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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Enhancing corporate accountability

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What is meant by corporate “accountability”? it has been proposed that, to enhance corporate accountability and profitability, corporate stakeholders should play an active role is the governance of the corporations in which they have an interest. This would also safeguard the interests of the stakeholders. What are the arguments for and against this view? Discuss some possible ways whereby corporate stakeholders may play a more effective role in corporate governance. Identify some of the issues that might arise from your proposals.

The recent corporate collapses of such companies as Enron, WorldCom, HIH Insurance and OneTel have made corporate governance an increasingly important issue. Corporate governance is designed to monitor and control the management of corporations to ensure there is no misconduct and that shareholder value is enhanced . Good corporate governance is about responsible investors and boards cultivating long term sustainable economic growth . It has several characteristics, which includes transparency, responsibility, fairness and accountability. It is important to note that corporate governance concerns the whole community, not only shareholders, managers and regulators. The corporate governance mechanisms that currently exist have proved to be inadequate. The government and public interest groups are failing to keep corporations in check. Consequently, I uphold that there should be greater stakeholder involvement in corporate decision making. This will enable a more democratic system to be in place.

Corporate accountability is ensuring that management is effectively overseen, and where necessary, replaced, by appointing an independent and competent governing body . It concerns the responsibility of management of a corporation to affirm that inappropriate acts engaged in within a corporation either for individual benefit or for the benefit of the corporation as a whole do not occur . Corporate accountability should be of utmost importance. The reason being that society places considerable trust in company directors who are well respected. They are perceived to be people of integrity, knowledgeable and honest. However, when there is misconduct and mismanagement amongst corporations, the public loses this confidence as they feel betrayed and violated, and as a result, the communities’ morale is shaken . When the misconduct and mismanagement leads to a corporate collapse, it has further implications on society. Corporations provide social and economic development in society as it creates jobs and generate revenue for goods and services � they are engines of economic growth . However, corporations need investment but people will only be willing to invest their money if they are confident that it will be used appropriately and earn dividends . Therefore, corporate collapses result in a decline in investments. This has adverse effects as production suffers, there is minimal cash flow, living standards would fall, an increase in unemployment, hence, the community at large suffers .

Accordingly something must be done to combat this issue. Building accountability into the governance of corporations themselves may be the most urgent reform society should make. Although it is true that the government and public interest groups play an important role in keeping corporations in check, but it is no secret that corporations control much of the dialogue in both government and the nonprofit sector . Corporations have become the dominant mediating structures between the individual and society . Unfortunately, unless corporate governance itself becomes more democratic, “we may be fighting a losing battle” .

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Effective corporate governance requires several principle characteristics. The first is transparency. In order for a corporate governance system to be transparent, there must be full disclosure of financial and non-financial information . In other words, everything must be out in the open. “There is no greater threat to investments and retirement savings than a lack of transparency ”. Therefore, in order for transparency to occur, in the most basic form, executive salaries should be open, and it may be necessary for corporate governors to declare their assets before taking office and on leaving office . Responsibility is another characteristic and it involves ensuring that corporations fulfill their proper role in societies corporate governance systems. The other characeteristics of effective corporate governance are accountability and fairness. Corporate governance systems vary in how they achieve these goals, but by focusing on one group � in this case stakeholders � we can further develop the notion of how a stakeholder group can strengthen the corporate governance system .

It has been proposed that to enhance corporate accountability, corporate stakeholders should play an active role in the governance of corporations in which they have an interest. A corporate stakeholder is any person or entity that has a vested interest in the efficient, accountable and profitable running of a corporation . They are many different forms of stakeholders. Shareholders provide funds for the business. Company creditors are interested in the corporate management because if the corporation becomes insolvent, the creditor runs the risk of not being repaid the money owing to them . In the situation of a corporate collapse, employees will lose their job as well as their entitlements such as superannuation . The government is a stakeholder and is concerned about corporate management because it needs profitable companies to create jobs and generate revenue in the economy. As a result, it acts to prevent company failures and has to restore their impact on society . Other stakeholders include consumers, the workforce, other businesses and the community in general, all of which can play a part.

If the numerous recent corporate collapses are considered, the current system of corporate management has proved to be inadequate. Something must be done to promote more efficient and transparent corporate governance. One way in which this can occur is by promoting greater stakeholder activism in corporate management. In fact, stakeholders share the blame for the corporate collapses of Enron, HIH Insurance, One Tel and WorldCom too. In fact, they are one of the fundamental problems of corporate governance. My reason being, that stakeholders’, shareholders in particular, have taken a “free ride” on the monitoring efforts of others. The risk of this is that if everybody takes that attitude, nobody does the work of holding management or the board accountable .

Governments wont and have been already unable to manage the management of corporations, mainly because they are often too closely associated with the businesses that generate government revenue, therefore, stakeholders would be more appropriate . However, stakeholders must become more assertive in their approach . After all, it does protect their investments .

In order to achieve this, stakeholders should be involved in all the major corporate governance and accountability structures such as boards of directors, and audit committees. This will entail having representatives of a cross-section of stakeholders as well as including professional accountants and auditors on these various mechanisms . The stakeholders of most importance that should participate in such systems should be shareholders, employees and consumers. With regard to shareholders, there are well motivated to ensure their investment if handled properly. Consumers are motivated also because in the case of a corporate collapse, the consumer has the possibility of losing money already paid for goods and services . Employees are ideal for such a system because they have additional knowledge of the corporation. Their motivation would be their reliance on the corporation for their own prosperity through employment. As the Enron collapse has proven, “… regular employees � not executives, not directors, not shareholders � have the most to lose when a company fails. With their jobs, pensions, and stock option wealth on the line, it follows that they have a greater incentive than anyone to act as company watchdogs” . Hence, stable policies and sharp decisions emerge from a broader consensus . There are several arguments that are for and against the involvement of stakeholders in corporate governance mechanisms, some of which are discussed below.

The primary argument for their involvement is that “two heads are better than one” . Stakeholders represent a large spectrum of the community. The larger the involvement of the community on corporate management would result in better governance. Stakeholder involvement would enable them to be better informed of the corporations operations and they will be prioritised and motivated by it. Employees would be able to bring experience and knowledge and consumer representatives can bring insights into the impact a decision will have on the consumer community .

In addition, if stakeholders are able to participate in a company’s decision making process, it will enable that particular company to be transparent and accountable � principles of good corporate governance . The reason why there has been so much corruption in the corporate sector is because of a lack of transparency. Fraud thrives on secrecy; stakeholder involvement would therefore be able to minimise this crime from occurring .

Finally, as there have been several corporate collapses due to misconduct and mismanagement, investment in the corporate sector has declined due to the loss of faith. However, active stakeholder involvement should restore people’s confidence in this sector because such conduct would be minimised . As society knows that a corporation belongs to all those with vested interests in it, they also know that stakeholders would not do anything to jeopordise the long term health and prosperity of the company.

The main argument opposed to stakeholder involvement is that “too many cooks spoil the broth” . It might create a more complex bureaucracy and slow down the decision making process. It is also believed that stakeholder representatives might have agendas that compete and conflict with one another. However, having this variety of interests will enable company decisions and policies to be balanced in a way that does not favor one segment at the expense of others . Therefore, it really is an advantage.

