Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1123

Search results for: Perceptions

1123 Gendered Perceptions in Maize Supply Chains: Evidence from Uganda

Authors: Anusha De, Bjorn Van Campenhout

Abstract:

Faced with imperfect information, economic actors use judgment and perceptions in decision-making. Inaccurate perceptions or false beliefs may result in inefficient value chains, and systematic bias in perceptions may affect inclusiveness. In this paper, perceptions in Ugandan maize supply chains are studied. A random sample of maize farmers where they were asked to rate other value chain actors—agro-input dealers, assembly traders and maize millers—on a set of important attributes such as service quality, price competitiveness, ease of access, and overall reputation. These other value chain actors are tracked and asked to assess themselves on the same attributes. It is observed that input dealers, traders and millers assess themselves more favorably than farmers do. Zooming in on heterogeneity in perceptions related to gender, it is evident that women rate higher than men. The sex of the actor being rated does not affect the rating.

Keywords: gender, input dealers, maize supply chain, perceptions, processors

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1122 Literature Review of Instructor Perceptions of the Blended Learning Approach

Authors: Syed Ahmed Hasnain

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Instructors’ perception of blended learning plays an important role in the field of education. The literature review shows that there is a gap in research. Instructor perception of the blended learning approach has an impact on the motivation of the instructor to use technology in the classroom. The role of the student's perspective on the instructor’s perception is also important. Research also shows that instructor perceptions can be changed based on their past and present experiences with technology and blended learning. This paper draws the attention of the readers to the need for further research and contributions to studying instructor perceptions globally. Instructor perception affects the implementation of technology in the classroom, instructor-student relationship, and the class environment. Various publications, literature reviews, and articles are studied to show the importance of instructor perceptions. A lot of work has been published on student perceptions of the blended learning approach but there is a gap in research on instructor perceptions. The paper also makes recommendations for further research in the area of instructor perceptions of the blended learning approach. Institutions, administrators, senior management, and instructors can benefit from this paper.

Keywords: blended learning, education, literature review, instructor perceptions

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1121 Love Is Color-Blind: Perceptions among Sunway University Students toward Interracial Relationship

Authors: Azman Ramlie, Vivian Foo Jing Wen

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As the advancement of technology has tremendously changed the way people communicate with each other, it has opened up opportunities for interracial relationships. Interracial relationship is also known as intercultural or interethnic relationships. This research topic aims to study on students’ perceptions toward interracial relationship in terms of their level of acceptance and approval. In addition, the study also focuses on determining and ranking the factors that affects students’ perceptions towards interracial relationship. This study also targets to determine the differences in students’ perceptions from business and communication major. This study uses a sample of university students from Sunway University, particularly on students in business and communication major. The study was conducted through online survey questionnaires. Results revealed that students’ level of acceptance towards interracial relationship was high. In addition, results also further indicated that family members’ support was one of the most important factors in influencing students’ perception towards interracial relationship. No diverse differences of perceptions among students in business and communication major towards interracial relationship were shown in the findings. Most of the result showed that both majors turned out to have similar perceptions towards interracial relationship. It can be said that the students’ perception towards interracial relationship did not differ from which major the students was in but their family background that would shape their perceptions.

Keywords: interracial relationship, racial, relationship, perceptions

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1120 English as a Foreign Language Students’ Perceptions Towards the British Culture: The Case of Batna 2 University, Algeria

Authors: Djelloul Nedjai

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The issue of cultural awareness triggers many controversies especially in a context where individuals do not share the same cultural backgrounds and characteristics. The Algerian context is no exception. It has been widely documented by the literature that culture remains essential in many domains. In higher education, for instance, culture plays a pivotal role in shaping individuals’ perceptions and attitudes. Henceforth, the current paper attempts to look at the perceptions towards the British culture, held by students engaged in learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at the department of English at Banta 2 university, Algeria. It also inquiries into the following question: “What are EFL students’ perceptions towards the British culture?” To address the aforementioned research query, a descriptive study has been carried out wherein a questionnaire of fifteen (15) items has been deployed to collect students’ attitudes and perceptions towards the British culture. Results showcase that, indeed, EFL students of the department of English at Banta 2 University hold both positive and negative perceptions towards the British culture at different levels. The explanation could relate to the students’ lack of acquaintance with, and awareness of, the British culture. Consequently, this paper is an attempt to address the issue of cultural awareness from the perspective of EFL students.

