2003 Thesis Abstracts

Janelle Aaron

“Sustainable Development and Environmental Policy in Trinidad and Tobago”

Advisor: Gary F. Prevost, Political Science

Small Island Developing States (SIDS), such as Trinidad & Tobago (T&T), owe its very survival to maintaining the tenuous balance within its fragile eco systems. Certain economic necessities as well as poor land use practices and a lack of effective environmental legislation and enforcement contribute to an escalating degree of environmental degradation. This is further exacerbated by the avid pursuit for continued economic growth and expansion, particularly with the petrochemical industry as the vehicle for enlargement. Some degree of apoliticsm endemic in most Caribbean countries, and certainly not absent from T&T, affects the extent to which policy addresses environmental issues on a sustained basis.

Adam Anderson

"An Analysis Of California's Failed Electricity Deregulation"

Advisor: Joseph Friedrichs, Economics

In the mid to late 1990’s, California undertook a deregulation of its electricity markets, seeking to disintegrate the former monopoly utility firm system.  Historical factors and politics led to a deregulation plan that included a transition period for the recuperation of “stranded costs” by monopoly utility firms, during which the price of retail electricity was fixed while the price of wholesale electricity was allowed to fluctuate.  Despite later allegations of the exercise of market power in the wholesale electricity market, I will show that exogenous factors such as weather, demographics, and the innate price volatility of a commodity that cannot be effectively stored were alone enough to bring down this poorly designed plan during its transition period.  I examine here the historic, political, and economic reasons for the failure of California’s electricity deregulation plan.

Anthony Anderson

"The Textile and Apparel Industries in Mauritius:  An economic examination of growth between 1971 and 1998"

Advisor: Margaret Lewis, Economics

In the period from 1971 to 1998 the economy of the small island nation of Mauritius experienced very high levels of growth relative to other nations in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Previous work shows that a great deal of this growth was facilitated by the growing presence of textile and apparel industries in the economy throughout the period.  These industries experienced five distinct phases for growth between 1971 and 1998.  The following analysis will examine what factors created these stages of growth.   Specifically, the examination will center on how capital, labor, and total factor productivity contributed differently during the five stages.  Once the sources of growth have been identified, the analysis will turn to explaining what policies and economic conditions at large worked to affect these factors of production.  Through this examination, it will be possible analyze what factors created the different stages of growth in the textile and apparel industries and show how these factors affected both aggregate and per worker output from 1971 to 1998.

Theresa Bauer

"The Effects of Apartheid on Occupational Distribution and Standards of Living in South Africa from 1948-1994"

Advisor: Louis Johnston, Economics

This thesis examines the economics of apartheid, specifically looking at how the job colour bar (job reservation laws) and occupational labour distribution affected South Africa during 1948-1994.  Major governmental policies and other significant events relating to the job colour bar and occupational distribution are analyzed in relation to the country’s economy during apartheid.  Through collected data and constructed models utilizing educational attainment as a proxy measure for skill level, actual production during apartheid is analyzed and the potential of the country’s production is determined during that same specified time.  The results and comparisons of actual results to potential results give insight into the value of the costs and effects of having such a system in place.

Michael Boldt

"An Excursion in High-Level Mathematical Modeling through Convection-Diffusion Model Problems"

Advisor: Michael Heroux, Computer Science and Mathematics

Convection-diffusion model problems require solving a partial differential equation (PDE).  One will generally use a computer to solve this PDE.  A software package called Sundance [3] provides a high-level interface for solving PDEs.  One goal of this project is to explore mathematical modeling with Sundance.  For large problems, a single processor may not have sufficient power to compute an answer in a reasonable amount of time.  To overcome this obstacle, one uses a parallel computer to split up the work among multiple processors.  The problem then becomes one of partitioning the work across the set of processors.  Parameters including problem size and convection speed affect the efficiency of a given partitioning method.  Another goal is to find efficient partitioning methods for various problem sizes and convection speeds.