A disadvantage of stakeholder involvement is that it will increase costs for the corporation. This is due to the fact that stakeholders should receive some form of remuneration for their efforts. However, if you consider the costs involved with a corporate collapse or fraudulent acts, the costs of paid representatives is minor.

The stakeholder involvement concept directly challenges existing structures and mechanisms. As a result of this, several issues arise. The amount and which type of stakeholders to be part of the regime is an issue. Relevant stakeholders vary according to the firm’s circumstances. If any group, which is affected by the operations of a company, were considered to have an equal stake in it, then the idea of this concept would be unworkable. A procedure needs to be in place which ascribes weight to different stakeholder interests and who will define specific rights of such things as ownership, a vote on the Board, veto powers, a right to consultation and compensation. Should every stakeholder have the same rights? I believe that there should be representatives of the various stakeholders discussed above � consumers, shareholders and employees and they should come together as a board and given equal rights. Professional accountants and auditors should also be party to it and depending on the individual situation, certain creditors should be included. The stakeholders chosen and their numbers should be depended upon the individual corporation’s circumstances.

My own belief is that all stakeholders, shareholders in particular, ought to have a duty to take a more active interest in the financial status of a company. They have a responsibility to ensure the corporation is running efficiently, and that in the event of a corporate collapse, I believe the onus of blame should not be placed solely on corporate management. Stakeholders should be granted the ability to demand information on all aspects of the company when needed, which will better enable the stakeholders to act as a “watchdog” in the corporation.

I advocate greater stakeholder involvement in governance and I believe they should be involved in all the major corporate governance and accountability structures such as boards of directors, and audit committees. All corporations should have a “stakeholder committee” whose main function is to overlook management’s operations. I believe that the current system is not effective and that reform is of utmost importance. We cant just sit back and let all this corruption take place.

It is argued that enforcing good corporate management is a difficult task, and that there will always be corrupt management amongst corporations. I agree with this, however, I believe that if we do not attempt to enforce it and hold management accountable, or just let things be as they are, then the situation will aggravate. For example, littering is against the law in Australia. However, the majority of the community commits this offense � even if they do not admit to it. The reason why people are not deterred from committing this offense is because they are well aware that they are capable of getting away with it � it is because the laws against littering are not enforced. There are no policemen roaming the streets ensuring that the citizens of Australia are correctly disposing of their rubbish. If there were such policemen, then I am sure that everyone would abide by the littering laws. The point I am getting at is that the mismanagement in corporations exists because, in the context of the litter example, there are no policemen roaming the streets. I believe the stakeholders should be the policemen and overlook their corporation’s operations. Stakeholders would be the best watchdogs because they have a vested interest in the corporation and therefore would not do anything to jeopordise the long term health and prosperity of the company.

In conclusion, good corporate governance is central in ensuring that there is efficient use of corporate capital and that company boards are accountable to their shareholders, management, employees and other stakeholders. To ensure that there is a good corporate governance system, there should be stakeholder involvement. This will enable the misconduct that takes place to be minimised. Stakeholders have a greater incentive to act as watchdogs compared to anyone, as they would search for methods of ensuring the long term health and prosperity of the corporation so their investment would be well looked after. In fact, the advantages of implementing a stakeholder system outweigh the disadvantages. Genuinely engaging stakeholders can lead to improvements in societal and financial goals. As there would be a cross-section of people involved, it would lead to stable policies and sharp decisions. In addition, stakeholder involvement is not just a trendy term � it is about companies factoring in the pensioners who lost their superannuation, the workers who lost their jobs, the community organisations that received donations, in their corporate planning from the beginning. In other words, it is a pro-active approach to corporate governance and should deter management from engaging in any corrupt practices.

Bibliography

Acquaah-Gaisie, G. “Enhancing corporate accountability in Australia”, Australian Journal of Corporate Law, (11), 000.

Acquaah-Gaisie, G. “Minimising corporate collapses through stakeholder activism”, Corporate Misconduct eZine, 1(1), March 00.

Lipton, P. & Herzberg, A. Understanding Company Law, (11th edn), Thomson, Australia, 00.

Tilly, K., & Tomlinson, D., “HIH Collapse Roils Regulators”, Business Insurance, 5(1), 00.

Web addresses

McRichie, J., “Strategic choices in shareholder advocacy, A corporate governance perspective”, http//www.corpgov.net, [Accessed 5th September 00]

Powell, D., “Corporate governance in the new millennium/The role of senior executives in defining corporate character”, http//www.firstcitizenstt.com, [Accessed nd September 00]

Thomas, C., “Good Corporate Governance quality people or rigorous guidelines?”, http//www.ceoforum.com.au, [Accessed nd September 00]

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Economy

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If the Fed hold the growth rate of money supply constant while the government expenditures are having an expansionary impact on the economy then interest rates and private spending will reach disequilibrium. With the quantity of money demanded greater than the quantity of money supplied causes interest rates to rise. The increase in interest rates causes the planned investments spending to decline which means reductions in private investment spending (crowding-out effect)

The Fed tool of monetary policy may be ineffective in bringing the economy out of a recession. Low interest rates may not encourage higher levels of aggregate expenditures if economic confidence is low. It may be drawn out as long as two years if people are not confident and do not spend, even if interest rates are low. This may be circumvented by overseas borrowing, use of other forms of credit. However monetary policy can be used to stabilize output and employment around their trend levels, and help prevent the recessions from getting out of hand. When recession hits, the Fed can lower interest rates in order to encourage people to borrow money and make purchases. This works in the short run, but it has to be handled carefully so that inflation isnt impacted in the long run.

Inflation causes many distortions in the market. Inflation hurts people with fixed income when prices rise consumers cannot buy as much as they could previously and it discourages savings reduces economic growth because the economy needs a certain level of savings to finance investments which boosts economic growth and makes it harder for businesses to decide how much to produce, because businesses can’t predict the demand for their product at the higher prices they will have to charge in order to cover their costs. Inflation will result if money and credit rise too fast compared to the ability of the economy to produce goods and services. And it will enable sellers to raise prices. However the growth of money and credit should not be too slow, or people and businesses will not be able to get loans they need for purchases that stimulate the economy. So when the Fed tries to prevent inflation the interest rates and bonds prices go up. When the rates go up it is harder for people to buy homes and cars and businesses will be less inclined to invest in new machinery and buildings. This is the Fed way of trying to curtail inflation and maintain economic growth.



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Accoutning for associates

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8. Explain significant influence and contrast it with control

AASB 1016 defines significant influence as ¡¥the capacity of an entity to affect substantially (but not control) either, or both, of the financial and operating policies of another entity¡¦. Common indicators as suggested by the standard that indicate significant influence over another entity, are;

„� Holding 0 percent or more of the voting power in the associate but not greater than 50 percent as this would be control

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„� Representation on the associates board of directors

„� Extent of the materiality of inter-company transactions

„� Economic or technological dependencies

„� Restrictions on the investee¡¦s ability to make distribution to owners

„� The investment must be held long-term for it to give rise to significant influence and establish investor-associate relationship

(The above points are just a suggestion by the standard and all may not apply to every case trying to determine investor-associate relationship).

