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Validity and Reliability

For any study to be reliable, its findings have to be valid. The study entitled “Associations among Personality, Combat Exposure and Wartime Atrocities” by Howloka et al. (2012) reports important findings that are relevant in the field of psychology. It is essential to evaluate the study’s reliability and validity.
To start with, a research cannot be said to be valid or reliable if it does not address a particular issue that is relevant in a specific field of practice. The underlying purpose of research is to understand a problem and use evidence to suggest a solution to the situation. To this end, the issue of the impacts of wartime combats on a combatant’s personal health and the possibility of engaging in such commissions in the future is relevant in psychology. Exploring the issue, as does the researchers in this study, helps in further understanding of the issue. Such an understanding is essential in developing effective solutions to the problem or issue.

In answering their research questions and testing their hypothesis, the investigators used a representative sample. 1,104 army and marine veteran solders that had fought the Vietnam War were used randomly to avoid bias. This was the most appropriate population to collect data from for the study. The study also employed an efficient data collection methodology, which entailed personal interviews and popular and tested self-report measures, including the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2, the Combat Exposure Scale and the War Stress Inventory (WSI). The ANOVA technique and uni-variate analysis was used to analyze the data collected. In the analysis, a variety of variables were compared, including the three PSY-5 scales and exposure to combat. The data analysis yielded the conclusions that the researchers report.

From the foregoing, it is worth noting that the validity of a study is highly dependent on the sample (Social Research Methods, 2014). The current study used a sample population which was representative of the entire population. The sampling process was also free from bias. A representative, unbiased sample enables the researchers to collect data that can answer the research questions in an objective manner. What is more, the resulting data was analyzed objectively using reliable data analysis tools. This makes the conclusions of the study valid and credible. Through a credible sampling and data collection design, the investigators were able to test their hypothesis and arrive at credible findings. It is worth noting that when investigators fail to use an unbiased, representative study sample, the resulting data can be misleading. Generalizing such conclusions can be equally misleading as well. As such, the overall validity of the research, as well as the reliability of the final conclusions becomes questionable. It is for this reason that researchers ought to develop a strong research methodology to ensure that the study is valid and its findings are reliable.

The chosen study is reliable. The findings reported by the researchers can be applied in a wide range of areas, including in policy development with the goal of understanding soldiers’ combat tendencies and prevention of commission of atrocities in times of war. The acknowledgment and explanation of the applicable limitations to the study enhances its credibility. Unless a research is shown to be valid and reliable, its findings may not be applied in real life practice.

Scientific Merit of the Study

The scientific merit of a study describes the ability of a research to address a particular issue that is relevant in the field of practice. A study can be said to be of merit if it contributes new knowledge to the relevant field. In this case, for the study entitled “Associations among Personality, Combat Exposure and Wartime Atrocities” to be of merit, it should contribute new insights about the issue of combat exposure for soldiers who fight at combat war zones, including the psychological implications on such an exposure ( et al., 2012; Jennings, 2006; Litz and Schlenger, 2009).

In addition, the scientific merit of a research is related to how the researcher incorporates existing theories. The scientific merit of the chosen study can be evaluated by considering whether or not it incorporates relevant psychological theories. To start with, the study contributes some useful, new knowledge in the field of psychology theory. The study explores the relationship between combat exposure for soldiers and their inclination to engage in or witness commission of atrocities such as mutilation of enemies and attack of civilians during wartimes. From the foregoing, it can be seen that the study contributes new knowledge towards the understanding of the effects of a soldier’s personality or prior combat exposure on their likelihood for participation in or witness of atrocities committed during a war. The findings which the researchers arrive at help in explaining soldiers’ behavior at the battlefield. The new knowledge also helps in predicting a soldier’s possibility to take part in or witness commission of a wartime atrocity. Considering that previous researchers failed to give clear explanations on the relationship between individual personalities and combat exposure, and the likelihood to commit or witness commissions of atrocities during a war, the study’s contribution to existing literature is valuable. The new knowledge can be used by psychologists to predict a soldier’s likelihood to engage in a wartime commission of atrocities, as well as explaining mental and psychological issues that soldiers may face before and after their engagement in a combat war (Hochgesang, Lawyer and Stevenson, 1999; Brian, Hernandez, Allison and Clemans, 2013).

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The study entitled “Associations among Personality, Combat Exposure and Wartime Atrocities” advances the bio-psychosocial theory of causation. As they try to seek answers to their research questions, the investigators in the chosen study use the aforementioned theoretical model to explain the relationship between a soldier’s personality and previous exposure to combat situations, and their possibility to engage in or witness perpetuation of atrocities during a war. The aforementioned theory holds that an individual’s tendency to engage in or tolerate something is caused by either an internal or external force. The selected research confirms this theory. While the study does not extend the theory or draw from many other theories, basing its findings on the bio-psychosocial theoretical model makes the research credible.

