• Has the introduction to homogenous business management structures improved flexibility in Liverpool City Council?

      Webb, Paul; Malloy, Bill (University of ChesterLiverpool City Council, 2010-06)
      May 2010 saw the emergence of a hung parliament from the general elections. The public had exercised their right to vote and made their decision. It is now the duty of the elected members of parliament to form a government that will govern in the interest of the country. With a mountainous financial burden hanging over the nation, it has never been more important for public sector organisations to deliver value for money and maximise performance. All political parties have indicated that there will be cuts in the public sector and have recognised that the public sector will have to shrink, yet still deliver essential services. This will involve a reshaping of the public sector, with fewer staff delivering services. It will require a more business oriented approach to service delivery with economies of scale and efficiency drives. It will require structural changes with multi-skilled staff delivering a more flexible approach to service delivery. Such a change has already taken place within Liverpool City Council. The old council service structures have been replaced with new business unit structures. But has the introduction of business units changed the way we work? Has it improved services? Has it improved the flexibility? In this study we shall consider the flexibility issue. We shall develop a flexibility measurement model and put the new structure to the test.
    • HbA1c, weight, quality of life and hypoglycaemia awareness after a structured education programme teaching carbohydrate counting and insulin dose adjustment

      Almiron-Roig, Eva; Ellis-Gowland, Julie (University of Chester, 2010-11)
      Objective - The primary aim was to assess the effects of Aintree Hospital’s ‘4-Step’ programme which teaches carbohydrate counting and insulin dose adjustment to patients with Type 1 diabetes, on HbA1c, Weight, Quality of life and Hypoglycaemia awareness. A secondary aim was to compare the effects of group education and one to one clinics in HbA1c, Weight, Quality of life and Hypoglycaemia awareness. Methods -All parameters were measured at baseline and four months later. HbA1c is measured by blood test, Quality of Life using the Problem Areas in Diabetes questionnaire and Hypoglycaemia Awareness using the ‘Symptom Awareness of Hypoglycaemia’ questionnaire. A convenience sampling technique was used whereby patient data was collected over a 6 month period from all patients who fit the criteria. Those excluded were patients with patients receiving nutritional support and those undertaking weight management programmes, those undergoing chemo/radiotherapy and those on renal dialysis. Fifty two sets of patient data were collected in total. All patients underwent either group or one-to-one clinic sessions. The programme was of four weeks duration and patients were followed up for repeat measurements three months after the programme. Where populations fit a normal ’Gaussian’ distribution parametric paired t-tests were chosen for statistical analysis. Where the population was found to be skewed, non- parametric Wilcoxon tests were used. Results - Following the programme overall HbA1c levels improved by 0.29% (p=0.008) with greater improvements occurring in those undertaking joint clinics (p=0.037) than groups (p=0.111). There was an overall weight loss of 0.5kg which did not reach statistical significance (p=0.100). However weight loss was greater in those attending group education (p=0.04) compared to those attending clinics (p=0.438). Quality of life scores improved by 11% overall (p=0.000) with group education being slightly more effective in achieving improvements (p=0.000) than group education (p=0.001). There was no change in symptoms of Hypoglycaemia awareness in the population as a whole (p=0.052) although as with HbA1c, those undergoing individual education had great improvements (p=0.046) compared to those in groups (p=0.409). Conclusions - The study has served to demonstrate the effectiveness of Aintree’s ‘4-Step’ programme in achieving key improvements in clinical and non-clinical aspects of patients’ diabetes care. While the improvement in HbA1c is beneficial, it is unclear whether this is sustained over time. Longer term follow-up and refresher education at intervals may increase the likelihood of sustained clinical benefits. Whilst weight loss was shown to be minimal, the study importantly demonstrates that the ‘4-Step’ programme does not lead to weight gain, an important finding when offering a programme enabling greater food freedom. Quality of Life improvements were highly significant with impressive improvements. However, future studies would benefit from including a more detailed analysis of the Quality of Life questionnaire. Whilst highlighting aspects which are most favourably influenced by the programme, this would also enable targeting of those aspects which demonstrate lower levels of satisfaction for future service provision. Hypoglycaemia Awareness did not improve, possibly due to the short study duration. Future evaluations may be better placed to measure frequency of hypoglycaemia for a more accurate assessment of the impact of the ‘4-Step’ programme on hypoglycaemic events.
    • A 'head’ of their time: The influence of phrenology on nineteenth-century literature

