558 results for Scholarly text, 2015

  • Adapting a Hyper-heuristic to Respond to Scalability Issues in Combinatorial Optimisation

    Marshall, Richard J. (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The development of a heuristic to solve an optimisation problem in a new domain, or a specific variation of an existing problem domain, is often beyond the means of many smaller businesses. This is largely due to the task normally needing to be assigned to a human expert, and such experts tend to be scarce and expensive. One of the aims of hyper-heuristic research is to automate all or part of the heuristic development process and thereby bring the generation of new heuristics within the means of more organisations. A second aim of hyper-heuristic research is to ensure that the process by which a domain specific heuristic is developed is itself independent of the problem domain. This enables a hyper-heuristic to exist and operate above the combinatorial optimisation problem “domain barrier” and generalise across different problem domains. A common issue with heuristic development is that a heuristic is often designed or evolved using small size problem instances and then assumed to perform well on larger problem instances. The goal of this thesis is to extend current hyper-heuristic research towards answering the question: How can a hyper-heuristic efficiently and effectively adapt the selection, generation and manipulation of domain specific heuristics as you move from small size and/or narrow domain problems to larger size and/or wider domain problems? In other words, how can different hyperheuristics respond to scalability issues? Each hyper-heuristic has its own strengths and weaknesses. In the context of hyper-heuristic research, this thesis contributes towards understanding scalability issues by firstly developing a compact and effective heuristic that can be applied to other problem instances of differing sizes in a compatible problem domain. We construct a hyper-heuristic for the Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem domain to establish whether a heuristic for a specific problem domain can be developed which is compact and easy to interpret. The results show that generation of a simple but effective heuristic is possible. Secondly we develop two different types of hyper-heuristic and compare their performance across different combinatorial optimisation problem domains. We construct and compare simplified versions of two existing hyper-heuristics (adaptive and grammar-based), and analyse how each handles the trade-off between computation speed and quality of the solution. The performance of the two hyper-heuristics are tested on seven different problem domains compatible with the HyFlex (Hyper-heuristic Flexible) framework. The results indicate that the adaptive hyper-heuristic is able to deliver solutions of a pre-defined quality in a shorter computational time than the grammar-based hyper-heuristic. Thirdly we investigate how the adaptive hyper-heuristic developed in the second stage of this thesis can respond to problem instances of the same size, but containing different features and complexity. We investigate how, with minimal knowledge about the problem domain and features of the instance being worked on, a hyper-heuristic can modify its processes to respond to problem instances containing different features and problem domains of different complexity. In this stage we allow the adaptive hyper-heuristic to select alternative vectors for the selection of problem domain operators, and acceptance criteria used to determine whether solutions should be retained or discarded. We identify a consistent difference between the best performing pairings of selection vector and acceptance criteria, and those pairings which perform poorly. This thesis shows that hyper-heuristics can respond to scalability issues, although not all do so with equal ease. The flexibility of an adaptive hyper-heuristic enables it to perform faster than the more rigid grammar-based hyper-heuristic, but at the expense of losing a reusable heuristic.

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  • Electronic Conduction in Disordered Carbon Materials

    Cheah, Chun Yee (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Graphene, consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms, is being widely studied for its interesting fundamental physics and potential applications. The presence and extent of disorder play important roles in determining the electronic conduction mechanism of a conducting material. This thesis presents work on data analysis and modelling of electronic transport mechanisms in disordered carbon materials such as graphene. Based on experimental data of conductance of partially disordered graphene as measured by Gómez-Navarro et al., we propose a model of variable-range hopping (VRH) – defined as quantum tunnelling of charge carriers between localized states – consisting of a crossover from the two-dimensional (2D) electric field-assisted, temperature-driven (Pollak-Riess) VRH to 2D electric field-driven (Skhlovskii) VRH. The novelty of our model is that the temperature-dependent and field-dependent regimes of VRH are unified by a smooth crossover where the slopes of the curves equal at a given temperature. We then derive an analytical expression which allows exact numerical calculation of the crossover fields or voltages. We further extend our crossover model to apply to disordered carbon materials of dimensionalities other than two, namely to the 3D self-assembled carbon networks by Govor et al. and quasi-1D highly-doped conducting polymers by Wang et al. Thus we illustrate the wide applicability of our crossover model to disordered carbon materials of various dimensionalities. We further predict, in analogy to the work of Pollak and Riess, a temperature-assisted, field-driven VRH which aims to extend the field-driven expression of Shklovskii to cases wherein the temperatures are increased. We discover that such an expression gives a good fit to the data until certain limits wherein the temperatures are too high or the applied field too low. In such cases the electronic transport mechanism crosses over to Mott VRH, as expected and analogous to our crossover model described in the previous paragraph. The second part of this thesis details a systematic data analysis and modelling of experimental data of conductance of single-wall carbon nanotube (SWNT) networks prepared by several different chemical-vapour deposition (CVD) methods by Ansaldo et al. and Lima et al. Based on our analysis, we identify and categorize the SWNT networks based on their electronic conduction mechanisms, using various theoretical models which are temperature-dependent and field-dependent. The electronic transport mechanisms of the SWNT networks can be classed into either VRH in one- and two-dimensions or fluctuation-assisted tunnelling (FAT, i.e. interrupted metallic conduction), some with additional resistance from scattering by lattice vibrations. Most notably, for a selected network, we find further evidence for our novel VRH crossover model previously described. We further correlate the electronic transport mechanisms with the morphology of each network based on scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. We find that SWNT networks which consist of very dense tubes show conduction behaviour consistent with the FAT model, in that they retain a finite and significant fraction of room-temperature conductance as temperatures tend toward absolute zero. On the other hand, SWNT networks which are relatively sparser show conduction behaviour consistent with the VRH model, in that conductance tends to zero as temperatures tend toward absolute zero. We complete our analysis by estimating the average hopping distance for SWNT networks exhibiting VRH conduction, and estimate an indication of the strength of barrier energies and quantum tunnelling for SWNT networks exhibiting FAT conduction.

