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Mechanical Engineering Graduate Theses & Dissertations

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On The Generalization Of Decision-Making Preferences In Movement Under Risk, Megan Kathleen O'Brien Jan 2014

On The Generalization Of Decision-Making Preferences In Movement Under Risk, Megan Kathleen O'Brien

Mechanical Engineering Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Nearly every aspect of our behavior is framed by risk, and people can respond to risk very differently. Some individuals readily confront highly variable situations in order to obtain large rewards (risk-seeking behavior), while others prefer more certain situations even if it means obtaining smaller rewards (risk-averse behavior).

At present, the role that risk plays in movement decisions is poorly understood. This dissertation investigates human movement decisions under risk, exploring the rationality of movement behavior in risky constructs and whether sensitivity to risk generalizes across movements. In the first study, I compared risk-sensitivity between two continuous motor tasks (arm-reaching and ...


Design, Development, And Verification Of An Automated Pain Measurement Device, Morgan L. Hill Jan 2013

Design, Development, And Verification Of An Automated Pain Measurement Device, Morgan L. Hill

Mechanical Engineering Graduate Theses & Dissertations

The focus of this study is the redesign, development, fabrication, and initial evaluation of an automated pain measurement device. The redesign will focus on improving the original Computer Controlled Pressure Algometer, designed by Zimkowski in 2010. Pain measurement is very difficult to accurately accomplish, and current methods are limited to subjective techniques such as pain rating scales and handheld algometry. These subjective methods of pain measurement have many shortcomings that render them inadequate at reliably assessing an individual's pain. Large variability has been shown with these testing methods, which can be prone to error due to test administrator, environmental ...