence moderates the outcomes of having influence. In Study 1, participants attempted to persuade a subordinate in a simulated fund-raising task using either harsh or soft forms of power. In Study 2, participants attempted to persuade either a leader or a peer to change his or her stance on mandatory comprehensive exams. In Study 3, participants either received a reward for attempting to influence a peer, regardless of the outcome (engagement-contingent), were rewarded only if they successfully influenced a peer (performance-contingent), or were asked to influence a peer without any expectation of rewards. Participants in all three studies were given false feedback indicating whether their influence attempts were successful. Following the manipulations, participants' need-fulfillment, liking for the target and willingness to help the coworker were assessed. Across studies, participants in the successful compared to unsuccessful influence conditions reported greater attraction to and willingness to help the target of influence and higher task satisfaction. Contrary to expectations, no reliable effects were found for need fulfillment. Perceptions of similarity and task satisfaction partially mediated the effects of influence on interpersonal attraction. Finally, the results indicated that influencing someone using soft power tactics (Study 1), or in conjunction with a performance-contingent reward (Study 3), was associated with the highest willingness to help. The helping effects were not mediated by similarity, reciprocity, need fulfillment or voluntariness. The theoretical and organizational implications of the findings and ideas for future research are discussed.

  • The Seventeenth-Century Singer's Body: An Instrument of Action

    Author:
    Brooke Bryant
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Music
    Advisor:
    Barbara Hanning
    Abstract:

    In the seventeenth century, singers relied both on their voices and movements of their bodies for affective expression. This study investigates the close relationship between the body and voice in the seventeenth century from a variety of viewpoints, both theoretical and practical, offering an interdisciplinary approach to this connection. The work of natural philosophers such as Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Hooke, Huygens and Newton demonstrates sight's role as the fundamental sense through which the world was processed and understood during the seventeenth century. In this context, it is imperative to elevate the role of sight in sung performances to a position comparable to that of sound, an idea corroborated by contemporary descriptions of singing by Marino, Monteverdi and Tillet. I reexamine singing manuals and oratory, acting and iconography treatises published during this time--such as Mersenne's Harmonie Universelle, Butler's Principles of Musik in Singing and Setting, Tosi's Opinioni de' cantori antichi e moderni, Le Faucheur's Traitté de l'action de l'orateur, Hobbes's Briefe of the Art of Rhetoricke, Bulwer's Chirologia and Ripa's Iconologia--uncovering a wealth of information on how gestures of the face and hands and postures of the body may be used in song. Medical studies completed in the present and in the seventeenth century, such as Bartholin's Anatomy and Browne's Compleat Treatise of the Muscles, reveal that there are both physiological and psychological connections between the body and voice. The body plays an integral role in vocalization, which suggests that posture, movement and gesture may assist the singer in creating vocal sounds appropriate to the texts and music at hand. This research is applied to three pieces of music written for performance in different contexts: Strozzi's cantata Moralità amorosa (1654), the famous Act II recitative from Lully's Armide (1686) and "Morpheus, Thou Gentle God," a mad song by Daniel Purcell. (1699). A close reading of both music and text suggests that the composers wrote physical movement into these works, providing musical clues regarding the way that singers could manipulate their bodies in sung performances. These readings offer a new methodology for performers and historians seeking to investigate seventeenth-century performance circumstances.

  • Effects of speaking mode (clear, habitual, slow speech) on vowels and intelligibility of individuals with Parkinson's disease

    Author:
    Rebekah Buccheri
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Speech & Hearing Sciences
    Advisor:
    Douglas Whalen
    Abstract:

    The present study examined the effects of speaking mode (clear, habitual, slow speech) on speech production and speech perception of individuals with and without Parkinson's disease. In the speech production task there were 21 speakers who read the Farm passage in habitual,clear and slow speech modes. Acoustic analysis involving the assessment of the first and second formant frequencies was performed using vowel space areas, vowel dispersions, /i-a/ distances for both tense and lax vowels produced in each of the speaking conditions. Duration ratios of both the tense and lax vowels were also examined in each condition. Effects of the conditions on perception were investigated in two listening tasks. In the first task, 3 listeners heard a subset of speakers from the production portion. In a forced choice task the listeners then selected the vowel they preferred in a given speaking condition. In the second listening task, 10 listeners used a 7-point Likert rating scale to rate 4 sentences produced in each of the 3 conditions for the 21 speakers. Production results showed that vowel space areas were larger in the clear and slow conditions compared to habitual, with no statistically significant difference between clear and slow. Results from the first listening task showed a preference for vowels in clear speech mode, and the second showed that speakers were rated most intelligible in clear speech mode.

