Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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This collection contains digitized SFU theses except for those theses submitted within the last 12 months. If you cannot find the thesis you are looking for please search Recently Submitted Theses as it may be a recently submitted thesis and thus not yet available in Summit.

Epistemology, cybernetics and uncertainty : philosophical observations on the work of Warren McCulloch and John Dewey

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1968
Abstract: 

This thesis considers the application of information theory concepts to the problems of epistemology. It attempts to demonstrate that such formalistic concepts by nature must neglect the fundamentally behavioral aspects of thinking, Part I attempts to describe a predicament which is widely felt today, that of man's inability to control a world of his own making. It is then proposed that a comprehensive theory of human behavior is what is required to deal with the predicament. Part II compares the theory of "Experimental Epistemology" of Warren 5. McCulloch with the theory of "Inquiry" of John Dewey. Basically McCulloch's equation of sense data with information and his acceptance of negative feedback as explanatory of purposeful behavior is attacked. Further his assumption of Cartesian Dualism and attempts to resolve it through reductionism are considered in detail. Dewey's theory of "Inquiry" is proposed as a suitable alternative to explain how we gain warrantable assertibility as the foundation for our judgments of practice. His rejection IV of any general theory of reality and insistence upon the social cultural and behavioral aspects of thinking are noted. Part III considers the educational implications of both theories, by analyzing the kinds of choice they deal with and the consequent kinds of control they proffer. Educiational ends are proposed which recognize the human organism as a dynamic process, and requirements for means to such ends are stipulated

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Frederick J. Brown
Department: 
Education: Behavioral Science Foundations
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Ed.

The controversy surrounding the Davis-Moore explanation of stratification.

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1968
Abstract: 

We attempt to apply Mannheim's discussion of the sociology of knowledge to the controversy surrounding the Davis-Moore argument. Mannheim distinguishes between the immanent and extrinsic interpretation of a body of intellectual knowledge, that is, between,on the one hand,interpretation in terms of the premises prescribed by an intellectual work, and on the other, while holding the basic premises in abeyance, in terms of its relationship to the wider existential situation. Extrinsic explanations seek to relate the thinker's political "perspective" to his position in the wide^ social system, mainly in terms of the "class" or social group, to which he belongs. For example, Mannheim interprets nineteenth century German conservative thought as a response, generated by the needs of the class to which its creators belonged, (the "declining bourgeois class") to the challenge to its position by another class ("the ascendant group.") We claim that, to a large degree, the controversy is explicable in terms of the conflict of political perspectives on the problem of social inequality, with the qualification that one area of the exchange is basically a conflict of methodological axioms which does not rmnlfest an underlying clash of political opinions. Perspectives are identified by the exaggeration of some facts about human societies, as generally conceived, to the exclusion of others; and, by the failure of proponents and critics alike to consider relevant empirical evidence and theoretical arguments presented by other thinkers. We claim that proponents adopt a conservative, their critics a liberal view of stratified inequalities. Further, when the perspectives of different contributors are viewed as representative of wider trends of the political thought of American intellectuals throughout the twentieth century, a new dimension of meaning is afforded the controversy. Thus, the implicitly conservative argument presented by Davis and Moore is viewed as part of the post-war conservative reaction to the radicalism of American liberal intellectuals during the early thirtie.s and to their committment after 1936, to N=w Deal measures to reduce the scale of prevailing social and economic inequalities. Criticisms of their argument are viewed as a liberal counter-attack, prompted by the intellectual articulation of conservative thought in the early fifties, and which reflect, in their essentially limited and defensive approach, the climate of opinion of American liberal intellectuals in the post-war period. Whilst many of Mannheim's statements are supported by our discussion, especially those concerning the development of conservative thought as a "counter-ideology," to meet the challenge of another alien and hostile ideology, his statement that the perspective of an intellectual work is determined by the needs and aspirations of the class or group to which its creator belongs, rraast be modified on the basis of our examination of major trends of intellectual thought in American society; The major developments in American political theory were not generated by the needs or aspirations of well-defined social groups, but by such variables as the changing conditions of the American economy, for example, the Great Depression, the New Deal reforms and the later recovery of the capitalist economy both at home and abroad during the post-war period; the prevailing mood of the American public as expressed in post-war conservatism; and, America's relationship to the rest of the world, particularly, the emergence of a polar confrontation between America and Russia.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
David C. Bettison
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Department of Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

A visual-motor test and a perceptual-reasoning test as discriminators of academic achievement.