Advancement of Knowledge

The study titled “Associations among Personality, Combat Exposure and Wartime Atrocities” goes a long way in advancing the knowledge about the topic it explores. As it were, the existing literature on the effects of personality and combat exposure is not as diverse. However, there are studies which explore post-deployment characteristics of solders (Hochgesang, Lawyer and Stevenson, 1999; Brian, Hernandez, Allison and Clemans, 2013; Jennings, 2006) and suicide risk for soldiers who have been exposed to warzone combat and atrocities. One study by Benedek and Grieger (2006) reports that warzone experience, post-traumatic depression and pre-deployment factors such as personality and anxiety are related to post-deployment violence and anti-social behavior for the affected soldiers. The selected study by Howloka (2012) makes a noteworthy contribution to the knowledge about the relationship between soldiers’ likelihood to participate in or tolerate commission of wartime atrocities.
To this end, the study discovers that both internal and external factors play a central role in influencing the behavior of soldiers at the war field. For example, as understood from the selected research findings, soldiers who have been exposed to a combat experience where they had to act aggressively are more likely to accept to be assigned to similar risky duties. This is because the pre-exposed soldiers may perceive this as another opportunity to act aggressively. Similarly, soldiers who have been exposed to combat in the past are more likely to participate in the commission of wartime atrocities, such as firing at unarmed civilians, mutilating dead bodies and shooting at an enemy who has already surrendered. Personal aspects which could be psychological or cognitive in nature can also increase the likelihood of a soldier participating in or witnessing commission of an inhuman act during times of war.

The findings augment the existing knowledge in many ways. For instance, reading the selected research report can help in understanding why a soldier who has been exposed to combat may act in an aggressive, violent or antisocial manner in the post-deployment period. According to Jennings et al. (2006), exposure to combat can have far reaching negative implications on a soldier beyond the battlefield, including stress and traumatic experiences. The study by Howloka et al. (2012) reports some interesting information about combat exposure. This way, the study goes a long way in advancing the knowledge of the short-term and long-term effects of exposure to war time atrocities.

From the foregoing, it can be said that the selected study advances knowledge in the field of psychology and related areas. The knowledge can be applied in a variety of practices, including understanding and predicting a soldier’s behavior after exposure to a combat experience, explaining the psychological, cognitive and mental implications of combat exposure on a soldier’s life during the post-deployment period, and whether or not a soldier is likely to participate in or tolerate commission of atrocities. The knowledge presented in the selected research report can also be used in decision making during the selection of military personnel to deploy to a certain battle field. The knowledge could help in making the right decisions. For example, when making a deployment, it would not be advisable to assign soldiers who were experiencing extremely negative post-combat exposure effects such as violent and anti-social behavior (Jennings, 2006). The points discussed above show that the chosen study contributes towards advancement of knowledge about the relationship between a soldier’s personality and combat exposure, and their likelihood to take part or tolerate war time atrocities.

Contribution to Theory

A good study should be able to contribute to an existing theory, or advance a new theory with a view to establishing principles for practice in a particular field. The chosen study contributes to theory in several ways. The researchers investigate the influence of individual personality and combat exposure on a soldier’s tendency to participate in or observe the commission of atrocities in times of war. Several studies have reported that exposure to combat during wartimes has far reaching consequences on the psychological and mental well-being of the participants. In light of this, it is worth to note that the practice of selecting soldiers who are suitable for a combat assignment needs a careful thought. Understanding the implications of personality traits and exposure to combat on the behavior of a soldier at the warzone is central to selecting the best combatants. To this end, it is important that there be a definite principle of practice or theory to guide the process. The findings reported by the researchers in the selected case can go a long way in designing a model for ensuring that individual personality characteristics and combat exposure aspects are considered when selecting soldiers to be assigned to a combat mission. In line with war laws, it is unlawful and criminal to commit atrocities. As such, leaving out soldiers whose pre- combat exposure is likely to motivate them to participate in or observe commission of atrocities without doing anything is one way of ensuring that a war is executed in line with the regulatory laws. For example, killing unarmed civilians or mutilating enemies, dead or alive is a war crime.

Considering the findings of the selected study, that soldiers who have been exposed to a combat experience or have a personality which can allow them to commit or tolerate commission of atrocities during a war are likely to commit the inhuman acts, it is important to ensure that such soldiers are not deployed to a combat commission. These findings can be used to develop an action model or theory whose principles can be applied in the practice of selecting combat soldiers. What is more, the study contributes to theories of practice in the area of psychology and mental healthcare. Understanding the findings and conclusions reported in the chosen study and mentioned in the preceding sections of this write-up, psychologists and mental health specialists can be able to improve their theory of practice with a view to ensuring that they make accurate predictions and explanations with regard to the likelihood of a soldier behaving in a particular way either before deployment to a combat mission, or in the post-combat period where the solders have to be re-integrated back into the society. To this end, the chosen study can be said to be contributing to existing theory of practice. This is majorly because the study findings are relevant, credible and can be generalized and incorporated in practice principles to improve outcomes.

