Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Japanese Ancient Poem Review.

February 17, 2017








Japanese Ancient Poem Review.

















Japanese Ancient Poem Review

The Lament for Princess Asuka is an elegy that is divided into four meaningful parts. The first meaningful section is from Tobutorino to Karurebahayuru. Hitomaro describes Asuka river as having bridges on both the upper and the lower stream, and there was a gemweed which would wither and later thrives again. Hitomaro plays around with words when describing the princess who has just died. He narrates the life sequence of the gemweed that withers and then comes back to life thereby suggesting that the loss of life and the creation of new life is entwined with each other.

In the next meaningful section begins with the expression of a strong sense of grief. The author paints a narrative of betrayal and abandonment. Princess Asuka is portrayed as an individual who not only forgot her husband but also betrayed him. She had forgotten the life they had, the close cuddles they shared while entwining their hands. The author does not imply that the princess forgot her husband and betrayed him physically but indicates the impact the death of Princess Asuka had on her husband.

In the third meaningful section, the author depicts how princess Asuka and her husband were a harmonious couple, and Prince Osakabe lived through a painful experience with the death of the princess.  The loss of the princess not only affected the prince but the author suggests that it had an impact on the prince’s subjects. The author suggests that it would be best to preserve Princess Asuka’s name for an eternity. Additionally, the river shared a name with the princess; therefore, it was a resemblance of her. Hitomaro wrote the poem to not only console those who mourned the death of Princess Asuka and urge them to preserve the memories they had of her, he also wanted to appease the spirit of the princess.

From the first envoy, Hitomaro might be implying that there was foul play in Asuka’s death. He uses the word Shigarami to suggest that just like the way an object can be placed in a river to slow its flow, there was something that could be done to stop Asuka’s death. The author ignites inquiries into the death of Princess Asuka; did the princes’ die of illness? Was there a treatment that would have cured her? What caused her death? What actions lead to her death? In the poem, Hitomaro successfully inflames people’s imagination on the circumstances that lead to the Princess’s death.

In the second envoy, Hitomaro shifts between using the word Asu which refers to tomorrow and Princess’s name. He states that individuals who want to see her can seek to see her in “tomorrow”, but they know she cannot return tomorrow. Perhaps the author is referring to the deep sorrow that was ignited by the death of the princess. Grief is a process and although those who moan her, they cannot see her tomorrow because unlike the gemweed once an individual disease they do not come back.

The second elegy, Poems on the death of the Tribute Maiden from Kimi is also divided into four meaningful sections. The first meaningful part describes the beautiful nature of the maiden from Kibi. Hitomaro describes her beauty as the bright autumn mountains under sunshine. Her body is smooth and she has a physique like Simon Bamboo. In the second meaningful part, Hitomaro narrates how her life was fugacious like a morning dew or evening fog. In the third meaningful part, Hitomaro describes, how a sense of sorrow felt when he learned of her death although he only spotted her for a moment. Her lover, in whose arms she rest her head and slept close like a sword, must miss her extremely he wrote. Hitomaro concludes in the poem that the maiden’s life was like a morning dew or evening fog, she lost her life at a tender age.

The first envoy expresses strong grief about the maiden’s death. Makarimichi refers to the road where people go after their death while the Kwasenomichi is a shallow part of the river which people can use to pass through the river. Since the envoy stated Kawasenomichi of Makarimichi, it might indicate she committed suicide in the water.  In the second envoy, the author expresses regret when he remembers that one day, at Otsunmiya he spotted the maiden scarcely without attention. The idea that he might have had an opportunity to save her life makes him feel a sense of regret.

The third elegy poem is on seeing a dead man in the rocks on samie Island. The poem is divided into two meaningful sections: In the first half section, Hitomaro praises the Sanuki’s divine beauty. He describes that he has never gotten tired of seeing the gemweed like beautiful of Sanuki. Additionally, he mentions that for a very long time Sanuki is said to be a place of god’s face, therefore, it is considered a place of extraordinary beautiful. Hitomaro documents the beauty of the famous Sanuki’s ocean side; the ocean breeze, surges, the sea where individuals could hunt whale and the islands surrounding it.

The latter half section begins with applauding Samie Island its name and scenery. Then the author describes seeing the dead body at the reef coast of Samie. He expresses the amount of grief he felt for the man who died in obscurity. In his era, we can assume that compared to the modern era there were a lot of people who were found dead on the streets. From the narrative, Hitomaro felt a sense of sympathy and concern for the dead man.

In the first envoy, from his imagination Hitomaro describes a scene of a happy life of the deceased must have lived. The author states that if the dead man were alive, he would have picked up hard and eats it together with his wife.  In the second envoy, Hitomaro depicts a view of the dead body and desires to console the dead man’s soul, from his expression the reader feels like he is experiencing what the author is depicting in the narrative.


  1. What roles does nature play in all three elegies?

In the elegies nature is used to offer an insight into the personalities of different characters, for instance, Princess Asuka is described as a person who resembled the gemweed. Therefore, she was not the kind of person who would always find a way to thrive. In the second elegy, the maiden is described as beautiful as the autumn mountains while the third elegy focuses on the beautiful scenery of the Samie Island which has a great comparison with the sad and lonely deaths in the street.

  1. Compare how Hitomaro effectively uses “river” for the first two elegies.

In the first elegy, the river is used as a reference to princess Asuka. It is used to offer an explanation on the princess’s beauty and an example of how her death would have been stopped. In the second elegy, the river is described as a place that would have facilitated the death of the maiden. Unlike the first elegy where the river is a symbol of a thriving life, in the second elegy, it is a symbol of death and loss.

  1. Hitomaro seemingly prefers to use “gemweed” to express something positive about life or relationships. Please describe how he uses gemweed to metaphor those.

According to Hitomaro gemweed is a plant that thrives even after it has withered. The plant’s beauty and resilience are used by the poet to describe people, their actions, and their personalities. Princess Asuka, for instance, is described as beautiful but unlike the gemweed her death will not lead to rebirth.

  1. What effect did Hitomaro aim due to input very implying something like the expression in envoys?

Hitomaro focuses on the impact of death on those who are left behind by the deceased. Of Princess Asuka’s death he documents that with every passing day those who mourn the death of the princess have to make peace with the fact that she will not return tomorrow. Grief is a continuous process and with each passing day those who grieve have to make peace with the pain of the loss. In the second and third elegies Hitomaro documents the death of someone he barely knew and a dead man he did not know. Of the maiden he barely knew, he laments on her death and wonders what he could have done to save her. In the final elegy, he reflects on the possible life the deceased had and feels an overwhelming sense of loss even though he did not know the dead man.


Ancient Japanese Poem Review

February 17, 2017







Ancient Japanese Poem Review





Ancient Japanese Poem Review

Crying Tears of Blood

Summary and Analysis

This poem is a clear allusion to the commemoration of the death of a loved one. Through the poem, the author is expressing sorrow about the loss of his wife. The opening of the poem illustrates that the relationship between the two lovers was secretivewhich madeit hard for them to meet. The speaker received news about his wife’s death through “the messenger of the catalpa gem.”The messenger’s news was disappointing and heart-breaking and triggered unwanted emotions.The major theme of the poem is love augmented by loss and separation. The expressions used in the poem give the reader a sense of pain felt by the speaker. It was hard for him to receive the bad news. Although the agent was trusted, the speaker was in denial and “could not bear to listen to his words.” To satisfy the thousandfold longing, he decided to look for her in Karu Market. This poem has embodied the strength of feeling and sincerity. The speaker talks of how he searched for indications that his wife was still alive. The poem emphasizes on thetheme of loss and pain. The speaker states, “There was no one who resembled her.” He was in denial of the death of his wife and expressed deep emotions of loss.

Envoy Analysis

The envoys have summarized poet’s message. The first envoy conveys carefully worded messages about the pain and confusion of the speaker. It talks about how the speaker struggled to look for his wife: “I want to search for my sister who is lost.” The envoy shows how the speaker cannot make sense of the death of his wife. He was in denial of the whole situation and needed closure. The envoy has closed with expressive of sorrow and despair felt by the speaker due to the death of his wife.

The second envoy has utilized imagery to illustrate the sorrow and grief caused by the loss. The words of the messenger about the death of the speaker’s wife were unforgettable. They brought back memories of the days they met. The envoy describes how the speaker mourns over the death of his wife. It brings about the concept of morose and reminiscent and captures on the theme of pain and loss. Together, the two envoys create an earnest and mournful poem which conveys to the reader about the events that happened when the speaker received the bad news.

Iwami Poems

This poem is made up of two long poems that convey the same theme.

The First Poem

Summary and Analysis

The first poem sets an introduction to the woman the author has written about. The author has introduced the women using metaphors and imageries. He has referred her as a pun between the seaweedand the girl “drawing” close to a man in sleep. The author talks about the experience of partying from his wife in Iwami. This poem is characterized by a profound personal lyricism. It has used imageries like dew, mountains and summer grass to describe the difficulty of leaving his wife. He illustrates, “may these mountains bow down” as an indication that the distance between them was growing, and he wanted to see her wife, but nature was blocking this attempt.



Envoy Analysis

This poem has two envoys. The first envoy illustrates how it was difficult for the speaker to leave his wife. The speaker wonders whether his wife could still see him wave through the gaps in the trees. This envoy conveys separation and the difficulty it brings. The speaker expresses sorrow caused by the separation from his wife.

The second envoy summarizes the emotions the speaker experiences as a result of the separation. He longs for his wife whom he left behind. From the envoy, it is clear that the speaker was not ready to live, it was only circumstances that forced him to go, and if he had an option, he could have stayed. The envoy expresses a sense of heartbreak as a result of loving someone who you must bid farewell.

The Second Poem

Summary and Analysis

The second poem has introduced the sleeping girl. The speaker uses imagery to describe the feeling of love, “like deep-sea weed was deep within my thoughts.” Yet, he had to leave his wife behind which was hard to do. He thought he was a man of courage, but emotions overwhelmed him which caused him to tear up. The poem has used imagery such as seas, rocks, storms and fallen scarlet to express sadness and pain of separation. The speaker has a great love for his woman, but it saddens him to part from her.

Envoy Analysis

The first envoy expresses how the speakerleft the village of her wife in a rush. He feels that the separation came fast before they could spend more time together. The envoy creates a fervent lyrical expression that informs the reader that the speakers only spend a short time with his wife before he was forced to leave.