Tiffany Collie

"White Lies: An Exploration of an Invented Race"

Advisor: Christina Tourino

In this project, I sought to find answers to some key questions that led me to research such a topic in the first place. For example: What is the deal with "all-American looks" and how and why is it constructed that way? How can there be this "all-American look" if America is supposedly a 'melting pot' or, as referred to lately, a 'tossed salad'? What makes a person 'white'? How do 'white' people differ from non-white people? How come some people who don’t physically 'look white' consider themselves 'white'? Or vice versa? Why are 'non-whites' hyphenated Americans? And how come 'whites' do not attach their ancestry? What is 'ethnicity' and why doesn't white seem to count? In fact, what is the deal with racial categories? How come white people with Native American ancestry for example, can still identify themselves as 'white'? And how is it that persons with black/African ancestry are black no matter what? Passing: who, what, how, why? Why is there a term such as 'white trash'? What does it imply? And perhaps, the question that kept me going all along, what is the deal with this "attitude without explanation" that I have personally encountered in many white people here in Minnesota? Where did this attitude come from and why are white people so unaware of it? How did it all get so subtle?

Lynn Cornell

"Voyages to Re-creation"

Advisor: Scott Richardson, Modern and Classical Languages and Literature

Odysseus and Ishmael use the experiences they have on their voyages to recreate themselves.  By looking at Odysseus and Ishmael side by side, a great understanding evolves of the changes that occurred in them.  Odysseus uses events and encounters with people to come to an understanding on how to live his life.  Similarly, Ishmael uses the people around him to see what he wishes to gain in his own personality, as well as what he does not want to become.  Each feels lost in the world, but through the journey they are able to relearn what is important in their lives and to become the men they wish to be.  Their journeys teach them how to live a life they will enjoy without the support of their past.

Amanda Creed

“Reasons for Self-Harm in Patients with Borderline Personality Disorder”

Advisor:  Rodger Narloch, Psychology

The purpose of the proposed study is to examine the reasons for self-harm in patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).  Using a survey version of the Parasuicide History Interview (Linehan, 2001), the current study is designed to further examine reasons for self-harm in patients with Borderline Personality Disorder.  Twenty-one patients diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder will complete a series of surveys regarding parasuicidal behaviors. 

Jennifer Dommer

"Bioinformatics:  The Effects of Sequence Length and Percent Identity on Alignments Done With CLUSTALW"

Advisor: J. Andrew Holey and David Mitchell, Biology and Computer Science

The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of sequence length and percent identity on the alignment of protein and DNA sequences using the algorithms of the CLUSTALW program.  To test the effects, eight protein alignment sets were taken from BAliBASE databank and the sequences for the eight corresponding DNA alignments were taken from GenBank.  The results of this study clearly show that (1) for both DNA and proteins the percent identity of the sequences in an alignment has a greater effect than does the length of the sequences in an alignment, (2) proteins are more sensitive to changes in the percent identity than are DNA sequences, and (3) DNA sequences respond less to changes in their gap penalties than do proteins when the sequences have a low percent identity.

Gregory Dukinfield

"Physiological and Biochemical Impacts of Creatine:  A Study of Dietary Supplementation in Frogs"

Advisor: Manuel Campos, Biology

I propose to study cohorts (3 frogs per group) of Xenopus laevis to determine the overall effect of creatine phosphate (Crp) loading in relation to muscle fatigue time in the whole frog in vivo.  I also will study, in vitro, the effects of a soaking of the gastrocnemius muscle in Crp in Rana Pipiens.  We are undertaking this investigation to further study the factors involved in fatigue.  ATP is a necessary factor in muscle contraction, and the regeneration of ATP is necessary.  An important source of ATP regeneration is the organic molecule, creatine phosphate (Crp).  By introducing creatine, this may increase the binding of the inorganic phosphate group to the creatine molecules, increasing the Crp available for energy consumption and ATP production.