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1968
Abstract: 

This study was designed to explore Che effects of visual perceptual abilities as determinants of school achievement and to provide some information about two tests in this area. Other aspects of achievement were also examined. The Bender Gestalt Test and the Raven Progressive Matrices (1947) were administered to two hundred and fifty-six children in kindergarten, grade one and grade two. One hundred and twenty-two children were classified as low achievers and one hundred and thirty-four as average achievers. .The effects of achievement level, grade level, age within grade, and sex, upon the children's visual perceptual performance scores were studied. The two achievement groups were examined to note similarities or differences in the children's date of birth, age within grade and sex. The results indicate that both the Bender Gestalt Test and the Raven Progressive Matrices discriminate significantly between children in the three grade levels and between children in the two achievement levels. Neither test significantly discriminated between male,and female or between young and old within the grades. Birthdate (May to August) did not relate significantly to achievement. Birthdate (September to January) did relate significantly to achievement as did age within grade. The sex of the children was also found to be significantly related to achievement' level. These results were discussed and implications for further research in the area of predictive visual perceptual screening devices were advanced. Implications for the study of the effects of sex, birthdate and age within grade on school achievement were also discussed.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
R.J.C. Harper
Department: 
Education: Behavioral Sciences
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.Ed.

The poetry of Raymond Souster.

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1968
Abstract: 

Despite Raymond Souster's acknowledged stature as major Canadian poet, no in-depth study of his poetry has been made. Consequently, basic misconceptions exist, the most fundamental one being the tendency to consider Souster's poetry as being static. This thesis is intended to fill partially the void of criticism, thereby erasing the above misconception. The Introduction contains a brief biographical note and description of the literary climate existing when Souster began writing, Chapter II traces the development of Souster's poetic style and examines the influences upon his poetry. Through time, these influences have been the poetry of Kenneth Fearing, Kenneth Patchen, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, and Robert Creeley. The third chapter deals with the full range of Souster's poetry, discussing the interplay of both fear and joy operative in Souster's treatment of the city, nature, woman, and youth. Munro Beattie, for instance, in his Literary History Of Canada (p. 780), states that the form of Souster's poetry has changed scarcely at all since 19^3? Desmond Pacey in Creative Writing in Canada (p. 1?*0 , asserts that although the poems have not deteriorated, there has been no significant development in Souster's poetry since the early 19*4-0's.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
L. Kearns
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: English Department
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

The formation and decay of the compound mucleur Ge 68.

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
1968
Abstract: 

Experimental excitation functions have been measured by radiochemical means for a number of reactions proceeding through the compound nucleus Ge . The target- li 54 TO ^f, 16 52 projectile pairs were: He +Zn , C +Fe , and 0 +Cr leading to the following reactions: (OO,Y), (x,p), (x,n), (x,pn), and (x,2n). Recoil ranges were measured for products of the alpha-induced reactions in order to determine those reactions which proceeded by compound nucleus formation and decay. It has been found that the "independence hypothesis" is verified for reactions induced by different target-projectile pairs but proceeding through compound nuclei of nearly equal angular momentum. Excitation functions have been calculated with the SFU IBM System. ^60/40 computer via the statistical theory of nuclear reactions according to a formalism containing the explicit dependence of nuclear emission probabilities on angular momentum. Probabilities for Y-ray emission were calculated according to the single-particle model coupled with enhancement functions chosen to reflect experimentally observed collective effects. Agreement between experiment and calculations 64 4 was found to be good for the Zn +He excitation functions. The "high energy tails" of the excitation functions were found to be accounted for by effects of y-ray competition with particle emission when the latter was surpressed by angular momentum effects. Agreement in the Fe +C case was found to be very encouraging, considering the complexity of the target-projectile system and attendant theoretical difficulties.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
B.D. Pate
Department: 
Science: Chemistry Department
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