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  • Investigating the mode of action of tuberculosis drugs using hypersensitive mutants of Mycobacterium smegmatis

    Campen, Richard Laurence (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the etiological agent of tuberculosis (TB), is the leading cause of death and disease by a bacterial pathogen worldwide. The growing incidence of drug resistant TB, especially multi-drug resistant TB highlights the need for new drugs with novel modes of action. Current treatment of TB involves a multi-drug regimen of four drugs including isoniazid and rifampicin, both of which were discovered over 40 years ago. Bedaquiline is one of the first novel TB drugs to enter clinical trials since the discovery of rifampicin, and has shown excellent activity against drug resistant TB. Although isoniazid and rifampicin are well established anti-TB drugs, significant gaps in knowledge regarding their modes of action exist. Furthermore, little information on the mode of action of the novel drug bedaquiline is known beyond its primary target. Characterisation of drug mode of action facilitates rational modifications of drugs to improve the treatment of TB. The aim of this study was to identify novel aspects of the modes of action of isoniazid, rifampicin, and bedaquiline by characterising drug hypersensitive mutants of M. smegmatis mc²155. A sub-saturated M. smegmatis mc²155 transposon mutant collection with 1.1-fold genome coverage (7680 mutants) was constructed, with this collection estimated to contain mutations in 73.2% of all genes capable of maintaining a transposon insertion (non-essential genes). A high-throughput assay was developed for screening the collection, and mutants related to known drug mode of action were identified for isoniazid (ahpC and eccCa₁) and bedaquiline (atpB). Additionally, known mechanisms of drug inactivation were identified for isoniazid (nudC), rifampicin (arr and lspA), and bedaquiline (mmpL5). The finding that transposon mutants of nudC are hypersensitive to isoniazid independently validated the recent discovery of the role of NudC in basal isoniazid resistance by Wang et al. (2011). The remaining genes identified in this thesis represent potentially novel aspects of the modes of action or resistance mechanisms of these drugs. Cross-sensitivity to other drugs indicated that the mechanism of sensitivity was drug specific for the mutants examined. Differential-sensitivity testing against drug analogues revealed that Arr is involved in resistance to the rifampicin analogue rifapentine as well, indicating that Arr can detoxify rifapentine similar to rifampicin. The nudC mutant showed increased sensitivity to a range of isoniazid analogues, indicating that it can detoxify these analogues similar to the parent compound. Interestingly six analogues were found to be less active against the nudC mutant than expected. A number of overexpression strains were tested against these six analogues; a nudC overexpression strain, and a strain overexpressing inhA, the primary target for isoniazid. Overexpression of nudC as well inhA increased the resistance of WT to isoniazid, but failed to increase resistance to three of the analogues, NSC27607, NSC33759, and NSC40350. Isoniazid is a prodrug and is activated by the peroxidase/catalase enzyme KatG. Overexpression of katG resulted in increased isoniazid sensitivity, as well as increased sensitivity to NSC27607, NSC33759, and NSC40350. Together these results suggest that NSC27607, NSC33759, and NSC40350 are activated by KatG, but that InhA is not the primary target. Additionally the inability of NudC overexpression to confer resistance suggests these analogues are not acting via a NAD adduct, the mechanism by which isoniazid inhibits InhA. These results suggest that there are other toxic metabolites being produced by KatG activation of these three analogues. In conclusion, characterisation of mutants identified in a high-throughput assay for drug hypersensitivity identified genes involved in the modes of action or resistance mechanisms for isoniazid, rifampicin, and bedaquiline. Additionally, a number of novel genes were identified that have no known connections to the known modes of action or resistance mechanisms for these drugs. Further testing of a nudC mutant revealed three isoniazid analogues that appear to inhibit growth of M. smegmatis mc²155 independent of InhA, the primary target of isoniazid. This study has successfully demonstrated that screening for drug hypersensitivity can generate novel information on drug mode of action and resistance mechanisms. This information can ultimately be used to help drive the development of new drugs, and improve treatment of TB.

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  • Exploring the Role of the Customer in the Fuzzy Front End of Innovation

    Harker, Liam (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The early stages of development for new advanced technologies are notoriously difficult to navigate and manage effectively in such a way that leads to successful commercial application. This paper explores how the use of flexible and exploratory frameworks based in customer engagement can provide valuable insights into how advanced technologies can be developed to solve validated market problems. The paper reflects on the challenges faced and lessons taken from our practical experience using this approach to develop advanced technologies emerging from within Victoria University of Wellington.

