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EB Style as a Moderating Variable in identifying Features of Psychosis in an Adolescent Population

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:05

The aim of this study was to contribute to the research on using the Rorschach Inkblot Test to identify adolescents that are at risk for experiencing psychotic symptoms. It was hypothesized that the utility of the Perceptual Thinking Index (PTI) and its components would be affected by Erlebnistypus (EB Style), because this variable is representative of the way an individual is likely to have approached the Rorschach task. It was further hypothesized that the quality of the specific responses associated with one's primary mechanism for problem-solving would be most likely to predict psychotic diagnosis as well as self-report and therapist ratings of psychotic features. Pearson correlations revealed differences between the three EB Style groups in terms of which Rorschach variables were correlated with various indicators of psychotic features. In particular, the PTI composite variable was correlated with whether or not an individual was diagnosed with a psychotic disorder only when individuals had introversive or ambitensive EB styles. On the other hand, the use of a new variable, C-%, was correlated with multiple self-report measures of psychotic features, but only when individuals had an extratensive style. Finally, a significant interaction effect was found between extratensive EB Style and C-% on color cards when predicting scores on the MMPI-A Schizophrenia Scale. Although not entirely consistent with the hypothesized trends, these patterns are of interest, and possible implications are explored in this text. Of importance is the dearth of research available on EB Style, despite the likelihood that one's problem-solving style affects the response process on the Rorschach test itself. Given the patterns observed in the results of this study, further research on the usefulness of this particular variable is necessary.^

Categories: Books

Program Evaluation of Jacob's Pillows Curriculum in Motion (JP-CIM) Program Residency: The Effects of Utilizing a Kinesthetic Instructional Program & Students Perceived Multiple Intelligence Strengths on Academic Motivation, Academic Self-Efficacy, & Exec

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:05

Skoning (2010) stated that special and general education teachers are challenged to effectively meet the academic needs of their students. No matter how frequently class materials are read, discussed, and reviewed, some students do not understand the information or remember it when asked to recall information later. Literature has shown that there is a connection between kinesthetic movement, executive functioning and academic achievement. Brain based learning and multiple intelligence theories depict how individuals take in, retain and learn information. Theorist postulate that academic motivation combined with academic self-efficacy can improve academic achievement. (Caine & Caine, 1991; Campbell & Campbell, 1999).^ The researcher conducted a quasi-experimental study that aimed to investigate the effects of the Jacob's Pillow Curriculum in Motion Program (a kinesthetic/dance movement program) on the academic motivation, academic self-efficacy, and executive functioning of high school students. Furthermore, this study explored how students self-identified multiple intelligence abilities impacted the relationship between JP-CIM and the outcome variables. The participants in the study were 86 students who attended a public high school in Berkshire County Massachusetts. The intervention group consisted of 37 students and the control group consisted of 49 students. Quantitative results indicated that although there were some changes in the student scores on the outcome variables from time 1 to time 2, the two groups did not differ significantly. Results also revealed that there was no significant difference on the outcome variables of the students who had perceived high and perceived low kinesthetic intelligence. Although there were no statistically significant findings, further examination of the results revealed general trends and patterns of scores amongst the participants. Patterns of scores indicated that the JP-CIM student participant's scores on self-esteem, self-regulation, and emotional control, increased more than their counterparts. Trends also revealed that students with perceived low kinesthetic strength portrayed an overall pattern of improvement on all three of the variables compared to the students with perceived high kinesthetic strength.^ The results are considered in regard to the current knowledge and research of kinesthetic/dance programs and perceived multiple intelligence strengths, on student learning, as well as, their social-emotional and executive functioning skills. Limitations and future directions are discussed.^

Categories: Books

Young Adult Internet Usage and Aggression: In-vivo Aggression in the Era of Cyberbullies

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:05

As communication becomes more technology based with less emphasis on in-vivo communication, it is important to understand the effects of prolonged technology use (specifically Internet usage) on interpersonal interactions. Online communications and prolonged Internet usage have been found to impact how people express and understand social cues. Previous studies have shown that Internet usage and certain online communications can negatively effect in-vivo social interactions in adolescents. This study examined the effects of Internet usage on in-vivo aggression in young adults, ages 18-24; as well as the moderating effect of cyberbully status on this relationship. Participants were given questionnaires to assess their Internet usage, online aggression, online victimization, and in-vivo aggression. Findings indicated that there was a significant relationship between Internet usage and in-vivo aggression; such that as Internet usage increased, in-vivo aggression increased. Cyberbully status was found to be a moderator for this relationship. For cyberbullies, cyberbully/victim, and abstainers in-vivo aggression increased as Internet usage Increased. However, those participants who reported being victims of cyberbullying displayed a decrease in in-vivo aggression as Internet usage increased. No differences were found between cyberbullies, cyberbully/victims, and abstainers in their moderating effect on the relationship between Internet usage and in-vivo aggression. Future research and implications are discussed. ^

