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Substantive justice: how the substantive law shapes perceived fairness

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Psychology of justice research has demonstrated that individuals are concerned with both the process and the outcomes of a decision-making event. While the literature has demonstrated the importance of formal and informal aspects of procedural justice and the relevancy of

Psychology of justice research has demonstrated that individuals are concerned with both the process and the outcomes of a decision-making event. While the literature has demonstrated the importance of formal and informal aspects of procedural justice and the relevancy of moral values, the present study focuses on introducing a new form of justice: Substantive justice. Substantive justice focuses on how the legal system uses laws to constrain and direct human behavior, specifically focusing on the function and the structure of a law. The psychology of justice literature is missing the vital distinction between laws whose function is to create social opportunities versus threats and between laws structured concretely versus abstractly. In the present experiment, we found that participant evaluations of the fairness of the law, the outcome, and the decision-maker all varied depending on the function and structure of the law used as well as the outcome produced. Specifically, when considering adverse outcomes, individuals perceived laws whose function is to create liability (threats) as being fairer when structured as standards (abstract guidelines) rather than rules (concrete guidelines); however, the opposite is true when considering laws whose function is to create eligibility (opportunities). In juxtaposition, when receiving a favorable outcome, individuals perceived laws whose function is to create liability (threats) as being fairer when defined as rules (concrete guidelines) rather than standards (abstract guidelines).

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2011

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A theoretical analysis of microchannel flow boiling enhancement via cross-sectional expansion

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Microchannel heat sinks can possess heat transfer characteristics unavailable in conventional heat exchangers; such sinks offer compact solutions to otherwise intractable thermal management problems, notably in small-scale electronics cooling. Flow boiling in microchannels allows a very high heat transfer rate,

Microchannel heat sinks can possess heat transfer characteristics unavailable in conventional heat exchangers; such sinks offer compact solutions to otherwise intractable thermal management problems, notably in small-scale electronics cooling. Flow boiling in microchannels allows a very high heat transfer rate, but is bounded by the critical heat flux (CHF). This thesis presents a theoretical-numerical study of a method to improve the heat rejection capability of a microchannel heat sink via expansion of the channel cross-section along the flow direction. The thermodynamic quality of the refrigerant increases during flow boiling, decreasing the density of the bulk coolant as it flows. This may effect pressure fluctuations in the channels, leading to nonuniform heat transfer and local dryout in regions exceeding CHF. This undesirable phenomenon is counteracted by permitting the cross-section of the microchannel to increase along the direction of flow, allowing more volume for the vapor. Governing equations are derived from a control-volume analysis of a single heated rectangular microchannel; the cross-section is allowed to expand in width and height. The resulting differential equations are solved numerically for a variety of channel expansion profiles and numbers of channels. The refrigerant is R-134a and channel parameters are based on a physical test bed in a related experiment. Significant improvement in CHF is possible with moderate area expansion. Minimal additional manufacturing costs could yield major gains in the utility of microchannel heat sinks. An optimum expansion rate occurred in certain cases, and alterations in the channel width are, in general, more effective at improving CHF than alterations in the channel height. Modest expansion in height enables small width expansions to be very effective.

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2011

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The effects of scarcity and self-esteem on the experience of envy

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Envy may be an emotion shaped by evolution to resolve large resource disparities in zero-sum ancestral environments. Previous research has found evidence for two types of envy: benign envy, which drives greater effort and self-improvement; and malicious envy, which drives

Envy may be an emotion shaped by evolution to resolve large resource disparities in zero-sum ancestral environments. Previous research has found evidence for two types of envy: benign envy, which drives greater effort and self-improvement; and malicious envy, which drives hostility toward the better-off target. We predicted that perceived resource scarcity would stoke either type, moderated by individual differences. Specifically, we predicted that high self-esteem would steer people toward benign envy and self-improvement, whereas narcissism would spark malicious envy. After completing the Rosenberg self-esteem scale and the Narcissism Personality Inventory (NPI-16), participants were randomly assigned to either read an article detailing severe cuts to university financial aid budgets (scarcity) or an article summarizing various forms of financial aid (control). Each article ended with the same envy-inducing paragraph about a particularly affluent scholarship-winner, after which participants completed a measure of both envy types, capturing feelings, appraisals, and behavioral tendencies. Results show that self-esteem predicts less malicious envy, while narcissism and scarcity predict more. Self-esteem and narcissism interact such that self-esteem dampens the effect of narcissism on malicious envy. Self-esteem predicted benign envy when narcissism was low, but not when it was high.