Keywords: British culture, cultural awareness, EFL students’ perceptions, higher education

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1119 The Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Citizens’ Perceptions of Social Justice in China

Authors: Yan Liu

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The Gini coefficient indicates that the inequality of income distribution is rising in China. How individuals viewing the equality of current society is an important predicator of social turbulence. Perceptions of social justice may vary according to the social stratification. People usually use socioeconomic status to identify divisions between social stratifications. The objective of this study is to explore the potential influence of socioeconomic status on citizens’ perceptions of social justice in China. Socioeconomic status (SES) is usually reflected by either an SES indicator or a composite of three core dimensions: education, income and occupation. With data collected in the 2010 Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS), this study uses OLS regression analyses to examine the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and citizens’ perceptions of social justice. This study finds that most Chinese citizens believe that the current society is fair or more than fair. Socioeconomic status (SES) has a positive impact on citizens’ perceptions of social justice, which means individuals with higher indicator of socioeconomic status prefer to believe current society is fair. However, the three core dimensions which are used to measure socioeconomic status (SES) have different influences on perceptions of social justice: First, income helps enhance citizens’ sense of social justice. Second, education weakens citizens’ sense of social justice. Third, compared to the middle occupational status, people of both higher occupational status and lower occupational status have higher levels of perceptions of social justice. Though education creates a negative influence on perceptions of social justice, its effect is much weaker than that of income, which indicates income is a determining factor for enhancing people’s perceptions of social justice in China’s market society. Policy implications are discussed.

Keywords: education, income, occupation, perceptions of social justice, social stratification, socioeconomic status

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1118 Insights and Inferences Associated with Subscription of Health Insurance in the Informal Sector of India

Authors: Harinder Singh

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The paper sheds light on the perceptions of the uninsured workers employed in the urban informal sector of India, towards the health insurance. In addition to this, it also explores the association of the identified perceptions with household decisions to enroll for health insurance schemes in India. Firstly the data taken from the primary survey of the uninsured workers employed in the urban informal sector was analyzed using exploratory factor analysis to evaluate the perceptions. Thereafter, logistic regression was employed to determine the association of the identified perceptions regarding the enrollment. Our study identifies twelve perceptions related to the health insurance enrollment of the uninsured workers employed in the urban informal sector of India. The study demonstrates that perceptions have the strongest association with the voluntary enrollment. These specifically relate to the lack of awareness about the need to buy health insurance; comprehensive coverage; income constraint; future contingencies and social obligations; lack of information; availability of subsidized government health care; linkage with government hospitals and preference for government schemes. Conclusions: Along with the food security, health security has become a crying need of the workers employed in the informal sector and the time has come to scale up the health insurance schemes for them in the country. Policy makers or marketers of health insurance policies should recognize the household perceptions as a potential barrier and try to develop a health insurance package as per the actual needs of the informal sector (low income) in India.

Keywords: association, enrollment, health insurance, informal sector, perceptions, uninsured

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1117 An Investigation on Engineering Students’ Perceptions Towards E-Learning in the UK

Authors: Parisa Razzaghifard, Farid Arya, , Sonia Chien-I Chen, Behzad Abdi, Vida Razzaghifard, A. H. Arya, A. Nazary, H. Hosseinpour, K. Ghabelnezam

Abstract:

E-learning, also known as online learning, has indicated an increased growth in recent years. One of the critical factors in successful application of e-learning in higher education is students’ perceptions towards it. The main purpose of this paper is to investigate the perceptions of engineering students about e-learning in UK. For the purpose of the present study, 145 second year Engineering students were randomly selected from the total population of 1280 participants. The participants were asked to complete a questionnaire containing 16 items. The data collected from the questionnaire were analyzed through the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) software. The findings of the study revealed that the majority of participants have negative perceptions on e-learning. Most of the students had trouble interacting effectively during online classes. Furthermore, the majority of participants had negative experiences with learning platform they were used during e-learning. Suggestions were made on what could be done to improve the students’ perceptions towards e-learning.

Keywords: e-learning, higher, education, engineering education, online learning

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1116 Discrepant Views of Social Competence and Links with Social Phobia