      Keep, Gemma A. (University of Chester, 2014)
      This dissertation assesses the impact of phrenology on nineteenth-century literature. It specifically focuses on texts by Mary Ann Evans, Charlotte Brontë, Florence Nightingale and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In the introduction, the popularity of phrenology will be established followed by the key phrenological principles which are mainly sourced from George Combe’s The Constitution of Man. The introduction focuses on providing context and evidence to demonstrate the applicability of this argument. In particular, this dissertation looks at women who used phrenology positively as evidence for their innate intellectual faculties. Chapter one analyses Mary Ann Evans’s Middlemarch through a phrenological lens, assessing how phrenology influenced her characterisation and views on patriarchal society. This chapter has a specific focus on Dorothea and her perceptions of her position as a woman and the idea that an active life and knowledge are masculine privileges. Chapter two demonstrates the influence of phrenology on Charlotte Brontë’s The Professor and Villette, focusing on the differences between the two protagonists and the influence of the gender assumptions in nineteenth-century society. Chapter three uses Andrew Combe’s Observations on Mental Derangement, Florence Nightingale’s ‘Cassandra’ and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ to demonstrate how phrenology highlighted the impact of passivity on women’s mental health. All chapters begin by establishing each author’s awareness of phrenology to provide context and creditability for the argument which follows in each chapter.
    • Health beliefs and behaviours amongst women at high risk of breast cancer: An in-depth interview study

      Barlow, Cheryl (University of Chester, 2009-10)
      Aims: This study aims to explore the health beliefs and the reasons for these beliefs amongst BRCA mutation carriers. Design: This study used a qualitative research design through one to one interviews. A semi structured interview guide was developed around the phenomenon being investigated. Data collection was through audio recordings of interviews. Tapes were transcribed verbatim. Transcriptions were coded for emerging themes using Framework Analysis. Elements of Discourse Analysis were also applied. Subjects: 20 women either BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers, affected or unaffected by breast cancer, or at a 50% risk of being a BRCA carrier. Findings: Genetic factors are perceived to be the strongest element when assessing breast cancer risk. Secondary factors quoted included a wide variety of other causes, environment, stress, diet, exercise and smoking. Participants were aware of their raised breast cancer risk. The majority of the group had made changes to their behaviour. The perceived benefits of these changes were, improved outcome if they did develop breast cancer in the future, positive effects on general health and ensuring that they had done whatever they could to reduce possible causes. Belief that a behaviour was a risk factor in the development of breast cancer was not always correlated with changes in that behaviour. Some individuals did not believe particular behaviours were risk factors yet still made changes to those behaviours. The majority of the group were willing to join future lifestyle based trials but were generally reluctant to be involved in drug based investigations. Conclusions: Despite the wide spread belief that their breast cancer risk was largely predetermined by genetic factors the group displayed strong motivation to find other ways to exercise control over their breast cancer risk and the possible outcome if breast cancer did occur. If clear causal links between behaviour and breast cancer occurrence can be proven for this specific population group, it may be expected that the group’s strong motivation to affect some control over their increased breast cancer risk would lead them to engage in this protective behaviour.
    • A heuristic study into spirituality in the counselling relationship

      Swinton, Valda; Kirk, Noel (University of Chester, 2011-10)
      Through a qualitative heuristic study (Moustakas (1990), four counsellors who identified with their spirituality, were interviewed to explore spirituality within the therapeutic relationship. Through reflexive processes, the experience of the author remained visible within the research, integrating personal and professional experience with that of the research participants. The literature review suggests that psychotherapeutic change both affects, and is affected by spiritual concerns. Transcripts of semi-structured interviews produced the data needed for analysis. The data was analysed and interpreted using Moustakas’ (1990) process. The research identifies three distinct themes, Connection, Transcendence/Mystical, and Definition. The growth of spiritual interest within the general population, and within psychotherapy, suggest that there is a need for counsellors to incorporate spirituality into the therapeutic relationship. Further research suggestions would be, to extend the theory and practice of psychotherapy by exploring the spiritual dimension of human development.
    • A Heuristic Study of Counsellors’ Understanding and Experience of the Nature of Shame and the Impact of Shame on Therapeutic Contact.

