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The Pathfinder Center Stories Project: Narratives from Student Experiences in College

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This paper considers what factors influence student interest, motivation, and continued engagement. Studies show anticipated extrinsic rewards for activity participation have been shown to reduce intrinsic value for that activity. This might suggest that grade point average (GPA) has a

This paper considers what factors influence student interest, motivation, and continued engagement. Studies show anticipated extrinsic rewards for activity participation have been shown to reduce intrinsic value for that activity. This might suggest that grade point average (GPA) has a similar effect on academic interests. Further, when incentives such as scholarships, internships, and careers are GPA-oriented, students must adopt performance goals in courses to guarantee success. However, performance goals have not been shown to correlated with continued interest in a topic. Current literature proposes that student involvement in extracurricular activities, focused study groups, and mentored research are crucial to student success. Further, students may express either a fixed or growth mindset, which influences their approach to challenges and opportunities for growth. The purpose of this study was to collect individual cases of students' experiences in college. The interview method was chosen to collect complex information that could not be gathered from standard surveys. To accomplish this, questions were developed based on content areas related to education and motivation theory. The content areas included activities and meaning, motivation, vision, and personal development. The developed interview method relied on broad questions that would be followed by specific "probing" questions. We hypothesize that this would result in participant-led discussions and unique narratives from the participant. Initial findings suggest that some of the questions were effective in eliciting detailed responses, though results were dependent on the interviewer. From the interviews we find that students value their group involvements, leadership opportunities, and relationships with mentors, which parallels results found in other studies.

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2018-05

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Pay to Play: Metacognitive Judgements, & Motivation in Multiply-Constrained Problem Solving

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Problem solving is a crucial skill needed to accomplish everyday tasks and overcome potential obstacles. One way to measure individual differences in problem solving ability is through performance differences on multiply-constrained problem solving tasks. Multiple cognitive processes are involved in

Problem solving is a crucial skill needed to accomplish everyday tasks and overcome potential obstacles. One way to measure individual differences in problem solving ability is through performance differences on multiply-constrained problem solving tasks. Multiple cognitive processes are involved in multiply-constrained problem solving. An individual uses prospective metacognitive monitoring judgments to gauge future allocation of resources before engaging in the necessary semantic search. Problem solvers also vary in their semantic search strategies, and use either an active analytical strategy or a passive insight strategy to arrive at asolution. Prospective metacognitive monitoring judgments and solution strategies are two aspects of the problem solving process that occur at specific points in the process while motivation influences problem solving throughout the process. The goal of this study is to examine prospective metacognitive judgments, problem solving accuracy, solution strategy, and motivation in multiply-constrained problem solving. Motivation was manipulated using a performance based monetary incentive. Participants self reported prospective Feeling-of-Knowing judgments after brief exposure to the problem, and solution strategy ratings after each problem. No significant differences were found to support the effect of motivation on problem solving accuracy, prospective metacognitive judgments, relative accuracy, or solution strategies. Significant differences were found between groups when comparing the number of problems skipped, indicating that participants were sensitive to the incentive structure. The findings suggest that motivation may not be an overarching mediator in multiply-constrained problem solving or problem solving may require a specific type of incentive structure to increase accuracy. However, little is known in the research literature about the type of incentive structure needed to consistently increase individual motivation.

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2018-05

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An analysis of how narcocorridos portray the political sociology of the Mexican Drug cartels in Mexican society

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Since the collapse of the Medellin Cartel in Colombia in 1993, the Mexican drug cartels have been increasing in strength and international presence. Along with the organization's political and economic involvement, a deeply rooted culture has been developing. Three distinct

Since the collapse of the Medellin Cartel in Colombia in 1993, the Mexican drug cartels have been increasing in strength and international presence. Along with the organization's political and economic involvement, a deeply rooted culture has been developing. Three distinct time periods define this culture: pre-Medellin Cartel collapse (1970s-1993), post-Medellin Cartel Collapse (1993-2006) and post-President Calderon's Drug War announcement (2006-present day). More specifically, the history and fascination with the cartel is documented in songs, known as narcocorridos, which celebrate and support the drug cartels. The science of political sociology addresses the power relationship that exists between a state, its citizens, and the state's social groups. This study investigates the political sociology of each period, specifically how society viewed the cartel and their roles within the cartel. I argue that the narcocorridos accurately describe the evolution of narcoculture in Mexican society. This study consists of analyses of narcocorrido song lyrics, the political sociology of each time period, and finally, the societal perception of the drug cartel. First, I will evaluate the most popular songs' lyrics of the three defining time periods in the Mexican Drug Cartel history. Next, I will analyze the lyrics and determine whether or not they accurately reflect the political sociological features of the time period. Last, I will discuss what the societal perceptions of being associated with the cartel were during each time period. This study concludes by hypothesizing what the future of narcocorriodos will be. This prediction will demonstrate how the songs will continue to reflect the political sociology of the time period, including the societal attitudes towards the cartel.

