85,977 results

  • Addiction Phenomenology In Substance Use And Non-Substance Use Disorders

    McLachlan, Andre David (2008)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    There is growing research evidence and public concern over the burgeoning of disorders which share common features with substance addictions. In order to investigate the presence and role of addiction features in disorders outside of substance addictions, symptoms of addiction were explored within three addiction groups: alcohol dependence (AD), an established addiction (n = 24); pathological gambling (PG) a disorder with growing empirical support as an addiction (n = 20); and compulsive shopping (CS), a proposed 'novel' addiction(n = 20). Participants were recruited from either the general population, or from the Auckland Salvation Army Bridge residential alcohol and drug treatment programme; Salvation Army Oasis Gambling Service; Pacific Peoples Addiction Service Incorporated; or Te Kahui Hauora O Ngati Koata Trust. Participants completed a battery of self-report measures comprising a demographics questionnaire; Addictive Disorder Questionnaire (ADQ); anxiety and depression subscales of the Symptom Checklist 90 Revised (SCL-90R); Barratt Impulsivity Scale II-r; and substance specific adaptations of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS). Three general categories of addiction symptoms: physiological, salience and dyscontrol, were identified as broad aspects of addiction, common across all three groups. Measurable aspects of addiction, including impulsivity, obsessions, anxiety and depression were found to be endorsed similarly across the three addictions, irrespective of the severity of their addiction. Compulsions were found to be higher in the AD group. Higher anxiety was found to be correlated with higher addiction in the behavioural addictions (CS and PG), whereas depression and anxiety were associated with higher addiction severity in the AD group. The results provide support for broadening addiction diagnostic definitions, to be more encompassing of the psychological and physiological experiences of each symptom; and developing different diagnostic categories for non-substance addictions that reflect the severity of the addiction. Results also provide evidence for developmental phases of addiction, from an early 'hedonistic' impulsive phase, to a compulsive phase, in which increased dyscontrol, mood and anxiety, marks the severity of the addiction.

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  • The Potential for Re-Invasion by Mammalian Pests at Maungatautari Ecological Island

    Connolly, Trevor Allan (2008)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Mammalian pests are excluded from Maungatautari Ecological Island by an XcluderTM pest-proof fence. Inevitably, the fence integrity will be compromised at some point by mechanisms such as treefall and flood-scour: such events could lead to pest re-invasion. Knowledge of pest activity directly outside the reserve would assist reserve managers in developing optimal breach-response procedures. This thesis described baseline data on the presence, timing of activity and behaviour of mammalian pest animals found directly at the Maungatautari fence. Two seasonal video studies investigated the effects of season (summer and winter), exterior habitat (forest and pasture) and simulated breach type ('tree-fall' and 'flood scour') on the number of pest sightings. Significantly more sightings were recorded in summer (788) than in winter (428), particularly for rodents. Rabbits were sighted significantly more often at pasture sites, but habitat type did not significantly affect sightings of any other species; nor did breach type affect sightings of any species. Ship rats were commonly sighted within the fence hood gutter. Overall, rodent, possum and cat sightings were very high, and mustelid sightings extremely low, in both seasons. Over 95% of non-lagomorph sightings were nocturnal, and the greatest threat of invasion was found to come nocturnally, from mice, and in the summer. A probability model showed that although the cumulative probability of a mammalian pest encountering a fence breach increases dramatically after dark, in reality there is always a threat of encounter, and this is always increasing with time. Over the same two studies, the behaviour of pest mammals sighted was also described. Pests were found to show interest in and enter summer breaches more often than winter breaches (p lt 0.001). Simulated breaches were encountered by pests within the first 24 hours at a very high rate (95% summer, 92.5% winter), and most likely to enter a breach were rodents. Over 7 days, breaches were encountered and entered by increasing numbers of species and possibly by more individuals; all species were shown to be willing to enter. The threat of invasion by ship rats was probably underestimated because of their higher activity within the fence hood than at the fence base; mustelids may also offer a greater threat than the results suggest, because they almost always entered a breach. It was strongly recommended that when the fence integrity is compromised, physical response should be as quick as possible, especially at night. Future research was strongly encouraged, particularly to understand invasion behaviour of animals such as ship rats and stoats, and to describe pest behaviour at real breach events.

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  • Visual Feasts - photographic narratives of belonging

    Robertson, N

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Can photography contribute to inter-generational knowledge transmission through images of food and sites of hunting and gathering? Can education of sites of significance, environmental resources and ecologies be enhanced through digital tools? Based on a current project, this presentation explores how photography can be utilized to support our relationships to customary food sources. During holiday seasons, many urban indigenous people return to tribal homes and post numerous photos of food delicacies to social media like Instagram. This produces an online visual feast of seasonal foods hunted and gathered, that reframed, creates contemporary visual narratives of belonging to land and sea.