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  • Māori Orality and Extended Cognition: A cognitive approach to memory and oral tradition in the Pacific

    Murphy, David James (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Though philosophers have long held that interpretive anthropology and the cognitive science of religion (CSR) are opposed, this thesis offers an extended empirical assessment of the issues surrounding the implications of utilizing ethnographic material within a cognitive study of religious transmission. Using case studies from the Pacific, I consider a core question arising in both interpretative and cognitive disciplines, namely: how have oral cultures been able to preserve and transmit bodies of sacred knowledge cross-generationally without any external administrative tools (i.e. text)? First, I focus on the historical and ethnographic details of traditional Māori orality. I look at how orally transmitted knowledge was managed through the external cognitive resources associated with religious ritual. Here I find evidence within Pacific oral traditions that the problem of managing knowledge was overcome through tools and strategies that augmented memory and oral skill. I give special attention to the traditional Māori structuring of learning environments. Next I consider how macro-spatial tools – such as landmarks, and place names – helped support working memory and information management, and show that orientations to landscape are vital to ensuring collective memory. This thesis also demonstrates how culturally learned tools and strategies support the stability of religious cultural transmission. The use of external cognitive resources implies the complexity of managing and organizing sacred knowledge. Put simply, focusing on the historical accounts from the Pacific reveals a rich suite of culturally evolved tools and strategies for the transmission of religious knowledge. I show that tools such as ritual, myth, mnemonic techniques, and artifacts enable and stabilise such transmission. I hold, that such cultural environments constitute cognitive tools that are meaningfully described as cultural cognitive systems. Thus, combining descriptive accounts with the theoretical orientations of the cognitive sciences motivates what I call a ‘cognitive ecological’ model of mind. I argue that the cognitive ecological model is important because it orients researchers to the role that culturally evolved tools play in: (1) dramatically extending the human brain’s power to reckon with its surroundings and: (2) coordinating such knowledge across social groups and over time. The cognitive ecological model of mind I propose in this study is important for three reasons: First, it challenges the received view within the CSR – what I call the ‘Standard Internal Model’ (SiM) – which holds that the transmission of religious representations carries low cognitive demands (i.e. it is cognitively optimal). In contrast to SiM, the Pacific materials discussed here suggest that the oral transmission of sacred knowledge is cognitively demanding, culturally costly, and locally contingent. Second, my thesis demonstrates that historical and ethnographic evidence contains information that is vital for progress in the CSR since qualitative resources document how niche specific cultural practices often facilitate the acquisition and coordination of the complex knowledge resources over time. The ethnographic data supports the local optimality contention. Third, my thesis reveals that formulating tractable models for cultural transmission within the CSR is benefitted by an interdisciplinary approach. Such a prospect, I urge, is vital for intellectual progress between the humanities and the CSR. As such, and contrary to received opinion, my thesis shows how the CSR and the cultural anthropology of religion share a common intellectual fate.

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  • Prevention of bullying in the public sector

    Plimmer, Geoff (2015)

    Scholarly text
    Victoria University of Wellington

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  • How information affects attributions for ambiguous behaviours resulting from stroke

    Gallagher, Jake (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Research has shown that when people see young survivors of stroke, they often misattribute the person’s symptoms to other factors (Wainwright et al., 2013). Consequently, these stroke survivors may suffer feelings of resentment towards, and from their acquaintances. They may also struggle to obtain or retain a job. This thesis examines whether these misattributions for stroke survivors’ symptoms are affected by the information people have about the stroke survivor and the rapidity of the change in their behaviours. Experiment 1 investigated if the stroke survivor’s age (72, 32 or unstated) and the level of information (no information, implied stroke or explicit stroke) for their behaviours influenced people’s attributions. Experiment 1 showed that people attributed the behavioural changes to factors other than stroke when no additional information is present, and they attributed the behaviours to stroke when stroke was explicitly described. When stroke was implied, participants rated stroke as the best explanation but only when the target person was 72. Experiment 2 manipulated the rapidity of the stroke survivor’s behavioural changes to assess the effect on attributions. Experiment 2 showed that people attributed the behaviours to stroke more if only one week had passed, and if the target person was 72, but not when he was 32. It was concluded that young stroke survivors may need to disclose their stroke in order for others to correctly attribute their behaviours, as this could improve their rehabilitation.