Emma Esser

"Perceived versus Actual Personality Change during Study-abroad Participation"

Advisor: Rodger Narloch, Psychology

The purpose of this study was three-fold: to examine actual personality change that occurs during a study-abroad, and to determine the consistency between actual and perceived change.  Participants (N=54) filled out the Unipolar Personality Assessment (Goldberg, 1992) prior to studying abroad and after completion of the program.  In addition they were asked, “How have you changed as a result of your study abroad experience?”  Results were coded according to the five factor theory of personality into categories of neuroticism, extraversion, openness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness.  Results revealed that participants changed in their levels of extraversion, openness, and neuroticism, but 65% of participants perceived a change in their level of neuroticism, 57% perceived a change in their level of extraversion, 67% a change in openness, 9% a change in conscientiousness, and 11% a change in agreeableness.  Statistical analysis also revealed that there was no relationship between how participants perceived they changed and how they really had changed.

Lindsey Etter

"Women Economists 1890-1970"

Advisor: Louis Johnston, Economics

At the turn of the 20th century, economics was becoming known as an academic area separate from political science and moral philosophy.  My paper extends Kirsten Madden’s (2002) article, “Female Contributions to Economic Thought, 1900-1940,” by examining where and in what years, advanced degrees in economics were granted to women between 1890 and 1970.  I also examine the distribution of topics these scholars studied.  The main questions I address in my study are:  Who were these early 20th century women economists?  When and where did these women earn their degrees?  Were certain years or institutions more amenable to women earning advanced degrees?  What topics were women most likely to write about in their dissertations?

Jessica Haidet

"Approaches to American Indian Identity 1945-c. 1970: An Analysis of the Art of Patrick desJarlait and George Morrison"

Advisor: Nathanael Hauser, Art and Annette Atkins, History

In the 1940s, when Anishinabe artists Patrick DesJarlait and George Morrison made their entrance into the fine art world, American Indian fine art was dominated and defined by a single style – the Traditional style.  DesJarlait and Morrison were two of the first American Indian artists to successfully rebel against this style.  In breaking with the style, they redefined what it meant to be an American Indian artist and opened up the American Indian fine art movement for those to come after them.  But their art tells another story as well.  An analysis of their work between 1945 and c.1970 shows their very different approaches to their native identity.  Both of these aspects, the artists’ break with the Traditional style and their approaches to their own identity, are made more understandable through a study of their artistic influences, their pasts, and Indian-white relations during their lifetime.

Laura Hauff

"The Effects of Development of the Maasai"

Advisor: Richard Albares, Sociology

The Maasai are well known pastoralists from East Africa who have lived a long and proud past; however, their unique way of life is diminishing.  This paper seeks to examine two factors that currently threaten traditional Maasai culture: the loss of herding land due to development strategies stemming from “the tragedy of the commons” and their cultural practices concerning women and girls, which are under attack from national governments and the international community.  This review lays out traditional Maasai customs regarding land management and cattle herding and female circumcision and marriages, what factors threaten these practices and how Maasai culture has been affected by these changes, and finally some thoughts for the future.

Matthew Hiemenz

"Regulated Targeting of a Protein Kinase into a Flagellum: Understanding Molecular Addresses for Proteins"

Advisor: Michael Reagan, Biochemistry

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a biflagellate, unicellular alga that is used as a model organism to study photosynthesis, flagellar function, and fertilization.  Previously, it was found that during the mating reaction of Chlamydomonas a 78 kDa form of the protein named CALK (Chlamydomonas aurora/Ipl1p-like protein kinase) moves from the cell body to the flagellum during gamete activation in this organism.  The goal of this research was to study the domains of CALK responsible for its translocation from the cell body to the flagellum of Chlamydomonas.  To this end, two constructs were cloned encoding CALK and an N-terminal tag – either HSV or GFP (green fluorescent protein).  From these constructs, the plan was to create deletion constructs that would then be expressed in Chlamydomonas and studied to see their effect on CALK translocation.  However, expression of the two CALK constructs was not possible.  Some possible reasons for this expression difficulty include the lack of introns in the CALK construct, unsuitable or uninduced promoter systems, and the possibility that N-terminal tagging might disrupt the aurora kinase function on CALK eliminating the cell’s ability to undergo mitosis. 