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2011

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Shared environment moderates the heritability of temperament in childhood

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The interplay of genes and environment on children's development is a complex dynamic process. As behavior geneticists begin to model protective as well as risk factors, and interactive as well as main effect influences, development is elucidated. It

The interplay of genes and environment on children's development is a complex dynamic process. As behavior geneticists begin to model protective as well as risk factors, and interactive as well as main effect influences, development is elucidated. It was hypothesized that positive parenting, a quality home environment, and high family cohesion would moderate the heritability of three components of temperament: Effortful Control, Negative Affectivity, and Extraversion/Surgency. Participants were drawn from the Wisconsin Twin Project and consisted of 1573 twins (51% boys), 88.5% Caucasian, M=7.93 years (SD=0.87). Higher order composites for the parenting and family environment moderators were formed from mother and father reports of Behavior Management Self-Assessment, Child Rearing Practices Report, Family Assessment Device, and Family Conflict Scale. Measures of the home environment (LEOS Living Environment Observation Scale and CHAOS Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Scale) were not composited due to the nature of the variables. Correlational analyses showed a majority of the temperament and environmental measures to be correlated (rs = -.49-.57). For Effortful Control, Negative Affectivity, and Extraversion/Surgency, estimates for the heritability and nonshared environment were 0.60 and 0.40, 0.80 and 0.20, and 0.59 and 0.41, respectively, with no significant main effects of the shared environment. Models incorporating environmental moderation of these estimates yielded parenting as a significant moderator for Negative Affectivity, LEOS for Effortful Control and Extraversion/Surgency, and CHAOS for Effortful Control and Extraversion/Surgency. Results suggest that the quality of the family environment may act as a permissive or determinative influence on the heritability and expression of temperament. Future analyses include the examination of interactive genetic influences. These findings underscore the importance of shared environment, and support the recent literature on the benefits of positive influences on children's development.

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2011

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Modeling acquisition of nicotine self-administration in rats

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Nicotine is thought to underlie the reinforcing and dependence-producing effects of tobacco-containing products. Nicotine supports self-administration in rodents, although measures of its reinforcing effects are often confounded by procedures that are used to facilitate acquisition, such as food restriction, prior

Nicotine is thought to underlie the reinforcing and dependence-producing effects of tobacco-containing products. Nicotine supports self-administration in rodents, although measures of its reinforcing effects are often confounded by procedures that are used to facilitate acquisition, such as food restriction, prior reinforcement training, or response-contingent co-delivery of a naturally reinforcing light. This study examined whether rats acquire nicotine self-administration in the absence of these facilitators. A new mathematical modeling procedure was used to define the criterion for acquisition and to determine dose-dependent differences in rate and asymptote levels of intake. Rats were trained across 20 daily 2-h sessions occurring 6 days/week in chambers equipped with active and inactive levers. Each active lever press resulted in nicotine reinforcement (0, 0.015, 0.03, 0.06 mg/kg, IV) and retraction of both levers for a 20-s time out, whereas inactive lever presses had no consequences. Acquisition was defined by the best fit of a logistic function (i.e., S-shaped) versus a constant function (i.e., flat line) for reinforcers obtained across sessions using a corrected Akaike information criterion (AICc) as a model selection tool. The results showed an inverted-U shaped function for dose in relation to the percentage of animals that acquired nicotine self-administration, with 46% acquiring at 0.015 mg/kg, 73% at 0.03 mg/kg, and 58% at 0.06 mg/kg. All saline rats failed to acquire as expected. For rats that acquired nicotine self-administration, multiple model comparisons demonstrated that the asymptote (highest number of reinforcers/session) and half learning point (h; session during which half the assymptote had been achieved) were justified as free parameters of the reinforcers/session function, indicating that these parameters vary with nicotine dose. Asymptote exhibited an inverted U-shaped function across doses and half learning point exhibited a negative relationship to dose (i.e., the higher the dose the fewer sessions to reach h). These findings suggest that some rats acquire nicotine self-administration without using procedures that confound measures of acquisition rate. Furthermore, the modeling approach provides a new way of defining acquisition of drug self-administration that takes advantage of using all data generated from individual subjects and is less arbitrary than some criteria that are currently used.