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2016-05

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The Source and Outcomes of Happiness for College Students

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The purpose of this thesis is to explore if any correlation exists between the proposed components of happiness with overall self-perceived happiness. This thesis also explores how introversion and extraversion, gender, and working status affects the proposed components of happiness

The purpose of this thesis is to explore if any correlation exists between the proposed components of happiness with overall self-perceived happiness. This thesis also explores how introversion and extraversion, gender, and working status affects the proposed components of happiness for college students and how their happiness influences engagement, motivation, preference of organizational culture, and the activities that they engage in. This research was gathered from secondary sources and a survey that was given to undergraduate students at Arizona State University. We found that well-being, gratitude, achievement, psychological empowerment, and affection contribute to both extraverts and introverts' happiness. In addition, we found that extraverts reported higher means than introverts in each factor; including happiness in general and what contributes to it. Contrary to popular belief, our research shows that autonomy either had no correlation or negatively correlates with happiness. In addition, we found that both extraverts and introverts participate in social and nonsocial activities rather than solely on their expected type of activity. Our research also shows that females reported higher means than males on gratitude, achievement, and autonomy. One significant implication of this study is that it can help individuals to better understand themselves and people they interact with.

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2014-12

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Game as Life, Life as Game: A Study on Successful Behavior Change with Ubiquitous Computing

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Abstract Whether it is an abandoned New Year's Resolution or difficulty controlling procrastination, most can attest to failing to meet a goal. With ubiquitous computing, there is potential to support users' goals on a constant basis with pervasive technology elements

Abstract Whether it is an abandoned New Year's Resolution or difficulty controlling procrastination, most can attest to failing to meet a goal. With ubiquitous computing, there is potential to support users' goals on a constant basis with pervasive technology elements such as integrated sensors and software. This study serves as a pilot for the behavior change component of a ubiquitous system, Game as Life, Life as Game (GALLAG), and how goal creation and motivation can be positively altered with the inclusion of a specific framework for users to follow. The study looked to find the efficacy of support tools (goal creation, reflection on past experience, and behavior change techniques and self-tracking) on creating a plan to reach a behavior goal, without the help of technology. Technology was ignored to focus on the effect of a framework for goal and plan generation. Over two weeks, there were 11 participants in the study; data collected was qualitative in the form of three video-recorded interview sessions, with quantitative data in the form of surveys. Participants were presented with support tools and tasked with picking a goal to work towards, as well as creating a plan to reach that goal. It was found that users struggled to create specific and detailed plans, even with the support tools provided, but this improved after the first meeting. Past experience was the most helpful support tool for creating better plans, however participants used this tool before being briefed on it. These results suggest a system should incorporate behavior change, self-tracking, and past experience earlier in the plan creation experience, allowing users a more concrete knowledge of these tools before beginning plan creation. By including these ideas in a framework, GALLAG can later implement that framework to better support users with a physical system. Keywords: behavior change, goal creation, motivation, self-efficacy, ubiquitous computing, pervasive game, human computer interaction

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2014-05

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Understanding the Predictors of School Engagement and Implications for Intervention

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The predictors of school engagement in early childhood were examined, and mechanisms to improve classroom engagement levels were proposed for interventionists to consider. Literature was reviewed on the relations of child characteristics (i.e. effortful control, negative emotionality) and environmental characteristics

The predictors of school engagement in early childhood were examined, and mechanisms to improve classroom engagement levels were proposed for interventionists to consider. Literature was reviewed on the relations of child characteristics (i.e. effortful control, negative emotionality) and environmental characteristics (i.e. teacher-child relationship quality, classroom environment) to children's school engagement. Finally, a logic model was developed to guide future intervention work.

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2013-05

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Perspective-Taking in Roleplaying Games and Empathy

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Empathy includes multiple components, including empathic concern, perspective-taking, and motivation to empathize. Various perspective-taking interventions have been found to be useful in increasing empathy. Games can be utilized as such interventions, especially when they involve perspective-taking components. The similarities between

Empathy includes multiple components, including empathic concern, perspective-taking, and motivation to empathize. Various perspective-taking interventions have been found to be useful in increasing empathy. Games can be utilized as such interventions, especially when they involve perspective-taking components. The similarities between tabletop roleplaying games and various empathy-building interventions suggests that tabletop roleplaying games may be an intervention option that is already played for enjoyment. This study examines the influence of tabletop roleplaying games on motivation to empathize. Participants played a short tabletop roleplaying game and then were asked to choose between describing and empathizing with refugee targets over a series of trials. There is a potential main effect of tabletop roleplaying games on motivation to empathize, but this main effect is absent when controlling for self-other-overlap. It appears that self-other-overlap influences motivation to empathize. However, this study was underpowered, and the main effect of roleplay may have been detected if more participants were involved. Thus, there is potential that tabletop roleplaying games may influence motivation to empathize, and future research should examine this while considering the limitations of this study.