      Mintz, Rita; Carr, Antoinette (University of Chester, 2016-06)
      The aim of this qualitative heuristic research study was to provide insight into the lived experience of shame and the impact of shame on the therapeutic relationship. The experience of the researcher is found within the study, integrating her own experience with the personal accounts of the participants and the literature on shame. Semi-structured interviews were conducted using four experienced, qualified therapists who were grounded in their understanding of shame. A latent thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. As this was a heuristic study the researcher also kept a reflective journal throughout the process. The following five themes emerged: understanding of shame; physiology of shame; socially constructed aspects of shame, impact of shame and shame and therapy. Shame was found to be innately felt by humans with specific physical characteristics including blushing, downcast eyes and feeling small. The content of what is perceived as shameful can be culturally, gender and experientially specific. Shame is established as an intrinsic part of society in establishing norms and boundaries. However, excess of shame is indicated as a factor in P. T. S. D., mental health problems, social isolation and violence against self or others. In this study silence, negative self-talk and resistance were found to be both characteristic behaviour developed as defence against further shaming and combined with support, compassion and connection factors in reparative growth. There is potential for shame to cause a rupture in the therapeutic relationship. However, where shame is worked with in therapy it can be a source of therapeutic growth. Counsellor awareness of shame processes, self-regulation and self-care were indicated as important for working with shame to ensure modelling a grounded presence for the client. All four participants work on shame had influenced their choice of therapy as a career. However, none of the participants had received any training about shame during their initial training. The findings emphasised the need for including working with personal shame in both professional development and counselling training courses. This research supports previous research and provides opportunities for further research.
    • A heuristic study of the impact on the therapeutic relationship of counsellors who have chosen to experience a significant amount of contemplative silence in their lives

      Mintz, Rita; Humphreys, Marjorie R. (University of Liverpool (University College Chester), 2006-10)
      A heuristic investigation was undertaken in which four counsellors who live with a significant amount of chosen contemplative silence in their lives were interviewed in order to explore the impact, if any, that their way of life had on the therapeutic relationship. The in depth, open ended interviews took the form of the narrative enquiry. As the ‘bricoleur’ my analysis was based on an emergent design utilizing heuristic methodology. The literature search which revealed a paucity of previous material demonstrates that silence in the lives of counsellors enhances their way of being with clients, making them more self aware and able to relate at a deeper level. The interviews discovered that whilst there were a number of benefits to the counsellor, there were also some difficulties to address. The benefits were an increased self-awareness, relational depth, mindfulness and acceptance. The difficulties raised were that the subject of contemplation or meditation is a difficult area to verbalize, there is a reticence to be transparent about it, and that there are occasions when the fact that the counsellor has access to something that is not understood by the client this may impair the counselling relationship. Findings are presented in the form of individual depictions of each of the four co-researchers, a composite depiction and a creative synthesis. Further research would be beneficial to explore this phenomenon in more depth.
    • High intensity interval training, the best HIIT FITT: Literature review, systematic review and comparative analysis

      Fallows, Stephen; Morris, Mike; O'Loughlin, Nicola (University of Chester, 2016-09)
      Background - High-intensity interval training (HIIT) may be a viable approach to improving the health of the general population. The objective of this literature review was to investigate the current research available on HIIT, examining its evolution, and health benefits as well as the barriers that exist to this type of training. Conclusions - HIIT is a feasible and time-efficient approach for improving overall health indicators in the general adult population.
    • High-intensity intervals versus continuous endurance for weight loss and fitness enhancement

