Tag Archives: Business

Using Eye-tracking to Understand Professional First impressions in a P ersonal Selling Context

Josh Groves, Utah Valley University


This study will discuss the contributions of eye-tracking data in testing first-time viewers of identified professional salespeople. Participants will view the professional portraits of two individuals, a male and female. With the results we hope to show that eye-movement data supplements what users verbally report in their reactions to an individual. In particular, eye-tracking data will reveal which aspects of the person receive more visual attention and in what order they are viewed. As eye-tracking systems have become more sophisticated and affordable, there has been an increasing interest in the use of eye-tracking within the first impression domain (Byrne, Anderson, Douglass, and Matessa, 1999; Kotval and Goldberg, 1998; and Hornof and Halverson, 2003). Despite increased research in this area, it is still not entirely clear exactly how much eye-movement contributes to the viewer’s evaluation of another individual. As part of a comparative test between two professionals’ images, participant eye-movements will be recorded during the initial introduction to the image. The eye-tracking data will be examined to gain additional insight into how users view that individual and what elements attract their attention. Additionally, respondents will be asked to provide their perceptions of five personality dimensions of the two individuals.

Twenty-two undergraduate students (11 female, 11 male) at Utah Valley University will participate in this study. All of the participants will be between ages 18 and 26. A 24” monitor will be integrated with the Tobii X2-60 eye-tracker, which will be used to collect participant eye-gaze data. Participants will be seated approximately 24” away from the monitor. After calibration, participants will be presented with the portrait of one of the individuals and will be given 10 seconds to look over the image. They will then verbally report their impressions of the individual by means of the Big Five Inventory. Post-impression interviews will be held to measure all “Big Five” personality scales: extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Eye-gaze and eye-plotting software will be used to examine the users’ eye-movements by means of a post-hoc analysis of visual fixations within different areas of interest (AOI). Specifically, the images will be naturally divided into segments of human facial features. The addition of the eye-tracking data will allow sales professionals to better understand exactly what potential buyers are viewing in order to make sense of the seller and form an impression that has direct influence on further interaction.

Inflation and Unemployment in Greece

Qiheng Wu, Weber State University


Research Question
How is the inflation rate related to the unemployment rate in Greece in the last 24 years?

Nowadays, many countries are facing financial or economic problems. Greece, a member of Eurozone, is suffering from their economic puzzles right now. Greece got the level of CCC from sovereign credit ratings agency (AFP 2011). According to a recent report, the unemployment rate of Greece in July was 26.4%. That is an incredibly high number compared with other countries in the world but a good sign for Greece because it shows that the unemployment rate is easing slightly after reaching a peak of 28% in September 2013. At the meantime, the unemployment rate is extremely high in Greece, too. This literature is going to study Greece’s crisis in terms of the relationship between inflation rate and unemployment rate. We hope we can find some causal relationship between inflation and unemployment rates in Greece and link it to Phillips Curve, which may give us some answers about what’s the impact of being a member of Eurozone to Greece’s economy.

Research method
In this research paper, we are going to compare with the data of 12 years before Greece joined the Eurozone and the data 12 years after that. In order to find the relationship between inflation rate and unemployment rate, we will put other possible factors such into “µ” and we will put the unemployment rate as a dependent variable and put the inflation rate as the independent variable to run two regressions with the same regression model but two time periods: Unemployment rate = ß0 + ß1 * Inflation rate + µ. (before 2001) Unemployment rate = ß0 + ß1 * Inflation rate + µ. (after 2001).

The Relationship between Trade Balance, Income and Real Exchange Rate

Wonjin Kim, Weber State University


The trade balance of a country, calculated as total exports minus total imports, measures the impact of foreign trade on the demand for that country’s output. It is proposed that there are generally three key determinants of trade balance, e.g., the real exchange rate, home disposable income, and foreign disposable income. In principle, as the home country’s real exchange rate depreciates (rises), the country is expected to export more and import less. An increase in home country’s income is expected to increase imports and generate a decrease in home country’s trade balance. On the other hand, an increase in foreign income is expected to raise the home country’s trade balance. This paper makes an attempt to explore whether the expected relationships between trade balance, home income, foreign income and real exchange rate holds. The United States is considered the home country and Japan is considered the foreign country in this study. The reason for using Japan as a foreign country is twofold: first data availability and second, Japan is one of the largest trade partner of the United States. We use quarterly data to conduct our study. The sample period spans from 1994 to 2012. We hypothesize that the real exchange rate has a positive relationship with trade balance. Also, we hypothesize that the U.S. income has a negative and Japan’s income has a positive effect on the trade balance of the United States. To test our hypothesis we run a multiple regression. The dependent variable in our regression is trade balance. The independent variables are home and foreign incomes and real exchange rate.