The 2003 Relaunch of Vancouver Magazine

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004-03-15
Abstract: 

This project report examines the 2003 relaunch of Vancouver magazine. It provides an overview of the magazine’s 35-year history, as well as an analysis of its current state: editorial, advertising, circulation, readership and competition. The report also offers an inside account of the strategic planning that went into the relaunch, including: findings from a July 2002 competitive analysis of Toronto Life, Canada’s preeminent city magazine; highlights from a November 2002 Vancouver magazine subscriber survey; and a chronicle of various planning meetings, held within Transcontinental Media West, between July and December 2002. This report evaluates Vancouver magazine’s prospects for a successful relaunch within the framework of the two city magazine studies, each of which addresses the role and purpose of a city magazine. Questions and findings from those studies are then posed to three editors of Vancouver magazine (past and present), who offer an analysis of the city magazine research within the context of their specific experiences at the magazine. This project report serves as a case study of the magazine relaunch process, but it does not attempt to evaluate the success of this particular relaunch. It offers general lessons and observations for those interested in launching or relaunching a city magazine, and specific lessons and observations for those interested in the future of Vancouver magazine.

Document type: 
Thesis
Senior supervisor: 
Valerie Frith
Department: 
Communication, Art and Technology: Master of Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
Graduating extended essay/Research project. M. Pub.

Marketing a Message: Harry Potter and the Role of Marketing and Publicity in Raincoast Books' Ancient-Forest-Friendly Initiative

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004-03-17
Abstract: 

On June 21, 2003, Raincoast Books released the Canadian edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth installment of the extremely popular series of novels by J.K. Rowling. Raincoast was the only one of fifty-five publishers of Harry Potter worldwide to print the book on 100-percent post-consumer recycled, ancient-forest-friendly paper. Raincoast decided to publicize its commitment to printing on ancient-forest-friendly paper by launching a media campaign on the subject just a few weeks before the release of Harry Potter. Taking advantage of the popularity and media hype surrounding Harry Potter, Raincoast was able to garner attention—from both the media and individuals—for the company's pledge to become an environmentally responsible enterprise and for the issues that initially provoked its decision to make such a commitment. This report explores environmental issues concerning the current state of ancient forests worldwide; the impact of the book publishing industry on ancient forests; and Canadian consumers’ opinions on environmentally responsible paper usage in book publishing. This report documents and examines the changes that have occurred in Canada since an environmental coalition, Markets Initiative, began its ancient-forest-friendly campaign with Canadian book publishers in 2001, and the ripples that are being felt—by publishers, printers, paper manufacturers and the public—since Raincoast’s launch of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Valerie Frith
Department: 
Communication, Art and Technology:Master of Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
Graduating extended essay/Research project: M. Pub.

The Evolving Textbook: The Development And Marketing Of New-Media Products In Educational Publishing

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004-03-12
Abstract: 

Educational institutions, instructors and students are increasingly embracing information technologies in their teaching and learning. Educational publishers, meanwhile, aim to develop and market new-media educational materials that meet and satisfy the needs of institutions, instructors and students, as well as to increase their competitive advantage in the educational-publishing industry. To help it reach its goal, an educational publisher formulates a new-media strategy based on information gathered through market research. Rapid development of information technologies, the high costs of their implementation, as well as limited technical skills among instructors and students, however, are causing uncertainty in how to best integrate information technologies into education. Consequently, a company's development of a new-media strategy is a slow process. This report brings together market research in four areas to better understand the uncertainty surrounding information technologies in education. It presents ? an evaluation of delivery systems for educational materials, ? a comparative analysis of educational publishers? web sites and textbook sites, ? an analysis of the competitive environment, ? an analysis of trends and issues in both education and information technologies. The first three areas are based on market research conducted at McGraw-Hill Ryerson in 1999. The fourth area is primarily a review of secondary sources that explore trends in education and information technologies. Based on analysis of these four areas, this report concludes with four opportunities that an educational publisher might pursue. These opportunities are 1. employing flexible delivery systems for content that respond to the changing needs of instructors and students, the changing capabilities of information technology and the constantly shifting priorities of the educational marketplace, 2. forging partnerships with companies with core competencies that can increase the value of an educational publisher?s products, 3. investing in customer support as a means of training instructors in the use of an educational publisher?s products, 4. developing customer loyalty through customer support and other marketing strategies.