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  • People's Supermarket

    Ting, James (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Public markets were once a very important place to a city. However with the growth of the city and heavy usage of traffic, big-box supermarkets start to find its way into the city. The supermarket revolution had overtaken the public markets identity in most urban cities. However, due to recent events known as the supermarket bully-boy tactics, brought an awareness to the public. In result, the public starting to turn away from these chain supermarkets and start to support the local produce. However, even with the support from the public, public markets still find hard to grow within the urban city. This thesis investigates how a hybrid building could be the solution for the public markets in the city from being evicted due to urban land development. This is investigated by incorporating the public market as part of the building’s design development. Besides incorporating the market into the building, the nature of the market as a public place needed to be retained. As the chosen site for this project is situated in an area between two high activity neighborhoods, the project’s design seeks to channel the vibrancy from the surrounding area through the building. The research had identified several public programs other than the market to be integrated into the project’s design. The aim is to design a vibrant urban public place, engaging with the people and building a sense of community within the inner city area. This design-led research thesis breaks-down the project’s complexity into three separate faces to be investigated. The first design phase introduces the overall design scheme and describes the programs relativity to the project. This phase carried on with the investigation and documentation of the form finding process through a series of physical modelling and images. This then led to the second phase of the research involving the market. This phase investigates the physical realms in public market design from a socio-spatial perspective and design principles for making farmer’s markets a public space. The investigation considers the circulation route defined by the promenade and the layout of the stalls. Diagrammatic analysis was conducted throughout these investigations. The outcome of these investigations will reflect on the latter decision for the overall design outcome. The research carried on to phase three where the final design outcome of the design is documented. The design process is generated through the combination of investigation outcomes gathered in phase one and two.

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  • Mountain bikers' attitudes towards mountain biking tourism destinations

    Moularde, Julie (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This thesis, grounded in consumer culture theory, delves into the sociocultural dynamics involved in tourist attitude content and formation. It addresses gaps in special interest tourism, sports tourism and tourist attitudes towards destinations literatures and further knowledge of mountain biking tourism, a niche, but growing, market. Qualitative methods grounded in interpretivism were used to understand how mountain bikers purposefully traveling to mountain bike tourism destinations form attitudes towards these destinations. Twenty-five mountain bikers from Wellington who qualified as serious leisure participants and had previously travelled for the primary purpose of mountain biking were interviewed. Social influence – through social ties, interactions and subcultural involvement – plays a central role in the respondents’ travel motivations and information search process, and thus influences attitude formation, strength and content. Therefore, the respondents are grouped based on centrality of mountain biking identity and subsequent desire to align with the subculture, and differences in attitude formation processes are highlighted. The respondents hold positive attitudes towards most destinations, emphasizing the need to investigate attitude strength and degree of positivity. Four main evaluative dimensions of attitudes are detailed (adventurous, natural, social and utilitarian). It is established that attitudes towards tourism destinations are (1) a qualitative evaluation of the experience anticipated or enabled rather that a quantitative appraisal of attributes, (2) continuously adjusted from the point of naïve awareness onwards, and (3) most relevant and revealing when operationalised as holistic summary evaluations rather than interrelated components. Based on an increased understanding of attitudes towards mountain biking tourism destinations, their formation and mountain biking subculture, recommendations are drawn to better design, maintain and promote sites.

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  • Optical probes of free charge generation in organic photovoltaics

    Barker, Alexander J. (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) show considerable promise as a source of low cost solar energy. Improving our understanding of the processes governing free charge photogeneration in OPVs may unlock the improvements in efficiency required for their widespread implementation. In particular, how do photogenerated charge pairs overcome their mutual columbic attraction, and what governs the branching between bound and free charge pairs that is observed to occur shortly after their creation? Ultrafast laser techniques such as transient absorption (TA) spectroscopy are the only tools capable of probing the time scales associated with these processes (as short as 10⁻¹⁴ seconds). Challenges include achieving sufficient sensitivity to resolve the tiny signals generated in thin films under solar-equivalent excitation densities, and distinguishing and quantifying overlapping signals due to separate phenomena. We present the development of a versatile and ultra-sensitive broadband TA spectrometer, along with a comprehensive analysis of the noise sources limiting sensitivity. Through the use of referenced shot-to-shot detection and a novel method exploiting highly chirped broadband probe pulses, we are capable of resolving changes in differential transmission < 3 × 10⁻⁶ over pump-probe delays of 10⁻¹³–10⁻⁴ seconds. By comparing the absorption due to photogenerated charges to measurements of open-circuit voltage decay in devices under transient excitation, we show that TA is able to quantify the recombination of freely extractable charge pairs over many decades of pump-probe delay. The dependence of this recombination on excitation density can reveal the relative fraction of bound and free charge pairs. We apply this technique to blends of varying efficiency and find that the measured free charge fraction is correlated with published photocharge yields for these materials. We access a regime at low temperature where thermalized charge pairs are frozen out following the primary charge separation step and recombine monomolecularly via tunneling. The dependence of tunneling rate on distance enabled us to fit recombination dynamics to distributions of recombination rates. We identified populations of charge-transfer states and well-separated charge pairs, the yield of which is strongly correlated with the yield of free charges measured via their intensity dependent recombination. We conclude that populations of free charges are established via long-range charge separation within the thermalization timescale, thus invoking early branching between free and bound charges across an energetic barrier. Subject to assumed values of the electron tunneling attenuation constant, we find critical charge separation distances of ~ 3–4nm in all materials. TA spectroscopy probes the absorption of excited states, with the signal being proportional to the product of population density and absorption cross-section of the absorbing species. We show that the dependence of signal on probe pulse intensity can decouple these parameters, and apply a numerical model to determine the time-dependent absorption cross-section of photogenerated excitons in thin films of semiconducting polymers. Collectively, this thesis presents spectroscopic tools and applications thereof that illuminate the process of free charge generation in organic photovoltaics.

