Alumni Dissertations

 

Alumni Dissertations

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  • Children's Tolerance of Word-form Variation

    Author:
    Paul Bruening
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Patricia Brooks
    Abstract:

    This study compared children's (N=96, mean age 4;1, range 2;8-5;3) and adults' (N=96, mean age 21 years) tolerance of word-onset modifications (e.g., wabbit and warabbit) and pseudo affixes (e.g., kocat and catko) in a label extension task. Trials comprised an introductory phase where children saw a picture of an animal and were told its name, and a test phase where they were shown the same picture along with one of a different animal. For `similar-name' trials, participants heard a word-form modification of the previously introduced name (e.g., introduced to a dib, they were asked, `which animal is a wib?'). For `dissimilar-name' trials, participants heard an entirely new word (e.g., introduced to a dib, they were asked, `which animal is a wuz?'). Specific types of modifications were repeated within each experiment to establish productive inflectional patterns. Across all experiments, children and adults exhibited similar strategies: They were more tolerant of prefixes than onset-modifications involving substitutions of initial consonants, and they were more tolerant of suffixes than prefixes, which may reflect a statistical tendency for inflections to adhere to the ends of words. Additionally, participants parsed novel productive inflections from stems when choosing targets. These findings point to word learning strategies as being flexible and adaptive to morphological patterns in languages.

  • War Baby: Race, Nation, and Cultural Conceptions of Lesbian Motherhood

    Author:
    Lisa Brundage
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    English
    Advisor:
    Jane Marcus
    Abstract:

    The Interwar period was a time of exaggerated social anxieties about gender, race, class, and sexuality. One of the primary vehicles for expressing this agitation was through a pronatalist cultural focus on maternity that posited women as gatekeepers of racial purity, traditional gender roles who perform a specifically patriotic duty--akin to men's military service--through reproduction. Concurrently, thanks to the ubiquity of Radclyffe Hall's image after the obscenity trial for The Well of Loneliness in 1928, the general public in England and the USA had a visual, collective idea of "the lesbian" for the first time. "The lesbian" was in many ways a foil for the idealized, domestic mother, and three novels from this period that are frequently considered classics of lesbian literature all place a heavy, yet currently under-explored, emphasis on the embattled relationship between lesbianism and maternity: Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness (1928), Sylvia Townsend Warner's Summer Will Show (1936), and Nella Larsen's Passing (1929). Despite her notoriety, Hall's novel places a deeply conservative value in women's reproductive capacity; a driving force in the plot is the female invert Stephen Gordon's need to compel her "normal" lover Mary Llewellyn to heterosexual reproduction--to prevent Mary from using lesbianism as contraception--over Mary's protestation. Warner's novel takes a more politically radical stance, tracing its protagonist Sophia Willoughby's disillusionment with white, aristocratic motherhood, ultimately having her reject not just marriage and maternity, but other forms of kinship in order to focus on her personal and solitary process of political radicalization. Larsen's novel focuses on the domestic and racial entrapment of bourgeois marriage and motherhood. Larsen conjoins the paranoia of racial and sexual passing through metaphors of pregnancy; Clare Kendry's paranoia about producing a black baby is recapitulated in Irene Redfield's anxiety about her attraction to Clare. These themes are reinvigorated and retold in contemporary narratives about lesbian mothers. The final chapter focuses on the lesbian television soap The L Word (2004-2009), which problematically posits the lesbian nuclear family as a locus of social protest and, along with gay military service, a primary conduit for fighting institutionalized homophobia.

  • The Seventh Regiment Armory Commission and Design: Elite Identity, Aesthetic Patronage and Professional Practice in Gilded Age New York

    Author:
    Chelsea Bruner
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Art History
    Advisor:
    Kevin Murphy
    Abstract:

    This dissertation is an exploration and analysis of the Seventh Regiment Armory, a privately funded, purpose-built headquarters for the nineteenth century's most elite volunteer militia. This project demonstrates how the conception and funding of the building were a direct response to Gilded Age labor-capital conflict--a means by which even non-member elites could participate in the most contentious socio-political debates of the day. Simultaneously, the Armory's commission and design reflected a new level of professionalization in the design profession(s) and specialization in architectural typology, and I argue that transformations in politics and professional practice were not discrete phenomena, but were manifestations of elite class consolidation in the face of unprecedented social change. This study tracks the evolution of the Seventh, establishing a connection between military proficiency and elite identity as reflected in a series of facilities used over the years. I connect the Seventh's policing duties with other elite initiatives to compel fiscal and social "reform" while establishing Aestheticism as a visual and stylistic corollary to those endeavors. Implemented by the first generation of American design professionals--architects, engineers and even artists--the class-based component of professionalism was brought to the fore in the late 1870s by the nascent labor movement, and this project explores the heretofore unexamined role that striking workers played in further catalyzing class consolidation among elite patrons and their peers in the design professions. The Armory was an exemplar of these professional and stylistic transformations. This analysis illuminates the continuity between the Seventh's interiors and other contemporaneous projects that are united (to a remarkable degree) stylistically, but otherwise typologically and geographically varied, further linking Aestheticism to the broader project of class consolidation and identity formation. By the mid-1880s, the style had fallen out of favor, thus the Armory is significant as a rare, extant example. It was the precedent for a subsequent boom in armory construction and inspired a number of imitators locally and across the country, but its sumptuous interiors were never matched. The Armory is an important and heretofore unexplored monument to a moment of incredible transformation in the country and city's history.

  • 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.

  • 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:

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