Tamara Keimig

"Undergraduate Nursing Students' Knowledge and Perceptions of Alternative and Complementary Therapies"

Advisor: Carie Braun, Nursing

Nurses, along with other health care providers, consumers, insurers, and legislators, have demonstrated an interest in the research and use of alternative/complementary therapies (Snyder & Lindquist, 1998).  A/CTs include such modalities as acupuncture, herbal medicines, chiropractic care, and homeopathy.  Little is known, however, about perceptions of nursing students and the impact of exposure to A/CTs and subsequent expectations about what should be taught in a nursing curriculum.  Therefore, this study set out to answer the following research questions:  How much do undergraduate nursing students currently know bout A/CTs?  Which A/CTs, if any, should be included in nursing curricula and at what level?  In order to answer these questions, this exploratory study was based on an anonymous cross-sectional self-report paper-pencil survey.  The sample was drawn from undergraduate nursing students in two Midwest higher education institutions with one collective nursing department.  The survey examines demographic information, general perception of A/CTs and utilization patterns and perceptions of individual therapies.  Data analysis is descriptive and seeks to answer the research questions.  This study has major implications for systematic curricular incorporation of A/CTs as appropriate to undergraduate Baccalaureate-level nursing students. 

Erin Kuisle

"Cuba's Management of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic and Implications for the United States"

Advisor: Bruce Campbell, Modern and Classical Languages

In this study I will evaluate the successes made in Cuba – specifically, La Havana – in HIV/AIDS treatment programs.  The study will begin with a historical review of U.S. and Cuban trade relations and proceed to evaluate the advancements the Cuban health care system has made despite the embargo.  These advancements can be compared to those of Uganda and Brazil, countries that have not faced an embargo.  The objective will then be to extract ideas and methods from Cuba’s approaches that could be utilized in the United States’ HIV/AIDS management programs.  These ideas will then support the conclusion that continued compromise and collaboration are necessary to properly treat the HIV/AIDS epidemic within both Cuba and the United States.

Ryan Kutter

"Perennials: A Collection of Poems

Advisor: J. P. Earls, English

Radhika Lal

"The market for operating systems: Is it a penguin’s paradise?"

Advisor: James Schnepf, Computer Science and Louis Johnston, Economics

An operating system is a program that controls a computer’s resources: without it, a computer is useless.  Open source software is available to the public in source code form and its use, modification and redistribution is allowed.  The market for computer operating systems has been dominated by proprietary software but in the last decade the advent of Linux, an open source operating system, has posed a threat to the established order.  This study is about how adverse selection and network externalities affect Linux in the operating systems market.  In the segment for desktop operating systems, adverse selection and network externalities have a significant impact on market share and Linux has a remote chance of being a significant player in the market.  In the server segment of the market, adverse selection and network externalities are not as important and Linux holds its own in the market.