The second envoy expresses the desire of the speaker to see her wife wave farewell which was impossible due to the falling leaves. The envoy is written in a concrete language filled with metaphors which make it sound mysterious. It expresses the emotions felt by the speaker about the distance between him and his wife.

Poem Questions

  1. What is the difference between the tones used in the first and the second poem discussed above?
  2. Compare and contrast the two poems above. How are they similar? And how are they different regarding tone, the imageries used, the organization of words, etc.?
  3. The major feature of Ancient Japanese Poems like the Iwami poem is their reliance on imagery, similes, and symbolism. Identify the imageries, and symbols usedin the above poems.

Hsiao-hsiao by Shen Ts’ung-wen Name

February 17, 2017









Hsiao-hsiao by Shen Ts’ung-wen




Hsiao-hsiao by Shen Ts’ung-wen

Hsiao-hsiao is a literary piece by Shen Ts’ung-wen who is renowned for his classical Chinese writing styles. Itfocuses on the traditional Chinese concept of marriage. It highlights the traditional rituals that were effected during unions between two individuals. Moreover, the work analyzes some of the queer observations that were made on these traditional setups. For instance, the author indicates that some marital setups involved young boys getting married to relatively older women within the rural settings. This pragmatic aspect of child marriage can be contrasted to the contemporary setups where marriages re based on liberal rights and appreciation of the privileges and interests of the minors. In the Hsiao-Hsiao setup, however, child marriages were relatively common and acceptable to the elderly.Hsiao-hsiaoaffirms that child marriages blurred hopes of many but could be overcome through resilience and continued hope.

The author indicates that some of the girls who were subjected to child marriages did not approve of their predicaments. They could hardly come to terms with the fact that they were being separated from their parents, especially mothers, and that they will be other people’s parents in the near future. Many resorted to sobbing as though appealing for mercy, only to encounter unforgiving and barbaric social environments that did not acknowledge the rights of the minors. In addition, the story indicates that the children were compelled to wear new types of attire made in green to conform to the traditional concepts on marriage. Contrary to the modern setups that are anchored on the belief of the weddings as platforms for joy and happiness, the traditional Chinese marriages depicted in Hsiao-hsiao were characterized by somber mood, especially for the brides who were beginning journeys through new worlds of uncertainties.

Besides young girls marrying elderly men, young boys were also not left behind in the queer forms of wedding that were predominant in the Chinese society. The author reflects on young boys being compelled to marry old women for the benefit of their families. Some of the gains that the families of the young grooms accessed through the queer marriages included free labor force and protection of ancestral lineages. This came to pass when the boy-husband came of age to fertilize their older wives to sire sons. On the other hand, the proponents of the marriages between the young boys and much older girls believed that the boy-husbands would access better maternal care.

Shen Ts’ung-wen also indicates that the older girls who were chained to the traditional marriages never stopped dreaming. Through Hsiao-hsiao, the author reflects on an older girl who understands that her world has definitely come to a stop and that she may not be able to realize some of her fundamental dreams in life. However, she still harbors dreams and hopes through her son. She also understands that she has to wait for him to come of age to sire for him a son. She was also forced to wait for long before learning of her later to be co-wed who was much younger than her.

At the time of marriage, Hsiao-hsiao was eleven. It is perplexing that she was married off to a two-year old who barely understood what they wanted in life. While the husband is often expected to be the head of the house and should thus be more cognitively developed and mature compared to the bride, the custom presented by the author reflect on a society that belittles women and equates them to toddlers. It could be interpreted to mean that Hsiao-hsiao had no control over the two-year old. Instead, she was expected to do everything demanded of her by the minor. The author indicates that one of her major duties was to ensure that “Sony played under the willow tree” and that he got a kiss on his little face whenever necessary (p.227). When she eventually bares a son for his boy-husband, she hope that her cut dreams would come true through him and that he will not be chained to the degenerative cultural dynamics.

Hsiao-hsiao’s first son is born out of an illicit relationship with Motley. The author indicates that he is also subjected to the traditional cultural dynamics. He is married at twelve to a 16-year old girl who was more mature than him. The aim was to ensure that the free labor was continuously supplied to the family of the little boy. Therefore, Hsiao is close to losing hope but still believes that her infant son may be able to break the cultural chain. She sings to her in low tones, hoping that he will be free to marry the co-eds (p.236). She admires their ways of life and believes that their civilization should be embraced by her community.

Based on the story, the co-eds can be viewed as symbols for hope and freedom. The enslaved older girl sees them as civilized persons who present an opportunity to break from the retrogressive culture. Hsiao-hsiao shares that Motley was able to successfully escape from the village with the co-eds and thus sees their presence in the community as a prime time to escape (p.234). Even though she is not able to accomplish her mission of accessing freedom, she still believes that marrying the co-eds is a prime opportunity for her infant to break away from the barbaric culture. The author concludes by hinting at a dying custom that is slowly being swept away with the civilization of the 20th century.

In conclusion, the work shows that many children were oppressed and denied the fundamental aspect of freedom in making marital choices. The work also indicates that many of the girls struggled to cope with the new duties and were literary chained to dynamic cycles that deprived them of happiness. Hsiao-hsiao, however, shows that hope and perseverance is instrumental in overcoming such cultural and social challenges. The work confirms that the one should be ready to seize opportunities when they present if they are to overcome oppressive cultural values. It also shows that patience and sustained hope should be at the epicenter of one’s quest to unchain themselves and future generations from the cultural norms.

Social Cognition

February 17, 2017










Social Cognition


Institutional Affiliation


















PSYC/ORGS 404 Portfolio


Each item should be treated as a short essay question. Your answer should rarely exceed 200 words; 120-200 words should be your target range. Occasionally, an item might have additional instructions that are specific to it, so read carefully. As this is an MSWord document, your best bet is to simply rename the document so that your last name is prominent (e.g., “smithportfolio.docx”) and put your responses below each question. We begin with the first two chapters. The portfolio will grow as we add chapters and will be complete in a few days (mid-Sep). We are all masters of cut and paste these days, so this should not be much of a problem.






  1. Describe two ways in which social cognition and object cognition differ.


Social cognition concentrates on how individuals store, process, and apply information concerning other people as well as social situations. The process involves four stages, namely encoding, storage, retrieval, and processing respectively. On the other hand, object cognition focuses on how people perceive, process, and apply pieces of information concerning non-human objects in their social surroundings. It entails two schemas, namely salience and priming. The later spells out the prior experience with the object while the former defines how the object stands out.Besides, social cognition involves interaction with the people to create a perception about them, whereas object cognition encompasses observation of the specific objectwith a view to making something out of it.


  1. In what ways was the early behaviorist approach to psychology incompatible with the study of cognition? What were some challenges to the behaviorists’ approach?


The early behaviorist approach to psychology mostly pursued empiricism, which was considered incompatible with the notion of internal mental conditions. Secondly, at the dawn of the 20th century, the behaviorist approach to psychology largely employed pragmatism, which drew mostly on physical concepts to expatiate phenomena such as thought and memory, which made it incompatible with the study of cognition. On the same note, some of the challenges the behaviorists like J.B Watson faced was the fact that pragmatism could not produce any appropriate psychology of the thought and action of human beings. The slow development of computer science also hindered the distinction between the computational role of computers and human thought with a view to unearthing newer concepts in psychological thought.


  1. Do people around the world have similar cognitive processes? Use specific examples.


People around the world have the same baseline cognitive processes, namely encoding, storage, retrieval, and processing. However, these processes, in each person, are highly influenced by the environment in which they live or their social context. The primary function of the social context is to provide the requisite symbols of representation as well aslinguistic expression.Education also influences the cognitive processes in people. For example, language acquisition is similar for people in the same environment and with the same educational experience, while it differs for two people in different social and educational contexts.Contextually, the choices of the teachers have a greater impact on the choices of the students, which, since the students learn under the same teacher, they tend to have similar cognitive processes that explain the similarity in their choices.






  1. In fewer than 200 words, what is the difference between automatic and controlled processing? Answer either this question (1) or the next question (2), not both.


Controlled processingrequires strict attention and deliberate investment of effort in a particular situation. A person is entirely conscious of the action and has to think about each decision he or she is about to make concerning the action. The fact that it requires the use of numerous mental resources makes it relatively slower and serial since each thought is processed independently. On the other hand, automatic processing necessitatesneither attention nor putting effort in the situation. It occurs independent of human thought and involves parallel and quick processing of items side-by-side. Automatic processing can be builtover time through practice. For instance, an experienced driver can drive and sing simultaneously without getting distracted because automatic processing requires a few mental resources, and can process more than one itemsimultaneously.


  1. Describe an example of an intentional thought and a different example of an unintentional thought, and explain the difference. Is it possible for an intentional thought to be automatic? Why or why not?


An intentional thought involves what a person actively and deliberately decides to think about an object or situation. For instance,even though relationship partners are fully cognizant of the consequences of cheating, they may decide to engage in the behavioreither way.Such thoughts and the subsequent actions may be preceded by weakness in their partners that they can compensate through cheating. On the other hand, unintentional thought, for instance, stepping on ants one did not see, involvesthe thoughts that a person did not predetermine. Such thoughts happen in an instance, without a predetermining factor. When stepping on the ants, the person did not see them, thus did not decide whether to step on them or not. It is possible for intentional thoughts to become automatic. When one does something for a long time, it becomes a part of his or her behavior and finds it hard to forego the thoughts, thereby becominga routine.


  1. In person perception, are threat-related stimuli more likely to be encoded deliberately or automatically? Use examples to back up your claim.


Threat-relatedstimuli are highly likely to be encoded automatically. Automaticity involves the manipulation of a person’s internal psychological processes by the stimuli in the external surroundings. On that note, threat-related stimuli can be automatically encoded by particular social representations. For example, the physical features of a person such as gender or age-relatedfeatures can activate associated group stereotypes by default, thus inform a person’s constant reaction in the presence of such features. In particular, given the previous experience, the ‘skin color’ of a black person may make the personseem a threat to a white counterpart.Threat stimuli encoding comes from automatic triggering by social representations.


  1. Give an example of a goal-directed automatic process and describe why such processes are both automatic and controlled. (See page 38–40)


An example of a goal-directed automatic process would be driving a car.To achieve this goal, a person has to set the goal deliberately, lay down the framework, and set the associated objectives concerning reaching the destination of their driving. On the same note, especially with prolonged practice, a person does not need to set any objectives. At this point, they can even operate the car without looking ahead for some time, especially if they are driving on a familiar course. This exemplifies a goal-directed process, which is both controlled and automatic. The automaticity of this process, however, depends on other factors such as the level of experience and the dynamics of the goal such as driving, the nature of the terrain and the person’s exposure to the road, and mastery of his or her car.