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2021-05

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Suppressive and Enhancing Effects of Nicotine on Food-Seeking Behavior

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The present study examined how systemic low doses of nicotine affect the microstructure of food-reinforced behavior in rats. Rats were given an acute saline or nicotine treatment (0.1-0.6 mg/kg, resting at least 48 h between injections), and a chronic saline

The present study examined how systemic low doses of nicotine affect the microstructure of food-reinforced behavior in rats. Rats were given an acute saline or nicotine treatment (0.1-0.6 mg/kg, resting at least 48 h between injections), and a chronic saline or nicotine treatment (0.3 mg/kg for 10 consecutive days). Immediately after treatment, rats were required to press a lever to obtain food, whose availability was unpredictable, but programmed at a constant rate (on average every 80 s). Acute nicotine dose-dependently suppressed behavior prior to the delivery of the first reinforcer, but enhanced food-reinforced behavior afterwards. This effect was primarily observed in the time it took rats to initiate food-seeking behavior, and not in the food-seeking behavior itself. A pre-feeding control procedure suggests that these effects cannot be explained only by changes in appetite. Over the course of chronic nicotine exposure, tolerance developed to the suppressive, but not to the enhancing effects of nicotine on food-seeking behavior. These results suggest that ostensive sensitization effects of nicotine on behavior may instead reflect a tolerance for its suppressive effects on behavior.

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2017-05

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Adolescent Predictors of Marijuana Cessation and Motivations for Quitting Marijuana in a Racially Balanced Adult Non-Treatment Sample

Description

Marijuana is currently the mostly widely used illicit drug in the U.S., and has been for multiple decades (Johnston et. al., 2016). Despite a growing belief that marijuana use is not harmful, over 4 million Americans have met criteria for

Marijuana is currently the mostly widely used illicit drug in the U.S., and has been for multiple decades (Johnston et. al., 2016). Despite a growing belief that marijuana use is not harmful, over 4 million Americans have met criteria for marijuana use disorders in the past year alone (CBHSQ, 2015). According to marijuana trajectory studies, about a third of marijuana users will end up quitting later in life, but some \u2014 such as those who meet criteria for dependence \u2014 have a much greater difficultly quitting. Therefore, by looking at marijuana users who were successful in quitting, and comparing them to ongoing adult marijuana users, factors that may assist in helping an individual quit \u2014 such as certain motivations for quitting \u2014 may be identified. To study these issues, data was collected from 507 participants from the Pittsburgh Youth Study. It was found that adolescents who used marijuana weekly for at least one year were likely to be ongoing marijuana users in adulthood and that adolescents who had a warm relationship with their primary caretaker were likely to have quit marijuana by adulthood. It was also found that Black participants were more likely to have legal, monetary, and religious reasons for quitting than were White participants. Furthermore, participants who used regularly in adolescence were likely to list legal reasons, as well as a concern that marijuana use was needed to feel normal. Finally, it was found that not a single motivation for quitting marijuana was associated with a shorter period of abstinence. The implications of these findings for motivations to quit marijuana are the focus of the discussion.

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2016-12

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On the Importance of Peer-to-Peer Interaction

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Due to the elimination of the established instructional methods from the impact of COVID-19, the implementation of mass synchronous learning created a new strain of educational experiences for students that took a toll on social interaction. In the Spring 2022

Due to the elimination of the established instructional methods from the impact of COVID-19, the implementation of mass synchronous learning created a new strain of educational experiences for students that took a toll on social interaction. In the Spring 2022 semester, a survey was conducted of students that were previously or currently enrolled in the principal undergraduate biological sciences course, BIO 340: General Genetics, to assess both the prevalence of social interaction in the lives of the students and the potential ways this information could be molded to improve student’s educational and motivational experience. The results of this survey indicated that there was a considerable lack of social interaction and motivation among students that have taken or are taking BIO 340. Through a process of collecting qualitative data of students by 1-on-1 interviews, the majority of students requested that professors communicate with each other to learn more about ways they can incorporate social interaction as external technological applications and tools have been developed. Students brought up many external tools that professors in other biological sciences courses have been utilizing to engage student-to-student interaction and found these resources to increase their level of understanding and motivation. The driving interest behind this creative project is to understand the importance of peer-to-peer learning that may help guide professors that are new to synchronous teaching so that they may increase their level of understanding and comfortability of accessing resources that students themselves have shown to increase their educational experiences. The mixed-method design served as a means to understand what types of social interaction enhance students’ education and motivation.

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2022-05