Authors: Pamela-Zoe Topalli, Niina Junttila, Päivi M. Niemi, Klaus Ranta

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Adolescents’ biased perceptions about their social competence (SC), whether negatively or positively, serve to influence their socioemotional adjustment such as early feelings of social phobia (nowadays referred to as Social Anxiety Disorder-SAD). Despite the importance of biased self-perceptions in adolescents’ psychosocial adjustment, the extent to which discrepancies between self- and others’ evaluations of one’s SC are linked to social phobic symptoms remains unclear in the literature. This study examined the perceptual discrepancy profiles between self- and peers’ as well as between self- and teachers’ evaluations of adolescents’ SC and the interrelations of these profiles with self-reported social phobic symptoms. The participants were 390 3rd graders (15 years old) of Finnish lower secondary school (50.8% boys, 49.2% girls). In contrast with variable-centered approaches that have mainly been used by previous studies when focusing on this subject, this study used latent profile analysis (LPA), a person-centered approach which can provide information regarding risk profiles by capturing the heterogeneity within a population and classifying individuals into groups. LPA revealed the following five classes of discrepancy profiles: i) extremely negatively biased perceptions of SC, ii) negatively biased perceptions of SC, iii) quite realistic perceptions of SC, iv) positively biased perceptions of SC, and v) extremely positively biased perceptions of SC. Adolescents with extremely negatively biased perceptions and negatively biased perceptions of their own SC reported the highest number of social phobic symptoms. Adolescents with quite realistic, positively biased and extremely positively biased perceptions reported the lowest number of socio-phobic symptoms. The results point out the negatively and the extremely negatively biased perceptions as possible contributors to social phobic symptoms. Moreover, the association of quite realistic perceptions with low number of social phobic symptoms indicates its potential protective power against social phobia. Finally, positively and extremely positively biased perceptions of SC are negatively associated with social phobic symptoms in this study. However, the profile of extremely positively biased perceptions might be linked as well with the existence of externalizing problems such as antisocial behavior (e.g. disruptive impulsivity). The current findings highlight the importance of considering discrepancies between self- and others’ perceptions of one’s SC in clinical and research efforts. Interventions designed to prevent or moderate social phobic symptoms need to take into account individual needs rather than aiming for uniform treatment. Implications and future directions are discussed.

Keywords: adolescence, latent profile analysis, perceptual discrepancies, social competence, social phobia

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1115 Themes in Aesthetic Perceptions of Restorative Urban Landscapes

Authors: Rachel Bechtold, Catherine Shoulders, Donald Johnson, Jennie Popp, Elena Garcia, Lisa Wood

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Creating successfully restored urban landscapes involves both the sound design of natural resources and the incorporation of human perceptions of landscape. Moving forward with an invested interest from society is a challenge for the efficacy of reclaimed landscape design. In particular, urban areas present a dynamic environment wherein society and nature compete for resources and space. This review is meant to examine how perceptions of urban community members, the stakeholders for the plant species that share their environment, are reflected in aesthetic considerations. Findings from this literature review include themes of (1) aesthetic perceptions of stakeholders in rehabilitated landscapes and (2) the importance of organizing indicators of aesthetic perception for future design decisions. Recommendations include addressing the gap in research on aesthetic perceptions of reclaimed urban landscapes and addressing the lack of a consistent and widely accepted framework for these interdisciplinary studies. With knowledge of stakeholder perceptions, improved aesthetic and ecologic designs can more seamlessly merge into reclaimed urban landscapes.

Keywords: phytoremediation, urban landscape design, aesthetic perception, landscape ecology, phytorestoration, landscape reclamation, rehabilitation

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1114 An Assessment of Vegetable Farmers’ Perceptions about Post-harvest Loss Sources in Ghana

Authors: Kofi Kyei, Kenchi Matsui

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Loss of vegetable products has been a major constraint in the post-harvest chain. Sources of post-harvest loss in the vegetable industry start from the time of harvesting to its handling and at the various market centers. Identifying vegetable farmers’ perceptions about post-harvest loss sources is one way of addressing this issue. In this paper, we assessed farmers’ perceptions about sources of post-harvest losses in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. We also identified the factors that influence their perceptions. To clearly understand farmers’ perceptions, we selected Sekyere-Kumawu District in the Ashanti Region. Sekyere-Kumawu District is one of the major producers of vegetables in the Region. Based on a questionnaire survey, 100 vegetable farmers growing tomato, pepper, okra, cabbage, and garden egg were purposely selected from five communities in Sekyere-Kumawu District. For farmers’ perceptions, the five points Likert scale was employed. On a scale from 1 (no loss) to 5 (extremely high loss), we processed the scores for each vegetable harvest. To clarify factors influencing farmers’ perceptions, the Pearson Correlation analysis was used. Our findings revealed that farmers perceive post-harvest loss by pest infestation as the most extreme loss. However, vegetable farmers did not perceive loss during transportation as a serious source of post-harvest loss. The Pearson Correlation analysis results further revealed that farmers’ age, gender, level of education, and years of experience had an influence on their perceptions. This paper then discusses some recommendations to minimize the post-harvest loss in the region.