From the above definition and indicators it is very clear that there is a fine line between significant influence and control, this is because there are no clear rules to distinct significant influences from control.

However the one main difference between significant influence and control is that;

„� For a company to have control over another entity it must control both the financial and operating policies of the other entity.

But for significant influence the entity must have significant influence over either or both the financial and operating policies of the other entity.

8.4 What is an associated company? Why should an investment in such a company be treated differently from an investment in a subsidiary company or an investment in some other company?

An associated company, also known as investee refers to a company which an investor can exercise significant influence over (but not control).

AASB 1016 definition of associate is;

An investee not being

(a) a subsidiary of the investor; or

(b) a partnership of the investor; or

(c) an investment acquired and held exclusively with view to it¡¦s disposed in the near future¡K..

over which the investor has significant influence.

A basic example that would give rise to a investor-associate relationship is when company A acquires a small but significant portion of company B shares. Because the investment is small it suggests significant influence rather than control which gives rise to an investor- associate relationship rather than parent-subsidiary relationship (control).

The factor that differentiates associate investment from investments in subsidiary or other companies is that even despite the investor¡¦s significant influence, the associate company remains independent of its investor/s. With subsidiaries, the parent controls the subsidiary, therefore the subsidiary dependant on the parent where as with associate companies significant influences by investors can counter act each other.

8.8 Do you agree with the following proposition ¡¥when applying the equity accounting method, the distinction between pre-acquisition and post-acquisition profits of the investee is irrelevant¡¦.

The distinction between pre-acquisition and post-acquisition profit would only be irrelevant if we were to adhere to AASB 1016. 5. (b) which states that, ¡¥for equity accounting purposes, the investor must account for dividends from associates as a deduction to the investment account.¡¦

This means that regardless of whether its pre-acquisition or post-acquisition profits. They will both be credited against the investment¡¦s carrying value, and not revenue. This application of equity accounting does not clearly reflect profits from investments.

However with the method applied by Jubb

„� Pre-acquisition profits remained treated as a reduction of the investments cost (same as all other investment accounting method)

„� But, post-acquisition profits are treated as revenue, ¡¥revenue from associates¡¦

This method not only provides a distinction between pre-acquisition and post acquisition profits but it also highlights the profits from investment as opposed to if profits were directly credited to the carrying value of the investment.



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Dance

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Dance, what else does a young girl want to do? It helps clear he mind, free her soul and overall, she loves it. Dance isnt as easy as you think it would be. It takes lots of time, dedication and hard work. It helps if you set a goal for yourself.

One girl set several goals for herself such as, making top ten, Kick company, Raisin Kick, Most Outstanding Dancer, and Super Bowl Half time performer. She was so determined to accomplish these things that its all that she could think of. She dedicated all of her time to doing what she loved.

She propably could not have done so much without the support of her parents. Her parents played a major role in her life.

She has many goals not yet reached like making a college dance team, making a pom squad for a professional football team, becoming a dance teacher, and many more. She is working hard to accomplish them.

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The young girl has been involved in many activities when she was growing up. She took dance at a small dance studio for 1 year, became a competitive cheerleader for 5 years, a cheer coach for 1 year, on her highschool drill team for 4 years.

This year is her senior year and she is a member of DREAMSCAPE which is the best of the best. In the past DREAMSCAPE has won first wherever they have gone. In DREAMSCAPE there are two companies, lyrical and kick. She is a member of kick company.

Please note that this sample paper on Dance is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on Dance, we are here to assist you. Your cheap custom college paper on Dance will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

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Information TechnologyDesign Project Report

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My design proposal was for an animated story. The story was about a man who went up a set of stairs and down the other side of the stairs, on a sunny day. Before he went up the stairs, a car went past the stairs.

It took me a while to think of this story, because I couldn’t decide what to do in the beginning. Then when I thought about the different procedures I could do, it didn’t take long for the idea to come. I ended up using more space than was provided on the design sheet, because I wanted to have my characters off the screen at the beginning of the story. I had to add an extra sheet of paper to the original design sheet, to show where my characters would start. The design for this program needed a design sheet that showed a grid from -100 to 000 pixels, which I made by attaching the extra sheet of paper.

One problem I encountered while making my program was that the lines I used to make the person weren’t in the right place. For example, linArm was longer on one side and shorter on the other side. I fixed this problem by re reading the code I had written and experimenting with coordinates for the X1 and X values, and adjusting each of them accordingly.

Another problem I came across was that I didn’t like the limited range of VB and QB colours that were available to use. I tried to find some colours that I liked within the VB and QB range, but none of them worked with the staircase and background, etc. I resolved this problem by consulting my previous notes. I remembered that to get different colours, you could type RGB(red, green, blue as integers) in place of vbWhite or QBColor(7) for example. I found the colours I wanted to use using the program “Paint”, and then typed in the numbers accordingly on my program.

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Many times during the making of this program, things did not appear as I had planned. On my design sheet, everything was placed how I wanted it to be, but when I positioned them on Visual Basic, they did not appear the same on the screen as in my design. Sometimes the objects that were meant to be off screen were still a little bit visible on the side of the screen, and sometimes the shapes did not fit together to make the character I wanted (for example, the lines that made the person’s body were in the wrong positions). Thus I changed my coordinates for the objects that were in the wrong place, and I also changed the designs on the design sheet accordingly. I also changed the colours several times, because I was not happy with the way the objects looked.

Originally, my design did not include shpGround, shpRoad, shpSun or the clouds. The original design was just to have the car drive past the stairs, then have the man walk up and down the stairs and off the screen. After I had made a program that fulfilled this design, the screen seemed a little bit bare, so I decided to add shpGround, to give the stairs a base, and shpRoad, so the car would have something to drive on. I also added shpSun and the clouds to add a bit more movement to the story, and to fill up the top area of the form.

I used ZOrder quite a bit in my program, mainly to fix up the background (for example, to make shpGround appear behind shpStair1). Originally I did not include ZOrder in my design, but after testing my improved design (which was the original design, after adding shpGround, shpRoad, etc) on Visual Basic, shpGround and shpRoad were overlapping, and the car looked like it drove behind the road instead of on the road. Thus, I added ZOrder to both shpGround and shpRoad, to improve the appearance of my program.

Probably the greatest difficulty I encountered while making my program was the animating. Making the person move in the first place was a bit of a challenge, because I wasn’t sure whether to increase or decrease the X or Y values. I resolved this problem by experimenting, using both the X and Y values an observing the results, then adjusting my coding accordingly.

Getting the person to stop where I wanted it to was also a bit of a challenge, because I wasn’t sure how to make the person stop at the stairs and then start climbing them. I sat and thought about this for a while, then started looking at my code. At first I only experimented with the number of pixels I wanted to move the characters (e.g., linLeg.X = linLeg.X + 10 or +15 or +0, etc), but that made no difference. Then I realised that to change the position where I wanted my character to stop, I would have to adjust the For kount = 1 To 80. I changed the numbers accordingly, and experimented with different numbers to replace the ‘80’. I soon was able to guess quite accurately what number I would have to put in to make my character stop at the appropriate places.

