Monthly Archives: July 2010

Microbial Growth in Ground Beef During Different Methods of Thawing

Saba Zahid, Theodore Fleming*, G. Kevin Randall*, Bradley University

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v9/zahid.html

Abstract Consumer safety has now become a pressing issue with recent illnesses and food recalls due to elevated microbiological contamination of a variety of different foods. Although there are many different steps in the handling and processing continuum that expose the food supply to potential microbial exposure and contamination, consumers can limit their risk for food-borne illness by practicing safe food handling practices in their homes. In this study, we examined several commonly used thawing methods and their impact on microbial growth.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of different thawing methods on microbial growth in ground beef. Microbial growth was evaluated during a six-hour thaw period using three different thawing methods: refrigerator, room temperature, and standing water bath. Beef maintained in the freezer was used as a control. Bacterial counts per gram of beef were determined at one-hour intervals using a viable count method.

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No Child Left Behind in Puerto Rico: How Does the No Child Left Behind Act Affect Teachers’ Attitudes Toward Students from Low-Income Communities

Emely E. Medina-Rodríguez, University of Puerto Rico, Leonard Ramirez*, University of Illinois at Chicago

Full Paper: www.kon.org/urc/v9/medina-rodriguez.html

Abstract The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was created in 2001 to close the achievement gap between middle class White students and low-income minority students in the U.S. NCLB is also mandated in Puerto Rico and affects Puerto Rican educational institutions. Although this law has been studied in the U.S, its impact on territories distant from the mainland is less understood. Little is known, for example, about how NCLB affects Puerto Rican teachers’ attitudes, especially those working with students from low-income communities. Qualitative research methods were chosen to encourage teachers from an intermediate school in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, to express their perspectives from their own point of view regarding the NCLB Law and related themes. The school serves students from five surrounding public housing projects, and ninety-two percent of the student body came from households with an income below the poverty level. Statistics from Puerto Rico’s Department of Education also showed that this school had not met NCLB’s Adequate Yearly Progress requirement for the past five years. A snowball sample identified seven teacher and staff members’ participants, and they were interviewed using an instrument containing 26 open-ended questions.

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Prisons of the Cruel Inner God: Neo-Panopticism in Contemporary Western Culture

Emily Taber,Western Washington University

Full Paper: www.kon.org/urc/v9/taber.html

Abstract The application of Jeremy Bentham’s (1785) panoptic concept has changed significantly with the popularization of observational technology and dataveillance. Where Bentham’s model focused on the material, the Digital Age has created new structures of power in contemporary culture, altered how observers and observed interact, and influenced both contemporary cultures of observation and the broader social structure. I analyze what has caused these transitions and traced them to five areas of social and technological change, examining how cultural values have transformed and may continue transforming into the Twenty-first Century.

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Dressed to Influence: The Effects of Experimenter Dress on Participant Compliance

Anastacia E. Damon,
Arineh Sarkissian,
Cherrie Y. Cotilier,
Nicole M. Staben,
Jaime M. Lee,
Robert J. Youmans,
California State University, Northridge

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/v9/damon.html

Abstract Some psychologists believe that, in addition to any independent variable being tested, the characteristics of the experimenter who is conducting the study can influence how participants will perform during experiments, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as experimenter bias. Participants in this experiment consisted of 67 California State University, Northridge students. In this double-blind procedure, participants were randomly assigned to follow directions from either a casually or professionally-dressed experimenter. The authors predicted that participants in the professionally dressed condition would follow directions more accurately, but results indicated that participants who received directions from a casual experimenter were more compliant. It may be that students follow directions more accurately when those directions are given by someone who is dressed more similar to themselves.

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The Darker Side of Counterfactual Thinking: An Analysis of Inaction Inertia and Gambling

Sarah C. Atchley, Hendrix College

Full paper: www.kon.org/v9/atchley2.html

Abstract The current research is a literature review of inaction inertia, which is the resulting inaction due to certain cognitive processes, specifically counterfactual thinking or looking back over one’s life to determine how events could have turned out differently if a different course of action was taken. Previous research indicates that counterfactual thinking can have negative consequences such as inaction inertia, gambling, and self-handicapping.

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