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2011

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Adaptation in families of children with developmental delay

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Family adaptation to child developmental disability is a dynamic transactional process that has yet to be tested in a longitudinal, rigorous fashion. In addition, although children with developmental delays frequently have behavior problems, not enough research has examined possible underlying

Family adaptation to child developmental disability is a dynamic transactional process that has yet to be tested in a longitudinal, rigorous fashion. In addition, although children with developmental delays frequently have behavior problems, not enough research has examined possible underlying mechanisms in the relation between child developmental delay, adaptation and behavior problems. In the current study, factor analysis examined how best to conceptualize the construct of family adaptation to developmental delay. Also, longitudinal growth curve modeling tested models in which child behavior problems mediated the relation between developmental risk and indices of family adaptation. Participants included 130 typically developing children and their families (Mental Development Index [MDI] > 85) and 104 children with developmental delays and their families (MDI < 85). Data were collected yearly between the ages of three and eight as part of a multi-site, longitudinal investigation examining the interrelations among children's developmental status, family processes, and the emergence of child psychopathology. Results of the current study indicated that adaptation is best conceptualized as a multi-index construct. Different aspects of adaptation changed in unique ways over time, with some facets of adaptation remaining stable while others fluctuated. Child internalizing and externalizing behavior problems were found to decrease over time for both children with developmental delays and typically developing children. Child behavior problems were also found to mediate the relation between developmental risk and family adaptation for over half of the mediation pathways. Significant mediation results indicated that children with developmental delays showed higher early levels of behavior problems, which in turn was associated with more maladaptive adaptation. These findings provide further evidence that families of children with developmental delays experience both positive and more challenging changes in their families over time. This study implies important next steps for research and clinical practice in the area of developmental disability.

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2011

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I think I can: the relation of self-efficacy to cessation and relapse among smokers utiilizing a telephone quitline

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When people pick up the phone to call a telephone quitline, they are taking an important step towards changing their smoking behavior. The current study investigated the role of a critical cognition in the cessation process--self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is thought to

When people pick up the phone to call a telephone quitline, they are taking an important step towards changing their smoking behavior. The current study investigated the role of a critical cognition in the cessation process--self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is thought to be influential in behavior change processes including those involved in the challenging process of stopping tobacco use. By applying basic principles of self-efficacy theory to smokers utilizing a telephone quitline, this study advanced our understanding of the nature of self-efficacy in a "real-world" cessation setting. Participants received between one and four intervention calls aimed at supporting them through their quit attempt. Concurrent with the initiation of this study, three items (confidence, stress, and urges) were added to the standard telephone protocol and assessed at each call. Two principal sets of hypotheses were tested using a combination of ANCOVAs and multiple regression analyses. The first set of hypotheses explored how self-efficacy and changes in self-efficacy within individuals were associated with cessation outcomes. Most research has found a positive linear relation between self-efficacy and quit outcomes, but this study tested the possibility that excessively high self-efficacy may actually reflect an overconfidence bias, and in some cases be negatively related to cessation outcomes. The second set of hypotheses addressed several smoking-related factors expected to affect self-efficacy. As predicted, higher baseline self-efficacy and increases in self-efficacy were associated with higher rates of quitting. However, contrary to predictions, there was no evidence that overconfidence led to diminished cessation success. Finally, as predicted, shorter duration of quit attempts, shorter time to relapse, and stronger urges all were associated with lower self-efficacy. In conclusion, understanding how self-efficacy and changes in self-efficacy affect and are affected by cessation outcomes is useful for informing both future research and current quitline intervention procedures.