After that, it was just a matter of typing in all the instructions that I wanted the characters to do, and putting them in order, so the computer could animate them. The other problem I encountered while animating was how to make the objects move up, down, left and right. I knew how to do it, but sometimes it got a bit confusing and I typed the wrong code. I fixed this problem by re reading my code and finding my mistakes, then correcting them and playing my program again, to see if it worked. Another confusing part was putting all of the sub-procedures in the right order, to make the animation work. The first few times I tried it, some parts were not in the right place, so the animation did not work. I overcame this problem by separating all of the sub-procedure names that were under the cmd_Start_Click( ) sub. This made it a little easier to see what each sub-procedure was called, and I didn’t get as confused. I was then able to put all of the sub-procedures in the correct order.

Overall, I enjoyed doing this project. Getting to design and create my own program was challenging and interesting, and I have learnt a lot.



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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rhetoric in The Crucible

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Rhetoric is the art of using language effectively and persuasively. It is also called oratory, the art of public speaking. In Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible, several characters use rhetoric to convince other individuals to believe what is being told to them. One character, Deputy Governor Danforth who was a special judge that came to this town to help in the witchcraft trials that were brought about by a group of girls that were accusing people that they did not like.


Danforth was very dedicated to removing all witches, he was strong on his principles and would not allow anyone to tamper with his authority. Danforth has condemned many people to death because of his belief in witches. He puts words into the mouths of the people he is questioning, this is rhetoric; he uses his passion against witches to persuade others into saying what he wants them to. On page 100, he says to the court,” …I hope you forgive me. I have been thirty-two year at the bar, sir, and I should be confounded were I called upon to defend these people. Let you consider, now. And I bid you all do likewise. In an ordinary crime, how does one defend the accused? One calls up witnesses to prove his innocence. But witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an invisible crime, is it not? Therefore, who may possibly be witness to it? The witch and the victim. None other. Now we cannot hope the witch will accuse herself; granted? Therefore, we must rely upon her victims�and they do testify, the children certainly do testify. As for the witches, none will deny that we are most eager for all their confessions. Therefore what is left for a lawyer to bring out? I think I have made my point. Have I not?”


This passage clearly shows Danforth using his oratory skills. His logic is that if someone commits a crime, they usually wont accuse themselves, therefore the witnesses and victims of this crime are the only way to prove the person innocent or guilty. In Danforth’s view, if there are victims and witnesses, then there must have been a crime committed. His speech logically makes sense and often his words sway the opinions of people who are not completely strong on their own opinion.


When Danforth questions Mary Warren, he uses his powerful force to try to get her to say anything along the lines that the witches here are not a lie. He realizes that if it is true that the girls have been pretending the whole time, it will mean that he has been duped and so has his entire court. On page 101, Danforth says to Mary Warren, “… Do you know that god damns all liars? She cannot speak. Or is it now that you lie.” He is suggesting that because she did not answer him right away that she is a liar, and that she will be damned my God. As a young girl, Mary Warren most likely is scared by this, and is now more likely to say what Danforth wants, because in some way he has shown her that God will punish her for lying either about the witches or about lying about the witches.


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The majority of people in this small town have a strong belief in God and their religion. Danforth plays with this information and uses it to effectively persuade his audience. He is much respected and holds a powerful position. Danforth considers the amount of people that he has condemned as a reason for his power. He is right, people believe him, because they think that he has been right in the past. He has obviously always been a great speaker, talented with rhetoric and public speaking characteristics.





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Othello

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Shakespeare’s writing tends to have an antagonist who is power hungry. In the play “Othello” the bad guy, Iago, uses his perceptiveness to pick up on Othello’s doubts towards Desdemona’s faithfulness in order to destroy their relationship. Iago is able to use his people skills to get close to Othello and then use this gained trust in order to devastate him.


In the beginning of the play we quickly discover that Iago only has bad intentions towards Othello, seeing that he tried to demolish their marriage. Since his original idea hadn’t worked Iago was working out an immense scheme to break down Othello. Iago is bent on crippling his brave commander for one reason alone, revenge. He always felt as if Othello wasn’t worthy of the respect that he had from everyone around him. Iago was jealous of Othello’s high position in society, and found that he was not worthy of Desdemona’s heart. So Iago was going to do whatever it took to ruin Othello’s reputation.


After achieving the position of lieutenant by eliminating Cassio from the picture, Iago began to gain Othello’s trust. Iago was very good at manipulating someone by gaining their trust and using words of wisdom to tell people what they want to hear. In act 4 scene 1 specifically Iago begins talking to Othello about the alleged relationship between Desdemona and Cassio. Iago tells Othello some words that Othello wanted to hear, and this made him listen to Iago intently. After Othello was hanging on his every word Iago states, “[Faith,] that he did � I know not what he did.”(Act 4 sc. 1 line 8) This makes Othello tense because he wants to hear what Iago know about Cassio. When Othello asks what they did all Iago said was, “Lie.” (Act 4 sc. 1 line 40) It was that one small word which drove Othello insane with anger. Iago knew that he couldn’t tell Othello everything he allegedly knew about Cassio; otherwise Othello wouldn’t be so distraught. All that Iago has done was give Othello some words of wisdom concerning the two adulterers, but he then twists these words in order to enrage Othello. Othello becomes so angry he falls into a trance, where Cassio enters and Iago tells him that he would like to talk with him as soon as Othello leaves.


At this point Iago comes up with in immense plot to use three separate people in order to make Othello’s fears about Desdemona come true. Iago specifically tells Othello he will get Cassio to admit his relationship with Desdemona while Othello isn’t there. As Othello withdraws off stage Iago states to the audience, “Now will I question Cassio of Bianca, a huswife that by selling her desires buys herself bread and [clothes.] It is a creature that dotes on Cassio.”(Act 4 sc. 1 lines 110-11) He states this in order for the audience to understand that he’s going to question Cassio about Bianca, even though Othello thinks he’s questioning her of Desdemona. From this point on he speaks with Cassio who bursts into laughter thinking of Bianca’s obsession with him. Iago uses his knowledge of Bianca’s fascination with Cassio in order to manipulate Othello into thinking they are talking about Desdemona.


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After Iago has gained the trust of Othello, Othello doesn’t think twice about the fact that Iago and Cassio speak of the adultery so easily. He sees Iago as a friend, and thinks that Iago only has good intentions when questioning Cassio of the relationship. Othello and Cassio are completely oblivious to the streak of lies that Iago has been passing off, and it’s all because Iago is so good with his words.


Iago was a character built with determination. He was willing to stop at nothing in order to succeed. Iago gained the trust of everyone he ever knew, but it turns out he was only using them to harm Othello and his first-rate reputation. Iago’s character was built on revenge, and it was his intelligence and quick wits that helped him get his revenge on Othello.