      Barbara, Gianluca (University of Chester, 2015-09)
      The aim of this paper was to provide a broad review of the already established evidence detailing the efficacy of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in weight loss, body compositions and fitness. In doing so, a clearer picture would be formed on the importance of HIIT in health, longevity and the reduction of chronic disease. A comparison was made with continuous endurance exercise (CET) which is an already established form of exercise in the regard of the stipulated outcomes. A search was conducted using specific keywords and using the databases Google, EBSCO, SPORTDiscus, MEDLINE and the University of Chester portal, which gave access to supplementary articles which were deemed important for this research. A literature review was then conducted whereby established evidence of HIIT was highlighted in the form of a review (Section 3) and rationale for the research project was given in relation to the formulation of the chosen research question (Section 4).
    • Histomorphometric Analysis of Structural and Bone Remodeling Parameters in the Underloaded Ovine Calcaneus

      Power, Jon; Hughes, Stephen F.; Lister, Max (University of Chester, 2018-07-24)
      Osteoporosis is a disease that affects over three million people in the UK (NHS, 2016), and is categorized by a reduced bone mass leading to decreased bone strength and increased fragility. Clinical features of osteoporotic fractures include increased morbidity (physical impairment, reduced quality of life, pain), greater risk of new fractures and increased mortality (Geusens, 2008). During the lifetime of a typical human, bones are their strongest whilst a person is in their early-mid 20’s. As one ages bone loss begins to occur around the age of 35. One important causal factor leading to osteoporosis is lack of weight-bearing physical activity, which might impact the elderly human population at sites such as the femoral neck resulting in fragility fractures. Around 70,000-75,000 hip fractures occur in the UK each year, additionally every year an increase in incident rates has been observed partly due to an aging population (NHS, 2016). The relationship between a decreased mechanical load and resulting in reduced bone mass is well established. The structural and cellular consequences of mechanical underloading within a temporal animal model are yet to be fully explored. The objective of the current study was to determine the temporal structural changes occurring due to the influence of mechanical under-loading (experienced at day 0/baseline, week 4 and week 16) within an ovine skeletal model. Additionally, this experimental system provided insight into the cellular activity (in terms of bone remodeling) associated with a reduced mechanical loading environment. Within this model by week 16 of mechanical under-loading, an increase in cortical porosity (4%, p=0.017) within the dorsal region and reduced cortical thickness (19.7%, p=0.025) across all combined regions (as well as a regional decrease of 15% and 23% within the medial and ventral regions respectively) was observed. These changes indicating a reduction in bone mass were accompanied by increased cortical remodeling medially (58%;p=0.028) as evidenced by an increase in the proportion (%) of canals undergoing bone formation within that anatomical region. These data demonstrate a reduction in bone mass and increased bone remodeling associated with reduced mechanical load within this skeletal site. Additionally, the data presented here of decreased mechanical load appear to support the observed bone loss and elevated remodeling occurring within the osteoporotic human femoral neck. This investigation,therefore, validates the underloaded ovine calcaneus as a suitable experimental model to investigate the possible pathological events associated with disuse osteoporosis.
    • Home visit v telephone follow up in phase II cardiac rehabilitation following myocardial infarction: Effects on anxiety, depression, attendance at Phase III and visits to A&E or readmission

      Fallows, Stephen; McPaul, Janet (University of ChesterSt Heilier Hospital, Surrey, 2007-09)
      The effect of two interventions, telephone call and home visit, in Phase II cardiac rehabilitation were examined. Twenty-five patients were recruited during Phase I following myocardial infarction, twenty-one males and four females aged 33-87 (mean 67.2, SD13.9) years who were grouped as older (males >70, females >75) or younger. The study used a prospective independent groups design with random assignment to receiving a telephone call (usual treatment) or home visit in Phase II. Repeat measurements of anxiety and depression were conducted in Phase I and at the end of Phase III using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and attendance at Phase III, visits to A&E or readmission with cardiac symptoms were recorded. Results were analysed using SPSS (version 14) and median anxiety and depression scores for subgroups consisting of older and younger attenders and non-attenders of Phase III. After Phase III there were no significant differences in anxiety (p=0.615) or depression (p=0.085) scores although there was a trend towards lower scores for telephone call recipients. There was no significant difference between the intervention groups (p=0.513) or age groups (p=0.275) for attendance at Phase III although there was a trend towards younger and telephone call groups attending. There were no significant differences between attenders and non-attenders for anxiety after Phase III (p=0.937) but there was a marginal difference for depression (p=0.057) with lower scores for attenders. No patients were readmitted or attended A&E with cardiac symptoms during the study period. The study found that within subgroups attendance at Phase III appeared to be the factor that most affected anxiety and depression regardless of intervention or age group but the numbers in each subgroup were small and therefore these results had to be treated with caution.
    • Horse racing in nineteenth-century literature