Keywords: Ashanti Region, pest infestation, post-harvest loss, vegetable farmers

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1113 Investigating the Influences of Preschool Teachers’ Self-Efficacy on Their Perceptions of National Preschool Standard Curriculum (NPSC) Implementation in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur

Authors: Pei Xin Ker

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The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of teachers’ self-efficacy (TSE) on teachers’ perceptions of the levels of implementation of the NPSC. A total of 187 respondents were selected by using purposive homogeneous sampling to represent preschool teachers in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. This study involved a cross-sectional survey in which quantitative data were collected and analysed using descriptive statistics. The survey was containing 74 questionnaire items created using Google Form and distributed through online platforms such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger. The results indicated a high level of overall self-efficacy among the preschool teachers and the overall teachers' perceived level of NPSC. The findings also showed a significant and positive relationship at a high level between TSE and teachers' perceptions of the level of implementation of NPSC. Student involvement was one of the TSE factors that had the greatest influence in shaping teachers' perceptions of the level of implementation of NPSC. The findings of the predictors to teachers' perceptions of the implementation of NPSC within this study can be used as an indication to the researchers to reassure the validity of this study by repeating with similar research settings. Further studies to include other factors are also encouraged to explore the possible factors that may influence the teachers' perceptions of the implementation of NPSC.

Keywords: teachers’ self-efficacy, national preschool standard curriculum, preschool teachers, preschool education

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1112 EFL Learners’ Perceptions in Using Online Tools in Developing Writing Skills

Authors: Zhikal Qadir Salih, Hanife Bensen

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As the advent of modern technology continues to make towering impacts on everything, its relevance permeates to all spheres, language learning, and writing skills in particular not an exception. This study aimed at finding out how EFL learners perceive online tools to improve their writing skills. The study was carried out at Tishk University. Copies of the questionnaire were distributed to the participants, in order to elicit their perceptions. The collected data were subjected to descriptive and inferential statistics. The outcome revealed that the participants have positive perceptions about online tools in using them to enhance their writing skills. The study however found out that both gender and the class level of the participants do not make any significant difference in their perceptions about the use of online tools, as far as writing skill is concerned. Based on these outcomes, relevant recommendations were made.

Keywords: online tools, writing skills, EFL learners, language learning

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1111 Pre-Service EFL Teachers' Perceptions of Written Corrective Feedback in a Wiki-Based Environment

Authors: Mabel Ortiz, Claudio Díaz

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This paper explores Chilean pre-service teachers' perceptions about the provision of corrective feedback in a wiki environment during the collaborative writing of an argumentative essay. After conducting a semi-structured interview on 22 participants, the data were processed through the content analysis technique. The results show that students have positive perceptions about corrective feedback, provided through a wiki virtual environment, which in turn facilitates feedback provision and impacts language learning effectively. Some of the positive perceptions about virtual feedback refer to permanent access, efficiency, simultaneous revision and immediacy. It would then be advisable to integrate wiki-based feedback as a methodology for the language classroom and collaborative writing tasks.

Keywords: argumentative essay, focused corrective feedback, perception, wiki environment

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1110 Pre-Service Science Teachers' Perceptions Related to the Concept of Laboratory: A Metaphorical Analysis

Authors: Salih Uzun

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The laboratory activities are seen an indispensable part of science, teaching, and learning. In this study, the aim was to identify pre-service science teachers’ perceptions related to the concept of laboratory through metaphors. It is expressed that metaphors can be used as a powerful research tool in order to understand personal perceptions. Therefore, metaphors were used with the aim of revealing a picture regarding how pre-service science teachers perceive laboratory. Within the scope of this aim, phenomenographic research design was adopted for this study and an answer was sought to the question; ‘What are pre-service science teachers’ perceptions about the concept of laboratory?’. The sample of this study was a total of 80 pre-service science teachers at various grade levels in Turkey. Participants were asked to complete the sentence; ‘Laboratory is like…; because…’. Documents including pre-service science teachers’ answers to the open-ended questions were used as data sources and the data were analysed with content analysis.

Keywords: laboratory, metaphor, phenomenology, pre-service science teachers

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1109 Awareness and Recognition: A Legitimate-Geographic Model for Analyzing the Determinants of Corporate Perceptions of Climate Change Risk

Authors: Seyedmohammad Mousavian, Hanlu Fan, Quingliang Tang

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Climate change is emerging as a severe threat to our society, so businesses are expected to take actions to mitigate carbon emissions. However, the actions to be taken depend on managers’ perceptions of climate change risks. Yet, there is scant research on this issue, and understanding of the determinants of corporate perceptions of climate change is extremely limited. The purpose of this study is to close this gap by examining the relationship between perceptions of climate risk and firm-level and country-level factors. In this study, climate change risk captures physical, regulatory, and other risks, and we use data from European companies that participated in CDP from 2010 to 2017. This study reveals those perceptions of climate change risk are significantly positively associated with the environmental, social, and governance score, firm size, and membership in a carbon-intensive sector. In addition, we find that managers in firms operating in a geographic area that is sensitive to the consequences of global warming are more likely to perceive and formally recognize carbon-related risks in their CDP reports.