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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Metropolis

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Metropolis is one of the very very few of silent movies which still finds an audience,which means a lot.But which version?The problem is that we will never be able to see Metropolis as Lang has conceived it. I saw the movie for the first time in 168,and I remember a scene in which Maria, Rotwangs prisoner,is released by Joh Fredersen.In the versions displayed in the nineties,this scene seems to have vanished in the air.The running time is never the same,some more recent versions include hints at Rotwangs love for Freder Fredersens mother Hel.But this character,Hel ,never appears in the restored versionsonly photographs show this subplot,actually very importantbefore we thought that Rotwang urges his robot to destruct the machines because ...because..he was crazythat did not satisfy us.In Thea Von Harbous original screenplay,he did it out of jealousy,because he used to love his masters wife.For Fredersen ,the robot is first a way to replace working men,tireless slaves ;then,when it takes Marias face,and the men go crazy and violent,it allows the boss to use violence and repression against them.


In Metropolis ,two worlds coexistthe subterranean one,where human beings are in bondage (see Marias hints at the Bible),the Yoshiwara,the Richs paradise.Is it really a paradise anyway?It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth ,this paradise for the elite(remember Maria showing it to a group of children)Joh Fredersen,a member of the privileged understands his happiness is a fake one,when he sees first the young girl,then the terrifying underworld,this subcity where the poor sweat ,suffer and die for the sake of an idle aristocracy.


The screen play has been often criticized because of its naive political ideologyHeart must be the mediator of work and capital.It has not worn well admittedly,but outside this moral,everything is great,as impressive today as it was in 17!Do you think that,say,close encounters of the third kinds will stand the test of time as good as Langs magnum opus,and remain a classic in 050?Dubious isnt it?


The architectural genius of the German Master explodes everywhere,his masterful using of the crowds leaves us in rapture,his dreamlike sequence is at least 0 or 0 years ahead of its time.The characters (Fredersen father and son,Rotwang and Maria) are convincing and the plot is more complex that it seems to be .(the flaws are caused by missing parts of the movie,as I said before)


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Fritz Lang saidI do not like Metropolis,its conclusion is wrong.I did not accept it even when I was making the movie


A black legend surrounds MetropolisHitler enjoyed it and asked Lang to become the official director of the Third Reich;he refused,left Germany and it was Leni Riefenstahl who filmed such nazi manifestos as Triumph des Willems.Besides,Hitler might have thought of concentration camps because of Metropolis.Even more bewilderingbuilding in Mauthausen a huge stair,the prisoners saidit looks like Metropolis


Metropolis is a must,see it at any price!


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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Isolationism

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Isolationism, policy where a nations interests are best served if the nation secludes itself from other nations and avoids forming alliances with them. Isolationism has been practiced by various countries throughout history, including Japan, China, and the United States. Japan followed a policy of isolationism for hundreds of years before forming an alliance with Britain in 10. More recently, China followed an isolationist policy during much of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution of 166 to 176.


The United States has a history of isolationism dating back to its earliest days as a republic, before the 1 colonies won their independence. Even today, some political leaders favor isolationism and isolationist sentiment can be found in American society. Isolationism in the United States has been largely political and has not extended to its commercial relationships with other nations.


In its early days, the United States adopted an isolationist policy for a variety of reasons. The fledgling nation wanted to develop without becoming entangled in the conflicts that had overtaken Europe and without being influenced by European values. Early leaders feared that too much involvement in the affairs of other nations would endanger the values of freedom and equality that had fueled the founding of America. The United States wanted to serve as a model for other countries and recognized that it must first perfect its own development.


Isolationism held more practical benefits for the young nation. The American continent was a large, undeveloped, landmass that required the countrys undivided attention before it could become involved in political affairs abroad. The Europeans, and especially the British, dominated world affairs. The United States could not hope to have an immediate impact in the international arena. A policy of isolationism also proved advantageous for the United States because the country risked domination by Europe if it tried to become prematurely involved in international affairs.


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Early leaders of the United States endorsed commercial treaties and expansion of trade with other nations, but discouraged political or military alliances. President George Washington delivered such a message in his Farewell Address of 176, just before leaving office. Washington called upon the United States to foster good relations with all nations and encouraged the country to develop economic ties abroad. But he warned against becoming involved in the affairs of Europe. In his 1801 inaugural address, President Thomas Jefferson repeated Washingtons warning, encouraging friendly relations with all nations but entangling alliances with none. In 18 President James Monroe also reiterated Washingtons directive in a message sent to Congress. The message, which became


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Modern Art

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Modern Art Essay


Modernism refers to a series of successive art movements and the particular artistic tendencies that unite them. It also refers to the era that included the omission of previous art styles and a rebellion against the past.


Van Gogh was a significant figure in the modernism era, as was Edouard Manet, who was considered to be the “Father of Modern Art” in his own right.


Modernism began as a European phenomenon and its roots can be traced back to the romanticism and realism of the 1th Century.


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Modernist art is not, as is sometimes wrongly perceived, the art of today, (art done by living artists is called contemporary art), it is said to have ended sometime between the mid 150’s and early 180’s. The end of this era signified the beginning of an even more perplexing movement, Post-Modernism.


During the Modernist era many modern times emerged and what followed was a succession of interesting and completely different periods for art. For example the Impressionist era (1875-180), Expressionism (105-10) and Cubism (105-115).


Modern art was the artistic liberation from traditional rules and conventions, and the freedom of colour accurately representing an object. It rejected the past and was a relentless quest for radical freedom of expression.


Instead of one art style dominating for centuries, many different styles “sprang up” in the form of isms.


Modern art styles included Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, DaDa, Surrealism and Abstract expressionism.


The following art styles are ones that happened in the time frame that Modernism is said to have ended.


Pop art, Op art, Conceptual art and Photo-Realism.


Edouard Manet was one of the first artists to break with the academic tradition and depict subjects taken from contemporary everyday life.


He startled critics with the modernity of his artworks, his work was indicative of the sea change in attitude that typifies modernism.


One of Manet’s most famous paintings was “Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe” (Luncheon on the grass) made in 186.


The panting was for social purpose and the style the French Artist employed was pure modernism with the hints of Impressionism.


Manet was influenced by photography and Japanese prints.


The artwork depicts a naked woman and two “well-to-do” looking gentlemen enjoying a picnic in the woods.


Further in the background we can see a girl bathing in the water.


Lush vegetation surrounds them with a beautiful expanse of water stretching into the distance.


Emphasis is placed on the strong-flat colour, harsh-natural lighting, broken brushwork and the “raw” fresh appearance of the painting.


This artwork evokes a feeling of calm into the viewer due to its naturalness and relaxed presentation.


Despite the absurdity of the situation, everything seems in its right place and ultimately right.


The painting is an oil on canvas creation.


I, as the viewer, feel drawn to this painting because of the naturalness and happiness of the painting.


I am intrigued to the reason why a woman is dining naked with two men while another is bathing in the water behind.


I like the unproportional bodies of the women and their soft curves, they suggest relaxation to me. The figures all look content and calm which in turn makes me feel content and calm.


Van Gogh was a modernist painter who was prominent in the Post-Impressionist era (1880-100).