  1. Describe three recent views of consciousness as described by cognitive psychologists. (See page 43–5)


The first view stems from Graziano and Kastner’s 2011 ‘attention schema,’ which holds that certain cortical areas, mostly in thetemporo-parietal junction and superior temporal sulcus are used in the building of consciousness as well as its distribution to others.Another view by Rodolfo Llinas states that consciousness is a product of repetitive thalamo-cortical resonance. In this case, the cognitive psychologist is of the view that content andcentromedial thalamus contextinteract through synchronous oscillations in the gamma band frequency.Dieter Vaitl supposes that there are states of the brain,which involve the absence of consciousness such as death, dreamless sleep, and coma.


  1. If you were a supervisor in an organization, what are the two most important things you covered in this chapter, and how might you apply them. If you see yourself as a practitioner or researcher in the future, you may reinterpret this question to fit one of those situations.


The twomost important things I covered in this chapter include processing techniques and thought patterns. I uncovered the subtle differences between automatic and controlled processes as well as intentional and unintentional thought patterns. In particular, I will apply the covered tenets of automatic and controlled processing to achieve my career and professional goals. A combined application of both controlled and automatic processingas well as their specific features is vital in informing the nature of goal-oriented decisions that I will make, especially in the formulation of the framework to succeed in the goal. Similarly, intentional and unintentional thinking will be used to shape my thoughts concerning every situation and environment of practice in a manner that benefits my career and improves my relationship with co-workers. Finally, the two elements will be applied in different areas to improve my job performance.





  1. Discuss the central difference between the properties of salience and vividness of a given stimulus. Based on this difference, why might salience and vividness have such different effects on attention? (See page 66–74)


Salience defines the ease of remembrance of a given stimulus in the sense that some stimuli are easy to remember in comparison to the others. It describes the likelihood that a stimulus may appear causal whereas, vividnessspells out how easily a stimulus is recalled by a person. In this sense, salient stimuli may be overestimated given they are easily remembered. Thus, a person may focus most of their attentionto such stimuli. Vividness, on the other hand,affectsattention differently in the sense that vivid stimuli capture attention only momentarilywith a view to attaining persuasion, but can be easily forgotten after the goal is met.


  1. As we have seen, the word ‘salience’ has a complexity that is sometimes under-appreciated. Describe a real-world situation or event that would help you explain what salience is to a friend, and then, of course, explain it.


When one is driving, they pass through different spots on their way to the destination. However, in one of the cases, one may encounter or witness a grisly road accident in one of the spots along the road. Correspondingly, when the same person will be approaching the accident spot next time, they will automatically slow down or exercise utmost caution based on what transpired earlier. The person may be driving carelessly along the entire road, but the previous site of the accident. The accident, thus, becomes a stimulus that makes the spot and the events easy to remember and unforgettable. They may not necessarily remember other points along the way, but will hardly forget the area where the accident occurred.


  1. Essay Question: Describe an experiment that showed priming effects. Select one of the ones mentioned in the chapter. Were the participants conscious or unconscious of the effects? Why did the researchers use the methods they did? What was found?


In one of the experiments, Bargh and colleagues primed participants with words like wrinkle and forgetful. The participants were unconscious of the effects. The researchers found that the participants walked out relatively slowly outside the testing booth.


  1. Explain why describing someone’s features can inhibit later recognition of the person being described. What parts of the brain are involved?

During the description, there may be more items than the designated seven items of information for short-termmemory. Thus, some of the critical information will be lost with time.Parts of the brain involved include temporal lobe and Corpus callosum.


  1. If you were a supervisor in an organization, what are the two most important things you covered in this chapter, and how might you apply them. If you see yourself as a practitioner or researcher in the future, you may reinterpret this question to fit one of those situations.


As a practitioner, I have learned the differences between vividness and salience as well as the memory aspects. In my practice, I will apply these, for instance, when interviewing a witness to help in making the final decision after incorporating these aspects.




  1. Describe an example of a “pure” exemplar-based process, and a separate example of a pure prototype-based process. Use these examples to describe one strength and one weakness of each type of model. (See discussion of integration, page 110)


One of the pure exemplar-based processesinvolves a person who escaped death by a whisker after being involved in the particular instance. A pure prototype-based process is illustrated by a similar case, but this time, the person simply witnessed the situation, say an accident, happen without being involved.Regarding strength, prototype-based processes use abstract over examples, and exemplary processes remember instances. Regarding weaknesses, prototypes changewith time, and, in exemplar-based processes, people would format by domain rather than nest the hierarchies.


  1. What is another name for category-driven processes, and what is another name for data-driven processes? Explain the main difference between these types of cognition, using an example if needed. (See discussion on pages 104–5)


Category driven processes are also known as schema, whereas data-driven processes are also called bottom-up or stimulus-driven processes. The main difference is that whilethe category-driven perceptual processes are highly influenced by a person’s experience, data-driven processes are driven by stimuli.


  1. How can categorical processing contribute to the phenomenon of “false memories”?


There is a possibility that people may store the general prototype and induce the new information in the existing prototype. In this manner, they may recall information that is consistent with the category that never existed in the prototype. This contributes to ‘false memories.’


  1. Describe the effect of embodiment on emotions and evaluations. Provide three empirical examples (naming specific researchers).

Embodiment underpins the processing of social informationin both direct perceptions in the course of interaction, and in cases that lack a social objectcommonly known as offline cognition. For example, when people are physically connected or verbally closer, they literally feel warmer.


  1. If you were a supervisor in an organization, what are the two most important things you covered in this chapter, and how might you apply them. If you see yourself as a practitioner or researcher in the future, you may reinterpret this question to fit one of those situations.


The two most important things covered in this chapter include social categories and embodiment. I will apply in tailoring my expectations of people and situations, both in social and physical scenarios. In this manner, I will avoid disappointments that result from higher expectation or lower expectations.




  1. Give an example of a person’s need for self-improvement and a different example of a person’s need for self-enhancement. How do these motives differ in their probable outcomes?


An example of a person’s need for self-improvement is upward social mobility while an example of a need for self-enhancement includes ethical standards that form part of requirements for a particular profession. Self-improvement motivesmake someone feelat par with the society while self-enhancement motives result in outcomes thatmake a person feel comfortable with themselves, for instance, through higher self-esteem.


  1. What is meant by the “desire for a consistent self”? What are some of the ways in which people attempt to fulfill this desire?


‘Desire for a consistent self’ describes a situation where a person is at par with respect to both their goals and members of the society concerning such aspects as social class and cultural elements. People attempt to fulfill this desire through self-assessment, self-presentation, self-enhancement, and self-improvement.


  1. What is meant by “social projection”? What are some of the motives and mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, and what are some of the consequences?


Social projection refers to a tendency of a person comparing their traits, attitudes, social status, and problems with those of the other members of the society. The phenomenon is motivated by one feeling inadequate in comparison with others, or socially backward. The major consequences associated with social projection include low self-esteem and impeded goal attainment.


  1. Describe the likely difference in conceptions of the self for a child growing up in an independent culture versus one growing up in an interdependent culture.


In an independent culture, the child would likely perceive and express their unique individual qualities while in interdependent cultures, a child’s perception would be influenced by social and situational factors.


  1. Describe three benefits of self-enhancement. Cite, or generate, an example for each.


Self-enhancement may raise a person’s self-esteem and boosts their confidence, for instance, in a case a person has enhanced their looks. Secondly, it may lead to better job performance, for instance, a person who feels better about themselves will be motivated to do more in such areas as their profession. Finally, self-enhancement promotes emotional and spiritual wellbeing in the sense that such people are receptive to negative criticism; for example, a person who feels good about himself or herself is highly likely to dismiss naysayers and prevent the negativity from affecting their wellbeing.


  1. If you were a supervisor in an organization, what are the two most important things you covered in this chapter, and how might you apply them. If you see yourself as a practitioner or researcher in the future, you may reinterpret this question to fit one of those situations.


I have learned the difference between self-improvement and self-enhancement, and the means to accomplish both of them. As a practitioner, these two aspects are critical in the achievement of my professional and social goals. I will apply these in determining the best ways to improve my individual and societal status through ways that facilitate upward social mobility, as well as in overcoming the associated challenges.




  1. Is the self-centered bias the same as a self-serving attributional bias? Discuss the similarities and differences. (See pages 174–5)


No.Self-centered bias involves a person taking more credit than they deserve for an outcome that involved several people, whereas self-serving biasdescribes the tendency of a person to credit themselves for their successes but blame their failures on external factors.However, in both cases, the conflict occurs between the person and their environment as determinants of personal progress.Additionally, both cases involve a person being inconsiderate of the facts with a view to making themselves feel better.


  1. When people observe their own behavior, sometimes they infer dispositions about themselves, but sometimes they implicate the situation. What influences the type of attribution people make about themselves? (See discussions about Self Perceptiontheory (page 163), fundamental attribution error (pages 169–71) and actor-observer bias (pages 171–2).


Factors that influence the type of attribution include their social perception, the fundamental attribution error that leads to idiosyncratic traits, false polarization effect, and hostile mediator effects. Overall, naivety plays a major role in influencingthe type of attribution thatpeople make about themselves.


  1. What is meant by the “correspondence bias”? Give an example. What are some conditions that might exaggerate or mitigate this bias?


Correspondence bias denotes the tendency of a person to make inferences about their enduring and distinctive dispositions based on behaviors whose explanations are possible given the situations of occurrence. For example, a person walks cautiously down a slippery path in the rain but ends up falling. After the ordeal, the traveler increases their level of care, but then notices a person slipping and falling on the same path. The first traveler then concludes that the person who fell after them is clumsy. Possible exaggerating or mitigating factors includethe just-world phenomenon, silence of the actor, lack of effortful adjustment, and culture.



  1. Kelley suggested that consensus, consistency, and distinctiveness information (to the degree they are known) help us make judgments about the causes of behavior. Create an example that illustrates how the 3 interact to produce attributional conclusions.


Consider this example: “Erick laughs at his brother.” Here, the outcome results from the person (Erick), the stimulus (the brother’s actions), the circumstance (the brother’s behavior at that time) or a combination of all these elements. If Erick is the only one in the room laughing at the brother (low consensus), he laughs at his brother in different situations (high consistency), and he laughs at other people besides his brother (low distinctiveness), then, the effect will come out as stemming from Erick himself.This results in personal attribution.


