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Collection Description

Collection of student theses and dissertations from as early as 1939, but mainly from 2010 to present.

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What’s happening in the crowd? : analysis of crowdfunding contributor behaviors using the theory of planned behavior
Online crowdfunding has been a rapidly growing sector of both charitable giving and online purchase behavior. In 2014, $16.2 billion was raised globally by crowdfunding platforms, and that number was projected to more than double in 2015, reaching $34.4 billion. Online crowdfunding aggregates small donations from a large number of contributors to generate funds for many different purposes, including business capital and humanitarian efforts. Using Ajzen’s model of the theory of planned behavior, a survey was constructed to assess how subjective norms influence intention to donate and donation behavior in crowdfunding. In addition to the variables in Ajzen’s original theory, the survey assessed the role of credibility in crowdfunding and whether perceived credibility serves as a predictor of intention to donate or donation behavior. To further adapt the application of the theory of planned behavior to investigate online crowdfunding behavior, the measure of motivation to comply was assessed separately from subjective norms of a social network. Relationships between motivation to comply and the variables intention to donate and donating today were analyzed to determine the strength of the relationships between the variables. A strong relationship between motivation to comply and intention to donate and motivation to comply and donating today would indicate that motivation to comply applies similarly to online and offline transactions. A survey of those who had contributed to crowdfunding campaigns (N = 316) was conducted online using Amazon Mechanical Turk. Results of the survey revealed that the subjective norms of an individual’s social network are the biggest predictor of making a donation to a crowdfunding campaign. Additionally, the results indicated that the variables confidence in ability to donate to a crowdfunding campaign, attitude toward helping others, motivation to comply, and attitude toward crowdfunding campaigns best predict an individual’s intention to donate to a given crowdfunding campaign. Additionally, the results show that intention to donate and actual donation behavior have a weak relationship. This means that intention to donate to a crowdfunding campaign does not predict that an individual will follow through with his or her intentions and complete the intended behavior of donating to a campaign.
The following treatment refers to the "Wheelhouse" sculpture exhibition which took place in the Flor Y Canto gallery in the School of Art, Design and Art History at San Diego State University. The exhibit was installed 1-6 December, 2007. Alternate mold making strategies, materials and issues bearing upon the resulting iron castings are discussed. Ideas relative to making art from the world around us are considered and linked to important figures in contemporary art history. Deconstruction of common studio foundry process is explored and elaborated on. Arguments are made supporting autonomy, authority, and authenticity of the deconstructed elements of studio iron casting. Conference and symposia related to the global iron casting discourse are described and discussed. Process elements of the iron casting discourse that are not commonly considered are revealed and detailed. The slides, an appendix to the project, are available for viewing at the Slide Library in the School of Art, Design and Art History.
When environments collide: The role of social identity and drinking among working students
The normative environment, often represented by college peer and friend interactions, is a strong and consistent predictor of problem drinking in college. However, many students work in addition to attending college and the influence of this other peer group is not well studied. This study sought to address this gap using two objectives: 1) to test social identity as a moderator between descriptive drinking norms and problem drinking among students that work, and 2) to test the relationship between working in the hospitality industry among college students that work and drinking, and to examine factors that might mediate that relationship. The study was implemented via a cross-sectional web-survey conducted in the Fall of 2009 (n=760). Of the 760 students, 330 students were employed and included in the study. Using structural equation modeling (SEM), a test for the moderating effect of social identity was non-significant (CMIN=2.26 [64], CFI=.97, RMSEA= .05). A post hoc analysis splitting the model into two groups (hospitality vs. non-hospitality) showed a significant moderating effect of social identity among non-hospitality workers, (b=.14, p<.05, CMIN=1.17 [128], CFI=.94 RMSEA=.05). For the second objective, working in hospitality was significantly associated with problem drinking (b =.23, p<.001, CMIN=1.72 [17], CFI=.99, RMSEA=.05) and the descriptive drinking norm was a partial mediator (indirect effect = .078, p<.001). This study showed that coworker-drinking norms influence student drinking and that social identity may be an important moderator between norms and behavior. Also, norms seem to account for some of the effect of working in hospitality on drinking. This study establishes coworkers as an important peer group for college student interventions and that working in hospitality should be viewed as a risk group for drinking among college populations. Future studies should further examine both what are the factors that predict students working in hospitality and how those factors moderate the work environment's effect on drinking as well as the factors that mediate the association between hospitality and drinking.