Categories: Books

Options for Adaption to Climate Change

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 15:02

In order to tackle climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (“IPCC”) provided a portfolio of measures: mitigation, adaptation and constant research. Although Article 10 of the Kyoto Protocol underlined the importance of adaptation, adaptation to climate change had been obtained limited attention in the early negotiations of climate talks. In 2010, Cancun Session of Conference of Parties (“COP”) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”) highlighted the equal importance of adaptation just as mitigation. Since then, increasing attention has been drawn to adaptation practice by the international society. Typically, adaptation can be broken down into three steps: (1) realizing the effects of climate change; (2) designing the activity for remediation of climate change consequences; and (3) implementing the adaptation measures. The most important “adaptive step” is the decision-making and the way in which the activity is designed.

Developing countries have already realized how climate change affects them. Change of temperature, precipitation and extreme events such as superstorms and sea level rise already have threatened them, in particular their water, agriculture and coastal zones. Their adaption programs “must be an integral part of a development policy process that ensures mainstreaming of climate adaptation in all relevant sectors of society while not forgetting the other multiple drivers (social, economic, and environmental problems)”. In other words, the ultimate goal of the adaption program design should create a link between the adaptation measures and overall sustainable development. The measures will need to be different for each country since “adaptation needs to be context specific and dependent on the resources available to the impacted domain.”

However, adaptation cost and adaptive capacity are two barriers in developing countries. On a regional basis, the East Asia and Pacific Region bears the highest adaptation cost according to some economic analyses. With regard to adaptive capacity, developed countries have more strengths on adaptation development than developing countries because of their greater resources and often better governance systems, technical support and quality of national institutions.

Various partnerships that aim to improve adaptive capacity and resilience have been carried out in developing countries. However, it is a long-term process and takes substantial time to see the results. Under the pressure of climate change, instantly effective adaptation measures would be helpful to developing countries. This paper proposes a series of adaptation paths that can be promoted and replicated under different circumstances regardless of different governance structures.

Categories: Books

Innovative Financing for Renewable Energy

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 14:58

Carbon pollution from fossil-fuel combustion is the largest contributor to climate change worldwide. Renewable energy can materially help to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their principal cause, worldwide dependence on carbon fuels. If our goal is to remain at or below 1990 numbers, then fossil fuels must be phased out of the global energy portfolio.

While other factors such as energy inefficiencies in buildings, appliances and transportation, for example; deforestation, farm animal excretion, pipeline leakage, HFCs for refrigeration, black soot and changes in land use also contribute to increased emissions, finding new, innovative ways to empower people to seize the opportunities presented by clean, renewable electricity present an invaluable path to reduce carbon emissions.

Categories: Books

Global Water Resources & Publications

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 14:32

Before we as a society can begin crafting innovative legal solutions to help combat the global water crisis, researchers and experts in the field first need access to sound sources of scientific information. Despite the seeming simplicity of that goal, locating research about water, sanitation, and agricultural conditions, especially in developing countries, can be immensely challenging as it is complicated by issues of language, currency, scope, and accuracy. The purpose of this note is to provide practitioners with a list of free, high quality resources that should help make their research in this area a bit more accessible.

Categories: Books

The State Response to Climate Change: 50 State Survey

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 11:59

This survey accompanies Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, Second Edition (Michael B. Gerrard and Jody Freeman, eds, 2014). It compiles state legislation, rules and executive orders that specifically address climate change as of the end of April 2014. It also includes a wide variety of state activities that may have an impact on greenhouse gases including legislation related to energy efficiency and renewable energy. The focus of this material is to provide readers with an understanding of the range of state activity that may contribute to greenhouse gas reduction and climate change. Some types of energy efficiency, alternative fuels and renewable energy legislation (such as tax credits for hybrid vehicles) are very similar from state to state; some laws have a short duration and therefore may not be codified (such as temporary tax credits); energy legislation is being enacted at an increasing pace. As a result, not all energy efficiency, alternative fuels and renewable energy legislation and other activity in every state are included in this compilation.