  1. If you were a supervisor in an organization, what are the two most important things you covered in this chapter, and how might you apply them. If you see yourself as a practitioner or researcher in the future, you may reinterpret this question to fit one of those situations.


I have covered self-serving and self-centered attribution biases. I will apply this in my supervision capacity to evaluate the situation and improve accuracy in performing my mandates and learn the roots of specific behavior from the people I supervise.





  1. Describe the situations in which people are most likely to use heuristics, versus using more systematic processing. If it were possible to reduce people’s reliance on heuristics, would this be beneficial for the social perceiver? (See section on when we use heuristics, pages 198–9)


People use heuristics when they perceive a task as unimportant and less deserving of their complete input.The use of heuristics is intended to save online capacity for the judgments that a person considers more significant. Besides, people are more likely to use heuristicswhen the stakes of the task are low. People also use heuristics to reduce the effort consumed by decision-making. Reducing the use of heuristics will be beneficial for the social perceiver in that it will increase the efficiency of performing a task and improve the likelihood of a positive outcome.


  1. Is it possible to learn from the past? Discuss what happens when people make judgments based on hindsight, and whether this is generally a useful strategy. (See section on hindsight, pages 201–3)


It is possible to learn from the past only in circumstances, especially when there is a clear pattern of events leading up to the current one. However, when people base most of their judgments on hindsight, there is a high likelihood of hindsight bias, which invalidates the use of this strategy. Hindsight bias distorts memory leading to false theoretical conclusions.


  1. What do we mean when we say that people are not very good at using base rate information? When are they more or less likely to use it?


People do not make use of consensus information concerning how other people reacted in similar circumstances, instead, resort to dispositional attributions, which are relatively simpler. They are less likely to use the base rate (consensus) information in situations involving probabilistic data.


  1. Give an example of an “illusory correlation,” and an example a conjunction fallacy. (Answer could be as short as a sentence or two for each.)


Illusory correlation: A dog bites a person; the person then confesses their hatred for all dogs since they all bite.

Conjunction fallacy: When a person says that an out-of-stock commodity is likely to be brought in today, then they say next week and month; then it is clear that the items may not be in sooner.


  1. How does temporal or spatial distance change judgments and decision? Describe this change.


Temporal and spatial distance, for instance, to imaginary future events manipulates a person’s evaluative representation of the events such that the greater the proximity, the higher the likelihood of one conceptualizing the events as a set of some abstract ideas.


  1. If you were a supervisor in an organization, what are the two most important things you covered in this chapter, and how might you apply them. If you see yourself as a practitioner or researcher in the future, you may reinterpret this question to fit one of those situations.

I have covered heuristics and hindsight bias. Correspondingly, I will apply heuristics in prioritizing my tasks, and apply hindsight bias in evaluating my present choices vis-à-vis the past happenings.




  1. Should we allow computers to make social inferences for us? Why or why not (or, under which circumstances, and why)? (see pages 216–8 on decision rules, linear models)


No. Computers lack certain critical aspects that make them unsuitable as social agents. First, they are non-intentional agents. Second, computers lack mental states since they have no minds. Computers can only be used for social inference in circumstances that involvecomparisons like during social decision-making research works and studies.


  1. Briefly describe the “law of large numbers.” In what ways do people understand, or misunderstand, its implications? How does this relate to sample selection? Briefly discuss some of the implications for psychological research.


The Law of large numbers describes a scenario where frequencies of events that are highly likely to occur simultaneously even out when the trials are performed severally. Most people understand or misconstrue the law to mean that the higher the number of frequencies one conducts an experiment, the higher the chance of a balancing outcome for the odds. Implications for psychological research include a guarantee of credible outcomes after averaging random outcomes. It also implies that a large number of observations will be required for psychology research activities using this method.


  1. Name and describe three reasons why social inference often fails to match normative models.


Social inference heavily depends on schemas, thus, are highly likely to overlook useful information (clinical judgment). Additionally, during inferencing, a person may be hoodwinked by small samples that do not really represent a larger population (law of large numbers), and examples.Finally, social inference makes use of heuristics, which negatively influence the overall theoretical outcome.


  1. In a controversial 1977 paper, Nisbett and Wilson made a certain claim about cognitive processes. Describe the claim and the empirical evidence. Do you agree with the authors? Describe why or why not in 2–3 sentences.


Nisbett and Wilson made a claim against the reliability and directness of introspection. They reported that, in certain studies, respondents verbally offered explanations as to why they preferred particular things, or how they became cognizant of their preferences.Thus, Nisbett and Wilson concluded that the participants had little or completely no introspective access to higher order cognitive processes. I do not entirely agree with the authors since when people are mandated to self-report on mental processes, they may not be able to access the activity as it is unconscious. Even so, instead of acknowledging that they lack insight, they will formulate any suitable explanation without knowing their unconsciousness.


  1. If you were a supervisor in an organization, what are the two most important things you covered in this chapter, and how might you apply them. If you see yourself as a practitioner or researcher in the future, you may reinterpret this question to fit one of those situations.


I have covered social inference and the law of large numbers, which are critical in supervisory studies. I will apply these pertinent aspects in data analysis and other activities that require inferential decision-making.





  1. How strong is the evidence for selective exposure, attention, perception, learning, and recall? What are some limitations to our knowledge about these phenomena? (See pp. 236–8)


Evidence for selective exposure, attention, perception, learning, and recall are not watertight even though they lay a strong ground for further research and attainment of deeper insight into the phenomena. The limitations of our knowledge concerning the phenomena include contradicting studies, insufficient empirical evidence on the phenomena, and lack of requisite resources to facilitate insightful studies into the phenomena.


  1. Explain how decision-making processes can be different for groups than they would be for individuals. What are some possible outcomes of group decision-making processes? What are some mechanisms underlying these effects?


Group decision making processes feature biases in information collection as well as theperception of a person’s position versus that of the rest of the group members. Possible outcomes of group decision-making include sins of omission underpinned by sunk cost bias, belief perseverance, hindsight and extra-evidentiary bias; and, sins of omission underpinned by base rate bias and fundamental attribution error. Another outcome could besins of imprecision which draws on availability heuristic, conjunctive bias, and representativeness heuristic.


  1. What are some characteristics of strong attitudes? Describe how they are formed, how they relate to other attitudes, and some behavioral consequences of attitude strength.


Characteristics of strong attitude include confidence, courage, commitment, control, and purpose.They may be formed through affect, cognitive means where a person systematically receives and analyzes the information then decides their position, and through self-perception. Behavioral consequences of attitude strength include low self-esteem, interpersonal relationship, and interaction as well as poor communication.


  1. Which of the following would likely be more persuasive, an attractive communicator advocating an undesirable position or a desirable position? Describe why this is likely to be the case, citing empirical evidence from the text.


An attractive communicator advocating for a desirable position is highly likely to be more persuasive. In a study involving 358 undergraduate students aimed at testing the attribution hypothesis, it was determined that the level of persuasiveness reducesto the point that the communicator’s position is expected based on their possessed characteristics.


  1. If you were a supervisor in an organization, what are the two most important things you covered in this chapter, and how might you apply them. If you see yourself as a practitioner or researcher in the future, you may reinterpret this question to fit one of those situations.


The two important things covered in this chapter include group decision-making processes and strong attitudes. I may apply them in the process of decision-making and adjust my attitude appropriately with respect to the work situation and the surrounding.




























Chapter 10


  1. Several characteristics about a person, namely their levels of need for cognition, uncertainty orientation, and need to evaluate, affect how likely they are to be persuaded in different ways. These characteristics sound similar, but there are important differences between them. Please comment on their similarities and differences. (See pages 267–8)


  1. In less than 200 words, how are Chaiken’s Heuristic-Systematic Model and Petty & Cacioppo’s ELM similar?


  1. What are some of the factors that would make an argument maximally persuasive? Describe at least four.


  1. Describe what is necessary for a message generate favorable cognitive responses and to be maximally persuasive.


Explain how decision making processes can be different for groups than they would be for individuals. What are some possible outcomes of group decision-making processes? What are some mechanisms underlying these effects?


Chapter 11


  1. Why might ambivalent stereotypes be “useful in unequal societies?” Briefly discuss the evidence. (See pages 299–302)


  1. What is one way people cope with stereotype threat? What are the advantages and disadvantages to this method of coping? (See pages 303–5)


  1. Describe a real-life situation in which stereotype threat might affect performance. How might stereotype threat be triggered? What would the effects be? Are there any ways in which these effects could be reduced?


  1. What might be a negative consequence of attempting to suppress automatic stereotyping? Describe this effect, including possible reasons why this effect occurs.


  1. If you were a supervisor in an organization, what are the two most important things you covered in this chapter, and how might you apply them. If you see yourself as a practitioner or researcher in the future, you may reinterpret this question to fit one of those situations.



Chapter 12


  1. Describe two different examples of groups toward which people feel unstable intergroup emotions. How does behavior toward these groups differ from behavior toward non-ambivalently stereotyped groups? (See pages 312–4)


  1. Briefly summarize some of the major findings relating to gender and leadership. For example, do women or men prefer to hold leadership roles? In what ways are their leadership styles similar, or different? How do people typically respond to male vs. female leaders?


  1. Briefly summarize some of the major findings relating to age discrimination. How are the elderly typically perceived? What are some younger persons’ concerns that contribute to these perceptions? What are some ways that ageism is different from other forms of discrimination, such as sexism? Are these patterns consistent across cultures?


  1. If you were a supervisor in an organization, what are the two most important things you covered in this chapter, and how might you apply them. If you see yourself as a practitioner or researcher in the future, you may reinterpret this question to fit one of those situations.



Chapter 13


  1. Are there distinct basic emotions? What is the problem with this question, and what are some ways we might describe how emotions are identified despite these problems? (See pages 345–7)


  1. How do interruptions prompt emotions, and how do emotions prompt interruptions? create an example of each of these possibilities. (See pages 362–3)


  1. Describe two reasons why affective forecasting research shows people to overestimate the impact of negative events.


  1. If you were a supervisor in an organization, what are the two most important things you covered in this chapter, and how might you apply them. If you see yourself as a practitioner or researcher in the future, you may reinterpret this question to fit one of those situations.



Chapter 14


  1. What is the central point of tension between Zajonc’s and Lazarus’s theories of emotion and cognition? What is one possible resolution to this tension? (See pages 389–91)


  1. Briefly describe the network model of mood and memory. How has research supported or cast doubt upon this framework?


  1. Define the separate-systems view of affective and cognitive processes; describe four arguments that support it.


  1. If you were a supervisor in an organization, what are the two most important things you covered in this chapter, and how might you apply them. If you see yourself as a practitioner or researcher in the future, you may reinterpret this question to fit one of those situations.



