2,943,799 research outputs found

    Pairwise comparison matrices: an empirical research

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    Our research focused on testing various characteristics of pairwise comparison (PC) matrices in controlled experiments. About 270 students have been involved in the test exercises and the final pool contained 450 matrices. Our team conducted experiments with matrices of different size obtained from different types of MADM problems. The matrix elements have been generated by different questioning orders, too. The cases have been divided into 18 subgroups according to the key factors to be analyzed. The testing environment made it possible to analyze the dynamics of inconsistency as the number of elements increased in a given case. Various types of inconsistency indices have been applied. The consequent behavior of the decision maker has also been analyzed in case of incomplete matrices using indicators to measure the deviation from the final ranking of alternatives and from the final score vector

    Advancing the Empirical Research on Lobbying

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    This essay identifies the empirical facts about lobbying which are generally agreed upon in the literature. It then discusses challenges to empirical research in lobbying and provides examples of empirical methods that can be employed to overcome these challenges鈥攚ith an emphasis on statistical measurement, identification, and casual inference. The essay then discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and effective use of the main types of data available for research in lobbying. It closes by discussing a number of open questions for researchers in the field and avenues for future work to advance the empirical research in lobbying

    Explanations of pedophilia: Review of empirical research

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    This article reviews empirical research to discover what support exists for theories that attempt to explain why adults become sexually interested in and involved with immature children. These theories are first organized into four basic categories: emotional congruence-why the adult congruence - why an emotional need to relate to a child; sexual arousl-why the adult could become sexually aroused by a child; blockage - why alternative sources of sexual and emotional gratification are not available; or disinhibition - why the adult is not deterred from such an interest by normal prohibitions. The review shows that the best experimental research has been directed toward establishing that pedophiles do not show an unusual pattern of sexual arousal toward children, although no good evidence yet exists about why this is so; a number of studies have concurred that pedophiles are blocked in their social and heterosexual relationships; the use of alcohol is well established as a disinhibiting factor that plays a role in a great many pedophile offenses; at least one study gives support to the \u27emotional congruence\u27 idea that children, because of their lack of dominance, have some special meaning for pedophiles; and there is evidence that many pedophiles were themselves victims of pedophile behavior when they were children. The article also demonstrates that pedophilia research is, in general, characterized by some serious theoretical and methodological flaws. As a result, caution should be exercised in generalizing findings until more careful research is undertaken

    Demand methods of price management: An empirical research

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    One factor which companies often take as a reference point for their pricing decisions is demand. This, however, is often done only partially, with priority being given to quantitative factors rather than qualitative factors. In this context, the aim of this study was to supply companies with a tool to facilitate and enhance price management in areas related to demand. In order to achieve this objective, the following procedure was implemented. Firstly, an extensive review of existing literature was carried out. This has made it possible to identify a set of factors which can influence consumer behaviour with respect to prices, and which should therefore be taken into account when making pricing decisions. The factors identified were then grouped into several categories (variables related to price, variables related to the product, variables related to the characteristics and the behaviour of the consumer, and variables related to the context of the purchase), in order to offer an overall, linked view. An empirical study was then carried out, interviewing price managers in a selection of companies from Andalusia (Spain). The objective was to gather data on their methods of price management, and to evaluate the practical usefulness of the sets of factors identified. The results of the study have made it possible to draw some interesting conclusions on price management. One of these is the importance which companies attach to pricing decisions. These decisions were taken in all cases by higher management teams. However, on analysing the factors which intervene in pricing decisions, it has been observed that their number is limited. In general, cost is still the major factor, while demandrelated aspects, in particular qualitative aspects, play a secondary role. On investigating the reasons for the priority given to quantitative rather than qualitative data, interviewees basically gave two answers. On the one hand, quantitative information (costs and sales) is easier to obtain, use and interpret than qualitative information (motivation, perception and attitude). On the other hand, most companies, and in particular the smaller ones, have no budget available for qualitative market studies. There may be a third reason for this behaviour, which was not explicitly mentioned at first by interviewees. This is the lack of knowledge regarding qualitative demand factors: their nature, their meaning, their usefulness and the way in which they can be incorporated into pricing decisions. This study is a first step towards solving this deficiency, since it proposes a chart which contains numerous restrictions in an integrated, organised fashion. Logically, it would be impractical to take them all into account simultaneously. This is where the work of each company begins, using market studies to establish priorities between the different factors

    Critical Realism and Empirical Research Methods in Education

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    In the light of recent writings of Richard Pring, and in relation to the application of empirical research methods in education, this paper offers a corrective to a neo-realist viewpoint and develops a critical realist perspective. The argument is made that the deployment of empirical research methods needs to be underpinned by a meta-theory embracing epistemological and ontological elements; that this meta-theory does not commit one to the view that absolute knowledge of the social world is possible; and that critical realism is the most appropriate meta-theory to underpin the use of empirical research methods. Further to this, unhelpful dualisms between quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and between structure and agency, are discussed in relation to neo-realist and critical realist perspectives