Categories: Books

Quotas and the Transatlantic Divergence of Corporate Governance

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 14:55

The French adoption of a corporate board quota for women reflects Europe's increasingly stakeholder-oriented approach to corporate governance, one that stands in marked contrast with that of the United States. This Article discusses how the corporate board quota will shift French and European corporate governance. The change accentuates an already established stakeholder corporate culture widespread in Europe, most notably evidenced by the presence of worker representation on boards. In contrast, the United States' corporate governance structure increasingly places the shareholder at its center. The proliferation of quotas for women on corporate boards in the national and transnational European contexts is a factor that will further distinguish European corporate governance regimes from those of the United States. France's extensive history of public participation in private corporate governance stands in contrast with the liberal contract and property system of the United States. These historical divergences of stakeholder or shareholder orientations stand apart: in the United States, attention to stakeholder inclusion has remained an academic exercise, while French and European governance embodies substantial stakeholder inclusion. Integrating a critical mass of women into the world's largest economy's corporate management will revolutionize capital structures and the regulatory regimes that govern them. This Article argues that quotas may serve to heighten the divide between Europe and other regions on stakeholder/shareholder corporate governance.

Categories: Books

The Paradox of Race-Conscious Labels

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 14:49

Labeling affirmative action laws with integrity is a hopelessly paradoxical pursuit. This article illustrates the consequences of such a pursuit. Section I traces the origins of the Top Ten Percent Law, which arose as a legislative protest to the Fifth Circuit's rejection of the use of race in admissions decisions. This section provides an in-depth understanding of the Top Ten Percent Law and concludes with a detailed analysis of the Fisher decision. Section II supplies an explanation of the majority's conclusion to treat the Top Ten Percent Law as race-neutral and provides detailed support for Justice Ginsburg's affirmation that the Law is really race-conscious. This section explores the foundation upon which the Top Ten Percent Law rests, illustrating that the Top Ten Percent Law only works because the Court's school and housing desegregation cases have failed. Section III articulates the legal and political consequences of labeling the Top Ten Percent Law as race-conscious or race-neutral. This section discusses the stringency of the strict scrutiny test and the flexibility of the rational basis test and demonstrates that a Supreme Court label often dictates a law's constitutionality. This section then exposes the political fallout that will result from labeling the Top Ten Percent Law race-neutral and pays particular attention first to the argument that a race-neutral designation signals an unearned complacency for racial equality, and second to the concern that a race-neutral label turns a blind eye to the lingering effects of past discrimination. Section IV concludes that an unfortunate paradox arises when courts assign a race-neutral label to a race-conscious law. Regardless of whether the Court designates a law as race-conscious or race-neutral, its unbiased labels create very biased results.

Categories: Books

The Tropics Exploited: Risk Preparedness and Corporate Social Responsibility in Offshore Energy Development

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 13:44

Soaring energy demands and increasing technological innovation have led to the rapid exploitation of offshore oil and gas exploration and development. This Article seeks to examine elements of risk preparedness and corporate social responsibility in the context of the underwater natural gas pipeline in the Eastern Caribbean and the exploration of Florida's potential offshore energy reserves. I discuss these two case studies to illustrate the prevalence of emerging regional energy corridors in previously unfathomable tropical and subtropical locales known for tourism-intensive commercial activity. While images of environmental degradation of the 2010 BP oil spill remain entrenched in the collective consciousness, oil and gas operators are continuing to forge ahead with developing natural resource plays. This Article outlines an agenda for managing the inevitable exploitation of natural resources through sustainable development principles.

Categories: Books

Environment, Ethics, and the Factory Farm

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 13:29

Transcript of Symposium: Ethical Implications of the Commercial Use of Animals.

What are the ethics behind factory farming? What are the ethical implications? Specifically, I'd like to focus on the environmental implications. But I define environmental implications a little differently than a lot of folks because I teach animal law.

Categories: Books

The International Sugar Trade and Sustainable Development: Curtailing the Sugar Rush

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 13:26

This Article will briefly examine the history of the international sugar trade and discuss the current status of the sugar industry in world markets, specifically in Brazil, India, and the United States. The international sugar trade industry should consider instituting sustainable development practices not only for the public good, but also to enhance its bottom line. As "one of the most highly distorted agricultural commodity markets," the international sugar market is an ideal environment to implement sustainable development practices and begin change with respect to CSR through "guaranteed minimum payments to producers, production and marketing controls (quotas), state-regulated retail prices, tariffs, import quotas and export subsidies."' The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that "[a]lthough current world sugar prices have largely retreated from the 25-year highs reached in February 2006, the market remains particularly susceptible to large demand swings and price volatility." Generally, as traditional sugar producing countries have increased production, mostly due to domestic subsidies, international sugar prices have decreased.