  • Are Sisters Doing It (All) For Themselves? Elderly Black Women And Healthcare Decision Making

    Author:
    Carlene Buchanan Turner
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Sociology
    Advisor:
    Juan Battle
    Abstract:

    ABSTRACT ARE SISTERS DOING IT (ALL) FOR THEMSELVES? ELDERLY BLACK WOMEN AND HEALTHCARE DECISION MAKING by Carlene Buchanan Turner This dissertation examines the effects of health values on the decisions made by elderly Black women to use self-care methods and homecare services. The research is grounded in the healthicization or wellness promotion paradigm, which prescribes behavioral or lifestyle changes for previously biomedically defined events. The dissertation consists of both quantitative and qualitative research. The quantitative component focuses on a sample of Black women over 70 years old (N= 642) from the 2000 NHI Second Longitudinal Study on Aging dataset. The qualitative component analyzes ten in-depth interviews with respondents from Southern Maryland used to supplement the quantitative findings. Although the quantitative and qualitative analyses resulted in complementary findings, there were some important differences. First, the results from the Multiple Regression demonstrate that, for elderly Black women, health values explained a fair amount of the variance in equipment self-care (R2 of .199); equipment self-care also contributes more to the independence of elderly Black women than behavioral and environmental self-care (which accounted for 8.4 and 1.0 percent of the variance respectively). Secondly, structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to establish causality among the three major constructs of the research in order to make inferences about the sample population. For example, the SEM findings revealed that elderly Black women with positive self-values are less likely to practice traditional self-care, while those who practiced self-care were more dependent on homecare services. Finally, the interviews helped to illustrate the findings from the quantitative analysis. Specifically, elderly Black women choose to practice self-care to maintain their independence, and believe they are personally responsible for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Two major policy implications were derived from this study. First, while the personal responsibility crusade in healthcare is important, clients from marginalized populations should not be deprived of public healthcare programs if they choose not to participate in this trend. Second, greater flexibility should be allowed the elderly client in deciding how to spend homecare subsidies from local Respite programs.

  • Qualitative and Quantitative X-Ray Diffraction Analysis for Forensic Examination of Duct Tapes

    Author:
    Rebecca Bucht
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Criminal Justice
    Advisor:
    Thomas Kubic
    Abstract:

    Duct tapes are an increasingly important class of forensic evidence. This research has studied the value of using x-ray diffraction (XRD) to extend the ability of evidence examiners to gain additional information about a duct tape specimen. Duct tapes are composed of five different layers. Starting from the non-adhesive side, these layers are the release coating, backing, scrim, primer and adhesive. The release coating assists in reducing unwind tension and preventing the tape from sticking to itself when on a roll. The backing layer serves as a support for the adhesive, and is usually based on polyethylene. The scrim is a layer of fibers either embedded in the backing layer or between the backing and adhesive layers. Primers help attach the adhesive to the backing. Pressure sensitive adhesives are based on polymers such as natural or synthetic rubbers combined with tackifying resins and hydrogenated resins. Pigments and additives are added to the backing and adhesive layers in order to achieve the desired tape characteristics and appearance. A variety of instrumental methods are used to obtain information for discrimination of pressure sensitive tapes including duct tapes. Research has been reported on the evidential value of a range of physical investigations such as, physical and optical examination of thickness, weight/area, fluorescence, and birefringence, as well as instrumental chemical techniques including UV/VIS, FTIR, XRF, NAA, ICP MS, XRD, pyrolysis-GC/MS and isotope-ratio MS. XRD analyses have been used to identify minerals in duct tape but to date, only limited qualitative XRD information has been used and no systematic investigation of the further uses of XRD analysis and databases has been published. XRD analysis has the potential to offer a convenient, cost effective and non-destructive method for further characterization of the molecular or atomic make up of the tape layers. The diffractogram contains information about the qualitative and quantitative mineral composition and the crystallinity of mineral species and polymers present. This research has shown that the use of quantitative XRD analysis of duct tapes can differentiate between some duct tape samples from rolls that cannot be distinguished by current, routine analysis methods.