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  • Creating New Zealand: Pākehā constructions of national identity in New Zealand literary anthologies

    Wild, Susan (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The desire to construct a sense of home and the need to belong are basic to human society, and to the processes of its cultural production. Since the beginning of New Zealand’s European colonial settlement, the determination to create and reflect a separate and distinctive collective identity for the country’s Pākehā population has been the primary focus of much local creative and critical literature. Most literary histories, like those of Patrick Evans (1990) and Terry Sturm (1991), have followed the narrative of progression – established initially in E.H. McCormick’s Letters and Art in New Zealand (1940) – away from colonial dependency through delineated stages from provincial and cultural nationalist phases to the achievement of a bicultural and multicultural consensus in a globalized, international context. This thesis questions the progressivist assumption which often informs that narrative, arguing instead that, while change and progress have been evident in the development of local notions of identity in the country’s writing over time, there is also a pattern of recurrent concerns about national identity that remained unresolved at the end of the last century. This complex and nuanced picture is disclosed in particular in the uncertain and shifting nature of New Zealand’s relationship with Australia, its response towards expatriates, a continuing concern with the nature of the ‘reality’ of ‘New Zealandness’, and the ambivalence of its sense of identity and place within a broader international context. New Zealand’s national anthologies of verse and short fiction produced over the twentieth century, and their reception in the critical literature that they generated, are taken in the thesis as forming a microcosmic representation of the major concerns that underlie the discourse of national identity formation in this country. I present an analysis of the canonical literary anthologies, in particular those of verse, and of a wide range of critical work focused on responses to the historical development of local literature. From this, I develop the argument that a dual, interlinked pattern, both of progress and of reversion to early concerns and uncertainties, is evident. The thesis is structured into six chapters: an introductory chapter outlines the national and international historical contexts within which the literary contestation of New Zealand identity has developed; the second outlines the contribution of influential literary anthologies to the construction of various concepts of New Zealandness; three chapters then address particular thematic concerns identified as recurring tropes within the primary and secondary literature focused on the discourse of national identity – the ‘problem’ of the expatriate writer, the search for ‘reality’ and ‘authenticity’ in the portrayal of local experience, and New Zealand’s literary response towards Australia; and the Conclusion, which summarizes the argument presented in the thesis and provides an assessment of its major findings. A Bibliography of the works cited in the text is appended at the end of the thesis.

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  • Traumatic Bonding and Intimate Partner Violence

    George, Vera (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Intimate partner violence is a pervasive and highly detrimental phenomenon. One common aspect of abusive relationships is a reluctance to leave one’s partner. With this in mind, the current study explored the role of Stockholm syndrome in abusive relationships. Study 1 and 2 surveyed 508 diverse adults. Study 1 submitted the Stockholm syndrome scale to psychometric testing and confirmed a 3-factor solution for the scale. The three components are Core, justifying an abuser through cognitive distortions; Damage, ongoing psychological effects of abuse; and Love, the belief that one’s survival depends on the love of an abuser. Study 2 tested the predictive qualities of the scale and found that its components are linked to relationship violence in a predictable fashion. These links may be moderated by insecure attachment. Study 3 analysed dyadic data from 86 couples and found positive associations between levels of Core and relationship violence, both within and across partners. Implications and future directions are discussed.

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  • Politicians Gone Wild: A Comparative Analysis of Political Scandals in New Zealand, The United States and France

    Argyle, Elizabeth (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The place of political scandals in the academic literature is contentious; scandals are commonly dismissed as distractions from the ‘real issues’ in a society. This thesis challenges that notion, instead arguing that political scandals are an important phenomenon in functioning democracies. Through a comparative lens, political transgressions since the year 2000 that have occurred in three liberal democracies, New Zealand, the United States and France, have been analysed. Transgressions by political actors in these jurisdictions of a sexual, financial and power nature have been applied to previously established frameworks. Observations about the political culture of these countries have been made as a result of this analysis. Four existing theories on the significance of political scandal – the functionalist theory of scandal, the no consequence theory, the trivialisation theory and social theory – were also tested. The social theory of scandal is concluded to be the most applicable to the case studies assessed. The social theory of scandal argues that political scandals can foster cultures of debate and criticism which is important to functioning democracies; however, political scandals of a large magnitude or high frequency can damage the public’s perception of political actors and institutions. This analysis therefore serves as evidence that political scandals are not frivolous occurrences but instead are important indicators of societal values and can have important and lasting consequences. This thesis also considers political scandals in broader historical and cultural contexts, drawing attention to the pervasiveness of scandal as a topic of academic and public interest.