To sum up, the selected study reports significantly credible and valid findings, which can be generalized and applied in the field of psychology. The research contributes to theory and advances knowledge on the relevant topic.

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EXPLANATORY SYNTHESIS

Introduction
‘Digital Natives’ is a term coined to identify the individuals who have been born after 1980 and brought up in a technological world. The ubiquitous digital connectivity and the associated technological dependence of this group of individuals can be ascertained from the fact that for them thinking of a second without the technological gadgets is impossible. They can perhaps survive without food, air or water but living without tablets, laptops, mobile phones is beyond their imagination. They relate relationships with social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter, then instant communication and sharing of the digital media content on Whatsapp, Viber etc. These individuals are going to change the work culture in organizations drastically in the near future. The present generation of managers are majorly the ‘digital immigrants’ who did not have exposure to digital world when they were born and whatever they digital learning they inculcated about the personal and professional use of the digital devices was acquired during their adult life. The article by Myers & Sundaram (2012) argues that if this digital savvy generation considers the existing organizational policies as an impediment in implementing their plans and accomplishing their tasks making the use of the digital bridge then the organizations will need to control their ambitious dreams riding digital wings. In fact, certain organizations have restricted the use of digital devices in their work premises to tame this group (Myers & Sundaram, 2012). The present paper cites the differences between the cohorts of digital immigrants and digital natives and explores the way the present systems can deal with this cohort.
Differences between ‘Digital Natives’ and ‘Digital Immigrants’
According to the survey conducted under Project Tomorrow (www.tomorrow.org) it has been found that the use of digital devices, their relation with the routine life practices and the associated dependencies for daily tasks together make this cohort widely different from their digital immigrant counterparts. The prompt and deep accessibility furnished by the technological advances has made this generation highly pragmatic, having preference for things yielding instant gratification and exhibit high degree of digital literacy. They have large network of social connections and belief in experiential learning. The information systems for them are a mean to affirm their identities as they feel happy, sad, alone, excited and so on with the ‘status updates’ they make on the social networking sites; counting the number of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ on their updates is a method to adjudge their importance in the lives of their acquaintances as well as their relationship value. It is no wonder that they are highly comfortable in exchanging their personal information on public forums, a trait which is significantly different from the digital immigrants who even after years of use of information systems have apprehensions in sharing their personal data and are opinionated on what to share and what not on public forums.
For online communication, the digital natives prefer instant messaging rather than emails; for mobile or telephonic communication the digital natives like text messaging than direct calling. Though it has been observed that the immigrants and natives both use blogs but the reasons for which it is used differ across the two groups. Digital natives use personal blogs as online journals for sharing their personal experiences while the use of blogs made by immigrants is to raise intellectual discussions (Myers & Sundaram, 2012). The technological expertise reflected by these groups has been demarcated by the IS scholars by refer to the immigrants as ‘passive users of IT’ while natives are considered capable enough to create the technical content of their own being active users of IT.
An evaluation of the reading habits of these cohorts reveals that their reliance on digital information to find answers to their queries is extremely high. Google & Wikipedia have become close substitutes to teachers and text books. The way this cohort interacts with digital information is also distinct. The digital information can be approached in a non-sequential manner hopping between the relevant content skipping the unnecessary in between. The online presentation allowing the insertion of multimedia within text makes the content more interesting to cater to the specific needs of the target group (Houston, 2011). The digital literature has also covered a long journey adapting to the changing times encompassing features like open access via World Wide Web making it accessible, interactive as well as connective, incorporation of new design features for use as well as search & navigation and introducing the digital collections with expanded scope.
Required Transformations
Though the above discussion highlights the distinction between the two groups but it is ought to be remembered that the switch between these two cohorts is occurring in continual transition and hence it is difficult to segregate individuals in either of the two pure categories. The scrutiny of the emotional responses of the digital natives towards the use of web and what feelings they have regarding web reveal that there is a positive rhetoric about the medium (Page & Mapstone, 2010). The findings of the study indicate that the consumer responses towards the web are influenced by the structure and content as well as the age of the digital natives as the younger they are the more positive they feel about web.
The role of ubiquitous information systems (UIS) needs to adapt itself to cater to the needs of the digital natives by incorporating features that offer attractive, intitutive, personalized and socially interactive (Vodanovich et al., 2010). For example, books must be available in online digitals formats to ensure that the future generations continue to enjoy the literary classics and genres. The digital information must be available for open access to people of all age groups, educational, income, cultural and ethnic background, beyond the physical barriers of region at no cost. The design features need to be more attractive, use an amalgam of media types to present the high quality of information in a way that appeals to digital natives (Houston, 2011). Libraries can incorporate digital collections to exhibit them in interesting ways.