Keywords: carbon actions, CDP, climate change risk, risk perception

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1108 Impacts of Filmmaking on Destinations: Perceptions of the Residents of Arcos de Valdevez

Authors: André Rafael Ferreira, Laurentina Vareiro, Raquel Mendes

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This study’s main objective is to explore residents’ perceptions of film-induced tourism and the impacts of filmmaking on the development of a destination. Specifically, the research examines resident´s perceptions of the social, economic, and environmental impacts on a Portuguese municipality (Arcos de Valdevez) given its feature in a popular Portuguese television series. Data is collected by means of an Internet survey, in which resident´s perceptions of the impacts of filmmaking are solicited. Residents generally agree that the recording and exhibition of the television series is important to the municipality, and contributes to the increased number of tourists. Given that residents consider that the positive impacts are more significant than the negative impacts, they supported the recording of another television series in the same municipality. Considering that destination managers and tourism development authorities aim to plan for optimal tourism development, and at the same time wish to minimize the negative impacts of this development on the local communities, monitoring residents’ opinions of perceived impacts is a good way of incorporating their reaction into tourism planning and development. The results of this research may provide useful information in this sense.

Keywords: film-induced tourism, residents’ perceptions, tourism development, tourism impacts

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1107 E-Government Adoption in Zimbabwe's Local Government: Understanding the Influence of Attitudes and Perceptions of Residents in Selected Cases

Authors: Ricky Munyaradzi Mukonza

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E-government literature continues to grow as scholars and practitioners endeavour to understand this phenomenon. There are many facets of e-government that have been written about including its definition, adoption, and implementation and so on. However, more still needs to be known particularly in relation to how e-government is being adopted in different contexts. There could be many context specific factors that have a bearing on e-government adoption and in this paper focus is on attitudes and perceptions. Association between usage of e-government services and various perceptions such as ease of use, transparency, security, ease of understanding, communication, reliability, relevancy, perceived usefulness and perceived trust is examined. Within the Zimbabwean context and in particular the country’s local government sphere, such a study has not been done. The main aim of the paper is therefore to establish perceptions and attitudes towards e-government services among residents in Zimbabwe’s two local authorities. In terms of research methodology the paper is based on a Mixed Methods Approach (MMA) to collect and analyse data giving the researcher a holistic picture of the phenomenon being investigated. A sample of 785 residents from the two local authorities was used and these were selected using a combination of cluster and purposive sampling methods. A key finding in this paper is that a majority of respondents who have had the opportunity to use e-government services perceive the services to be easy to use, transparent, secure, easy to understand, reliable, relevant, useful and trustworthy. The paper, therefore, makes an important contribution on the relationship between residents’ perceptions and attitudes and e-government usage within the chosen cases.

Keywords: adoption, attitudes, e-government, perceptions

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1106 Window Display Design of Thai Craft Product Affecting Perceptions of Thai and Foreign Tourists

Authors: Kanokwan Somoon, Chumporn Moorapun

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A product’s perceived value may increase purchase intention. Value perceptions may differ among cultures. Window displays can be used to increase products’ information and value. This study aims to investigate the relationship between window display design elements and value perceptions of local products between two different cultures. The research methodology is based on survey research. Several window displays in favorite of tourist spots were selected as a unit of study. Also, 100 tourists (56 Thai tourists and 44 foreign tourists) were asked to complete a questionnaire. T-Tests were used to analyze the comparison. Then, the results were compared to Thai and foreign tourists. Finally, the results find that Thai and foreign tourists have different perception towards three design elements that are size of the window, props and colour lighting. The differences of their perceptions signify the different cultural values they adhere to.

Keywords: cross-culture, window display, Thai craft product, environmental perception

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1105 Students’ Perceptions on Educational Game for Learning Programming Subject: A Case Study

Authors: Roslina Ibrahim, Azizah Jaafar, Khalili Khalil

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Educational games (EG) are regarded as a promising teaching and learning tool for the new generation. Growing number of studies and literatures can be found in EG studies. Both academic researchers and commercial developers come out with various educational games prototypes and titles. Despite that, acceptance of educational games still lacks among the students. It is important to understanding students’ perceptions of EG, since they are the main stakeholder of the technology. Thus, this study seeks to understand perceptions of undergraduates’ students using a framework originated from user acceptance theory. The framework consists of six constructs with twenty-eight items. Data collection was done on 180 undergraduate students of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur using self-developed online EG called ROBO-C. Data analysis was done using descriptive, factor analysis and correlations. Performance expectancy, effort expectancy, attitude, and enjoyment factors were found significantly correlated with the intention to use EG. This study provides more understanding towards the use of educational games among students.