Mary Lonergan

"Fractal Analysis of Perceptual Categorization"

Advisor: Linda Tennison, Psychology

Fractal geometry has yielded novel investigations, and ultimately a fresh way of understanding the world.  Since Euclid formulated the principles of geometry, simple geometric forms have modeled real-world forms.  However, the world is not constructed of perfect forms; rather, much of the world is composed of irregular shapes with nonlinear properties.  Given the complexity of human psychology, some have begun to relate fractal geometry in psychological models, even claiming the brain to be a fractal pattern-producing machine.  This study replicated previous investigations on a well-established phenomenon in psychophysics, namely reaction time differences when judging variation in separable and integral stimuli.  When stimulus dimensions are integral, such as height and width of rectangles, subjects are less able to attend to the dimensions independently.  Therefore, correlated variation of the dimensions speeds reaction times; whereas, orthogonal variation slows reaction times.  With separable stimuli these differences are not observed because presumably individuals are able to attend to the dimensions independently.  In addition to analyzing reaction times, as is typical, the current study also analyzed the pattern of response times through lognormal frequency distribution functions in order to test predictions of possible fractal properties of response times.  With the integral stimuli, as the categorization task increased in difficulty the more variability was evident in the distributions.  Specifically, the distribution became stretched toward the slow-tail of the distribution in a pattern consistent with the research hypothesis.  These differences were not seen with separable stimuli.  Findings indicate that concepts from fractal geometry may be an appropriate and instrumental way of understanding perceptual categorization.

Christopher Marsh

"Applying Reinforcement Learning to a Continuous Environment"

Advisor: Carl Burch

In this paper, we explore some issues associated with applying the Temporal Difference (TD) learning algorithm for reinforcement learning to continuous environments.  Specifically, we look at whether TD learning can be successfully applied to a continuous environment and whether there is an implementation of TD learning that is best suited to such a task.  Included in this paper are:

  • A detailed description of our implementation of capture the flag which we used as a continuous environment.
  • An overview of the TD learning algorithm, as well as our Discrete, Nearest Neighbor, and Artificial Neural Network implementations.
  • A summary of experimental data with graphs and analysis contrasting the learning performance of the aforementioned implementations.

Finally, we show that it is possible to apply reinforcement learning to a continuous environment, and that Artificial Neural Networks can learn quite successfully if correctly configured.

John McCarthy

"Human Development in the United States: 1790-2000"

Advisor: John Olson, Economics

The end of economic activity is the betterment of the human experience.  The United Nations has designed the Human Development Index to measure the basic ability of an economy to allow the participants a basic level of humanity.  This index combines education, health, and real gross domestic product data to quantitatively measure the level of human development.  Through United States history, the human experience has made great improvements.  The largest improvement came in the United Nations health measure, life expectancy.  When the United States historical Human Development Index was compared with currently developing nations HDIs, the historical measure demonstrated that the United States level of development was handicapped by low life expectancy values.  As medical technologies have changed, the results showed that the index was biased toward current health care practices.  Thus, it may be preferable to have flexibly maximum values in computing the index.

Michelle Melville-Johnson

“A Plan with Principles: Curbing the Gerrymander in Minnesota’s 2001 Redistricting Process”

Advisor: Scott Johnson, Political Science

Every ten years, a state legislature faces the responsibility of redistricting its state for the purpose of reapportionment.  Although the new districts must be of equal population, there are countless possibilities by which the creators may proceed.  As such, it is often argued that the party in control of redistricting manipulates district boundaries so as to maximize their party’s representative influence.  This practice is known as gerrymandering—a term coined after Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry (Jeffersonian) approved a district in 1812 resembling the shape of a salamander so as to dilute the strength of the Federalists. My thesis project considers the extent to which partisan gerrymandering occurs and whether, in the event such plans are enacted, partisan gains are in fact realized.  In a closer look at Minnesota’s 2001 Congressional redistricting process, my project demonstrates how, though redistricting should remain the responsibility of the legislature, the court’s involvement may provide important insight into how a fair plan can be created.