Categories: Books

A National Mineral Policy As an International Investment Law Stratagem: The Case of Tajikistan's Gold Reserves

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 13:22

This Article proposes that a national mineral policy ("NMP") can be crafted to generate foreign direct investment ("FDI") and strengthen sustainable development goals. Less-developed countries ("LDCs") typically overlook or underestimate this federal policy imperative while seeking to harness mineral resources.' Creation of a NMP and complementary changes to federal mining investment laws can provide host countries increased opportunities as well as autonomy to profit from their own natural resources and, at the same time, investor nations can benefit from a NMP because of further mining prospects.

This Article goes on to discuss how the formulation and implementation of a NMP can work to actualize sustainable development goals for LDCs. Typically, even a well-intentioned NMP may afford only superficial sustenance to subsurface investment projects because of the presently inadequate investment regime for extractive industries. If, however, LDCs develop and implement NMPs with investment safeguards for trade and export with foreign investors and multinational enterprises, then the countries can begin to more fully reap the rewards of previously stalled mining enterprise ventures. By way of example, I will explore how the world's second largest known gold reserves, located in the Central Asian state of Tajikistan, remain unearthed because of a precautionary and highly administrative approach to international investment law. With a NMP, Tajikistan can improve its national standing in the World Trade Organization ("WTO") as a member nation. The development of a NMP in Tajikistan can be effectuated by contextualizing historical happenings of nation building and conflict to advance macro-level international investment law and policy. Part I will provide an economic and political snapshot to natural resource development in Tajikistan. Part II will coalesce overlapping goals of mining enterprises and international investment for sustainable development. Finally, Part III will show how to create a framework for international investment law and policy to facilitate an advantageous NMP for host countries. The case of Tajikistan's unearthed gold reserves will demonstrate why the making of a NMP is crucial not only in the case of Tajikistan, but other mineral-rich LDCs, to augment FDI for mining enterprises.

Categories: Books

Missouri Oil and Gas Update

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 13:18

The State of Missouri has untapped potential for the development of oil and natural gas resources. While the Missouri courts were quiet this past year on interpreting oil and gas rules and regulations, the legislature was active in amending laws governing storage tanks. The state has experienced a tremendous upsurge in oil and gas production in the past two fiscal years. Missouri is poised to ramp up its conventional oil and gas production in the coming years, so increased legislative actions and court activity will likely occur in the near future. Missouri's energy resources include coal bed methane, oil sand, and oil shale. Despite the limited supplies of traditional hydrocarbons, considerably large deposits of heavy oil exist, which are of interest to energy producers. According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, improving technologies along with efficient, environmentally responsible oil production, will result in increased economic benefit to the state in the form of jobs and revenue.

Categories: Books

"Turn on the Lights" -Sustainable Energy Investment and Regulatory Policy: Charting the Hydrokinetic Path for Pakistan

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 13:15

Hydrokinetic energy is an under-recognized, low-cost renewable technology that can be deployed in Pakistan through a robust national energy strategy and international investment schemes to tackle the country’s acute energy crisis. This article will show how national and local laws can be amended to favor progress in the sustainable energy sector and achieve hydrokinetic energy production in Pakistan, which if actualized, would be nothing short of a game changer—strategically and environmentally. Despite current legal regimes that disfavor small scale hydroelectric power production, Pakistan and other less developed countries can adapt and deploy hydrokinetic technology through revamped investment laws, regulatory rules, and renewable energy tax reform.

Categories: Books

Fundamental Principles of Law for the Anthropocene?

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 13:11

A wide array of questions arises from global change to confront environmental law. The IPCC has examined social decisions affecting the climate in the design of human settlements, transport systems, industrialisation, agriculture and silviculture, waste management, provisions for energy, and virtually all other socio-economic dimensions of human life. The AR-5, too, cannot avoid raising issues of human ethics and values at local and regional scales. Such issues reach environmental policy and law directly. The IPCC’s AR-5 report furthers widespread public debate about the human dimensions of climate change, and how social theory relates to environmental change. Already, climate change has captured the imagination, and a new genre of literature, climate fiction, or “cli-fi”, is engaging readers in imagining what is happening and will happen to each of us and our society.