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  • Chracterisation of Mighty during Skeletal Muscle Regeneration

    Dyer, Kelly Anne (2006)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Satellite cells are a distinct lineage of myogenic precursors that are responsible for the growth of muscle during post-natal life and for its repair after damage. During muscle growth and regeneration satellite cells are activated in response to growth signals from the environment, which induces the expression of one or both of the two MRFs, Myf-5 or MyoD. Activated satellite cells migrate to the site of injury and proliferate before these transcription factors go on to activate transcription of myogenic genes. The myoblasts can then adopt one of two fates. Some myoblasts initiate terminal differentiation and are able to either fuse into existing myofibres to repair them, or fuse with other myoblasts to form new fibres. Other myoblasts do not differentiate but instead return to quiescence and adopt a satellite cell position on repaired or newly formed fibres. Mighty, a downstream target of myostatin that was discovered by the Functional Muscle Genomics Laboratory has recently been shown to induce cell hypertrophy in cell culture through enhanced differentiation and fusion of myoblasts. Myostatin-null mice have hypertrophic muscles and an improved muscle regeneration phenotype. These mice have also been shown to have higher basal levels of Mighty in skeletal muscle than wild-type mice. In this thesis the expression profile of Mighty during skeletal muscle regeneration was characterised in relation to MyoD. During regeneration Mighty gene expression was induced at day five post-injury in both wild-type and myostatin-null mice. In the myostatin-null mice Mighty gene expression remained elevated at day seven post injury in contrast to the levels in the wild-type, which had decreased at this time point. By day-14 and day-28 post-injury Mighty levels were decreased. The up-regulation of Mighty occurs at the time of peak myotube formation in regenerating skeletal muscle, consistent with a role for Mighty in enhancing differentiation and fusion of myoblasts. The extended up-regulation of Mighty in the myostatin-null muscle may be responsible for the enhanced regeneration phenotype of these mice. Analysis of the myotube and reserve cell populations, which are an in vitro model of satellite cells, from both C2C12 cells and Mighty over-expressing clones (Clone 7 and Clone 11) showed that Mighty expression down-regulates two satellite cell markers, CD34 and Sca-1. Both these molecules have been recently shown to be involved in myoblast fusion and reserve cell specification, although their exact role in these processes is not yet known. Expression of Sca-1 is associated with a slowly proliferating non-dividing state while CD34 is associated with the population of reserve cells that do not fuse when notch signalling is inhibited. The results of this thesis indicate that Mighty over-expression may cause the enhanced fusion phenotype by regulating these two molecules. In conclusion the data in this thesis supports a role for Mighty in the myotube formation phase of regeneration and may be able to enhance regeneration by recruiting more myoblasts to terminal differentiation by altering CD34 and Sca-1 expression.

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  • Improving Online Banking Quality in Developing Nations: A Libyan Case

    Elgahwash, Fouad; Freeman, Mark (2014-12-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    While the global banking sector is one of the most up-to-date industries with regard to the use of the Internet and mobile technologies, developing countries (such as Libya) have not broadly adopted these technologies. For example, online banking is not offered or provided on a restricted basis by many banks in Libya. As developing countries now seek to catch up with the global environment, both banks and customers are likely to face challenges. Understanding the perceptions of customers with regard to online banking quality in developing countries is useful for informing future adoption strategies and hence improving relationships between banks and their customers. This paper provides an analysis of survey questions pertaining to online banking quality leading to customer satisfaction.

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  • Development and evaluation of an exercycle game using immersive technologies

    Shaw, Lindsay Alexander; Wünsche, Burkhard Claus; Lutteroth, Christof; Marks, S; Buckley, Jude; Corballis, Paul

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    Exercise video games have become increasing popular due to their promise to increase fitness and reduce obesity levels, and due to the emergence of cheap interface devices. Previous research reported mixed results about the effectiveness of such games. Common problems are the lack of long term motivation of users, games not taking into account specific patient requirements, repetitive gameplay, and vendor lock-in. In this paper we design a novel exergame which addresses some of these shortcomings. The game employs an infinite randomly generated game environment, uses immersive technologies, and can be customized to take into account patient requirements. We present a prototype of this game design and evaluate its effectiveness using different levels of immersion. Our user study demonstrates a small but statistically significant increase in exercise performance and motivation when using the exergame. Employing the Oculus Rift resulted in a slightly higher motivation, but no noticeable change in performance. The head mounted display was most effective for sedentary users.