Keywords: educational games, perceptions, acceptance, UTAUT

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1104 Illness Representations of Injury: A Comparison of Patients and Their Primary Caregivers

Authors: Bih-O Lee, Hsiu-Wan Hsieh, Hsiu-Chen Liu, Mer Yu Pan

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Background: Illness perceptions are developed when people face health-threatening situations. Previous research suggests that understanding discrepancies between illness perceptions of patients and caregivers may need to improve quality of health care. Objective: This study examined the differences between illness perceptions of injured patients and those of their caregivers. Methods: Comparative study design was used. The study setting was the surgical wards of a teaching hospital in Taiwan. Participants were 127 pairs of injured patients and their caregivers. The participants completed socio-demographic data and completed the Chinese Illness Perception Questionnaire Revised-Trauma, which comprises eight subscales. Clinical data of the injured patients was obtained from medical records. Results: This study found that injured patients were more pessimistic than their caregivers about the injury. There were significant differences between patients and caregivers insofar as patients perceived more physical symptoms, scored higher in terms of reasons for their injury, had more negative emotions and experienced more consequences than caregivers. Elderly caregivers and caregivers for patients who were over 65, severely injured and admitted to an ICU perceived more negative perceptions about the injury. Conclusions: This study indicated that patients and caregivers had negative illness representations several months after injury although the intensity of their perceptions was different. The interventions should highlight the need to assist patients and caregivers after injury.

Keywords: illness representations, injury, caregivers, comparative study

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1103 Examining the Links between Established Principles, Iranian Teachers' Perceptions of Reading Comprehension, and Their Actual Practice in English for Specific Purposes Courses

Authors: Zahra Alimorad

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There is a strong belief that language teachers' actual practices in the classroom context are largely determined by the underlying perceptions they hold about the nature of language and language learning. That being so, it can be envisaged that teaching procedures of ESP (English for Specific Purposes) teachers teaching reading comprehension will mainly be driven by their perceptions about the nature of reading. To examine this issue, four Iranian university professors holding Ph.D. in either TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or English Literature who were teaching English to Engineering and Sciences students were recruited to participate in this study. To collect the necessary data, classroom observations and follow-up semi-structured interviews were used. Furthermore, the materials utilized by the teachers such as textbooks, syllabuses, and tests were also examined. Although it can be argued that their perceptions were partially compatible with the established principles, results of the study pointed to a lack of congruence between these teachers' perceptions and their practices, on the one hand, and between the established principles and the practices, on the other. While the literature mostly supports a metacognitive-strategy approach to reading comprehension, the teachers were mainly adopting a skills-based approach to the teaching of reading. That is, they primarily focused on translation as the core activity in the classroom followed by reading aloud, defining words, and explaining grammatical structures. This divergence was partly attributed to the contextual constraints and partly to students' lack of motivation by the teachers.

Keywords: English teachers, perceptions, practice, principles, reading comprehension

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1102 Students’ Perceptions of Mobile Learning: Case Study of Kuwait

Authors: Rana AlHajri, Salah Al-Sharhan, Ahmed Al-Hunaiyyan

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Mobile learning is a new learning landscape that offers opportunity for collaborative, personal, informal, and students’ centered learning environment. In implementing any learning system such as a mobile learning environment, learners’ expectations should be taken into consideration. However, there is a lack of studies on this aspect, particularly in the context of Kuwait higher education (HE) institutions. This study focused on how students perceive the use of mobile devices in learning. Although m-learning is considered as an effective educational tool in developed countries, it is not yet fully utilized in Kuwait. The study reports on the results of a survey conducted on 623 HE students in Kuwait to a better understand students' perceptions and opinions about the effectiveness of using mobile learning systems. An analysis of quantitative survey data is presented. The findings indicated that Kuwait HE students are very familiar with mobile devices and its applications. The results also reveal that students have positive perceptions of m-learning, and believe that video-based social media applications enhance the teaching and learning process.

Keywords: higher education, mobile learning, social media, students’ perceptions

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1101 Perceptions and Attitudes toward Pain in Patients with Chronic Low-Back Pain

Authors: Naomi Sato, Tomonori Sato, Kenji Masui, Rob Stanborough

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To date, there are few studies on the subjective experiences of patients with chronic low-back pain (CLBP). The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of CLBP patients’ perceptions and attitudes regarding pain. Individual, semi-constructed interviews were conducted with 7 Japanese and 10 Americans who had been diagnosed with CLBP. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed based on a content analysis approach. The study proposal was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the first author’s affiliate university. All participants provided written consent. Participants’ ages ranged from 48 to 82. Five main categories were emerged, namely, 'There are no reasons for long-term chronic pain,' 'Just will not worsen,' 'Have something to help me cope,' 'Pain restricts my life,' and 'Have something to relieve me.' Participants lived with CLBP, which could sometimes be avoided as a result of the coping strategies that they employed, and due to which they sometimes felt helpless, despite their efforts. As a result, they had mixed feelings, which included resignation, resoluteness, and optimism. However, their perceptions and attitudes toward pain seemed to differ based on their backgrounds, including biological, social, religious, and cultural status. There is a need for the development of a scale in future studies, to enable quantitative measurement of individuals’ perceptions of and attitudes toward pain. There is also a need for an investigation of factors influencing perceptions and attitudes toward pain.