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  • A useful accessory: The use of lightweight replica ornament to manage the cultural heritage values of earthquake-prone buildings

    Smith, Moira (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In NZ, some earthquake-prone heritage buildings have, historically, been restored with lightweight replica ornament to reconstruct decorative features that have been damaged or removed over time. But restoration has traditionally been a contested approach to conservation, particularly when heritage values and authenticity are considered to be intrinsic only to original or historic built fabric. This problem leads to the central research question addressed in this dissertation: ‘Can lightweight replica ornament be used to manage the heritage value of earthquake-prone heritage buildings?’ The research draws on Critical Heritage Studies which challenges the conventional stress on the intrinsic value of tangible heritage objects, and argues that heritage value is found in the intangible cultural processes that surround things. Consequently, authenticity is seen as pluralised and dependent on the cultural concerns, and aspirations, of local stakeholder communities. Using the theoretical framework of critical heritage and material culture studies, this dissertation therefore examines a technical aspect of conservation practice by re-theorising the concept of 'restoration'. The research methodology employs an adapted model of Action Research to investigate current professional practice. After analysing the historical context of earthquake-prone heritage buildings in the first chapter, in chapter two qualitative interviews are conducted with professionals who have an interest in the management of earthquake-prone buildings. Through the analysis and discussion of this data, a new actor network model is developed which shows the wider context of the resolution of the earthquake-prone status of heritage buildings. The findings suggest that professionals believe that heritage value is intrinsic to built fabric, and that the repair of existing built fabric is generally achievable. This means that replica ornament should only be considered for situations where reparability is unfeasible, and that lightweight substitute materials should only be used where traditional materials and technologies can longer be reproduced. Within these constraints it is possible to use lightweight replica ornament where it can be justified as a contributor to cultural heritage values. Furthermore, where professionals can reconcile the varying concerns of stakeholder communities in terms of safety and heritage value then lightweight replica ornament has the potential to add meaning to buildings and to become part of the narrative of place.

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  • The Political Economy of New Zealand’s Consumers Price Index

    Higgs, Corin (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The structure of New Zealand’s Consumers Price Index has changed many times over its 100 year history. As New Zealand’s most influential and consequential official statistic the CPI performs political and distributional functions that affects ‘who gets what and when’. Some observers suggest that change in the structure of the CPI is merely the consequence of technological improvement which in turn alters the conduct of policy-making and politics. This study turns that assumption on its head by demonstrating that it is politics that has altered the technology known as the CPI. Through the examination and evaluation of the changing political and economic context that the index operates within, this thesis work finds that the CPI was transformed by the very political forces it was designed to contain. This thesis argues that because the index functions as political decision-making tool that supports the setting of salaries and wages, benefit levels and interest rates, change in the form of the index is a result of struggle among interests affected by these highly political decisions. This thesis makes its case through analysis of primary sources and official documentation relating to the development of the index. The first case study tracks the origins of the first official index in 1914, devised in order to learn what it cost a ‘working’ family to meet its basic needs through its transformation into a tool that set wages and measured price change in the wider economy. This is reinforced by a study of change to the index since the 1970s, focusing on the use of the CPI in the conduct of monetary policy that resulted in a politically driven change to the measurement of household inflation. These case studies are further supported by examination of the secondary literature on price indexes, monetary policy and institutional change theory. This thesis adds to the body of knowledge on theories of institutional change by presenting evidence of the conflict that has caused political change to the technology of the CPI.

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  • Organised Functional Liquids for Photon Upconversion

    van den Kerkhof, Lia Catherine (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Photon upconversion is a process by which lower energy photons are converted to higher energy photons, which can be achieved by the interaction of two triplet excited states. This process holds potential for wavelength shifting solid films in photovoltaic cells. Not all wavelengths emitted by the sun have sufficient energy to be utilized by such devices. Typical solar cells have a band gap of around 1 µm, however there is a significant amount of energy output by the sun that falls below this threshold. Upconversion could lead to more efficient use of energy by converting these lower energy wavelengths to wavelengths that could be directly absorbed by the solar panel. Upconversion has thus far been harnessed in solution, where diffusion is the limiting factor for the efficiency of the process. However, for technological applications it would be better to create thin solid films. In these films, molecules would have to be brought within the distance on which upconversion occurs, as the process would no longer be defined by diffusion. One way to achieve this would be to create liquid crystalline derivatives of upconversion emitter molecules. This would provide ordering in the system, which would enhance electronic coupling and bring molecules within the scale on which upconversion occurs. The work of this thesis has focused on the synthesis of these organised functional liquids: liquid crystals of common upconversion emitter molecules. 9,10-diphenylanthracene (DPA) and 9,10-bis(phenylethynyl)anthracene (BPEA) are popular emitter molecules, and derivatives of these molecules were synthesized. A variety of alkyl chains were attached with or without phenyl linkers. The alkyl chains would provide entropy to the system in order to induce the formation of liquid crystalline phases. The resulting phase behaviour of these derivatives was studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and polarised optical microscopy (POM). Eight novel derivatives of DPA and BPEA were synthesized. New information was gained as to the requirements of inducing liquid crystallinity in these dye molecules. Direct addition of chains symmetrically to the central dye molecules did not result in the formation of liquid crystalline phases. Through extension of the central core by an extra phenyl ring a liquid crystalline behaviour was observed. A synthesized derivative of DPA exhibited extreme supercooling, which is one of a few derivatives of 9,10-diphenylanthracene to exhibit a liquid state at room temperature. A derivative of BPEA was synthesized that exhibited formation of a mesophase (liquid crystal phase). These two derivatives were investigated for potential use as a material for upconversion.

