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more  Research Report

Research Report


What's Been Happening

Faculty members across the university are engaged in research and scholarship of all forms. These are reports on a few projects currently under way. For more information on research in the UNT System, read Resource magazine on the web at

Big-league bucks

photo of UNT research faculty members David J. Molina and R. Todd Jewell
  Research by UNT faculty members David J. Molina, left, and R. Todd Jewell shows that pay inequity on a baseball team may result in losing seasons.

Texas Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez’s record $252 million, 10-year salary may result in future losing seasons for the team, according to R. Todd Jewell, assistant professor of economics, and David J. Molina, associate professor of economics.

The professors compared the winning percentages of all the teams in Major League Baseball with the salaries paid to each player on the teams, examining data from the 1985 through 2000 seasons. They concluded that inequity in pay among players on a team — with some players receiving much larger paychecks than the others — hurts team cohesion, which in turn hurts chances for winning games.

Jewell says the data collected for the study implies that a 1 percent increase in payroll inequality leads to a 0.2 decrease in winning percentage. An average team with 81 wins in a season would have to reduce its payroll inequality by 6 percent to have 82 wins, he says.

Radio managers

A decade ago, most American radio stations were owned by small companies, with station managers responsible for only one or two stations. Today, however, one person or corporation may own numerous stations in a media market, and one person may be responsible for managing them all.

Alan Albarran, chair of the Department of Radio, Television and Film, and Kenneth Loomis, an assistant professor in the department, are examining the challenges faced by managers of cluster stations, or radio station monopolies. Funded by a grant from the National Association of Broadcasters, Albarran and Loomis conducted interviews with managers of cluster stations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. The researchers asked about the number of department heads that report to the station managers and what percentage of the managers’ week is spent on reviewing budgets and financial statements, sales programming, news, and marketing and promotions.

A survey was developed to mail to managers throughout the United States. The professors plan to finish their research this year.

photo of shopping in the mall
According to research by UNT students, teens today look for entertainment at the mall more than for convenience and quality products at a good price.

Teens at the mall

A study of teen shoppers at Grapevine Mills Mall conducted by UNT students found that what most of today’s teens want from the mall isn’t anything like what their parents wanted when they were teen-agers. The study of about 300 people at Grapevine Mills found that today’s teen-agers are looking for excitement and entertainment in the mall, whereas teens of previous generations, especially baby boomers, wanted convenience and quality products at a good price. Today’s teens shop for price and convenience, but their main priority is entertainment.

Youn-Kyung Kim, associate professor of merchandising and hospitality management, says this trend has changed somewhat because of the events of Sept. 11, but it’s only a part of a recurring cycle affected by times of war and peace. During wartime, stores like Wal-Mart that sell more need-oriented items prosper while most malls see a decline.

Computer shields

Floyd McDaniel, professor of physics, conducted research at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M., this year. With grants totaling more than $600,000, McDaniel used particle accelerators — atom smashers — to study the effect of random cosmic rays that disrupt the operation of computers. The research of McDaniel and UNT students simulates this occurrence, called a single event upset, and proposes materials that have the potential to shield electronic integrated circuits from this type of radiation.

Play therapy

UNT’s Center for Play Therapy has developed an innovative approach to helping mothers and children in the 3 to 4 million American families who are caught up in the vicious cycle of family violence each year and must flee to the protection of a shelter.

CPR for Parents (Child-Parent Relationship training), a 10-session model developed by Garry Landreth, Regents Professor of counseling, development and higher education and director of the Center for Play Therapy, trains parents in the basic child-centered play therapy skills usually reserved for professional counselors, psychologists and social workers.

Landreth and Nancy Smith, a UNT doctoral student, directed a research project that trained mothers in domestic violence shelters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to conduct special child-centered play sessions with their children each day for 12 days. At the end of that period, there was a significant improvement in the children’s self-concepts and a significant reduction in their withdrawn, anxious, depressed, aggressive and delinquent behaviors as compared to a non-treatment group.

One of the encouraging conclusions of the study, the researchers say, is that parents, even in the most stressful of circumstances, are capable of learning how to become emotionally helpful to their children.

Questionable calls

The 2002 Winter Olympics may have left the impression that figure skating is a hopelessly unfair competition, but a study by Randall Guttery, associate professor of real estate, says differently.

Guttery and James Sfiridis, associate professor of finance at the University of Connecticut, studied 7,266 cardinal scores in five Winter Olympic and World Championship pairs, men’s and women’s competitions from 1982 to 1994. They found that while judges were biased in their scoring, the current system used by the International Skating Union actually balanced itself out.

Plug into the sun

photo of Martin Schwartz

Martin Schwartz (right), Regents Professor of chemistry, has been awarded the Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship, administered by the National Research Council. Schwartz is conducting research at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. He is using organic polymers as a new type of material that promises to conduct electricity more efficiently than traditional metallic conductors. The ultimate goal of Schwartz’s research is to use these polymers as converters in transforming sunlight into electrical energy.


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