Keywords: attitude, chronic low-back pain, perception, qualitative study

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1100 Perceptions of Climate Change and Adaptation of Climate-Smart Technology by the Paddy Farmers: A Case Study of Kandy District in Sri Lanka

Authors: W. A. D. P. Wanigasundera, P. C. B. Alahakoon

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Kandy district in Sri Lanka has small scale and rain-fed paddy farming, and highly vulnerable to climate change. In this study, the status of climate change was assessed using meteorological data and compared with the perceptions of paddy farming community. Factors affecting the adaptation to the climate smart farming were also assessed. Meteorological data for 33 years were collected and the changes over time compared with the perceptions of farmers. The temperature, rainfall and number of rainy days have increased in both locations. The onset of rains also has shifted. The perceptions of the majority of the farmers were in line with the actual changes. The knowledge and attitudes about the causes of climate change and adaptation were medium and related to level of adoption. Formulating effective communication strategies, and a collaborative approach involving state, private sector, civil society to make Sri Lankan agriculture ‘climate-smart’ is urgently needed.

Keywords: adaptation of climate-smart technology, climate change, perception, rain-fed paddy

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1099 Saudi Teachers’ Perceptions of Rough and Tumble Play in Early Learning

Authors: Rana Alghamdi

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This study explored teachers’ perceptions of rough-and-tumble (R&T) play in early childhood education in Saudi Arabia. The literature on rough-and-tumble play in Saudi Arabia is limited in scope, and more research is needed to explore teachers’ perceptions on this type of play for early learners. The pertinent literature reveals that R&T play, which includes running, jumping, fighting, wrestling, chasing, pulling, pushing, and climbing, among other rough playful activities, can positively impact learning and development across psychosocial, emotional, and cognitive domains. Teachers’ understanding of R & T play is key, and the attitudes of Saudi early childhood teachers who are responsible for implementing curriculum-based play have not been fully researched. Four early childhood teachers from an urban Saudi preschool participated in the study. The data collected in this study were interpreted through a sociocultural lens. Data sources included in-depth interviews, photo-elicitation interviews, and participant-generated drawings. Three overarching themes emerged: teachers’ concerns about rough-and-tumble play, teachers’ perceptions about the benefits of rough-and-tumble play, and teachers’ expression of gender roles in R & T play as contextualized within Saudi culture. Saudi teachers’ perceptions are discussed in detail, and implications of the findings and recommendations for future research are put forth.

Keywords: rough and tumble play, gender, culture, early childhood, Saudi Arabia

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1098 Siblings of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Influence of Culture on Their Identity and Quality of Life

Authors: Olga Muries-Cantan, Alice Schippers, Climent Gine, Noelle van den Heuvel

Abstract:

A systematic review of the literature about the quality of life perceptions of siblings of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) has shown differences and similarities among siblings’ perceptions around the world. Some of these differences might be explained by the influence of cultural and religious backgrounds on siblings’ quality of life through values, beliefs, and perceptions of ‘normalcy’ and stigma. The main goal of the multiple case study that we present, is to explore the quality of life perceptions of two adolescent siblings of individuals with ID/DD in order to identify the role cultural influence has played in their perceptions of quality of life. Two siblings from different European regions will participate in the study: one from a Southern European country (Spain) and the other one from a Western European country (The Netherlands). Taking a cross-cultural perspective, concepts such as values, cultural beliefs regarding disability, expectations, identity, supports, desires, and sibling relationships, will be discussed in a semi-structured interview with each sibling. Data will be analysed following an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). It is expected that findings will show the particularities of the experience of having a brother or a sister with ID/DD and the singular influence of the culture on siblings’ perceptions of quality of life. The results of this study will help to spread awareness around the necessity that researchers, practitioners, and policymakers take into account the cultural background of the individuals in order to provide them with better services and support. In this line, more culturally situated research is required to enlarge the knowledge in this field.

Keywords: culture, intellectual disability, quality of life, siblings

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1097 Communities’ Attitudes and Perceptions of Protected Areas in South Africa: Insights from the Somkhanda Game Reserve

Authors: Sakhile Nsukwini, Urmilla Bob

Abstract:

Meaningful community participation is essential to the long-term success of protected areas. Hence, it is important to understand what drives neighbouring communities’ attitudes and perceptions towards protected areas. This study sought to determine local community attitudes towards conservation and protected areas, as well as their perceptions of benefits and participation at Somkhanda Game Reserve. Semi-structured interviews were held with experienced park officials, while a structured household survey and focus group discussions were conducted across two surrounding villages. The results highlighted a number of interesting findings, including support for biodiversity conservation and protected areas balanced by considerable negativity towards the Somkhanda Game Reserve itself. It was also determined that despite stated co-management policies, community residents perceived there was little meaningful participation, and benefits were poorly communicated and unfairly distributed. Practical suggestions were made for cooperatively developing more effective participation with the communities, despite limited available resources.