Categories: Books

Achieving Consistent Near-Optimal Pattern Recognition Accuracy Using Particle Swarm Optimization to Pre-Train Artificial Neural Networks

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 16:33

Similar to mammalian brains, Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) are universal approximators, capable of yielding near-optimal solutions to a wide assortment of problems. ANNs are used in many fields including medicine, internet security, engineering, retail, robotics, warfare, intelligence control, and finance. ANNs have a tendency to get trapped at sub-optimal solutions (local optimum) , and therefore trial and error is commonly used to select the network topology and train the network, which is prohibitively time consuming and costly.^ Recent advances in our understanding of the biological brain, hardware, algorithms, and potential for novel applications renewed interest in ANNs. Evolutionary Artificial Neural Networks (EANN) are among the more successful paradigms explored to improve ANNs’ performance. EANNs employ evolutionary computation techniques such as Genetic Algorithms (GA) or Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) to train ANNs, or to generate ANNs’ topologies. Still, these improvements are not consistent and usually problem-specific. ANN performance depends in part on the number of neurons in hidden layer(s). The more neurons in hidden layer(s) the better the network’s ability to recognize specific samples it had seen during the training phase; however, the network becomes incapable of learning general patterns and recognizing these patterns in novel data. Performance on training data improves with training, while performance on testing data (samples the network had not seen previously) degrades (overfitting). This work rigorously investigated using PSO to pre-train ANNs with varying number of neurons in the hidden layer.^ It was shown that using PSO algorithm to pre-train ANNs improves classification accuracy for diverse problems, and, most notably, a PSO parameter configuration was developed that consistently yielded near-optimal solutions for pattern recognition problems from different domains. It was also shown how an automated algorithm for efficiently evolving optimal ANN size and topology can be designed to take advantage of the study’s findings. Furthermore, a novel biologically inspired hybrid of a visual ventral stream object recognition model was investigated – Hierarchical Model and X (HMAX), PSO, and feed-forward back-propagation ANN. This or similar biologically plausible models may be useful in vivo studies as well as in vitro simulations and applications.^

Categories: Books

Keystroke Biometrics Studies on Short Password and Numeric Passcode Input, and on Long Spreadsheet, Browser, and Text Application Input

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 16:33

A keystroke biometric system was enhanced to capture raw keystroke data directly from an individual’s computer system using an open source key logger originally designed for software testing. The key logger runs in the background capturing keystrokes directly through the operating system requiring no additional capture software, text entry window, or edit box for input. This allows the user freedom to generate unrestricted keystroke entry from any application installed on their system. ^ Long input data were collected from 20 participants using spreadsheet, browser, and text applications. Participants were free to type whatever they desired without using copy tasks in any of these experimental scenarios. Verification experiments were run on these samples using two classifiers. The newer Multi Match was far superior to the older Single Match classifier yielding EER performance of 8.1%, 15.7%, and 5.8% for spreadsheet, browser, and text entry in comparison to 13.6%, 27.5%, and 12.8%, respectively, for the older Single Match. ^ Short input data simulating a ten digit passcode were collected from 30 users entering the digits from the numeric keypad section of the keyboard. Using the feature set from the previous experiments, results were obtained from both classifiers - the EER performance using the Multi Match, varying the participants from 10 to 20 to 30, were 5.5%, 5.7%, and 6.1% compared to 15.6%, 15.7%, and 15.0%, respectively, from the Single Match classifier. Additional short-input experiments were run using data and features from Carnegie Melon University (CMU). The first was another keypad experiment using Pace University data with the CMU feature set and the second was a password experiment using both data and features from CMU. ^ The experiments conducted in this study had various independent variables, including participant count, classifier, feature set, and content type. Additionally, the data samples from the long input experiments were analyzed to get a better understanding of the performance variances and how they relate to keystroke lengths by calculating keystroke densities as the number of keystrokes divided by data capture elapse time.^

Categories: Books

Falling into the TRAP: The Ineffectiveness of ‘Undue Burden’ Analysis in Protecting Women’s Right to Choose

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 19:29

This Comment will first examine existing Supreme Court abortion and reproductive autonomy jurisprudence before seguing into an exploration of the limits of the ‘undue burden’ analysis through the Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Currier temporary and preliminary injunction decisions. The final section of this Comment explores potential solutions from other areas of constitutional law, and proposes that some techniques for limiting the reach of state regulatory power might be imported from environmental law, which frequently must deal with interactions amongst complex regulatory regimes.

Categories: Books