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  • The Role of Health Profession Regulation in Health Services Improvement

    Allison, M. Jane (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    This research investigates the role of health practitioner regulation in health service improvement. Over the last 25 years, service improvement has included management reforms, quality and redesign programmes, multidisciplinary teamwork, the integration of clinical information systems, and new roles for health professionals. Yet despite sustained effort, improvements tend to be localised rather than organisation or system-wide. Remedies have included attention to leadership, change management and service culture. Through the same period, there have been changes to expand and strengthen health practitioner regulation, but scant attention to whether this regulation could contribute to difficulties with health service improvement. A critical realist methodology was used to build an explanation of how regulatory policies could condition health professionals and health service organisations in ways that limit the progress of service improvement. A multilevel approach was used to discover the mechanisms that could operate among policy-makers and the health workforce, generating effects in health service organisations. The study concluded that this explanation contributes new insights to explain persistent difficulties in health service improvement. The research began with the 19th century to understand the social conditions in the construction of the health workforce and health service organisations. Next, it identified the network of modern regulatory stakeholders in healthcare, along with the potential for their policies to operate in conflict or concert depending on the circumstances. Deficiencies were identified in the traditional accounts of health practitioner regulation, which assumes a single profession and sole practice. ‘Regulatory privilege’ was developed as an alternative theory that describes the operation of nine historically constructed regulatory levers among the multiple health professions employed in health service organisations. This theory linked the regulatory and practice levels, to observe the interactions between health practitioner regulation and policies for health service improvement. Drawing on the recent history of health reforms, eight elements were identified that characterise directions for service improvement in healthcare. Investigation of interactions between these nine levers and eight elements identified sources for policy interactions through six sector levels. Interactive effects were identified in: policy design influenced by health practitioner regulation; the leadership and management capability in health service organisations, the design options for delivery of services, the means available to coordinate services, the role opportunities and practice arrangements for health professionals, and the experience of service fragmentation by consumers. This multilevel explanation shows how health practitioner regulation could contribute to difficulties with service improvement, even when health services have adopted best practice in their implementations. It shows how poor alignment between the regulatory and practice levels makes it unlikely that health service organisations could address certain difficulties in the ways suggested by some scholars. Given the sustained directions for health service improvement, these findings could contribute to policy thinking around how to better align the regulatory and practice levels to realise organisation or systemwide improvements in the delivery of healthcare.

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  • Exploring Mechanisms of Change in the Rehabilitation of High-Risk Offenders

    Yesberg, Julia A. (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    The success or failure of many different types of treatment is often measured by one type of outcome. For example, treatment for substance abuse might be judged to have failed if a patient “goes on a bender” some time after completing the programme. The same is true for offender rehabilitation. Treatment success or failure is usually determined by whether or not an offender is reconvicted of a new offence in a specified follow-up period. We know from the literature that offender rehabilitation can have modest but significant effects on reducing recidivism. Yet we know little about what brings about these reductions (i.e., how the treatment worked). This thesis explores possible mechanisms of change in offender rehabilitation. I propose that although a reduction in recidivism is an important long-term outcome of treatment, there are a number of additional outcomes that have the potential to explain not only if but how treatment works and why it is unsuccessful in leading to a reduction in reoffending for some offenders. Study 1 is a typical outcome evaluation of New Zealand’s rehabilitation programmes for high-risk male offenders: the High Risk Special Treatment Units (HRSTUs). I compared the recidivism rates of a sample of HRSTU completers with a comparison sample of high-risk offenders who had not completed the programme (a between-subjects design). I found that relative to the comparison group, treatment completers had significantly lower rates of four different indices of recidivism, varying in severity. The remainder of the thesis explored possible mechanisms of change within the HRSTU sample (a within-subjects design). Study 2 examined immediate outcomes of treatment, which I defined as within-treatment change on dynamic risk factors. I found that offenders made significant change on the Violence Risk Scale during treatment, but there was no significant relationship between treatment change and recidivism. Studies 3 and 4 examined intermediate outcomes of treatment, which I defined as barriers (risk factors) and facilitators (protective factors) that influence the process of offender re-entry. Study 3 validated an instrument designed to measure these factors: the Dynamic Risk Assessment for Offender Re-entry (DRAOR). I found that the tool had good convergent validity and reliably predicted recidivism above a static risk estimate. Study 4 used the newly validated DRAOR to test an explanation for the lack of a direct relationship between treatment change and recidivism. I tested whether treatment change had an indirect relationship with recidivism through its influence on the re-entry process. I found that treatment change was related to a number of re-entry outcomes; however, only two models could be tested for mediation because the re-entry outcomes themselves lacked predictive ability. Nevertheless, findings from Study 4 suggest the re-entry process is an area worthy of further investigation. Taken together, the findings from this thesis highlight the importance of considering alternative treatment outcomes in addition to whether or not a programme leads to a reduction in long-term recidivism outcomes. Answering the question of how treatment works requires an exploration into possible mechanisms of change. This thesis was only a preliminary investigation into such mechanisms; however, the findings have both practical and theoretical implications for the way we conceptualise how treatment programmes work. Developing a greater understanding of mechanisms of change in offender rehabilitation has the potential to lead to the design and delivery of more effective programmes.