  • Knowledge Ascription and Traditional Epistemology

    Author:
    Jon Buckwalter
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Philosophy
    Advisor:
    Jesse Prinz
    Abstract:

    The principle thesis of this dissertation is that understanding the psychological factors that underlie epistemic judgment through knowledge ascription is essential for progress in traditional epistemology, and that the tools developed across the cognitive sciences are necessary for collecting accurate evidence concerning the nature of these factors. Chapters are displayed as cumulative proof of concept for this thesis. Chapter 1 begins with a discussion of the role of ascription and ordinary language practices in epistemic arguments. The subsequent sections of the dissertation then present experimental evidence advancing new understanding of the judgments we ordinarily make about knowledge ascription, together with a discussion of how this understanding comes to bear on a series of significant and ongoing debates in contemporary epistemology. Chapter 2 displays evidence for the claim that the ordinary concept of knowledge is factive. Chapter 3 explores the ways in which pragmatic factors like stakes, error salience, or attributor accommodation influence knowledge ascription, and subsequently, the implications these findings have for adjudicating between certain arguments given in support of contextualism and interest-relative invariantism. Chapter 4 gives evidence for a moral component of knowledge attribution, and shows how this effect of normative judgments on epistemic judgments may provide new insight into enduring philosophical puzzles like Gettier problems. Lastly, Chapter 5 surveys recent evidence suggesting that epistemic judgments are prone to performance errors and demographic variation, that may well threaten to undermine a substantial set of epistemic projects unless the empirical study of epistemic intuitions is incorporated into methodological approaches to the study of knowledge. Chapter 6 is a brief conclusion suggesting areas for further study, as well as how applying these new methods may relate to larger research programs in psychology and cognitive science.

  • EFFECT OF TEMPERATURE ON THE DAMAGE OF HYBRID THICK COMPOSITES SUBJECT TO DROP-WEIGHT AND BALLISTIC IMPACTS

    Author:
    Yougashwar Budhoo
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Engineering
    Advisor:
    Feridun Delale
    Abstract:

    The aim of this study is to investigate the low velocity and ballistic impact responses of thick-section hybrid fiber composites at various temperatures. Plain-woven S2-Glass and IM7 Graphite fabrics are chosen as fiber materials reinforcing the SC-79 epoxy. Four different types of composites consisting of alternating layers of glass and graphite woven fabric sheets are considered. The tensile tests were conducted following ASTM Standards D3039 (Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials) and D3518 (Standard Test Method for In-Plane Shear Response of Polymer Matrix Composite Materials by Tensile Test of a +/- 45° Laminate) on hybrid and non-hybrid plain weave composite materials. Strips (6.35mm × 25mm × 250mm) of non-hybrid IM-7 Graphite/SC-79 epoxy denoted as GR for brevity, non-hybrid S-2 Glass/SC-79 epoxy called GL for short, hybrid GR/GL/GR and hybrid GL/GR/GL specimens were tensile tested. The tests were conducted at -60 °C, -20 °C, room temperature, 75 °C and 125 °C. Then the rule of mixtures was used to predict the Young's moduli of GL/GR/GL and GR/GL/GR using the experimental values obtained from the stress-strain curves of the GL and GR specimens. The predicted Young's moduli of GL/GR/GL and GR/GL/GR were then compared to those obtained experimentally. It was found that the calculated Young's and shear moduli match closely (within 6 %) to those obtained experimentally. The Poisson's ratio was measured using strain gages. Classical lamination theory was used to calculate the thermal stresses developed in the hybrid woven composite, which were then compared to the maximum stress values obtained experimentally from the unidirectional tensile tests, to determine whether they were significant. It was determined that the calculated thermal stresses are negligible (in the order of 2.5%) compared to the failure stress of the composite, and thus will be neglected in impact modeling and computations. Next, low-velocity impact tests were conducted using an Instron-Dynatup 8250 impact test machine equipped with an environmental chamber operable from -60 °C to 316 °C. Test temperatures were achieved in the same manner as in tensile testing. The impact tests were performed at an energy level of 30 Joules. Both destructive cross-sectional micrographs and nondestructive ultrasonic techniques used to evaluate the damage created by impact. Ultrasound C-scans were performed using a Physical Acoustics Corporation UltraPAC immersion ultrasonic imaging system. The Finite Element code LS-DYNA was chosen to perform numerical simulations of low velocity and later ballistic impact on thick-section hybrid composites. The experimentally obtained force-time histories, strain-time histories and damage patterns of impacted composites are compared with Finite element results. Good agreement between experimental and FE results has been achieved when comparing dynamic force, contact stiffness, deflection, energy, strain histories and damage patterns from experimental measurements and FE simulations. It was shown that the variation of results obtained from our low velocity impact experiments for the hybrid composite was very small (in the order of 8 %) when compared to those of the non- hybrid composite material. Also, when looking at the hybrid or non-hybrid composites, the effect of temperature at -60 °C, -20 °C was not significant, whereas at 75 °C and 125 °C was very significant. The final portion of this research deals with ballistic impact experiments on the above mentioned composites and numerical modeling. Ballistic impact tests were performed using helium pressured high-speed gas-gun. In this case also, high and low temperatures were achieved in the same manner as those in the tensile testing. From experiments, it is concluded that GL has a better ballistic impact resistance compared to the other three composites layups. The ballistic limit of GL increases with an increase in test temperature, while GR is decreased. The ballistics limits for the hybrids were in between of those for GL and GR.