Max Mogren

"Fighting ADD with Media Literacy: Putting attention disorders into perspective and exploring the mainstream mass media’s role in their development"

Advisor: Erin Szabo, Communication

This thesis argues that mainstream mass media and, especially, image-based electronic media significantly contribute to the development of Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD] and that prevention and treatment strategies should account for their influences.  First, it provides background information on ADD and explains the importance of its study.  Second, it dispels myths regarding the nature of ADD and provides evidence that experiential factors substantially contribute to its development. Third, it defines the mainstream mass media and image-based electronic media and supports a critical perspective of their effects on us individually and socially.  Fourth, based on that critical perspective, it lays out several arguments for how these media can significantly factor into ADD development.  Fifth, it exposes problems inherent to my assessment and proposes future research options.  Sixth and finally, it makes recommendations on how ADD treatment and prevention should account for media influences.

Anna Norman

"Genetic Engineering of Embryonic Stem Cells Using the Cre/lox System"

Advisor: Michael Reagan, Biology

While lox site recombination efficiency has been studied in E. coli, similar studies have not completed using ES cells.  In the present study we assess Cre-induced recombination efficiency between a pair of loxP sites or between mutant lox FAS and lox 2272 sites in mouse ES cells by creating DNA substrates with these lox sites flanking an antibiotic resistance gene (conferring hygromycin resistance).  Subsequent electroporation of these DNAs into ES cells and the quantification of antibiotic resistant colonies will indicate whether or not homologous and heterologous pairs of loxP sites can be induced to recombine in the presence of Cre recombinase.  We also will survey the level of Cre at which its toxic effect(s) can be seen on cell survival and growth after gene transfer. 

Jared Pangier

"The Tension between Online Security and Efficiency in Relation to Online Business"

Advisor: Noreen Herzfeld, Computer Science

In order to better understand the internet security issues related to e-commerce, I will first describe the method that the internet uses for sending information.  Communication over the Internet uses the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), which sends information from one computer to another though a variety of intermediate computers and separate networks before the data reaches its intended destination.  TCP/IP’s flexibility has led to its worldwide acceptance; however, because TCP/IP allows information to pass though intermediate computers, it is possible for a third party to interfere with communications through eavesdropping and tampering.  In the act of eavesdropping, the information sent remains unscarred, but its privacy is compromised.  In tampering, information is changed or replaced at some intermediate computer and then sent on to the receiving computer.  Impersonation, including spoofing and misrepresentation, is also an online problem that businesses must face.  This problem occurs when someone either takes on somebody else’s actual identity, or when someone takes on an imagined persona.  The potential exists to avoid many of these security issues through the use of security methods; however, as mentioned earlier, increasing online security often creates a tension between security and efficiency.  This tension occurs in the form of increased processing power and the high economic cost of efficiency software.  High economic costs of efficiency software can be detrimental to the survival of small businesses, causing many small businesses to compromise their security.  In order to create a suitable environment for business transactions, steps should be taken to allow all sizes of business to provide adequate security online. 

Carissa Renken

"Shadows: Tracing my father's changing silhouette through time"

Advisor: Michael Opitz, English

For my thesis I took a look at my personal experiences and decided to turn my memories into stories that revolve around one event: my father’s death.  It’s a subject I rarely, if ever, talk about—so why eighteen years later would I decide to write about it? What did I hope to gain from the experience? Simply put, I wanted to reconnect with my dad as an adult and address how his death played a role in who I am today. With those goals in mind I separated it into four sections separated thematically: acceptance, love, childhood, and questions.

Jonathan Rucks

"The Response to AIDS: Contrasting Governmental Approaches in Africa"

Advisor: Gary Prevost, Political Science

AIDS, the blood disease acquired immune deficiency syndrome has spread the world over.  The virus has devastated, ravaged and thrived most notably on the African continent.  Of the 40 million persons infected with AIDS worldwide 28.5 million of them are located in sub-Saharan Africa.  The issue of AIDS in Africa is a timely and important topic because the African AIDS pandemic has become a threat to world security.  The disease has been allowed to flourish since its emergence due to delayed reactions on the part of many African governments.  It was not until the disease reached pandemic proportions that the magnitude of AIDS was realized.  An examination of the governmental structures of four African countries, Botswana, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe will illustrate how the governmental structures within these countries enable or hinder the ability of African civil societies, international organizations, Western governments, and non-governmental organizations to combat AIDS.