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  • Size Exclusion PEGylation Reaction Chromatography Modelling

    Kapadi, Ajith Nayak (2006)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Size exclusion PEGylation reaction chromatography was investigated using a model developed by Fee (2005). Column dispersion was neglected and the PEGylation reaction was modelled as second order. The model allowed up to four PEG groups to be attached to a protein and accounted for succinic acid hydrolysis from activated PEG. The model was adapted to simulate a-lactalbumin PEGylation and succinic acid hydrolysis from activated PEG in a batch stirred tank so rate parameters from stirred tank kinetic experiments could be obtained and the model verified. The model was solved using finite differences and simulations run in Matlab. The effect of reaction parameters such as timing, length and concentration of PEG and protein injection, reaction rates, and model resolution on model simulation results was explored. In the size exclusion PEGylation simulations it was found that increasing protein concentration increased MonoPEG concentrations and increased the ratio of MonoPEG to starting protein feed concentration. Increasing PEG pulse length and starting PEG concentration initially increased MonoPEG concentration and product ratio until all protein had been PEGylated at which point MonoPEG concentration the product ratio levelled out. Increasing PEG hydrolysis rates did not affect the amount of MonoPEG produced but reduced the activated PEG concentration and increased succinic acid concentration. Optimal conditions for producing MonoPEG were found to be equal concentrations of PEG and protein, with the PEG injection length twice as long as the protein injection, and the PEG injection done immediately after the protein injection.

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  • The Structured Employment Interview: An Examination of Construct and Criterion Validity

    Levine, Anne B. (2006)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This study extends the literature on interview validity by attempting to create a structured employment interview with both construct- and criterion-related validity. For this study, a situational interview was developed with the specific purpose of enhancing the interview's construct validity while retaining the interview's predictive power. To enhance the construct validity, two guidelines were applied to the creation of the interview based on previous research in interview and assessment center literature limit the number of applicant characteristics to be rated to 3; and (2) ensure that the dimensions to be measured are conceptually distinct. Based on these two guidelines, three constructs were chosen for assessment of real estate sales agents extraversion, proactive personality and customer orientation. The critical incident technique was used to develop six interview items. To test the construct validity of the interview, the six items were correlated with other measures, specifically, self-report questionnaires and managers' ratings, of extraversion, proactivity and customer orientation. Correlations were weak, at best (rs ranged from -.06 to .25). To test the predictive validity of the interview, the six items were correlated with both objective and subjective measures of performance. Predictive validities were stronger, ranging from .23 to .30. These findings are consistent with previous research on employment interviews which have found that although the predictive validity of the interview is strong, the construct validity is very weak, leaving researchers to wonder what it is that the interview is actually measuring. Possible explanations for these findings are offered, and the implications of these findings are discussed.

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  • Digital Strategy in Airports

    Jaffer, Suraya; Timbrell, Greg (2014-12-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    The continuing pervasiveness of digital technology has dramatically changed the way that organisations operate and utilise technology. The digital trend has seen IT move from a functional, to a strategic role in many businesses, and airports are not immune to this. As airports continue to become more ‘customer-centric’ the use of digital technologies has now become embedded within the passenger journey. This study takes a customer centric view of airport digital technology through determining the ways in which digital technologies are being applied to airports to improve passenger perspectives of service quality and the passenger journey. As a result of the literature review a framework entailing the themes of airport service quality (function, interaction and diversion) and digital strategy has been developed and analysed against six airports exhibiting high service quality. Currently, the findings suggest that the improvement of customer function involves the use of automated and self-service technologies providing passengers efficiency and effectiveness during processing points. Additionally, technology to improve experience during wait times may entail either aesthetic qualities, or provide some form of productivity to passengers. Alternatively, customer interaction is influenced by digital technology through constant passenger engagement throughout their journey. As the research nears completion, the influence of these themes on the framework will become more apparent.

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  • Exploring the Depths of Dark Fantasy Within the Annihilation Enigma

    Kinghan, James

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This exegesis will outline genre and development within the draft of the novel; The Annihilation Enigma. This novel has developed and evolved over ten months, influenced by novels, comic books, television shows and roleplaying games, in addition to taking feedback and guidance from a mentor. The novel sits with the dark fantasy and sword and sorcery subgenres of fantasy, illustrating the journey of multiple protagonists all trying to survive. All of these protagonists struggle through the metaphorical hell that is presented to them, mostly through combat and self-discovery. The exegesis discusses the purpose of features within the genre in relation to the novel and the characters involved. These elements of genre include the high amount of combat and violence, and the extensive existence of magic. The novel was written similarly to the way a dungeons and dragons campaign is formed, as an organic and reactionary story with more of an outline and less of a plan. The aim of the novel is to provide a cathartic journey back from a metaphorical underworld, and subsequently and hopefully provide a similar catharsis to those who need a fight to win.