Chapter 15


  1. People often have goals to manage the kind of impression they make on others. Why is it that sometimes they try to make a positive impression, but sometimes they impede their ability to do so (i.e. self-handicapping)? Describe the empirical evidence and give an example to illustrate this difference. (See pages 416–8)


  1. What is meant by a “self-fulfilling prophecy” in social perception and behavior? Explain why this effect occurs and give an example. (See pages 419–21)


  1. Describe some instances when targets might attempt to dispel perceivers’ false impressions of them. When might they not?


























Fiske, S.T., &Taylor, S.E. (2013). Social cognition: From brains to culture (2nd ed.). London: Sage

Herman Melville, “Bartleby the Scrivener”

February 17, 2017

Herman Melville is one of the most famous American novelist, poet and short story writer who existed during the American Renaissance. He was born in 1819 as a third born to a merchant in French dry goods and died in 1891. Melville became a schoolteacher for a brief time before he took to the sea where he acquired most of the experiences that he has written about in his works. His legendary arts include Typee-1846 (a personal life account in Polynesian) and Moby-Dick 1851 (the whaling novel). Most of his works drew from his life experiences and view of the American society that was undergoing rapid change at the time. Melville developed a baroque style in his writing that utilized original vocabulary that enhanced rhythmic words that elaborated the sentences. Moreover, the author utilizes styles such as irony, imagery, allusion, and humor to extend his philosophical literature (Melville 1). Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Wall Street Story produced in November-December 1853 is one of the most significant art that focuses on the American life at the time. Melville`s motivation to write the story was to advertise the book, The Lawyer`s Story, that was printed in February 1853 (Melville 1). Melville employs first-person narration in telling the story which enhances the touch of the story. In the art, Melville focus on various themes such as isolation and charity. The present essay will discuss the Melville`s unique perspective of the American society in relation to his actual character by addressing the theme of charity in the short story.

Bartleby, the Scrivener is a narration of a lawyer who was running law practices on the Wall Street. Narrating in the first person and being an elderly man, the lawyer accounts for his life and most of the people that he has met in his career (Melville 3). In his experience, the lawyer has come across numerous set of extra ordinary men such as the scriveners or the law-copyists. Although, the lawyer is familiar with many stories pertaining such individuals, he assumes them for Bartleby, whom he considers to be the most amazing scriveners. According to the narrator nothing is ascertainable to Bartleby except issues from original sources that were rather minimal. However, before the lawyer starts to narrate the Bartleby story, he first focuses on other scriveners such as Turkey, Nippers, and an errand boy-Ginger. Turkey is productive in the morning but poor in the afternoon while Nippers is the direct opposite (Melville 4). Bartleby is a fine law-copyist who writes day and night. Therefore, he accomplishes a lot of material which impresses the lawyer. One day the lawyer call in Bartleby to have a look at a short case that he required to be examined but receives an unusual answer, “I would prefer not to.” The calmness in the answer does not necessitate scolding from the lawyer as he takes it lightly. Later on, we learn that the habit persist as Bartleby refuses to handle any task and is left to gaze through the windows (Melville 50). In fact, the lawyer moves his office to run away from the odd Bartleby. The lawyers description and charity towards Bartleby brings out Melville`s character and assumption of the American society which will be discussed in the present theme.

As mentioned earlier, charity is one of the most important themes in the narration. Many analysts and critics are puzzled by the lawyer`s character of tolerating Bartleby`s traits to the point of inviting him to live with the lawyer in his own house despite Bartleby`s awkward nature. In the end, readers are left to wonder whether the lawyers does well by Bartleby or contributes to the scriveners ruin and eventual death. At first, we would admit that the lawyer surprises everyone by his nature of accepting Bartleby despite receiving an adamant response; “I would prefer not to.”  Although the answers seemed polite to the lawyer it sounds somewhat rude especially after a deep analysis. The terms “I would prefer not to” means that the individual is actually in a position to accomplish the task but chooses to refuse for no reason. The response also suggests finality which insinuates that the individual does not want to be disturbed further regarding the subject matter. The fact that the lawyer is Bartleby`s boss amazes every reader when he decides to assign the work to another scrivener; thus, leaving Bartleby alone (Melville 20). From the outcome, one might insinuate that the lawyer does not possess the necessary managerial skills to control his subordinates. It is odder that the lawyer thinks himself as the insane person when Bartleby reuses to do the assigned work.

In narrating the point, Melville focused on the nature of the American society at the time and their quick judgmental nature. Typically, people are quick to make decisions when they are angered by others without giving them a chance to explain themselves or even enough time to understand their awkward behavior. For instance, Turkey and Nippers are quick to pass judgement on Bartleby and are willing to beat him up to remove his laziness and stupidity (Melville 42). By introducing the two individuals, Melville was reflecting on the character of most Americans. However, as a lawyer he has the responsibility to understand others to be in a position to represent them better. The lawyer`s first focus should not be making more income. but rather helping their clients. The story was written during a time when the Wall Street was booming with business. Therefore, the lawyer was going to make losses because of Bartleby`s reduced performance. In fact, he had to pay Turkey and Nippers to examine the small work that Bartleby managed to handle. Despite that, the lawyer decided to keep the scrivener as a charity individual despite his zero contribution to the firm. Although the lawyer did not find a reason why the law-copyist was acting so weird, at least he had the willingness to understand the individual which should be the character of true lawyers (Melville 55).

Focusing on the society further, Melville insinuated that the society would change because of the developing economy such as the financial boom that was occurring at the Wall Street. Typically, the lawyers represent law and justice, and a change in their character would mean that the social beliefs and moral values of the Americans will be compromised. As the lawyer narrates, Bartleby never left the premise. Rather, he sent Ginger for snacks and other food stuffs which is a clear sign of distress that his colleagues could not see (Melville 37). Like most of the Americans at the time, they were too obsessed with making money than caring for their colleague’s farewell. The increasing money was blinding the individuals from perceiving their surrounding and what was happening to their friends. Later on, the lawyer discovers that Bartleby used to live in the office and none of his workmates ever discovered the anomaly. Melville insinuated that everyone was too busy caring for their own life and how to develop financially that they forgot about the social responsibilities. Although it took long for the lawyer to understand the Bartleby`s needs, he showed charitable signs which is a main theme in Melville`s discussion (Melville 62).

Although the lawyer does his best to understand Bartleby, he eventually abandons him by moving his office to a different location; thus abandoning the morose man. Most of the readers have often passed over the humorous event. However, the lawyer weighs decisions and decides that Bartleby creates a bad image to the clients as a number of customer raise concerns pertaining the odd individual. Therefore, out of charity, the lawyer decides to relocate rather than have Bartleby removed. Although most of Melville`s humor is often lost in other themes, several critics and readers have interpreted the act as an act of charity. The lawyer extends his acts of charity when Bartleby is faced with a possible imprisonment. The lawyer offers to stay with the scrivener to which he refuses. After the occurrence, the lawyer is left to wonder whether Bartleby is actually haunted by the office or himself. The fact that the lawyer conducts a self-reflection shows an act of charity (Melville 71). What may be the problem? Is it me? However, the scrivener`s withdrawnness and tendency to remain immobile for unknown reasons is what actually haunts Bartleby.

Melville`s idea in discussing the awkwardness of the issues surrounding Bartleby shows the true nature of the American society. He insinuated that the American people had transformed and developed an ego. People no longer accepted help from others nor did they offer to help others. For this reason, Bartleby is not willing to be open to his employer because he does not want to be helped. He turns down the lawyers request when he is offered a place to stay. He would rather sleep on the staircases than accept help from anyone. In fact he even dies with his secret without telling anyone his problems. On the other hand, no one is willing to offer help to Bartleby except the lawyer. In fact, the tenants report him to the police for sleeping on the staircases rather than help him. Apparently, financial stability had made think that they could manage themselves. In their assumptions, most people thought that they no longer required other people`s help. However, this was a false assumption because of the Bartley`s demise in prison. Melville showed that being lonely and lacking to confide in other leads to oneself downfall. Financial stability should not deceive the society to abandon the social cohesion that existed in the past. In that light, people need to be charitable like the lawyer which emphasizes the theme of charity that Melville brings up in his narration. I everyone was to be charitable like the lawyer, then everyone will know about their colleagues and friends whereabouts which will increase the social cohesion.

Another scenario of charity that Melville involves the act of assigning jobs to both Turkey and Nippers. The lawyer understands both of his employees and knows when the work best. For instance, Turkey works best in the morning but is poor in the afternoon. Similarly, Nippers is active in the afternoon as opposed to the morning hours. The variation in performance affects the overall income of the firm. However, despite his employees` deficiency, the lawyer is willing to understand them and assign to them less work during their poor working hours. This is an act of charity as many employers would not tolerate such incompetence. Although the point is not brought out as strongly as those pertaining Bartley, it still makes a significant contribution to the theme of charity. In focus of the American society, Melville insinuated that people require to understand one another to have a good social co-existence. The point that the author stresses is that money is not important than a healthy social co-existence between colleagues. The lawyer is charitable when he sacrifices such financial gain for a good social environment thus developing further on the theme of charity.

In a nutshell, Melville story Bartleby, the Scrivener is a broad reflection and depiction of the changing social values in the American society. By using the first-person voice, the author narrates the story like a personal experience. Therefore, he compares his beliefs of charity that existed in his early age and the way in which it was deteriorating in the current society due to financial boom.  Two major acts of narration manifest in his narration that show how the society has changed. One is tolerating a clear refusal to work; “I would prefer not to.” Rather than make a rush decision. The author suggests understanding the individuals first before taking an action. The second act is displayed by the lawyer`s willingness to accommodate Bartley after discovering he has nowhere to live. In this section, Melville suggests that people should learn to help others rather than abandon their social duties. In understanding others, the author also utilizes the act of tolerating the different workability of Turkey and Nippers as an act of charity.



Works Cited

Melville, Herman. Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street., 2006.




Motivation of Employees

February 16, 2017

Motivation of Employees

Motivation of employees is an important objective that should be featured in every institution. The workforce that is motivated is not only creative but also productive, which in turn reduces employees turnover   (Martin, 2014). Dan Wilson is a de-motivated employee, this is seen from behavior of not striving to do more work or better job unless the supervisor instructs him. An employee can feel de-motivated due to lack of recognition, demands that are unrealistic by the management and lack of job security, which is the most critical factor when it comes to employee motivation (Martin, 2014). Boredom is another factor that can cause lack of motivation.