His artworks possessed the defining characteristics of modern art. They stressed private concerns, experiences and imagination as their source of art.


His art moved from the pretence of rendering nature toward pure abstraction where form, line and colour dominated.


He used techniques learnt from the Impressionists.


An example of Van Gogh’s art is his creation “The Chair and the Pipe”.


Made in 1888 by the Dutch artist, the purpose of this artwork is personal.


Van Gogh’s style is typical of the post-impressionist period that he was a leader of.


His own feelings and emotions mainly influenced him, but he learnt a lot from the Impressionists and their methods.


In “The Chair and the Pipe” we see a chair as the dominant feature with a pipe and tobacco resting on it.


There is a door, tiled floor and a potplant in the background.


This painting expresses Van Gogh’s loneliness and depression, his craving for a friend.


This artwork follows an earlier piece he made called “Bedroom at Arles” when he was anticipating the arrival of his new friend Gaugin. The chair was a pair, on for himself and one for his friend.


In “The Chair and the Pipe” the chair is single representing the leaving and loss of Gaugins friendship and Van Gogh’s return to solitude.


The most important elements of design in this piece are colour and texture.


Bold colours, Yellow against blue walls and strongly drawn outlines of the chair in blue create unity in the painting.


The paint has been applied thickly to create texture along with short, choppy brushstrokes.


This painting possesses the aesthetic quality loneliness.


Van Gogh successfully conveys his feelings of loneliness to the viewer and evokes the same feelings in them through the single chair, the closed door and the leftover pipe.


The painting is an oil on canvas creation.


I, as the viewer, dislike this artwork.


Although the colours are attractive, I do not appreciate Van Gogh’s use of brushstrokes and texture.


I prefer a more fresh, clean image.


I do not like the way this painting makes me feel and the way Van Gogh constantly echoes his depression in his pieces. I enjoy much more an artwork that gives off a pleasant air and evokes feelings of happiness and relaxation.


There were many key factors that changed art in modern times and advanced the art-making process.


Such factors include the Machine age, social structure, the birth of photography, the quickening pace of life, transport, influence of the East, the Orient and Africa, Archaeology, World War I and World War II, economic crises, advances in science and technology and the introduction of new improved materials.


All these aspects of the modern world affected realistic traditions in art and brought about the many changes in the era we know as Modernism.


An important era which included the many “isms” and completely changed the way an artist expressed themselves.


They were given more freedom to paint what they wanted, and in the style they wanted.


There were no boundaries, traditions or rules restraining them.


Modernism was a complicated movement.


When asked the question “What is Modernism?”, the best definition would be Modernism describes the relationship between modern art and modern times.





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Monday, May 14, 2012

Survival

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Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines survival as the continuation of life or existence. In other words Survival is whatever means someone must use to make it from one day to the next. Survival, in definition, is the same for everyone. The actions one must take to survive, however, differ greatly. In the end, everyone’s goal is the same, to make it from one day to the next happily.


In order to make it through each and every day, we are faced with millions of decisions. What make’s each person unique, is his or her reactions to these choices. To endure the hours we spend awake, we must choose between many good and bad decisions. The ones, who not only survive but also are most successful in life, are usually the ones who take more right turns then wrong.


Although the show survivor isn’t intellectually stimulating, it is a good example of survival. The compressed version of life, shows all the problems we face in reality, except scaled down. Race, age, and all the choices the people on the show make, are all put under a microscope. Even if a decision is minor, the minor decisions can add up with a negative end result (in this case being voted off the show). This is also true in real life. In “Boyz N the Hood” Tre was able to survive as the world around him fell apart. He took a difficult situation, and by living each day to the best of his ability, was able survive. Others in the movie, such as Doughboy and Ricky died, because of bad choices they made.


Although everyone must work in different ways to survive, the end goal is the same. Cher from “Clueless” faces completely different problems then Tre, and others who grew up in a rough area. Tre’s situation has lot bigger problems, with much larger consequences; compared to Cher’s problems in Beverly Hills. This however doesn’t mean Cher feels less pressured by the decisions she must make, and survival for her can still be difficult. Since Cher has only known life in Beverley Hills, and Tre has only known life in the ghetto they both only understand what they’ve experienced. Cher has never had to deal with someone getting shot, or having a crack addict for a neighbour. She’s had to deal with people judging her by the way she dresses, and the people she chooses to hang out with. In her mind, however, not being popular could be the end of the world, making it impossible for her to carry on. Tre on the other hand, would trade unpopularity for his problems in an instant.


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In other words, if you compare two sets of problems from two opposite ends of the spectrum one will seem much more extreme then the other. If looked at from the person living the life’s situation, however, even if you live on the “easy” side, survival, in your mind, can be just as difficult.


Whether your Tre, or Cher survival comes down to living your life out to the best of your ability. The more of your goals you accomplish the more successful survivor you are. Survival therefore can only be self-judged, since we as individuals, are the only ones who truly know what we would like to accomplish.





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Peace In Iraq

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In order to restore order and create a democracy in Iraq , the United States


is planning to form a new Iraqi Army. United States authority will begin recruiting


Iraqis for the 40,000 member army to take over the responsibility for guarding


borders and key installations. I for one , agree with this idea to form a new Iraqi


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army. I believe that the United State’s reasons for this plan , my reasons for this


plan , and the outcome for the future , will help explain why I think it is the right


thing to do.


The United States sees this as a great opportunity to stop the violence and the


constant attacks on U.S troops. It is hoped to prevent former Iraqi soldiers from


turning against occupation authority and engaging in armed resistance. Concerning


the new army , Slocombe , a senior Pentagon official stated , “They will perform


military duties of the kind of coalition forces are providing now. They will be a


military force , not a police force or a security force.” ( qtd. in chandrasekaran A1).


This means that the new Iraqi army is going to be trained as a United States army


and take on the same responsibilities. However , only former Iraqi officials and


enlisted personnel who are not linked to terrorism , will be the only ones aloud to


be recruited.


I think that building a new Iraqi army is a great idea because I feel that it is


the right thing to do. Ever since the war on terrorism began , I have always been in


favor for what the United States did. I supported every decision President Bush has


made , and believe strongly that he is a good leader. I understand that war is


terrible , but I believe that terrorism must come to an end. Even though the war is


now over , American soldiers are still being attacked and killed. But with a newly


formed Iraqi army trained by United States personnel , the violence among the


Iraqi people and soldiers would probably die down. I am for this decision one


hundred percent , and know that only good things can come out of it as a


result.


I predict that when this new Iraqi army is formed , our U.S troops are pulled


out , and a democracy is being developed in Iraq , the world we be a better place. I


understand that it may take a while , but it is definitely worth the time. There must


be structure and a strong form of government in Iraq to eliminate any chances of a


war again. All of the people of Iraq will hopefully understand the value of life and


learn to live in peace with themselves and other nations. This is what I hope will


come as a result of the new Iraqi army being formed.


This is where I stand on the idea of the United States building an army in


Iraq. It is a great and well thought out plan , and will hopefully have many positive


results that will help decrease all of the violence in the Middle-East. This has been


one piece of international news that I found , understood and am totally in


agreement with.