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  • Part-time Employees Were Not Created Equal: Exploring How Part-time Groups Differ on Measures That Can Predict Employee Turnover Intention

    Whistler, Hamish Tomas (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This study built upon research by Martin and Sinclair (2007) who found the part-time employee group is made up of distinct groups that differ in their responses across a range of attitudinal variables (e.g. measures of job satisfaction and commitment). Part-time employees typically have higher employee turnover rates than full-time employees and this study investigated this issue by collecting data on attitudinal variables known to predict employee turnover intentions. The 311 participants of this study were from different branches across a large retail organisation in New Zealand. The results show that the high-school and tertiary student part-time groups often responded to scales similar to each other, while the 'PT (other)' and full-time employee groups were more similar in their responses. These results show a pattern of responses for the part-time group called 'PT (other)' that suggests they are less likely to quit compared to the two student part-time groups. Work status (part-time or full-time) was found to moderate the relationship between fulfilment of psychological contract with both turnover intentions (job search behaviours) and overall satisfaction. This study also developed and tested two new measures expected to relate to employee turnover. The first was pre-planned intention to quit, which successfully predicted differences between groups and had correlations with other scales. The second measure was social network strength, but this did not predict differences between groups or have correlations with other variables. The main implication was that retail organisations should be aware that the student part-time groups are more likely to have a higher turnover rate than other groups. This information might be useful when recruiting for positions where an employee quit has significant negative effect on the operation of the organisation.

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  • The Relation Between Preference and Demand in the Domestic Hen: Does Preference Vary With Price?

    Bruce, Julie-Anne Marie (2007)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    ABSTRACT Six hens responded under an increasing Fixed Ratio schedule of reinforcement to assess demand separately for two different food types: wheat and puffed wheat. Demand curves generated showed the least preferred food, puffed wheat, yielded a higher initial (ln L) demand than the more preferred food, wheat. While responding for the more preferred food, wheat, produced lower initial (ln L) demand functions, responding for wheat was maintained to higher increasing FR schedules of reinforcement than was that for puffed wheat. This phenomenon occurred across all six hens. To assess preference between the two food types the hens responded under a two-link concurrent-chain schedule of reinforcement. Under the concurrent-chain schedule of reinforcement there were three conditions, each consisted of a initial link with VI 90-s VI 90-s in effect, and terminal links of FR1, FR8 and FR32. The concurrent-chain schedule was used to examine if or how preference may relate to demand. Preference measures obtained showed wheat was generally preferred to puffed wheat across all prices throughout the preference assessment. As price increased in the terminal link during the preference assessment, preference for wheat became more extreme as did the hens responding. The results suggest that while there is a systematic relation between preference and demand, in that at higher FR values food with higher demand levels is preferred. This does not seem to hold, however, at FR1

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  • The synthesis of hybrid mechanisms using genetic algorithms

    Connor, AM

    Thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This thesis presents a novel design methodology for the synthesis of hybrid mechanisms using Genetic Algorithms. GAs are a search and optimisation method which model the mechanics of population genetics to give a truly global search method. In parallel to the development of a suitable GA, the work also develops novel objective function criteria which go some way to providing an approximation to dynamic criteria whilst using only kinematic properties during calculations. This has considerable effect in reducing the time required to find a feasible solution. The thesis presents a set of results which validate the proposed methodology, both in terms of speed of convergence and quality of the final solutions obtained. The application chosen is the synthesis of a hybrid five bar path generating mechanism. A description is given of the development of a practical machine for a given test case, so as to illustrate that the solutions produced are feasible in terms of real world implementation. Results are presented which show the effectiveness of the machine. Finally, a critical analysis of both the methodology and the results is carried out. This highlights some areas in which the methodology could be improved by future work.

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  • Immigrant students in the classroom: a spiral-threads-of-transition model

    Jhagroo, J

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    In this paper I present my rationale for the development and use of a spiral-threads-of-transition model in the doctoral study that I completed this year. Using a hermeneutic phenomenological approach I examined the lived experiences of ten immigrant students in their mathematics classrooms at an Auckland secondary school. The study focused on these students' perceptions of their experiences rather than how their experiences might have been theorised. This approach gained its impetus from the notion that for teaching and learning, our most valuable resources are not abstract theories and principles but the untapped experiences of real students in the classroom (Sanchez, 2007).