When is evil?: Secular theories of evil
The term evil in a moral sense in Western culture is an intellectual non-sequitur, an archaic term, a term best left to antiquity and religion. The traditional problem of evil is concerned with the Judeo-Christian attempts to reconcile the Omni-God and evil (human suffering). Yet, the traditional problem sheds little light on how we can understand evil. Since Plato, Western moral thought views evil as another term for immorality, but this is insufficient for a concept of evil. What is needed is a secular postmetaphysical approach. The discussion of evil often begins with the question What is evil? This framing of the question is metaphysical and suggests that we can determine whether evil exists or does not; however, this approach is itself part of the problem. According to analytic philosopher Nelson Goodman, asking for What is, is the wrong question. A possible way to look at evil is not What is evil? but When is evil? as a way to explore the ideas, experiences, and events that breach our comprehension. The goal is to have a greater understanding of what the term evil does for the discourse by examining possible secular concepts of evil. To look at When is evil? is an open-ended inquiry into philosophically significant concepts that constitute evil. By examining secular postmetaphysical thinkers, I argue that Morton's distinctions between the weak and strong readings of evil must be collapsed into only a strong reading -- evil is when there is atrocity. I believe we come up with a better understanding of evil by approaching the concept using when is evil that is not linked to the traditional ideas of religion and theodicies. I conclude that evil is when there is atrocity or the worst possible opprobrium one can commit. It is neither by accident, nor simple moral failure that constitutes evil, but something that is beyond bad or immoral, it is the breaking point of comprehension where we simultaneously learn the limitlessness of action and become blindly ignorant to the responsibility we have to others.
Where do I begin? A critical analysis of the current American education system
The intention behind this thesis is to conceptualize the conservation and reproduction of inequities in the educational system considering the underlining principals of assimilation and functionalism., San Diego State University
Which differences make a difference? Comparing diversity metrics and their relationship to outcomes in virtual teams
Despite abundant research and organizational interest, the impact of diversity on team outcomes is unclear. Inconsistent conceptual definitions and operationalizations may account for conflicting effects of diversity. Further, although evidence suggests that contextual moderators are particularly relevant for understanding the association between diversity and outcomes, contextual effects are not consistently accounted for in the literature. Given that most modern work teams collaborate virtually to some extent, the context of team virtuality may be a key omitted moderator that could affect the relationship between team diversity and outcomes. I explored these questions by investigating whether the operationalization of diversity differentially predicts team outcomes. I then examined contextual factors that may moderate the relationship between diversity and team outcomes to ultimately determine which measures of diversity make a difference to teams with differing levels of virtuality. Adopting an inductive approach using archival data, I compared diversity operationalizations in terms of convergence, potential computational bias, and predictive validity for team outcomes. I then assessed the independent main effects of diversity of two attributes that varied in terms of their job-relatedness, and finally tested for moderating effects of virtuality on the association between diversity and team outcomes. Findings showed that diversity metrics demonstrated a high convergence and revealed a small but significant team size bias in uncorrected diversity metric formulas. Diversity metrics showed incremental predictive validity over simple proportional measures for gender, but not the other attributes assessed. Job-related educational specialty diversity and non-job-related ethnicity diversity were not found to show significant effects on team processes and outcomes, but team virtuality did show a positive main effect. Tests for moderation showed that virtuality moderated the relationship between educational specialty diversity and task-based outcomes but did not moderate the relationship between ethnicity diversity and any outcomes. Results suggest that some measurement effects exist for diversity but may be a smaller threat than hypothesized. This thesis extends the literature emphasizing the contextual role of team virtuality in determining team processes and outcomes. Researchers and practitioners seeking to understand the effects of diversity in modern teams should consider the moderating influence of team virtuality., San Diego State University
White matter integrity and executive dysfunction in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure : a diffusion tensor imaging study
