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The Influence of the ""War on Cancer"" Metaphor on Illness Perception and Treatment Decision

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The purpose of this thesis study was to examine whether the "war on cancer" metaphor influences cancer perception and treatment decision. A total of 249 undergraduates (152 females) from a

The purpose of this thesis study was to examine whether the "war on cancer" metaphor influences cancer perception and treatment decision. A total of 249 undergraduates (152 females) from a large southwestern university participated in an online survey experiment and were either randomly assigned to the control condition (N=123) or to the war prime condition (N=126). Participants in the control condition did not receive the metaphor manipulation while participants in the war prime condition received the subtle "war on cancer" metaphor prime. After the prime was given, participants read a scenario, answered questions related to the situation, and responded to demographic questions. The results suggested that, compared to participants in the no-prime condition, participants exposed to the war metaphor were more likely to (a) view melanoma as an acute disease, (b) choose chemotherapy over molecular tests, and (c) prefer more aggressive treatment. These findings illustrated the unintended consequences of the "war on cancer" slogan. The results were encouraging and in the predicted direction, but the effect size was small. The discussion section described possible future directions for research.

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  • 2015-05

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Here be dragons: a primer for tropology and the philosophical cartography thereof

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My job in this thesis is to explore a supposedly dragon-filled area of philosophy, tropology. By 'tropology,' I only mean the study of figurative speech, or, more particularly, metaphors. It

My job in this thesis is to explore a supposedly dragon-filled area of philosophy, tropology. By 'tropology,' I only mean the study of figurative speech, or, more particularly, metaphors. It seems clear to most people that metaphors have meaning. But this fact flies in the face of several different theories of meaning. Such as, the meaning of a metaphor can't be properly conveyed by Possible Worlds Semantics or Truth-Conditional Semantics. Tropology is also an area of philosophy with very few commonly accepted theories. It is not like the study of reference, where there are two theories, each having a large following. The the various theories in tropology are so radically different, with each having relatively few followers, that the it is widely unexplored in philosophy. Some theories claim that metaphors is the exact same as another use of speech (namely, similes). Another claims that metaphors lack “meaning.” And a third claims that metaphors do 'mean' but getting at that meaning requires some special mental operations. By the end of this thesis, you will not only have my map of tropology, my theory of metaphors, but also some experimental philosophy about them to help put to rest some theories.

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  • 2016

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The metaphors we help by

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As universities, nonprofits, community foundations, and governmental organizations proliferate the language of leadership development and social transformation, it is with an inadequate understanding of what agency is being provoked. With

As universities, nonprofits, community foundations, and governmental organizations proliferate the language of leadership development and social transformation, it is with an inadequate understanding of what agency is being provoked. With an emphasis on ‘career-focused’ tools and techniques in community development literature and pedagogy, there is too little understanding of the knowledge being drawn upon and created by community workers (CWs). Furthermore, this knowledge is often tacit, bodily, spiritual, and collective, making it even more alien to the empiricism-focused world of social science. Situated meaning-making must be recapitulated in the study of community development in order to better address the complexity and ambiguity of specific practices and the associated construction of identities.

This study suggests an alternative way to understand and analyze community development work. Building on fieldwork in the Kumaoni Himalaya of India, it is argued that community workers make sense of the world in large part through the co-construction of dialectic identity metaphors (DIMs). These DIMs help explain to the workers the way the world works, the way it does not work, and what to do about it. More than formal community development theory, I suggest community workers look to dominant DIMs to structure organizational vision and program creation. Furthermore, ideological fragments within local DIMs contribute to the reproduction of dominant ways of knowing and the creation of best practices. For this reason, in situ examination of DIM creation and maintenance is useful for understanding how and why CWs collectively construct their identities and the co-constitutive work.

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  • 2016