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  • Facilitating internal motivation: Impacts of the Life Code Matrix model on working life

    Owler, K

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    One of the key challenges of coaching is facilitating internal motivation in clients. The Life Code Matrix model (LCM) was designed to overcome this challenge. The research discussed in this paper aimed to evaluate the LCM process and its impact on the lives of working adults. Data suggested that LCM was effective in supporting internal motivation for the majority of research participants. The method can also improve worker confidence and capacity to learn and help develop positive work-place relationships. Finally, it may be useful to support work-place engagement.

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  • An Exploratory Study of the Emergent Theory for Enterprise Resource Planning Upgrade Decision

    Ng, Celeste; Wang, Eric (2014-12-08)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    This study finds that ERP upgrade decision is highly related to the type of incentives expected to be derived (or the type of business problems expected to be resolved by) from an ERP upgrade project. The incentives expected to be realized from an ERP upgrade appears to be a strong factor influencing ERP upgrade decision. Likewise, our empirical results here also suggest that the similarity between a firm and an ERP system business process has a strong impact on an ERP upgrade decision. However, symbols attached to an ERP system do not seem to be a strong differentiating- or salient-factor for an ERP upgrade decision. This is also the case for top management supports, which fail to prove to be a strong factor influencing ERP upgrade decision. However, we can argue that top management supports are necessary but not a sufficient factor to justify for an ERP upgrade.

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  • Development of a wearable haptic game interface

    Foottit, J; Brown, D; Marks, S; Connor, AM

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    This paper outlines the ongoing development of a wearable haptic game interface, in this case for controlling a flight simulator. The device differs from many traditional haptic feedback implementations in that it combines vibrotactile feedback with gesture based input, thus becoming a two-way conduit between the user and the virtual environment. The device is intended to challenge what is considered an “interface” and sets out to purposefully blur the boundary between man and machine. This allows for a more immersive experience, and a user evaluation shows that the intuitive interface allows the user to become the aircraft that is controlled by the movements of the user's hand.

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  • The complexity of absenteeism and turnover intention: Direct, mediation and moderation effects

    Vogelzang, Ciska (Francisca Monica) (2008)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Absenteeism and turnover in the workplace are complex phenomena that have implications for organisations and individuals alike. This study investigated the relationships of attitudinal factors with absenteeism and turnover intentions at a large healthcare organisation in the Bay of Plenty. A questionnaire completed by 407 employees had several measures such as job involvement, job satisfaction, organisational commitment (affective and continuance commitment), perceived organisational support, perceived supervisor support, work-to-family conflict, family-to-work conflict, team cohesion, regional identification and turnover intention. Absenteeism data were collected from personnel records. The results indicated a probable association of job satisfaction, work-to-family conflict and perceived supervisor support with absenteeism, while turnover intention was associated with all predictors except continuance commitment. Perceived organisational support partially mediated the relationship between perceived supervisor support and turnover intention. No moderator effects were found for job involvement, perceived supervisor support and team cohesion on relationships between work-to-family conflict and affective commitment/job satisfaction and perceived organisational support and affective commitment respectively, however strong main effects were shown for job involvement and team cohesion. The main finding is that organisations must understand how organisational and supervisor support increases job satisfaction and affective commitment and decreases work-to-family conflict, which lowers absenteeism and turnover intention. The detection of high levels of regional identification indicate the need to acknowledge this construct, particularly in relation to turnover intention.

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  • Optimisation of power transmission systems using a discrete Tabu Search method

    Connor, AM; Tilley, DG (2014-04-07)

    Conference item
    Auckland University of Technology

    This paper presents a brief description of the Tabu Search method and shows how it can be applied to two different power transmission systems. Examples are presented from two transmission systems. In the first example a mechanical transmission system is considered. A four bar mechanism is synthesised in order to produce a desired output motion. The second example is a hydrostatic transmission operating under closed loop control in order to maintain a constant operating speed as the loading conditions change.

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  • Molecular basis of chemosensitivity of platinum pre-treated ovarian cancer to chemotherapy

    Glaysher, S; Gabriel, FG; Johnson, P; Polak, M; Knight, LA; Parker, K; Poole, M; Narayanan, A; Cree, IA; NHS Collaborative Research Programme for Predictive Oncology

    Journal article
    Auckland University of Technology

    Ovarian cancer shows considerable heterogeneity in its sensitivity to chemotherapy both clinically and in vitro. This study tested the hypothesis that the molecular basis of this difference lies within the known resistance mechanisms inherent to these patients' tumours.

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