Includes bibliographical references (p. 42-54)., Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) affects 2-5% of the population and is associated with cognitive deficits in overall intellectual functioning and on indices of learning, memory, and attention. Individuals with prenatal alcohol exposure may demonstrate behavioral problems including hyperactivity and impulsivity and show neural abnormalities including reductions in overall and regional brain volumes, reduced white matter density, and increased gray matter density. White matter abnormalities throughout the brain have been recognized in children with prenatal exposure to alcohol. These structural abnormalities have been hypothesized to underlie many of the cognitive and behavioral deficits observed in this population. The purpose of the current study was to use diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine white matter integrity in children with and without prenatal alcohol exposure. Participants included 47 children between the ages 10-16 years: children with heavy prenatal exposure to alcohol (AE = 25) and non-exposed children (CON = 22). Consistent with previous studies, prenatal alcohol exposure was associated with low fractional anisotropy (FA), high mean diffusivity (MD), and high radial diffusivity (RD), compared to non-exposed controls, in clusters in the frontal and parietal lobes, as well as the brainstem, fornix, external capsule, and cerebellum. More surprisingly, prenatal alcohol exposure was associated with clusters of high FA and low MD/RD in white matter tracts in all four lobes of the brain. To better understand these novel results, correlations between measures of white matter integrity and behavioral performance on measures of executive functioning (EF) using the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) were assessed. In clusters in the frontal and parietal lobe, decreased FA and increased MD/RD in the AE group were associated with impaired performance on several EF measures. Within areas where the AE group showed more homogenous white matter than controls, clusters in the temporal and occipital indicated that high FA and/or low MD/RD in the AE group were negatively associated with verbal and non-verbal fluency, while clusters showing reduced MD/RD (but not high FA) in the AE group in frontal-striatal tracts were positively associated with EF performance across several domains. These results suggest that white matter abnormalities in individuals with prenatal alcohol exposure may be more complex than initially believed, and are characterized by areas of both increased and decreased anisotropy relative to unaffected controls. Consistent with previous reports, we identified several clusters in which the AE group showed less homogenous white matter that were associated with impaired neuropsychological performance. However, this study also found that the AE group demonstrated higher FA and lower MD/RD than the CON group in clusters throughout the brain. This novel finding may be explained by either decreased neural branching (associated with impaired executive functioning) or compensatory mechanisms for other damaged structures (associated with improved cognition) differentially throughout the brain in individuals with prenatal alcohol exposure.
Who We Are: How Sub-Cultural Capital Intensifies Communication Conflict Between Whovians, Nuvians, and Fandom-at-large
For fans of media, the appeal of entering a community of like minded individuals can seem like the perfect way to establish lasting identities with others. However, research into fandom culture has indicated that this may not be the case. From social categorizing to the use of inclusive language and forced participation, fans seem to pattern their action in a way reminiscent of Thornton's (1996) subcultural capital proposal; in which fans gain social standing through fandom identity evaluation. In response to this capital distribution, some fan groups have seen their identity stratified as the fandom fractures into sepreate ingroups and outgroups. This study hopes to better understand what it really takes to be a fan in the age of the internet. Through the use of ethnographic and autoethnographic exploration, this study will investigate the dynamic relationships between new and old fans of the television series Doctor Who. The resulting observations will help shed light on the treatment of new fans within a group, the way fans express their superiority, and how these dynamics change between online and offline interactions.
Who can come out and play? : re-conceptualizing Title IX to address the interrelated barriers of sexism, homophobia, and racism in women's sports
Includes bibliographical references (pages 66-77)., The purpose of this thesis is to theorize changes to Title IX to address homophobia and racism in addition to sexism in women's sports. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all federally-funded educational programs. This thesis, however, focuses particularly on women's sports programs. Since its enactment, Title IX has undeniably facilitated women's unprecedented access to federally-funded educational programs including sports, but in this thesis I argue that this policy can be strengthened by incorporating additional protections that address homophobia and racism. Both forms of discrimination have been cited by numerous sports scholars as barriers to equitable playing opportunities. Additionally, I provide suggestions for Title IX's general enforcement, as well as concrete plans of action to enforce the suggestions I set forth in this thesis. As a disclaimer, my research focuses primarily on addressing homophobia in women's sports. It was beyond the scope of this thesis to provide a comprehensive analysis on racism and sports, but nevertheless it would be irresponsible of me to not make these connections through dialogue; especially since I suggest a multidimensional framework to address these interlocking social barriers. For this project, I examined the following Title IX documents: Title IX the policy (1972), Title IX Regulations (1975), and the Athletics Investigation Manual (1990). These particular documents detail the policy's goals and enforcement. I used interpretative policy analysis, specifically category analysis, to examine which groups are explicitly protected by Title IX and what additional categories can be created to protect against sexual orientation and race-based discrimination.