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Sunday, May 13, 2012

scholarship

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My goal is to work hard in college at Hong Kong University and attain degrees in International Transport . I plan to pursue a career in logistics because this is the area that I feel I will be the best at. I love to work with computers, complex electrical circuits, and machinery and I feel that if I can enjoy my career I will be able to do a better job for my employer, and feel satisfied with my work. I know that I will enjoy working as an engineer, because I am already working with engineers at Sandia Laboratories through the Youth Opportunity Program.My college education will help me attain the career that will allow me to reach my goals, both cultural and personal.


I know that I can accomplish my goals because I am a strong individual that never gives up when an obstacle presents itself to me. I am ambitious, and I care deeply about my family, community, and culture. I am very energetic and am always the first to volunteer when a new challenge arises. I enjoy keeping busy and I always set myself new goals.


My success means a lot more then just a good job; it means a new beginning for my family, a chance for me to give back to the community and future generations, and a chance to add a sense of satisfaction that I was able to accomplish my goals not only for myself, but for my entire race.


As long as I have the desire to succeed I will be able to do just that.


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I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.


nil


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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Distant Intercessory Prayer

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Distant Intercessory Prayer 1


Running head INTERCESSORY PRAYER AND TASK PERFORMANCE


Distant Intercessory Prayer and Task Performance


Lynn M. Munson and Douglas Degelman


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Vanguard University of Southern California


Distant Intercessory Prayer


Abstract


In an extension of research demonstrating causal effects of intercessory prayer for physical


healing in a medical setting, the present study experimentally examined the effects of


intercessory prayer for improved task performance in an employment setting. Trained


customer service representatives either did, or did not, receive (over a 14-day period) daily


intercessory prayer for the specific needs and challenges of their workplace. Speed of call


handling was evaluated for each customer service representative. The specific dependent


measures were number of calls per hour and number of seconds per call. No statistically


significant differences between prayer and non-prayer groups were found for either calls per


hour or seconds per call. Recommendations for research in this new area of study center on


methodological issues, including the selection of relevant dependent measures.


Distant Intercessory Prayer


Distant Intercessory Prayer and Task Performance


Reviews of research on religion and health have concluded that at least some types of


religious behaviors are related to higher levels of physical and mental health (Gartner, Larson, &


Allen, 11; Koenig, 10; Levin & Vanderpool, 11; Maton & Pargament, 187; Paloma &


Pendleton, 11; Payne, Bergin, Bielema, & Jenkins, 11). One of the “religious behaviors” that


has been shown to be related to health and well-being is prayer (Finney & Maloney, 185;


McCullough, 15; Paloma & Pendleton, 11).


The empirical studies examined in these reviews have almost all revealed a significant


relationship between an individuals religious belief system and measures of well-being (Aldridge,


11; Friedman & Benson, 17; Larson et al., 1; Matthews, 17). A more difficult question


to answer is whether the relationship between religion and health, or more specifically between


prayer and health, is causal. Most studies examining prayer and health are correlational, leaving


unanswered the question of whether prayer is causing the observed changes in health. To


illustrate, if individuals who pray for physical healing (or know that others are praying for them)


have more positive outcome measures, many would argue that the positive outcome is not the


direct effect of the prayer, but instead may be the result of positive cognitive expectations.


One study that has experimentally examined the causal effect of prayer on health measures


was conducted by Randolph Byrd (188). Byrd conducted what has proved to be a landmark


study experimentally examining the causal effect of intercessory prayer (prayer offered on behalf


of another) on recovery from cardiological illness. In this double-blind study, patients in a


coronary care unit either received or did not receive daily prayer (while hospitalized) from


Christian prayer intercessors. Patients receiving prayer had “less congestive heart failure, required


less diuretic and antibiotic therapy, had fewer episodes of pneumonia, had fewer cardiac arrests,


and were less frequently intubated and ventilated” (Byrd, 188, p. 8).


In another randomized, double-blind study on the effect of healing therapy utilizing


intercessory prayer on insulin dosage in type I diabetes mellitus patients, Wirth and Mitchell


(14) found that although there was a reduction in insulin dosage over a period of two weeks in


Distant Intercessory Prayer 4


the treatment condition compared to the control condition, the difference was not statistically


significant.


Although Byrds (188) study provides some evidence of a causal effect of prayer on


medical outcomes, there have been no comparable studies examining the potential causal effects


of prayer outside a medical setting. One important setting in which to study prayer is the


workplace, where prayer may address issues such as potential interpersonal conflict and the


pressures inherent in most workplaces (such as deadlines and performance evaluations). The


workplace clearly represents an untapped area for research into the possible causal effects of


intercessory prayer.


The specific purpose of the present study was to utilize the double-blind methodology of


Byrds (188) study on health outcomes to evaluate the “distance” effects (Dossey, 17; Schlitz,


17) of intercessory prayer (prayer without the individual’s presence or awareness) on


occupational task performance. In a health care customer service call center, will individuals


receiving prayer evidence different levels of task performance (number of calls answered per hour


and number of seconds per call) compared to individuals who are not receiving prayer?


Method


Participants


Research participants were 10 trained customer service call center representatives ( men


and 4 women) all residing in southern California.


1


The mean age for the men was 4.0 years (SD


= 8.8), and the mean age for the women was 7. years (SD = 8.). Ethnicity of participants was


not evaluated. All study participants had at least six months and no more than two years


experience in this customer service call center environment. Primary responsibilities of the


customer service representatives were to respond to member questions concerning health care


coverage and to attempt to resolve member complaints. Participants worked in a controlled


environment at individual pod-like workstations, which were grouped in clusters of five. Each


used identical computer and phone answering equipment. Calls were distributed equally as


representatives were available.


Distant Intercessory Prayer 5


Two women (ages 6 and 55) served as prayer intercessors for the study. The intercessors


were self-identified Christians who were active participants in prayer ministries in a local United


Methodist church.


Apparatus


Data on answer speed and call handling time was attained utilizing the Northern Telecom


Meridian Max call reporting system. A daily prayer log sheet was used as a self report by prayer


intercessors.


Procedure


Participants were randomly assigned by gender- and age-matched pairs to prayer and nonprayer


groups. Participants had no knowledge that a study on intercessory prayer was being


conducted, but they were aware of ongoing monitoring of their phone interactions with


customers. Permission to use these data for the current study was obtained. Customer service


representatives in the prayer group were assigned to two prayer intercessors who had no prior


knowledge of the participants. Intercessors were provided with general information related to


potential work environment challenges and specific information (age, gender, and identification


number) about those for whom they were to pray. They were directed to offer daily specific


prayers for efficiency, alertness, and wisdom with members’ issues. Most prayers were -5


minutes in length. Intercessors recorded daily prayer “events” for each individual.


The study period spanned a 7-day pretest period (11//6 to 11//6) and a 14-day


experimental period (11/10/6 to 11//6). Daily measurements of number of calls answered per


hour and call handling time (number of seconds per call) were obtained.