Harry Jones can deal with Dan’s tendency by appreciating the efforts put forward. When appreciated, the employee feels good and valued by the employer. The recognition can be individual or group based recognition (Martin, 2014). Rewarding the employees is also an important factor that motivates the employees through both monetary and non-monetary rewards; Mr. Harry can see to it that Dan is adequately rewarded as a way of motivating him to do more for the organization. In addition, Harry should ensure effective communication is maintained, as it is a critical aspect of motivation. This should be through accurate communication of data that upsets the work of employees and paying considerable attention to open door policy.

The information concerning the product improvement and new structures of interaction are important. By engaging in such, the employee will be able to come up with sound conclusions regarding their jobs. The open door policy helps employees interact with their bosses. The 2012 Global Workforce Study showed that the extra time the employees spend with the management would make them feel compensated by the attention (Martin, 2014). Harry should follow the three steps to ensure that Dan’s motivation to work hard improves beyond the job description.




Martin. (2014, September 24). CLEVERISM. Retrieved from



Effects of Hydroxyurea Therapy

February 15, 2017

Institutional Affiliation

Conceptual Framework Design/

Sample/ Setting
Major Variables Studied and
Their Definitions

Measurement of Major Variables

Study Findings
Strength of the Evidence (i.e., level of evidence + quality [study strengths and weaknesses])
Author, Year, Title Sharef, S. W., Al-Hajri, M., Belshlawi, I., & Al-Sharabally, A. (2013). Optimizing Hydroxyurea use in children with sickle cell disease: low dose regimen is effective. European Journal of Haematology, 519-524.


Cohort N=161

Age= 2 to16 years


Delivery; doses of 15-20 mg/kg/day with the possibility of increasing it to 35 mg/kg/day

IG (A): retrospective observation of patients from Sultan Qaboos University Hospital from 1998 to 2008.


IG (B): prospective observation of the same patients from 2009 to 2-11.


IV= Hyroxyurea treatment


DV= sickle cell disease, prescription of myelosuppressive drugs.

Observation of responses or side effects from the initial dose of Hu of 10-12 mg/kg/day.

Patients divided into two different groups based on the 10-15.9 mg/kg/day and 16 to 26 mg/kg/day doses of HU.


Chi-square test

Mean of each groups

Wilcoxon singed rank test.


19 patients dropped out of the program due to various Sid effects.

Recognisable reduction of admissions because of VOC in both groups. (P< 0.001 Wilcoxon signed-rank test.

Difference between groups was insignificant. (P> 0.05, Mann-Whitney U-test)

Level of evidence: III


Limitation: Patients dropping out due to side effects.

Research was too generalised as it included information that developed over the years before the prospective follow-up.

Observed admissions using ACS or VOC instead of the duration or severity of admission.


Strength: data is critically analysed and statistically detailed.


↑ Applicability: requires expertise in the area and its observation period is extremely long. Needs yeas to be applied.

Author, Year, Title Harminder Singh, N. D. (2010). Effective control of sickle cell disease with hydroxyurea therapy. Indian J Pharmacol, 32-35.
No Cross-sectional study N: 27



IG: Patients with SCD were given a mean doe of Hu measuring at 22 mg/kg/day

IG2; analysis of baseline results against post treatment results after a duration of a year.



IV: Hydroxyirea therapy


DV:Sickle cell disease


Observation of Hb eltrophoresis with quantitative HbF%, CBC with reticulocyte and differential count, liver function tests, serum B-12 as well as folate.

Follow up visits every two months with key observation of Hb level, HbF, MCV, MCHC and WBC count on the 6th observation.


Student’s t-test

Mean initial haemoglobin level measured at 9.15 g/dl with an increase after an year to 9.98 g/dl

Mean initial HbF was valued at 12.83% and later 19.7%after one year of HU therapy

The baseline WBC was 9.62 (* 109 L) and lowered insignificantly after one year to 8.33 (* 109 L)

Level of evidence: I


Strength: observations were held frequently.

Effective treatment and testing methodologies


Limitation: small sample size.


↓applicable to hospitals with relevant treatment infrastructure.



Author, Year, Title


Lobo, C. L., Pinto, J., Nascimento, E., & Moura, P. (2013). The effect of hydroxcarbamide therapy on survival of children with sickle cell disease. British Journal of Haematology, 852-860.
Logistic regression models Cohort N= 1760

Age: 3-18

IG (A): 267 were given hydroxycarbamide measuring at 20.8 mg/kg/day for an average of 2 years

IG (B): Clinical/ laboratorial effects of hydroxycarbamide and mortality data of the first 9 years of the program was collected.

IV: Hydrocabamide therapy



DV: children with sickle cell disease, mortality rate.

Administrations were based on the Brazilian Ministry of Health Hdroxyurea Clinical Treatment Protocol.

The first dose was measured at 10mg/kg/day and administered once per day.

Patients who could not take tablets, 500 mg capsules were dissolved in sterile water as well as being constituted to a 100 mg/ml for small children.

Parents and guardians were also involved in administering the reconstitution. The doses were increased by 5 mg/kg/d every month with a monitoring of clinical benefits and laboratory information.

Monthly clinic visits during escalation of dose and every 3 months in a maintenance phase.

Complete blood counts and chemistries in every visit.

HbF was analysed through high performance liquid chromatography every second month visit and every 6 month visit.


Trone-Ware Tests

1760 patients with SCD at HEMORIO between 1st August 2000 and 31 December 2009.

267 met the laboratory criteria.

Hdroxycabamde working was not by recurrent pain events in 45.3% of them. > ACS event were in 25.1% of them. Hb concentration <60 g/l in 24.4%.

Duration of therapy was two years.

Median dose was 4.8 mg/kg/d.

Majority of hydroxycabamide-treated patients had HbSS genotypes.

Children with a younger ate group of median age 5.4 had a higher content of HbSS at 91% in comparison to those of median age of 7.2 years who had 73% concentration. P-value < 0.0001.


Level of evidence: IV


Limitation: the clinical qualification is strict.

Applicability to international programs in a broader research perspective. Best suited for children under the age of 5.




Author, Year, Title


Fitshugh, C., Hsieh, M., Allen, D., & Coles, W. (2015). Hydroxyurea-Increased Fetal Hemoglobin Is associated with less organ damage and longer survival in adults with sickle cell anemia. Kingston: Crossmark.
No Case Control N= 383

IG: echocardiographic, laboratory and clinical evaluations between 2001 and 2010.

Mortality data was updated in a two year duration.

Sickle cell disease phenotypes were distributed based on DNA sequencing and performance liquid chromatography.

Outpatient studies had their results from the time of first visit to those of their most recent visit. Mean corpuscular volume was measured.


IV: Hydroxyurea-increased fetal Haemoglobin


DV: sickle cell anaemia, mortality,

 Dosing treatment and decisions were made by the primary provider of o the patient.

The NIH Biometric Translational Research Information System screened notes for the term hydroxyurea from 20, 00 documents.


Wilcoxon rank sum tests

Chi-square tests


Standard deviation

Cox proportional hazard regression


Sixty percent had been treated with hydroxyurea.

Comparison of deceased subjects indicates that majority of them were older at enrolment (41.8 versus 32.5 years, p=0.0067) and had a lower maximum HbF. P=0.0044.

They also were less likely to have used hydroxyurea (56% in comparison to 68% with p=0.040, hazard ratio was 0.58, 95% confidence interval 0.34, 0.97).

They also had a lower proportion prescribed hydroxyurea in the prescribed doses (29% in comparison to 46% with p=0.0067)

Level of the evidence: I


Limitation: all the information is secondary and historical.


Strength: collection of information on the treatment of over the last decade.


Author, Year, Title


No Randomised control trial study N= 100

IG: patients were sourced from Al-Thawra Hospital, Al Sabina Hospital, Yemen Society for Thalassemia and genetic blood disorders in Sana City in Yemen. They were divided into three groups, the first comprising 21 patients for short term follow up. 26 were set for long term and the third remained untreated.

IV: fetal haemoglobin response, hydroxyurea.

DV: sickle cell disease

Samples collected from correspondents were analysed by the Haemoglobin Research Laboratory, Kuwait University, and Faculty of medicine.

Detection of HbF levels with the application of high functional liquid chromatography.

SPSS software

Paired samples t-test

Independent sample t-test

Analysis of variance (ANOVA).

Eighteen patinets responded to treatment, Hb F went up by 1.04-17  from the base line.

The mean was significant with p=0.05

Decrease in WBC count with p=0.05.

The Hb level of second group wias significantly higher that the thierd.

Level of evidence: I


Limitation: Strict qualification criteria.

Some of the results were not dependable such as the reduction of WBC for cases where the treatment worked.




Al-Nood, H., Al-Khawiani, M., & Al-Akwa, A. (2010). Fetal Hemoglobin Response To Hydroxyurea In Yemeni Sickle Cell Disease Patients. Haemoglobin, 15-21.

Fitshugh, C., Hsieh, M., Allen, D., & Coles, W. (2015). Hydroxyurea-Increased Fetal Hemoglobin Is associated with less organ damage and longer survival in adults with sickle cell anemia. Kingston: Crossmark.

Harminder Singh, N. D. (2010). Effective control of sickle cell disease with hydroxyurea therapy. Indian J Pharmacol, 32-35.

Lobo, C. L., Pinto, J., Nascimento, E., & Moura, P. (2013). The effect of hydroxcarbamide therapy on survival of children with sickle cell disease. British Journal of Haematology, 852-860.

Sharef, S. W., Al-Hajri, M., Belshlawi, I., & Al-Sharabally, A. (2013). Optimizing Hydroxyurea use in children with sickle cell disease: low dose regimen is effective. European Journal of Haematology, 519-524.








Organizational Behaviour: A Case Study Analysis

February 14, 2017

According to French (2011), organizational behavior involves the study of staff in an organizational setup. It puts into consideration the practices utilized to organize and implement decisions. Hence, this term can be described as the study of individual employees and workgroups in the business environment. This paper aims to provide a discussion on organizational behavior grounded on acase study. It seeks to expound on the relevance of organizational behaviorin businesses, and how it can be utilized to bolster the performance of a workforce and the company at large. Moreover, the study seeks to explain the importance of communication in enhancing employee behavior.