Document type: 
Thesis
Senior supervisor: 
Rowland Lorimer
Department: 
Communication, Art and Technology: Master of Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
Graduating extended essay/Research project

The Scholarly Review Process at the University of Toronto Press

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004-03-15
Abstract: 

This report discusses the purpose of scholarly review and examines how the components of the process provide scholarly presses with a dependable system by which to select and develop manuscripts for publication. After examining scholarly review in a general sense, this report addresses the review process in detail as it occurs at the University of Toronto Press. The University of Toronto Press is the largest scholarly publisher in Canada and publishes in the social sciences and humanities disciplines. This report identifies safeguards that university presses integrate into the scholarly review process to ensure that the process consistently produces high-quality books. Two rounds of interviews were conducted to collect the data in this report. First, five University of Toronto Press editors were interviewed between July and August of 2002. The second set of interviews included four UTP authors as well as the Programme Manager of the Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) and occurred in January of 2003. Information from these conversations was then integrated with what I learned during my internship at the press, as well as with research from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS) Web site, the Journal of Scholarly Publishing, books about publishing with a scholarly press, the Manuscript Review Committee’s terms of reference, and a memorandum from a University of Toronto vice-president about the role of the university’s faculty publication board. This project report concludes by discussing issues that compromise the success of scholarly review and by proposing possible solutions to these problems.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Rowland Lorimer
Department: 
Communication, Art and Technology: Master of Publishing Program
Thesis type: 
Graduating extended essay/Research project. M. Pub.

Modifications to the hospital physical environment : effect on older adults retention of post-discharge instructions

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This study was conducted in two (originally identical) hospital bedrooms in a community hospital in Burnaby, British Columbia. For the study, one patient room was left in its original state; the second was modified to reduce visual and auditory distraction. In each room, older adults watched a video recording of different post-discharge instructions. After each viewing, and after approximately 24 hours, their learning/retention was tested. While in each room, video equipment and other non-invasive technology recorded physical movements/fidgeting. A significant interaction was found between room type, instruction type and order. Subsequent analyses found that the oldest participants had the most difficulty when faced with learning the more difficult instructions in the "typical" room. Movement/fidget data suggest that participants were less stressed while receiving instruction in the modified room rather than "typical" room. Participants overwhelmingly preferred the modified room and expressed comfort with the use of video to receive post-discharge instruction. NOTE: This thesis constitutes Study 3a of the following report series:(1) Gutman, G.M., Love, T., Parke, B., & Friesen, K. (2006). Towards more elder friendly acute hospitals: Study 1: The physical environment in ACE units: Design specifics and staff ratings Final report. Vancouver, BC: Gerontology Research Centre, Simon Fraser University.(2) Gutman, G.M., Sarte, A., Parke, B., & Friesen, K. (2006). Towards more elder friendly acute hospitals: Study 2: The elder friendliness of the physical environment of medical and surgical units in the Fraser Health Authority: Final report. Vancouver, BC: Gerontology Research Centre, Simon Fraser University.(3) Gutman, G.M., & Love, T. (2008, January). Towards more elder friendly hospitals: Final report - Studies 3b and 3c. [Report submitted to Fraser Health Geriatric Clinical Service Planning and Delivery Team]. Vancouver, BC: Gerontology Research Centre, Simon Fraser University.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dr. Gloria Gutman
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Gerontology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.