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  • Electronic and magnetic properties of two dimensional crystals

    Hatami, Hani (2015)

    Doctoral thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    In the last few years, two dimensional crystals have become available for experimental studies. Good examples of such systems are monolayers and bilayers of graphene and monolayers of transition metal dichalcogenides such as MoS₂ and WSe₂. The availability of two dimensional crystals has encouraged physicists to study the electronic and magnetic properties of such systems. This thesis adds to the theoretical knowledge about electronic and magnetic properties of two dimensional crystals with the focus on graphene and MoS₂. As a general theme in this thesis, we calculate how in general these systems interact with electric and magnetic fields and what their response is to such stimuli. In particular, we have studied the response of monolayer graphene to an in-plane electric field. We have also looked at spin-orbit coupling effects that arise from applying perpendicular or in-plane external electric fields, especially their consequences for transport properties of bilayer graphene. We investigated the electronic properties of charge carriers confined in a mesoscopic ring structure using a gate voltage in bilayer graphene. We also showed how spin-orbit coupling can affect the electrical properties of such rings. We found how spin-orbit coupling can affect the transport properties in bilayer graphene. We also investigated the RKKY or indirect exchange coupling between magnetic moments in monolayer MoS₂ through calculating wave vector dependent spin susceptibility. We examined the electronic properties of electrons and holes confined electrostatically into a bilayer graphene ring. We presented an analytical solution for finding energy levels in the ring. We showed that the magnetic field dependence of the lowest energy level with fixed angular momentum in bilayer graphene rings, in contrast to usual semiconductor quantum rings, is not parabolic but displays an asymmetric “Mexican hat“. We found that introducing spin-orbit coupling in the ring can flatten this Mexican hat. We studied the effect of an orbital Rashba type effect, induced by an in-plane electric field in monolayer graphene. Using perturbation theory, we showed that this term can affect the energy levels in a crossed electric and magnetic field such that the electron and hole levels repel each other. We calculated the AC transport of monolayer graphene in the linear-response regime and showed that taking the orbital Rashba term into account casts doubt on the universality of the minimum conductivity of monolayer graphene. We studied the effect of spin-orbit coupling in transport properties of bilayer graphene systems by calculating tunnelling through npn and np junctions. We showed that at sufficiently large spin-orbit strength, normal transmission through a barrier which is forbidden in bilayer graphene becomes finite. We predict that in a weak Rashba spin-orbit regime, outgoing electrons show signals which are spin polarized. We also showed that considering spin-orbit coupling only in the barrier of an npn junction can invert the spin of the incoming electrons. Finally, we obtained analytical expressions for the wave vector-dependent static spin susceptibility of monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides, considering both the electron-doped and hole-doped cases. These results are then applied to the calculations of physical observables of monolayer MoS₂. We claculated that the hole-mediated RKKY exchange interaction for in-plane impurity-spin components decays with a different power law from what is expected for a two-dimensional Fermi liquid. In contrast, we calculated that the out-of-plane spin response shows the conventional long-range behaviour.

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  • Pursuing Self-determined Responses to Climate Change in the Cook Islands: Exploring the Interface between Government Organisational Directive and Local Community Engagement with Climate Change Adaptation

    Lusk, Anabel (2015)

    Masters thesis
    Victoria University of Wellington

    Small island communities are considered to be amongst the most ‘at-risk’ populations in the world to the impacts of climate change. Global, regional and national entities have framed the plight of Pacific communities through climate change discourses. This study contributes to an emerging line of inquiry that investigates how applying the concepts of ‘vulnerability’ and ‘resilience’ to frame communities might contribute to community empowerment, or marginalisation. Focused on the institutional setting of the ‘Strengthening the Resilience of our Islands and our Communities to Climate Change Programme’ (SRIC Programme), this thesis explores the engagement between government organisations of the Cook Islands and communities of Aitutaki to form adaptation responses to climate change. Qualitative methodologies coupled with Pasifika methodologies provide a culturally responsive approach to the research. This approach accommodated local narratives and indigenous knowledges throughout the study. The findings from semi-structured interviews suggest that Cook Islands government organisations increasingly frame Aitutaki communities through the concept of ‘resilience’. Interviews with community representatives suggest that Aitutaki communities use indigenous knowledges to make sense of changes in their local environment, without always understanding the science-based notions of climate change. Engagement approaches such as ‘knowledge sharing’, could offer a pathway to increasing community autonomy and confidence in climate change discussions, whilst also contributing to enhancing socio-ecological resilience. To maintain a ‘critical’ political ecology approach, governmentality theory was used to explain how power relations might be embedded in resilience discourse. Insight is offered into how the government-community relationship could enable ‘technologies of government’ as the SRIC Programme progresses. It is suggested that the social conditions of Aitutaki communities could pose sites of resistance to governmentality. Recently implemented, the SRIC Programme demonstrates potential for supporting self-determined responses to climate change and enhancing socio-ecological resilience in Aitutaki.

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