Amanda Schmitz

"Ramble, Amble and Babble: A Collection of Original Poetry"

Advisor: Chris Freeman, English

Laurinda Showen

"Behavioral Responses to Models in relation to the Visual Communication System in Adult Dragonflies (Odonata: Anisoptera)"

Advisor: James Poff, Biology

Adult odonates need a specific mate-recognition system that allows them to recognize reproductively receptive conspecifics of the opposite sex and potential competitors of the same sex.  This recognition is based primarily on visual cues, which include size, flight style, color, and pattern.  These visual cues help adults to avoid wasting energy.  In this study, I chose to focus on the recognition of males by other males by use of color and pattern cues.  I used sculpted, painted models to elicit responses from living dragonflies in the field in order to determine the key visual elements necessary for male-male recognition in certain species of adult dragonflies.  I tested responses to several different species, including three species within the same genus, Libellula luctuosa, Libellula pulchella, and Libellula quadrimaculata, a similarly sized species, Ladona Julia, a larger species, Anax junius, and a smaller species, Leucorrhinia intacta.  The models were systematically modified to test all conspecific and interspecific responses to complete, detailed models with wings, non-detailed models with wings, detailed models without wings, and detailed models with interspecific wings.  I observed all reactions to these modified models in twenty-minute trials and determined that the presence and appearance of wings play a key role in visual communication and recognition.  In addition, I concluded that it is necessary for the distinction between models to be more pronounced for species that are more similar in appearance in order for discrimination to occur.

Kelly Shroyer

"Austrian Currency Reform 1945-1955"

Austria in 1945 was a war-ravaged country, and the four Allied powers that occupied it needed to make difficult decisions about the country’s future.  The economic situation required immediate attention, and a new money needed to be implemented.  This was done in 1945, and by the time Austria was left a sovereign nation in 1955, the Schilling was a strong, successful currency.  My research answered the question, “Why was the implementation of the Austrian Shilling so successful?”  I first established, with economic data, that the reform was actually successful.  My research then measured this success through an examination of social, nationalistic and economic factors.  This project has been a qualitative one with a thorough literature review.  This is a significant study because although much has been done with the German currency reform, the Austrian situation has been virtually ignored.  My research provides insight into this one specific incident of Austria’s rich history.        

Sara Wonderlich

"The Relationship between Perfectionism and Coping across Research-Selected and Participant-Selected Stressful Events"

Advisor: Richard Wielkiewicz, Psychology

Within the past two decades, and abundance of research has examined the relationship between multidimensional models of perfectionism and psychopathology.  Many studies have narrowed their focus to examining how adaptive and maladaptive dimensions of perfectionism relate to stress and methods of coping.  Research findings suggest that maladaptive perfectionists are more likely than adaptive perfectionists to use maladaptive methods of coping, which in turn may lead to the development of maladaptive behaviors.  The objective of the present study was to examine relationships between maladaptive and adaptive perfectionism and coping, while also looking for coping differences across situation-specific vignettes.  Four survey packets contained a different vignette type which was either academic or social.  A fifth packet instructed participants to report how they coped with a situation from their own past.  Packets were randomly distributed to 373 participants (male = 133 female = 240).  Each participant completed The Coping Strategies Inventory (CSI) (Tobin, Holroyd, Reynolds, & Wigal, 1989) and the Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990).  Analyses suggest several significant correlations between maladaptive subscales of perfectionism and maladaptive methods of coping.  Significant relationships were also reported between adaptive dimensions of perfectionism and adaptive methods of coping.  However, perfectionism and coping were not related to each other under the control condition.  The data also suggest that the specific details of each vignette type strongly influence the methods of coping that an individual reports.  Thus, differences across vignette types support the notion that coping is influenced both by trait and state variables.