Results


For each participant, the mean number of calls per hour and the mean number of seconds


per call for both the seven-day pretest period and the fourteen-day experimental period were


obtained. Table 1 presents, for both prayer and non-prayer groups, the means and standard


deviations of both measures (calls per hour and seconds per call) for both pretest period and


experimental period.


Distant Intercessory Prayer 6


Preliminary analyses of pretest calls per hour and seconds per call revealed no significant


differences between prayer and non-prayer groups for either calls per hour, F (1, 6) = 0.4, p =


.5, or seconds per call, F (1, 6) = 0., p = .4.


Multivariate tests of significance of calls per hour and seconds per call (and follow-up


univariate tests of significance of each) revealed no significant differences between prayer and


non-prayer groups in the change in either the mean number of calls per hour or the mean number


of seconds per call from pretest period to experimental period (all ps .10).


Discussion


The major finding of this study is that prayer for a two-week time period did not elicit a


statistically significant change in task performance as measured by time per call or number of calls


handled per hour among customer service representatives. While other studies found a correlation


between prayer and physical or mental wellness, this study, which appears to be the first study


dealing with the potential causal effects of prayer on occupational task performance, found no


effect of prayer on the two measures of occupational task performance (calls per hour and


seconds per call).


In considering the results of this exploratory study, several issues are clear. First, it must be


recognized that there are many, many measures potentially affected by intercessory prayer beyond


the physical characteristics of the phone conversations between the customer service


representatives and the customers. A comprehensive list of these measures is not possible, but


included would have to be supervisor evaluations, peer evaluations, customer evaluations,


measures of personal peace, confidence, patience, kindness, insight into customer issues, and


resolution of customer issues. As the study of intercessory prayer moves into a new area


(occupational task performance), it is extremely important for researchers to have an ongoing


record of the dependent measures which were, and were not, impacted by intercessory prayer.


The dependent measures employed in this study (calls per hour and seconds per call) were


selected primarily because they were measures that were already being collected by the employer.


These measures may have been relatively insensitive to the effects of prayer due to certain


Distant Intercessory Prayer 7


conditions of employment customer service representatives received “incentives” (both monetary


and status) for efficient handling of calls. Thus, customer service representatives may have been


performing at or near optimal levels, resulting in a ceiling effect.


Second, there is an acknowledged need to report findings of statistical nonsignificance,


especially as research moves into a new area. Schlitz (17) and Larson et al. (1) both noted


the deleterious effects of selective reporting of only statistically significant effects. When a study


employs careful controls (such as the present study which controlled the potential biasing effects


of participant knowledge of being recipients of prayer), findings of statistical nonsignificance are


of greater value than studies in which several rival hypotheses can be identified.


Third, if the effect size that is being examined is reliable yet relatively small, there may be


several factors that determine whether a statistically significant effect is observed in a specific


situation. Schlitz (17) observed that the need of participants seems to increase effect size. To


the extent that this is so, we would expect employees of whom there are high expectations, or


who are experiencing prolonged stressful situations, or who operate in a highly competitive


setting might be more likely to be affected by intercessory prayer. Although some of these


conditions presumably applied in the present study, the selection of dependent measures may have


obscured their impact. Future research in this area should carefully consider the level of


participant need.


Few fields of research are as open and inviting as the study of the effects of intercessory


prayer in the workplace! In addition to the many potentially important dependent measures


already mentioned, future research needs to address additional variables such as the nature and


length of the intercessory prayer, the length of time the intercessory prayer period lasts, the


personal characteristics of both the participants and the intercessors (including age, gender, and


ethnicity), and the occupational characteristics of those receiving prayer (including type of


position, length of employment, and ongoing levels of stress). As future research begins to map


out the complex ways in which intercessory prayer impacts those in the workplace, additional


issues such as the endurance of the effects of prayer over time will certainly arise.


Distant Intercessory Prayer 8


References


Aldridge, D. (11). Spirituality, healing and medicine. British Journal of General Practice, 41,


45-47.


Byrd, R. C. (188). Positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary care unit


population. Southern Medical Journal, 81, 86-8.


Dossey, L. (17, March). Prayer as distant intentionality An idea whose time has come. Paper


presented at the meeting of Spirituality and Healing in Medicine-II, Los Angeles, CA.


Finney, J. R., & Malony, H. N. (185). Empirical studies of Christian prayer A review of the


literature. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 1, 104-115.


Friedman, R., & Benson, H. (17). Spirituality and medicine. Mind/Body Medicine, , 1-.


Gartner, J., Larson, D. B., & Allen, G. D. (11). Religious commitment and mental health A


review of the empirical literature. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 1, 6-5.


Koenig, H. G. (10). Research on religion and mental health in later life A review and


commentary. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, , -5.


Larson, D. B., Sherrill, K. A., Lyons, J. S., Craigie, F. C., Thielman, S. B., Greenwold, M. A., et


al. (1). Associations between dimensions of religious commitment and mental health


reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry and Archives of General Psychiatry 178-


18. American Journal of Psychiatry, 14, 557-55.


Levin, J. S., & Vanderpool, H. Y. (11). Religious factors in physical health and the prevention


of illness. Prevention in Human Services, (), 41-64.


Maton, K. I., & Pargament, K. I. (187). The roles of religion in prevention and promotion.


Prevention in Human Services, 5, 161-05.


Matthews, D. A. (17). Religion and spirituality in primary care. Mind/Body Medicine, , -1.


McCullough, M. E. (15) Prayer and health Conceptual issues, research review, and research


agenda. Journal of Psychology and Theology, , 15-.


Paloma, M. M., & Pendleton, B. F. (11). The effects of prayer and prayer experiences on


measures of general well-being. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 1, 71-8.


Distant Intercessory Prayer


Payne, I. R., Bergin, A. E., Bielema, K. A., & Jenkins, P. H. (11). Review of religion and


mental health Prevention and the enhancement of psychosocial functioning. Prevention in


Human Services, (), 11-40.


Schlitz, M. J. (17, March). Healing effects of intercessory prayer and distance intentionality.


Paper presented at the meeting of Spirituality and Healing in Medicine-II, Los Angeles, CA.


Wirth, D. P., & Mitchell, B. J. (14). Complementary healing therapy for patients with Type I


diabetes mellitus. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 8, 67-77.


Distant Intercessory Prayer 10


Table 1


Means and Standard Deviations of Mean Calls Per Hour and Mean Seconds Per Call for


Prayer and Non-Prayer Groups by Period


Period


Measure Pretest Experimental


Prayer


Calls Per Hour


M 7.88 7.6


SD 1.86 .0


Seconds Per Call


M 50.05 55.01


SD 71.7 6.86


Non-Prayer


Calls Per Hour


M 8. 7.8


SD .16 .10


Seconds Per Call


M 0. 5.6


SD 8. 81.5


Distant Intercessory Prayer 11


Author Note


Requests for reprints should be sent to Lynn M. Munson, 108 Trident Lane, Huntington


Beach, CA 646.


Distant Intercessory Prayer 1


Footnote


1The study began with 115 participants; data from 1 were dropped due to insufficient data


resulting from illnesses and unexpected days off.


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