Bridging the GAAP between Accounting Education and Practice

Brock Griffith and David Lewis, Dixie State University


In the past, some accounting researchers have criticized university accounting education programs. In their view, there is a gap between accounting education and practice. According to Sunder (2007), “The accounting curriculums of most business schools are full of theories that have less practical relevance.” The aim of this research is to identify the knowledge of subjects and skills needed for a relevant university accounting program. The views of over 200 professional accountants were sought and data collected using a questionnaire. In addition, several follow-up interviews and discussions were conducted with participants of the study. The findings suggest that the traditional accounting subjects are very important for a relevant accounting education. However, many professionals believe that certain aspects of accounting education are needed but currently the accounting education is not adequately meeting those needs.This paper helps to bridge the gap between academic study in accounting and a career in the professional practices. The results of the research will assist accounting educators in delivering work-ready graduates who will assist in meeting the needs of employers in the accounting profession.

Beauty and the Advertising Beast: The Sales Implications of Representing Real Women in Advertising

Hallmat Ipaye, Westminster College


Marketers and advertisers allocate a compelling amount of resources to deciphering their target market, however, currently many women express that advertisements targeted towards and portraying women do not represent real women. An increasing disconnect exists between what an average woman actually looks like, thinks, acts and does and how a woman is marketed to in advertisements, specifically in women’s fashion and beauty magazines. Advertisers and marketers make important decisions regarding advertising and marketing without first consulting consumers about finished advertisements. Studies have shown that women do not relate, and often have lowered self esteem after looking at modern fashion and beauty magazines. This research and presentation focuses on categorizing what is important to women over the age of 18 to gain insight on how advertisers and marketers can better represent women in the advertisements of popular fashion and beauty magazines. July 2012 issues of fashion and beauty magazines Vogue, Glamour and Cosmopolitan will be discussed in terms of presence of factors that are important for women to relate to the advertisements in these magazines. The conclusion of these findings will further demonstrate the sales implications of representing real women in advertising from a survey of over 200 women.

How Estonia Became an OECD Country

Colin Cox, Weber State University


Acceptance into the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) can be interpreted as a sign that a country has achieved a level of high economic development. The pathways leading to becoming an OECD country are as diverse as the countries within this organization. The most recent country to join this elite organization is the small eastern European country, Estonia. Besides being the most recent country to be inducted into the OECD Estonia has another unique characteristic, it is the only OECD country to have belonged to the Soviet Union. Estonia’s relatively new independence gives researchers an extraordinary opportunity. We are able to track this country’s economic progress after its policies and institutions were essentially wiped clean upon gaining independence in 1991. In this study I will investigate what macroeconomic devices Estonia has used to progress further than other former Soviet States. In order to do this I will compare key economic indicators and policies for three former Soviet countries with similar economies; Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. I will draw connections between economic policies implemented and correlating empirical indicators. After analyzing the above mentioned parameters I will provide a summary of the successes and shortcomings experienced by Estonia’s economy and make relevant suggestions.

California: Balancing Energy Extraction with Natural Amenities

Kelsey White, Utah State University

Economics and Finance

California is endowed with some of the United States’ most beautiful natural landscapes. It also lies atop significant energy resources. While preserving natural amenities and developing energy are sometimes considered mutually exclusive endeavors, the reality is that most counties throughout California have developed both of these rich resources. While the ratios between amenities and energy differ, almost all counties with available opportunities have developed both to some extent. This paper compares and contrasts the balance between energy and amenities in three California counties. Monterey County is economically focused on agriculture and amenities, but has a strong potential for developing its shale resources, and some extraction has already begun. Ventura County also boasts plentiful natural amenities, but engages in significant oil production, particularly offshore production. Kern County is economically dependent upon oil extraction, but still maintains an active amenity sector. The fact that all of these counties have opted for a mixed economic portfolio balancing energy and recreation demonstrates that the two activities are not mutually exclusive, but rather that counties already opt for some mixture of the two. The three counties are compared on several key economic indicators such as per capita income and unemployment by using compiled US Census Bureau data. Counties with a mixed economic portfolio enjoy higher economic outcomes than those counties that focus more exclusively on either natural amenities or energy extraction.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005: The Case of Solyndra

Megan Hansen, Utah State University


This research represents one chapter out of a larger book written with the help of fellow student researchers at Liberty Source under the direction of Dr. Randy Simmons. The book itself questions the notion common among environmentalists that a balance of nature exists and that governments should take steps to restore that balance when it is upset. This research in particular examines the effects of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and the subsequent funding of alternative energy start-ups by the federal government in an effort to restore the balance of nature. It includes a detailed case study of Solyndra, a solar power manufacturing company that received a large federal loan from the Department of Energy under the Obama administration only to default a few years later. This case study questions the role of the government in “picking favorites” when it comes to alternative energy, and argues that failure is likely when this occurs due to imperfect information and the tendency for politics to play too large a role in decision-making.

Preparation, Acculturation, and Repatriation: A Mixed Methods Approach to Understanding the Mormon Missionary Experience

Joshua Blume, Utah State University

Economics and Finance

Studies of expatriates in a number of industries have suggested that acculturation plays a role in how individuals re-adapt to their home country after working abroad. This study applies acculturation and repatriation frameworks to returned Mormon Missionaries (who have also spent significant time away from home and family). Qualitative and quantitative results suggest that re-adaptation to home, family and school are affected in part by cultural components of the mission experience. Recommendations are made to assist “expatriate missionaries” in the re-acclimation process.