Importance of Organizational Behaviour Knowledge to Managers

In today’s business environment, it is essential for managers to have an extensive knowledge of organizational behavior considering that they obtain the goals and objectives set by the company through its workforce (Fredrick, 2014). Thus, if a firm is to effectively organize the skills, talents, and expertise of its employees to obtain its underlying goals, it is imperative for the managers to understand how they can positively influence the behavior of its staff. This topic is crucial for managers because it enhances their understanding of how to classify resources into distinct departments to obtain both efficiency and effectiveness in the business environment. Additionally, the knowledge of organizational behavior is requisitebecause it teaches managers how to coordinate social units in the firm to attain mutual goals (Fredrick, 2014).

Furthermore, businesses today have experienced unprecedented growth due to the widespread advancement of technologies. For managers who have the mandate of the business operations of the firm, knowledge on organizational behavior is vital because it provides them with insights on how they can overcome global challenges and procure competitive advantage(Fredrick, 2014).For instance, this topic teaches them of the relevance of employee diversity, corporate downsizing, change of organizational structure,and job specialization. Similarly, knowledge of organizational behavior is essential for managers because it focuses on improving the productivity of both the employees and the organization, reduces employee turnover as well as patterns of absenteeism. It also helps mitigate deviant behaviors, and increase job satisfaction among its workforce (Fredrick, 2014).

Through the study of organizational behavior, managers construe what employees do in a work environment and how their individual behavior impacts the performance of a business firm. This topic also gives managers an understanding of how to administrate workforce diversity (Fredrick, 2014). This is critical because several business firms today are composed of a heterogeneous mix of people in terms of gender, age, and race. Thus, managers need a knowledge base on how toexercise control and channel the workers’ behavior into the desired direction.

Impact of Organizational Values to Employees

Organizational values refer to the perspectives utilized at a workplace towards the appropriate course of action (French, 2011). For a business environment to succeed, it is important that positive values are encouraged to positively influence the behavior of staff. For instance, an organization should encourage a labor force with strong ethical values. This can be attained through clearly defining the codes of conducts of a company, enrolling employees into training programs, and establishing an ethics committee that closely monitors and counsels employees on the acceptable and unacceptable behaviors in the workplace (French, 2011).

An assessment of the case study reveals that Pornthip Somsong altered the values of the organization to influence negatively the behavior of employees. For instance, Pornthip changed the organizational structure to a centralized authority stating that listening to employee ideas and complaints was a waste of time. Furthermore, rather than treating the employees as resources to the organization, she treated them as hired helps. This approach significantly decreased the job satisfaction rates of the staff to undertake their duties. The employees felt that their opinions were no longer appreciated.

Additionally, the organizational values of the company were compromised by the new punishment and reward system that Pornthip put in place. In her endeavor to expand the business firm, the new manager increased the production quotas by 20% and threatened the employees that if their productivity did not increase by 10%, their income would be reduced by the same rate. Conversely, she also delved onto theincentives that individually encouraged the employees to work harder. She eliminated the organization’s profit sharing scheme towards the employees, stating that they were paid enough. Moreover, Pornthip also instructed the closing down of the firm’s football field, where some of the employees played to rejuvenate themselves. She held that the staff did not use it much;thus,she plotted on how she would use the space for the expansion of the business. All these changes will not only decrease employee productivity but also lead to a high staff turnover and absenteeism.

Quality of Business Decisions

Upon appointment to the organization, Pornthip implemented several decisions, which were considered bad. She completely ignored the humanistic aspect of relating with the employees and looked down on the approach used by his father, who treated them like they were part of his family. By ignoring the complaints made by the employees, Pornthip created a venue for job dissatisfactionto not only take root but to also extend towards all the employees of the organization. Sadly, she also ignored the opinions and suggestions given by the workforce who did the actual implementation of business strategies and understoodits feasibility. By ignoring these ideas, the new manager reduced the probability of improving the firm’s profitability since the employees had obtained extensive knowledge base on business processes, and systemsthrough their direct working relationship with the company’s clients.

The other bad decision implemented by Pornthip wasthe decision to expand its business operation by partnering with the aggressive Japanese firms. While the successful execution of this strategy could increase the revenue accrued by the firm, this decision was madeon impulse rather than strategy. Pornthip should conduct an industry analysis to understand the prevalent patterns and trends of the market then identify its business niche. Furthermore, she should also evaluate the varying options for business expansion and identify which of the options were effective. Judging from her fear, Pornthip was attempting to identify a way to hedge the company from the fierce competition that was advancing in the industry while simultaneously growing her business.

To determine whether a decision is good or bad, one of the main factors put into consideration is the quality of its outcome (Ibrahim, 2014). In this case study, for instance, the quality of decisions implemented by the new manager can be classified as bad because several negative outcomes prevail. For instance, the performance of employees has significantly deteriorated and their motivation to work hard has decreased drastically. As a result, the productivity of the company has significantly increased. Aside from this, the novel decisions have increased the workload of employees causing lower concentration at work and an increase of waste materials as depicted by the rise of scrap rates.

Secondly, the other factor that is put into consideration is the costs(Ibrahim, 2014). A good business decision should increase the profitability of the firm, as well as its efficiencies by reducing expenditures and waste of raw materials(Ibrahim, 2014). An analysis ofthe case study reveals that while the manufactured outputs had gone marginally higher, so did the rates of scrap accumulated from the production process. The implication is that the cost of production is bound to rise as a result of this. Moreover, the increase of spare rates implies that there is an increase in raw material wastage due to poor production processes. In addition to this, the new decisions may have lowered the costs on the payroll, but it has acutely raised the expenditure on personnel.

Similarly, the other factor that is put into consideration when determining whether a business decision is good or bad is by evaluating its frameworks. In the case study, for example, one of the main reasons Pornthip altered the former approach was because she thought the employees were treated in a friendly manner. Changing this approach into a framework that does not accord employees the same respect, with the claim that these acts are ‘humanistic nonsense’ is wrong. Moreover, it was wrong for Pornthip to think that employees are only motivated by money and belittle the relevance of including them in the processes of decision making.

Motivational Theory

There are several theories that can be used to incite the performance of employees. In psychology, one of the theories that havebeen used to influence behavior to date significantly is the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Abraham Maslow put forward this theory in 1943 in an article titled, ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’ (Maslow, 2014). The principalconcept of the theory holds that the most basic needs of human beings must be procured for them to become motivated to achieve needs that are on higher levels. To support his hypothesis, Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchy of human needs that is composed of five levels. These include physiological needs, safety needs, love/ belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs(Maslow, 2014).

In the workplace scenario, this approach holds that if employers want to incite their employees to work harder, it is imperative that they consider what their needs are (Maslow, 2014).This is becauseemployees have to be in good health, secure, safe, and in meaningful relationships before they are able to pursue self-actualization goals. At Sompong Machine Parts, Inc. the performance of employees can be improved by focusing on obtaining the self-actualization needs for its workforce. That can be achieved through explaining to the employees what their roles are in a relaxed and professional environment such as a staff retreat.Such an atmosphere gives them a feeling that the organization cares for them, and itclarifies the expectations of the manager to them.

The relevance of this approach is that it puts into consideration the needs of the employees. It encourages them to work harder by ensuring that the probability of obtaining their basic needs is possible. To instigate this effect, it is integral that Pornthipchanges the current organizational approach to the former model (Maslow, 2014). She should use an inclusive management perspective that gives employees a venue to not only provide suggestions on how the business can be improved, but also convey their complaints. This approach is beneficial in positively influencing the productivity of individual employees and the organization at large.

Communication is the Lifeblood of a Business

Communication in a business enterprise can be described as the transfer of information from an individual to another or a group of people for a mutual understanding (Sehgal, 2008). The person conveying this message is the sender while the person or the people receiving the information are the receivers (Sehgal, 2008). In a business firm, communication is perceived as the lifeblood of a business because of its role in conveying people’s ideas, grievances, and feelings on a subject matter. In the case study, for instance, Pornthip utilized vertical communication to explain to her subordinates the changes to be expected under her sovereignty.

Similarly, the importance of communication is illustrated by its capacity to promote the motivation of employees (Sehgal, 2008). If this organization is to produce more and its staff works harder, the new manager in collaboration with the leaders and supervisor of the company will require conveyinginformation byclarifying vision and goals of the organization, as well as the tasks to be done (Sehgal, 2008). This administration board will also be required to consult from its workforce the issues that affect them to identify areas within the work setup that can be improved. Aside from this, communication is imperative at Sompong Machine Parts, Incsinceit is a source of information to the stakeholders of the company who are required to implement decisions. Sufficient information on a subject matter is mandatory for the relevant stakeholders to appraise alternative courses of action and make a decision.


The term ‘group thinking’ is used to refer to the faulty decisions members of a group make because of the pressure exerted onthem by the group itself (Sustein& Hastie, 2015). Often, the pressure applied to the group deteriorates the members’ willingness towards reality testing;it sways their moral judgment and mitigates their mental efficiencies (Sustein & Hastie, 2015). In the former meeting, for instance, the group convened by Pornthip was affected by group thinking because she brought them the ‘final solution’ on how to increase productivity. Her imposition and sense of finality provided little room for any alternatives to be considered.

In the following meeting, Pornthip can overcome group thinking by becoming an impartial leader (Sustein & Hastie, 2015). She should encourage the senior managers to provide suggestions on how to enhance the productivity of the company. Additionally, she should listen to every suggestion without biases and later make a decision on which suggestions are suitable. Similarly, group thinking can be averted by encouraging the senior managers to brainstorm (Sustein & Hastie, 2015). The meeting should provide room for debate and constructive criticismto transpire without the fear of judgment. This will encourage innovative thinking, and new ways of resolving the productivity dilemma shall be established. Moreover, the group-thinkingdilemma can be avoided by appointing a team leader who will facilitate the meeting(Sustein & Hastie, 2015).The role of this person will be to challenge the assumptions of the group and motivate them to address distinct perspectives that will be raised at the meeting.


Fredrick, P. R. (2014).  Organisational Behaviour and its Role in Management of Business. Global Journal of Finance and Management.