  • Into the Woods: Motif-Based Fairy Tale Analysis and the Gendered Aesthetics of French 17th and 18th-Century Women Writers

    Author:
    Christina Buehler
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    French
    Advisor:
    Francesca Canade-Sautman
    Abstract:

    For such beautiful and often times short stories, fairy tales have inspired diverse analyses from multiple scholars. The studies are as varied as the tales they discuss. There are historical and sociological viewpoints that study both the local culture and mannerisms displayed by the protagonists and the people whom they meet along their journey. The feminist approach looks at the role of women in these tales and how they interact as a group with each other as well as with the female protagonists in their fictional lives. Those who are intrigued by the psychological aspect of fairy tales look to Jung and Freud to fuel their dissection of tale elements. A final approach that is particularly intriguing and not as well studied as one would think is the classic textual analysis of a fairy tale, focusing on motifs. The richness of the visual elements and descriptions in the tales enhances the overall story arc and although the tales are meant to entertain the general population, there are certain areas that beg to be studied in depth. Ultimately the question that needs to be explored is why the author of a fairy tale chooses certain elements to help propel the movement of the story. If one reads enough tales, it becomes apparent that there are certain recurring motifs that are particularly significant in the author's works. These motifs are not haphazardly chosen; they are deliberately selected by the learned fairy tale writers to enhance the tale's overall impact. The recurring motifs found within the literary fairy tale tradition deserve further attention. Upon studying the historical development of the literary fairy tale in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France, it is clear that the French authors drew much of their ideas from the tale-tellers before them, especially the Italians Straparola and Basile, who were responsible for the first written fairy tales, albeit in their local dialect. These elements and motifs, which were present in the early tales of the Italians, were expanded and enhanced by the French. Although Charles Perrault is the best-known French fairy tale writer, this dissertation focuses on the tales written by the French women, particularly Mme. d'Aulnoy. These conteuses deserve more than a second glance, as their tales are rich with beautiful prose and great detail. Therefore, the first half of this dissertation will look at the historical development of the tale in France, demonstrating a clear connection between the Italian tale-tellers and their French counterparts. The second part of this study will be a textual analysis of select tales by the conteuses showcasing the unique sensitivity and viewpoint that they brought to their tale-telling.