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2011

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Children's appraisals as a mediating factor in the relation between interparental conflict and child adjustment

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This study examined the mediating role of children's self-reported appraisals in the relation between interparental conflict intensity and child adjustment. Both parent-reported and child-reported conflict intensity were used as predictor variables. Findings suggested that children's total appraisals mediated the relationshi

This study examined the mediating role of children's self-reported appraisals in the relation between interparental conflict intensity and child adjustment. Both parent-reported and child-reported conflict intensity were used as predictor variables. Findings suggested that children's total appraisals mediated the relationship between child-reported conflict intensity and all four outcome variables (conduct disorder, depression, anxiety, and total adjustment). Additionally, children's appraisals of negative evaluation by others mediated the relationship between child-reported conflict intensity and depression, and both rejection and negative evaluation by others mediated the relationship between child-reported conflict intensity and anxiety. Only one mediational relationship was established when assessing conflict intensity through parent report, with children's appraisals of harm to others mediating the relationship between parent-reported conflict intensity and anxiety. Findings from this study outline the importance of assessing conflict and appraisals from the child's perspective as results indicated a higher level of mediating effects of child appraisals in the relation between conflict and child outcomes when assessing conflict from the child's perspective.

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2014

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Asymmetries in interpersonal coordination: recruiting degrees-of-freedom stabilizes coordination

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The current paper presents two studies that examine how asymmetries during interpersonal coordination are compensated for. It was predicted that destabilizing effects of asymmetries are stabilized through the recruitment and suppression of motor degrees-of-freedom (df). Experiment 1 examined this effect

The current paper presents two studies that examine how asymmetries during interpersonal coordination are compensated for. It was predicted that destabilizing effects of asymmetries are stabilized through the recruitment and suppression of motor degrees-of-freedom (df). Experiment 1 examined this effect by having participants coordinate line movements of different orientations. Greater differences in asymmetries between participants yielded greater spatial deviation, resulting in the recruitment of df. Experiment 2 examined whether coordination of movements asymmetrical in shape (circle and line) yield simultaneous recruitment and suppression of df. This experiment also tested whether the initial stability of the performed movement alters the amount of change in df. Results showed that changes in df were exhibited as circles decreasing in circularity and lines increasing in circularity. Further, more changes in df were found circular (suppression) compared to line (recruitment) movements.

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2013

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Neural plasticity in lower- and higher-level visual cortex processing

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Perceptual learning by means of coherent motion training paradigms has been shown to produce plasticity in lower and higher-level visual systems within the human occipital lobe both supra- and subliminally. However, efficiency of training methods that produce consolidation in the

Perceptual learning by means of coherent motion training paradigms has been shown to produce plasticity in lower and higher-level visual systems within the human occipital lobe both supra- and subliminally. However, efficiency of training methods that produce consolidation in the visual system via coherent motion has yet to be experimentally determined. Furthermore, the effects of coherent motion training on reading comprehension, in clinical and normal populations, are still nascent. In the present study, 20 participants were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions. Two conditions had a participation requirement of four days while two conditions required eight days of participation. These conditions were further divided into 500 or 1000 trials per day (4 x 500, 4 x 1000, 8 x 500, 8 x 1000). Additional pre-test and post-test days were used to attain timed pre- and post-tests on the Wide Range Achievement Test IV (WRAT IV) reading comprehension battery. Furthermore, a critical flicker fusion threshold (CFFT) score was taken on a macular pigment densitometer on the pre-test and post-test day. Participants showed significant improvement in CFFT levels, WRAT IV reading comprehension, and speed of completion between pre-test and post-test; however, degree of improvement did not vary as a function of training condition. An interaction between training condition and degree of improvement was evident in coherent dot motion contrast scores, with significant training plasticity occurring in the 4 x 1000 and 8 x 500 conditions.

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2013