      Heaton, Sarah; Wise, Jamie (University of Chester, 2013)
      The popularity of nineteenth-century horse racing is firmly established. Throughout the century it provided entertainment, amusement and employment across all the classes. Most scholarship focuses on horse racing in terms of leisure and the negotiation of class values, noting the shift from the sport as a predominantly aristocratic playground in the early part of the nineteenth century, to the commercialised arena of entertainment it became towards the end of the Victorian era. What is unexplored by both historical and literary critics however is the representation of horse racing in nineteenth-century literature. This dissertation attempts to fill that void. The carnival values of the racecourse, horse racing’s shift towards commercialism, concepts of class defined leisure and the sports inevitable association with gambling are all scrutinised with reference to both the historical context of horse racing and their inclusion in nineteenth-century fiction. George Moore’s Esther Waters, Émile Zola’s Nana and Charles Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop and ‘The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices’ are all closely analysed in terms of their representation of the racecourse carnival, racecourse space and infrastructure and working-class gambling. The aim of this dissertation is ultimately to provide an in depth reading of the few significant representations of horse racing in nineteenth-century literature and to shed light on why the popularity of the sport across the nineteenth century is not replicated by meaningful inclusion within the literature of the day.
    • How art therapists view the effects of and importance of various materials used in art therapy: An exploratory study using IPA

      Mason-Whitehead, Elizabeth; Johnson, Amy (University of Chester, 2013-03)
      I sought to understand the effects and implications of certain materials in art therapy. I was struck by the lack of research on this topic in contrast to the high volume of theory. I began to question the beliefs that art therapists had here. I aimed to ‘Explore ways in which art therapists view the effects and importance of various materials in art therapy’. I conducted semi-structured interviews with two art therapists, one male and one female. The interviews were analysed using IPA. Seven superordinate themes were identified; three of these were further investigated: ‘Reflecting upon art therapy research’, ‘The blurred role of the art therapist’ and ‘The importance of what is being communicated by use and selection of art materials’. The results validated the importance of research on materials; highlighted many ways in which clients may communicate with art materials and demonstrated the breadth of art therapists differing views on their role in relation to materials. The four themes not further investigated were: ‘The core box of materials’; ‘Striking a balance when providing materials to clients’, ‘The art therapists own preferences towards materials and implications of this’ and ‘Associations and benefits of particular art materials’. A wealth of rich information came to light; however this concluding research served mainly to identify the many avenues in which future research is necessary.
    • How do counsellors and psychotherapists understand diet and nutrition as part of the therapy process? A heuristic study

      Reeves, Andrew; Terry, Nicola (University of Chester, 2012-10)
      Expert opinion and information in the public domain suggest that an individual's dietary and nutritional intake may be importance factors in both physical and mental health. However, at this tome in the counselling and psychotherapy field, it is not common for therapists to address issues of dietary intake and nutrition with clients. Further to quantiative studies exploring therapists' inclusion of such factors in their work, this qualitative heuristic study explores the perceptions and beliefs of six qualified counsellors and psychotherapists and how they understand dietary and nutritional information to be relevant as part of the therapeutic process with clients. Data was gathered with semi-structed telephone interviews and analysed using interpretative phenomenologcal analysis. Findings suggests that the personal history and lifestyle of the therapist may be significant in such an approach, as well as the professional maturity of the therapist. Maintaining the therapetic relationship, therapist self-awareness and professional competence were also discussed. Implications for practice include the consideration of multidisciplinary working and developing appropriate training for practitioners in this area.
    • How does the exchange of money impact the therapeutic relationship in private practice? Counsellors’ perspectives: A small scale qualitative study.