Keywords: communities, protected areas, perceptions, co-management, land restitution

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1096 The Relationship between Incidental Emotions, Risk Perceptions and Type of Army Service

Authors: Sharon Garyn-Tal, Shoshana Shahrabani

Abstract:

Military service in general, and in combat units in particular, can be physically and psychologically stressful. Therefore, type of service may have significant implications for soldiers during and after their military service including emotions, judgments and risk perceptions. Previous studies have focused on risk propensity and risky behavior among soldiers, however there is still lack of knowledge on the impact of type of army service on risk perceptions. The current study examines the effect of type of army service (combat versus non-combat service) and negative incidental emotions on risk perceptions. In 2014 a survey was conducted among 153 combat and non-combat Israeli soldiers. The survey was distributed in train stations and central bus stations in various places in Israel among soldiers waiting for the train/bus. Participants answered questions related to the levels of incidental negative emotions they felt, to their risk perceptions (chances to be hurt by terror attack, by violent crime and by car accident), and personal details including type of army service. The data in this research is unique because military service in Israel is compulsory, so that the Israeli population serving in the army is wide and diversified. The results indicate that currently serving combat participants were more pessimistic in their risk perceptions (for all type of risks) compared to the currently serving non-combat participants. Since combat participants probably experienced severe and distressing situations during their service, they became more pessimistic regarding their probabilities of being hurt in different situations in life. This result supports the availability heuristic theory and the findings of previous studies indicating that those who directly experience distressing events tend to overestimate danger. The findings also indicate that soldiers who feel higher levels of incidental fear and anger have pessimistic risk perceptions. In addition, respondents who experienced combat army service also have pessimistic risk perceptions if they feel higher levels of fear. In addition, the findings suggest that higher levels of the incidental emotions of fear and anger are related to more pessimistic risk perceptions. These results can be explained by the compulsory army service in Israel that constitutes a focused threat to soldiers' safety during their period of service. Thus, in this stressful environment, negative incidental emotions even during routine times correlate with higher risk perceptions. In conclusion, the current study results suggest that combat army service shapes risk perceptions and the way young people control their negative incidental emotions in everyday life. Recognizing the factors affecting risk perceptions among soldiers is important for better understanding the impact of army service on young people.

Keywords: army service, combat soldiers, incidental emotions, risk perceptions

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1095 The Differential Effects of Risk and Reward on White-Collar, Property, and Violent Crime

Authors: Sultan Altikriti

Abstract:

Characteristics of white-collar crime differ from other forms of crime—e.g., robbery and burglary—in several respects (e.g., motivation, capability, and opportunity). Given the differences in the characteristics across offenses, differences in etiology are also likely. The current study assessed how perceptions of risk and reward differentially predict three categories of income-generating crime: credit fraud, burglary, and robbery. With a sample of 1,055 adjudicated youths, the current study conducted four multivariate regression models comparing a series of predictors across each model and offense type. The results indicated that perceptions of risk and reward differentially predict various crime types. Perceptions of reward predicted all income offenses—violent and nonviolent—but not general offending. Perceptions of risk and social costs predicted violent income offending—robbery—and general offending. The findings suggest that low-level white-collar crime may be more motivated by reward than potential risks.

Keywords: rational choice, deterrence, routine activity, life-course, white-collar

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1094 Understanding Farmers’ Perceptions Towards Agrivoltaics Using Decision Tree Algorithms

Authors: Mayuri Roy Choudhury

Abstract:

In recent times the concept of agrivoltaics has gained popularity due to the dual use of land and the added value provided by photovoltaics in terms of renewable energy and crop production on farms. However, the transition towards agrivoltaics has been slow, and our research tries to investigate the obstacles leading towards the slow progress of agrivoltaics. We applied data science decision tree algorithms to quantify qualitative perceptions of farmers in the United States for agrivoltaics. To date, there has not been much research that mentions farmers' perceptions, as most of the research focuses on the benefits of agrivoltaics. Our study adds value by putting forward the voices of farmers, which play a crucial towards the transition to agrivoltaics in the future. Our results show a mixture of responses in favor of agrivoltaics. Furthermore, it also portrays significant concerns of farmers, which is useful for decision-makers when it comes to formulating policies for agrivoltaics.

Keywords: agrivoltaics, decision-tree algorithms, farmers perception, transition

Procedia PDF Downloads 117