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Conclusion

The invasion by ‘digital natives’ is going to revolutionize the way the technology is being perceived and used. Hence the organizational landscapes and the existing information systems need to adapt them as per the changing needs of the users. The information systems are required to become more attractive as well as interactive for personalized and social usage, cheaper and easily accessible.

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Sir Philip Sidney’s sonnet sequence Astrophil and Stella (numbers 7, 39, 41, 81),
Title: the title of the poem is Astrophil and Stella.

The date of composition is supposedly around the 1580s. This belongs to the poetic genre. SIDNEY had in some ways kind of nativised some of the significant features of the famous “Italian model called Petrarch”. It seems that there is some connection in between the speaker Astrophil and Sidney and between STELLA AND PENELOPE RICH who was the wife of the courtier.

Plot: Astrophil and Stella is a poem that establishes the development of a LOVE AFFAIR between the two speakers. Although Stella is married but she develops certain feelings for him. Later in the poem she leaves him and Astrophil becomes all alone.
Setting: the place where the poem was written about is London in England and the time period is somewhere around the 1580’s.

Symbols: the poem has quite a few symbols like the flowers and the trees, the stars and the weather and the seasons. They are all important and significant symbols in the poem.

Point of view: the speaker wishes to speak about his love for Stella and wants that his relationship with Stella progresses in a positive manner.

Characters: the two important characters in the poem are Astrophel and Stella.
Themes: the important themes in the poem are: REASON VERSUS LOVE, PETRARCH, THE SUN, LOVE VERSUS DESIRE, POETIC ABILITY, DAY VERSUS NIGHT AND WIT.

Reaction: I think that this poem is an excellent work by the poet. He has managed to convey his feelings and his deep love for the lady in a beautiful manner.
Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Title: “Shakespearean sonnets” are the name of a collection of about 154 sonnets. The collection had come out in 1609. The genre of the sonnets is “Renaissance poetry”.

Plot: The sonnets speak about the many themes like that of the passage of time, of love mortality and beauty. The sonnets are also known as the procreation sonnets. They are addressed to a very young man to marry and have children. This is so that his beauty becomes immortal and passes onto the next generation.

Setting: The sonnets had come out in around 1609 in May and the place of publishing was London in England.

Symbols: the symbols in the Shakespearean sonnets are the flowers and the trees, the stars, and the weather and the seasons.

Point of view: the sonnets have explored the relationship between SHAKESPEARE AND SOUTHWELL with relative ease. There are a lot of parallels, borrowings and echoes by Shakespeare. He wanted to convey his feelings and emotions through the sonnets. These sonnets can be seen to be like a prototype.

Characters: there are certain very important and principal characters in the sonnets namely fair Youth, the rival poet and the Dark Lady.

Themes: The important themes in the sonnets are that of the different types of the “romantic love”, “clichéd beauty” and “real beauty and the dangers of lust and love”.

Reactions: The sonnets are a good reflection of what the speaker wished to convey to the readers.
“Twelfth Night”

Title: the title of the play is the “Twelfth Night” and the author is WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. The play came around in the year 1601-1602. The play belongs to the comedy genre. It revolves around the story of two twins named Viola and Sebastian. Sebastian falls in love with a girl called Olivia. The play also had certain elements drawn from “Of Apollonius and Silla” written by Barnabe Rich.

Plot: the plot of the play focuses around a countess called Olivia who has fallen in love with Viola who is not a boy exactly but is disguised as one. The other character Sebastian has also fallen in love with Olivia.

Setting: The play came around the time of 1601-1602 and the place where the play was set was around the IIIyria which was an ancient region around the Western Balkans.

Symbol: There are certain important symbols in the play like the Olivia’s gifts, the changes in the clothing and the darkness of MALVOLIO’S PRISON.

Point of view: Shakespeare has presented a completely new dimension of love in the play the Twelfth Night. He has compared romantic love in a very ironical manner.

Characters: the names of some important characters in the play are: Sebastian, Viola, Olivia, Maria,Duke Orsino,Malvolio, Feste, Antonio and Fabian.

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Themes: The play has certain important themes like that of the confusion regarding the gender identity of the character of Viola. Next important theme is the relationship between the self and love and thirdly the dangers posed by love.
Reaction: Shakespeare is a renowned playwright and the love triangle that he has presented in the play is a delight to read. There are cross dressing characters and this is what makes it all the more interesting.