      Mintz, Rita; Tonks, Lindsay J. (University of Chester, 2013-05)
      Whether we like it or not, money occupies a very important place in the lives of most of us: it symbolises all that we value in society and may even be a metaphor for love. But how does it feel to use it as the medium of exchange in the depth of human interaction we seek to achieve in the therapeutic relationship? This small scale qualitative research used interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore the perspectives on their experience of the impact of the fee transaction of six counsellors in private practice, using semi-structured interviews. Findings suggested that the relationship of the self of the therapist with money played a key part, often leading to a difficulty in reconciling the taking of money with the therapeutic role and this became most apparent in the physical transaction, particularly when it was necessary to ask for money. Participants felt it was important to feel valued, but also that they were providing value for money. The fee represents one of the least well explored elements of the therapeutic alliance. It is barely covered in training programs and therefore the potential comparison between charging for psychotherapy in private practice and prostitution is avoided. It appears that the taboo status that money occupies in society is also to be found in therapy rooms.
    • How optimal is the management of patients attending cardiac rehabilitation with coronary heart disease?

      Meadowcroft, Melanie (University of Chester, 2014)
      Although evidence exists to suggest that post MI mortality is reducing in parallel with advancements in cardiology practice, ‘optimal medical management’ and risk factor control of patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) has been referred to as being sub-optimal compared to that shown to be effective in clinical research. With numerous treatment methods available for managing CHD, continuous analysis is required to ascertain which treatment methods are most beneficial in reducing mortality and improving outcomes for patients following a diagnosis of CHD. Additionally, increasing numbers of patients commence medical therapy with surgical intervention deferred. It is therefore imperative that patient treatment is optimised through adherence to clinical guidelines. This paper aims to explore the current standpoint on treatment options for CHD whilst analysing the extent to which evidence based guidelines translate into clinical practice. This will include the discussion of patient compliance and community follow up and the impact these factors have on outcomes for patients with CHD. This will be established by first exploring the effectiveness of treatment methods for CHD before discussing the use of cardiac rehabilitation as a resource for further improving outcomes following treatment.
    • How relevant and effective is the information given in a phase III cardiac rehabilitation programme?

      Fallows, Stephen; Williams, Margaret R. (University of Chester, 2008-09)
      The purpose of this evaluation study was to consider the views of people attending a phase III cardiac rehabilitation programme in respect of the relevance of the information given in the educational component of the programme and to examine if that information can positively influence behaviour change. A review of the literature confirms that there is strong evidence attesting to the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation, despite this, important questions remain to be answered as to the value of the non-exercise element of the programme. Exploring patients’ views and preferences is considered a valid method of assessing the value of health care. A questionnaire incorporating both quantitative and qualitative components was used to collect data from a selection of participants attending the programme (n=54, mostly middle aged males). Descriptive statistics including frequencies and percentages were formulated to summarize and present the quantitative data, the responses to the qualitative data were thematically collated and analysed manually. Overall, the participants agreed the information they received in all of the educational talks was relevant to their needs. The findings also indicate that the participants were encouraged to make positive lifestyle changes, confirming the effectiveness of the information given as a means of instigating behavioural change.
    • How reliable are standardised behaviour tests and are they valid in predicting the suitability for use in police horses?

      Creighton, Emma; Perry, Catherine; Flentje, Rachel (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2008-09)
      Standardised behaviour tests have the potential to improve equine welfare by enabling the selection of horses suitable for a particular role. A range of tests are found in scientific literature which make such claims. However, with notable exceptions, authors have failed to establish the reliability of their tests or the validity of their claims. This study aimed to determine a set of reliable behaviour tests based on those reported in literature; and to test the validity of these as predictors of horses’ suitability as police horses. Reliability of response to a novel object, social isolation and handling tests was established by tests repeated at three week intervals on 33 horses. Behavioural responses were recorded post hoc to enable the full range of responses to be measured. There was some evidence that the horses habituated to static stimuli used in the tests, and the majority of the tests were at best moderately reliable, with only reactivity tests showing good or better reliability. Tests with moderately reliable results or results which could be explained by habituation, were included in the validity testing. This compared the horses’ responses to the behavioural tests with handlers’ ratings of key aspects of police horse performance. These subjective scales of suitability of police horses were developed from interviews with instructors and yard managers. The items were combined to develop a set of specific indices of police horse roles. Spearman’s rank order correlations were used to explore whether any relationships existed between the horses’ behavioural responses to the tests and subjective ratings of their suitability for their use. The results revealed eight moderate associations which were on the whole between horses’ responses to the reactivity tests (unexpected noise and sudden moving object) and the suitability scores. These findings suggest that standardised behavioural tests are not strongly reliable. The validity analysis indicated that either the tests used in this study did not serve as predictors of suitability for use, or that behavioural responses to standardised tests cannot be generalised to the wider challenges faced by these horses in their roles. However the reactivity tests did reveal stronger reliability and they were the only measures to show any association with the suitability scores, suggesting that reactivity tests may have some validity in measuring a horse’s suitability. Overall, the findings of this study cannot support claims made for these (or similar) tests to be valid predictors of a horse’s suitability for use.
    • How to catch a liar: The Effect of Communicative Channels on Accuracy in Detecting Deception in High-Stakes Situations