  • Intentionality without intensionality

    Author:
    Matias Bulnes
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Philosophy
    Advisor:
    Michael Levin
    Abstract:

    The main thesis of the dissertation is that the choice between individualism and externalism is a false dilemma. Individualism is the view that mental entities such as beliefs, desires, concepts, etc. are internal to an individual's body, individuated independently of what happens outside. Externalism is the view that they are external to the body, individuated by the relations between the individual and her environment. Both of these views disarm conundrums about the mind but are also plagued by their own problems. Yet the choice makes a material difference in nearly all mind-related problems. I do not wish to deny that they are mutually exclusive--I take this to be rather obvious. But in the dissertation I trace a route between them that avoids their perils. I make one fundamental methodological assumption: mental entities are defined by their role in folk psychology. As a consequence, in adjudicating between competing hypotheses related to the nature of mental entities I rely on their power to explain and systematize folk psychology. My strategy is simple. I begin with a diagnosis of the problems that plague individualism. I argue that by committing to the intensionality of the mental, individualism makes the content of mental entities (or what they represent) accessory to their individuation, contrary to folk psychology. Then I weaken the individualist view just enough to avert this consequence without falling prey to the problems that plague externalism. The result is a view of mental entities as having individualist structure but externalist content. The objects immanent to the mental famously observed by Brentano emerge neither as neural symbols nor as external realities but rather as virtual objects, that is, as immanent to a characterization of brain states in terms of personal dispositions to interact with an environment.

  • Conspiratorial Modernism: Modernism and Conspiracy Theory in Proust, Joyce, Faulkner, and Musil

    Author:
    Johannes Burgers
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    English
    Advisor:
    Marc Dolan
    Abstract:

    This project investigates the concurrent emergence of literary modernism and anti-Semitic conspiracy theory in Europe and America between 1894 and 1942. This period, stretching from the Dreyfus Affair to the beginning of the Endlösung (final solution), represents the most significant shifts in anti-Semitic discourse in Europe, and roughly outlines the most important years of modernism. By bringing these two discourses into conversation, this project documents their remarkably similar reactions to modernity's fragmentation and dislocation. Both modernists and conspiracy theorists believed that modernity had fractured an erstwhile total and complete reality. They therefore wrote vast, totalizing works that tried to create a complete worldview. The critical difference was that modernists concluded that such a worldview was no longer possible, while the conspiracy theorists were convinced that they are being thwarted by Jews. In uncovering a previously undocumented history, this study not only reveals the pervasive and multifarious influence of anti-Semitism on literature, but also contributes to a growing body of scholarship on modernism's relationship to other early twentieth century discourses. Methodologically, this thesis is supported through a three-pronged approach that combines history, biography, and aesthetics. First, I construct a historical model that documents the transmission of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in Europe and across the Atlantic. Second, I situate Marcel Proust, James Joyce, William Faulkner, and Robert Musil within this context through their personal biography, especially their contact with anti-Semitism and anti-Semites. Third, I align the aesthetics of conspiracy theory with that of each authors' magnum opus, respectively, A la recherche du temps perdu , Ulysses, the Yoknapatawpha novels, and Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften. In its historical approach, this study uses the current transnational approach in Modernism Studies, and applies this model to conspiracy theories. Traditionally, scholars have explained anti-Semitic conspiracy theories by situating them within a national discourse. My comparative approach highlights the substantially different antipathies that people had towards Jews in each of the countries studied, while at the same time revealing an extensive transatlantic economy of anti-Semitic ideas. Though often couched in nationalist rhetoric, anti-Semitism's theoretical underpinnings were established through this larger conversation. This discourse of anti-Semitism touched the lives of all these authors in different ways, and shaped how they represented Jewishness in their texts. Through letters, journals, and other often-overlooked biographical material, I uncover biographical connections between each author and anti-Semitism. All the authors demonstrate various levels of sympathy for Jews, while also harboring negative stereotypes. Beyond the historical and biographical overlap, modernism and conspiracy theory share a similar aesthetic. Modernist and conspiracy texts were encyclopedic and omnivorous in their scope. Consequently, the narrative drive of such texts relies on assembling and fashioning the work into a coherent whole. Yet, their sheer overwhelming size continuously resists complete comprehension. Further, at the center of each work is a region of unknowability that ostensibly masks a transcendental truth that, when revealed, will make the world complete again. I conclude that for the modernist the point is that such a transcendental truth no longer exists, and that for the conspiracy theorist this truth is obscured by a vast Jewish conspiracy. Modernism therefore undermines and resists the conspiratorial project by revealing totality as an impossibility. I structure the chapters around specific dates that indicate real and fictional moments of rupture that modernists attempt to reveal and conspiracy theorists try to close.