French, R. (2011). Organizational Behaviour. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Ibrahim, O. (2014). Handbook of Research on Strategic Performance Management and Measurement Using Data Envelopment Analysis. Beruit, Lebanon: IGI Global

Sehgal, M.K. (2008). Business Communication. New Delhi: Excel Books Publishing

Sustein, C. &Hastie, R. (2015). Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press

Maslow, A. H. (2014). Toward a Psychology of Being. Mason, OH: Lusena Books Publishing

Common Stock Valuation and Principles of project Feasibility:

February 14, 2017








Common Stock Valuation and Principles of project Feasibility:


Student No:











Question 1. Common Stock Valuation

R= Dividend yield + Capital gains yield

Given that D1 =150; P0= 10000 and g = 12%

Question 2. Corporate Valuation

Year FCF (1+WACC)t Discounting value Present value of FCF
1 1,115 1.08 1.08 1,204.20
2 1,250 1.082 1.1664 1,458.00
3 1,330 1.083 1.259712 1,675.42
4 1,345 1.084 1.360489 1,829.86
5 1,360 1.085 1.469328 1,998.29
Value of entire company   8,165.76

Question 3. Weight Average Cost of Capital (WACC)

Whereby WD is the proportion of debt; RD is the cost of deb; TC is the tax rate; WP is the proportion of preferred stock; RP is the cost of preferred stock; WE is the proportion of common stock and RE is the cost of common stock (Gitman & Zutter, 2012)

Proportion of debt (WD) = 0.3

Proportion of preferred stock (WP) = 0.3

Proportion of common stock (WE) = 0.4

Cost of debt (RD) = 6.5% = 0.065

Cost of preferred stock (RP) = 8.5% = 0.085

Cost of common stock (RE) = 7.5% = 0.075

Tax rate 30% = 0.3

Question 4. Principles of project Feasibility

The objective of investing in capital projects in creating wealth for stakeholders. This means that engaging in any capital project is mainly for the reason of generating good returns.

The decision on whether to invest in a particular capital project requires carefully consideration given the large capital outlay that is required. Eddy Koehler’s aim to win a 15 year gold mining concession from the South Africa government means that generating a good return within this period is of paramount importance(Ross, Westerfield& Jordan, 2001).

The hope for Koehler is being able to reap favorable returns within the 15 year period by offering or sacrificing a huge amount of current resources. Therefore, effective appraisal of the project is highly important in determining its real value so as to avoid investing resources in a loss making entity (Broadbent & Cullen, 2012).

Therefore, the role of carrying out a study on the feasibility of a project is first to eliminate projects which are not good enough through an evaluation process(Ross, Westerfield& Jordan, 2001). Given that this project is a long-term undertaking, it’s important to put great effort in evaluating its benefits and costs before offering to put large sums of money into it. Even if a decision is made not to go ahead with it, there will be valuable information that would have been gained that can be carried forward and applied in other future projects.

Secondly is to ensure that projects that are deemed good are actually implemented and not discarded. This is because; justification is required to be given to the stakeholders of the project on the necessity of the project(Ross, Westerfield& Jordan, 2001).

Once the decision has been made to implement the project, it will be difficult in reversing it without suffering huge costs. This is because of there could already have been assets inform of equipment that would have been acquired as well workers hired. Therefore stopping the project would already have consumed some funds which cannot be recovered(Ross, Westerfield& Jordan, 2001). This makes the issue of ensuring effective project feasibility even more important. For example in the mining of gold, the investor will have to acquire machinery and build infrastructure necessary to access the mines. If after putting together the necessary infrastructure and being ready to mine and then decides to “bail out”, there will be huge losses in the form of redundant equipment as well the already build infrastructure that cannot find another productive use.

Another reason for a project feasibility study is to determine the potential sources of risk to the project and the level of these risks (Broadbent & Cullen, 2012). Finally, after determining the risks, the aim is to find ways of mitigating them. Given that it’s a new project for Koehler, the level of risk will be high given that the level of experience is low.

The project will have some externalities attached to it in the form effects on the surrounding environment. These include possible air pollution as well influencing the communities in form of offering jobs(Ross, Westerfield& Jordan, 2001).These are referred to as the “spill overs” which could either be positive or negative. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the project takes into consideration that some of its cash flows could be “eroded” from negative activities (Gitman &Zutter, 2012). For example, possible new legislation could create costs in form of fines to the firm if it does not adhere to set limits.

Therefore, project feasibility will involve a number of stages that include planning, analysis, selection, implementation and review (Gitman & Zutter, 2012).

The planning process deals with a preliminary evaluation of the project.

The analysis process deals with assessing various aspects including economic, financial technical and an assessment of the market. The technical assessment is concerned with the determination of the level of technology required and their costs. Economic evaluation is concerned with assessing the benefits as well the costs associated with it in form of its effects to the society.

A market analysis is deals determining the level of demand as well the supply of products. This is to find out whether the project’s products will have a ready market and whether demand is adequate to guarantee favorable sales and therefore good returns.

Another important factor that the need to be undertaken is the evaluation of the level of working capital available. This means that the project will require ready cash to start in the acquisition of machinery and for labor costs (Ross, Westerfield& Jordan, 2001). Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the available capital is adequate to cover the initial costs so that the project does not come to halt midday its operations.

Finally, it’s important to assess the financing costs relevant to the project. This is through assessing the net present value (NPV) of the project (Ross, Westerfield& Jordan, 2001). The choice of using either debt or equity is basically a decision which is carried out by the management. However, the most important aspect is to determine whether in overall terms the project will be able to generate a positive net present value (Ross, Westerfield& Jordan, 2001).





Broadbent, M. & Cullen, J. (2012).Managing Financial Resources. New York:


Gitman, L, J, Zutter, C, J. (2012).  Principles of Managerial Finance (13th Ed)

London:  Pearson.

Ross, S, A, Westerfield, R, W, Jordan, B, D. (2001). Essentials of corporate finance.

Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin


Building and Construction Assessment 2: Bechtel Corporation

February 13, 2017

Vision and Goals of Bechtel Corp.

Bechtel Corp is one of the leading building and construction firms in the US. The revenue growth that the company has realized in the past years has effectively propelled it to the top of the global standings in line with the firm’s visions and values. Bechtel Corp is founded on the vision of becoming the world’s premier engineering, construction, and project management organization that is driven by the need to offer exemplary results to its clients. The vision of the firm is also to enhance career development of its employees while simultaneously profiteering from the values offered to the clients.

The activities of the firm are based on multiple principle values that have been central to the growth of Bechtel. The ethical focus of the company promotes the integration of integrity, honesty, and fairness as part of the working models in the institution. In addition, the company is based on the foundation of quality services, safety and health of the employees and clients, career development of the employees and interns working with the firm, and diversity promotion as part of the organization’s culture. Moreover, Bechtel is guided by aspects of innovation and strong relationship with clients to develop a competitive edge over other players in the industry.

Besides the mission and the values, the activities of the firm are influenced by the covenants that it enters with its stakeholders. The firm believes in respecting all persons regardless of the locations where they operate. It also sets a covenant of building trust and delivering in line with the high expectations of the clients. Also, the company has a covenant of exploiting curiosity to develop solutions and subsequently share the new models with other players in the industry. This is in line with the company’s goal of collective growth which enables the employees of the firm to learn and advance their careers.

Organizational Environment and Change-Associated Risks

The growth of the firm into the fifth largest privately owned business entities in the US has been a result of the favorable internal environment. The company, which employs thousands of employees and operates in dozens of countries globally, has participated in some high profile construction works which have significantly boosted its reputation in the industry. One critical factor that acts in favor of Bechtel Corp. is the relative cost advantage that the company possesses over rivals. In addition, the firm has accumulated a large asset base which enables it to complete construction tasks more effectively and in a timely manner. As a result, the firm has been associated with both quality and reliable services.

In addition, Bechtel has heavily invested in research and development in a bid to develop new models to offer construction services to the clients. The move has enabled the company to tackle complex tasks more effectively. The employees are another strength that the company has over its rivals. It has focused on developing the skills of the employees and empowering them to growth their careers. As such, the workers are motivated to deliver quality services to the company’s clients. It is thus not surprising to note that Bechtel has some of the most loyal clients across the globe. From these clients, the company has benefited through service referrals, enabling it to effectively expand its operations across the world in line with its vision of becoming the leader in the global construction industry. Also, the company is increasing its online growth which is a positive trend in its business globalization efforts. It makes it easily reachable by the clients and potential clients who want to file inquiries, complaints, or complements.

However, critical analysis of the industry also shows that the company may face significant threats which may derail its growth ambitions. The first threat is the quality of communication between the company’s management and its stakeholders. This may affect the quality of stakeholder confidence in the services offered by the company. It will make it much easier for the progressively growing competition to eat into the current market share held by Bechtel. Also, the degree of innovation that the company has adopted so far is insufficient. As a result, Bechtel has not been able to capture the middle income market which promises to be the epicenter of the future construction industry. It is thus necessary that the company reviews its processes to develop technologies that will enable it to offer cheaper building solutions to middle income clients.

Other critical concerns for the company include the weak positioning in the lucrative real estate market, the weakening brand in the wake of alternative technologies, and the ubiquity of products and services offered by the company. If the firm does not tackle the emergent challenges, it is likely to lose a large section of its current customers to opposition. The sustainability of the loyalty that many clients have so far invested in the firm may dwindle. Cultural, social, and political factors may also affect the success of the company in the global scale, especially its operations in the developing markets with relatively unstable economic and political landscapes.

Determining Quality Requirements by Customers



Quality Management System



Quality Review Measures



Improving Efficiency and Job Effectiveness



Based on the observed challenges and market trends, Bechtel can consider multiple options to improve their relationship with the clients and strengthen their market positions. The first recommendation is a stronger leadership. The company should establish people-focused leadership that takes into account the critical needs of the clients while simultaneously respecting the rights of the employees. The strong management will enable the firm to establish loyalty and hence continued support from all stakeholders.

It is also recommended for the company to review its pricing strategy to make the products more accessible to middle income earners. The premium pricing strategy currently in play in the firm has locked out a large segment of the potential market. Further, the firm should improve on its reputation management and adopt innovative construction technologies to meet the demands of the contemporary construction industry. Further, it is recommended for the company to diversify its processes. The current segment in which the company operates is approaching maturity. As such, a diversification strategy leading to heavy investment in real-estate would be ideal for future growth aspirations of the company.

The major reason why the company has higher price tags on its construction projects is the technology used. As a result, Bechtel is unable to reach middle income segment of the societies. The emergence of the rival firms reliant on alternative technologies that are cheaper and more environmentally friendly could thus derail the growth efforts of the company. Therefore, it should venture into the alternative cheaper construction technologies as a way of delivering building and construction solutions to the economically incapacitated global populations in the wake of post-depression recovery. This move will also help the company avert the anticipated price wars and product substitutions that will emerge as the alternative technologies grow in popularity.