      Wright, Clea; Murphy, Molly (University of Chester, 2018)
      Much past research states people are generally quite poor at detecting deception, with meta-analytic findings reporting an average accuracy rating of 54% (Bond & DePaulo, 2006). However, the majority of these previous findings stem from the use of ‘low-stakes’ lies as stimuli. This current study used real-life video clips of a ‘high-stakes’ nature, investigating the effects of three different communicative channels on a novice lie detector’s ability to detect deception; an Audio-Visual channel, a Visual-Only channel and an Audio-Only channel. The effects on both participant accuracy and participant confidence scores were analysed, with further investigation into a potential relationship between participant accuracy and confidence. On reviewing previous literature, the current study hypothesized the following; participant accuracy in detecting deception across all modalities will score above the level of chance; the highest accuracy scores will be found within the Audio-Visual condition; the Audio-Only condition will produce higher levels of accuracy than those found in the Visual-Only condition; the Audio-Visual condition will produce the highest confidence ratings; no relationship will be found between overall levels of accuracy and confidence ratings reported. The current study also explored what behavioural cues are relied upon by novice lie detectors in their attempts to identify deception. No hypothesis was generated for the justification of decisions i.e. (the cues participants report using). However, information provided will help identify what behavioural cues members of the general public rely upon when detecting deception. A total of 60 participants were recruited for the current study, with an equal number of participants observing video-clips within each presentation modality (n=20). 8 video-clips were shown, all involving real-life ‘high-stakes’ situations i.e. an appeal for a missing relative. Half of the clips involved innocent individuals (telling the truth and not involved in the crime) and the other half were deceitful (involved in the crime and attempting to deceive observers). Overall, participant accuracy scored significantly above the level of chance (M=55, t(59)=2, p=0.05.). No statistically significant differences were found in participant accuracy and participant confidence between the three presentation modalities F(2,57)=.36, p=.70, n2=0.01; F(2, 57)=.58, p=.84, n2=0.02. Nor was a significant relationship observed between participant accuracy and participant confidence r(60)=.11, p=.43. Participants reported relying on behavioural cues involving ‘Nervous Behaviours’ and ‘Fake Emotion’ when determining a sender’s veracity. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
    • The human delusion: A discussion into the emergence of the posthuman through the deconstruction of the liberal humanist view of the self in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl

      Stephenson, William; Kelly, Sarah (University of Chester, 2013-09)
      This dissertation will serve to investigate the deconstruction of the liberal humanist vision of the ‘self’ through a posthumanist reading of the two dystopian novels Oryx and Crake and The Windup Girl by Margaret Atwood and Paolo Bacigalupi respectively. By engaging with these two novels, this dissertation will focus primarily on a posthumanist reading of the texts and analyse the perceived image of the nineteenth century ‘man’ and discuss the possible disappearance of this view of what it means to be a human being. The introduction will explain the differences between the liberal humanist subject, the transhumanist subject and the posthumanist subject. The main body of the dissertation will then discuss key issues surrounding these three subjects. By focusing on epistemic shifts, the blurring of boundaries between humans and animals and the end of a capitalistic model of living, this dissertation serves to prove how these two novels expose the threat that the liberal humanist subject poses to itself and highlights the inevitable move to the posthuman. This dissertation also serves to discuss the possibility of the human and posthuman being able to survive together.