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In his article, the author asks how legitimacy of law and the concept of rules of law can be described taking into account the interaction between aspects of philosophy and sociology as well as the will of the state in states' constitutions. As the rule of law, versus other kinds of rules in our society, should be regarded as a rule of &amp;quot;three-dimensionality&amp;quot; " an interaction between the will of the state, the social, historical, and economic factors, and the idea or concept of justice ", the author focuses his interest on the examination of these three factors always taking into account that law is the will of the state, but that not every decision of the state can be considered as law.

Surveys are commonly tailored to produce estimates of aggregate statistics with a desired level of precision. This may lead to very small sample sizes for subpopulations of interest, defined geographically or by content, which are not incorporated into the survey design. We refer to subpopulations where the sample size is too small to provide direct estimates with adequate precision as small areas or small domains. Despite the small sample sizes, reliable small area estimates are needed for economic and political decision making. Hence, model-based estimation techniques are used which increase the effective sample size by borrowing strength from other areas to provide accurate information for small areas. The paragraph above introduced small area estimation as a field of survey statistics where two conflicting philosophies of statistical inference meet: the design-based and the model-based approach. While the first approach is well suited for the precise estimation of aggregate statistics, the latter approach furnishes reliable small area estimates. In most applications, estimates for both large and small domains based on the same sample are needed. This poses a challenge to the survey planner, as the sampling design has to reflect different and potentially conflicting requirements simultaneously. In order to enable efficient design-based estimates for large domains, the sampling design should incorporate information related to the variables of interest. This may be achieved using stratification or sampling with unequal probabilities. Many model-based small area techniques require an ignorable sampling design such that after conditioning on the covariates the variable of interest does not contain further information about the sample membership. If this condition is not fulfilled, biased model-based estimates may result, as the model which holds for the sample is different from the one valid for the population. Hence, an optimisation of the sampling design without investigating the implications for model-based approaches will not be sufficient. Analogously, disregarding the design altogether and focussing only on the model is prone to failure as well. Instead, a profound knowledge of the interplay between the sample design and statistical modelling is a prerequisite for implementing an effective small area estimation strategy. In this work, we concentrate on two approaches to address this conflict. Our first approach takes the sampling design as given and can be used after the sample has been collected. It amounts to incorporate the survey design into the small area model to avoid biases stemming from informative sampling. Thus, once a model is validated for the sample, we know that it holds for the population as well. We derive such a procedure under a lognormal mixed model, which is a popular choice when the support of the dependent variable is limited to positive values. Besides, we propose a three pillar strategy to select the additional variable accounting for the design, based on a graphical examination of the relationship, a comparison of the predictive accuracy of the choices and a check regarding the normality assumptions.rnrnOur second approach to deal with the conflict is based on the notion that the design should allow applying a wide variety of analyses using the sample data. Thus, if the use of model-based estimation strategies can be anticipated before the sample is drawn, this should be reflected in the design. The same applies for the estimation of national statistics using design-based approaches. Therefore, we propose to construct the design such that the sampling mechanism is non-informative but allows for precise design-based estimates at an aggregate level.

A huge number of clinical studies and meta-analyses have shown that psychotherapy is effective on average. However, not every patient profits from psychotherapy and some patients even deteriorate in treatment. Due to this result and the restricted generalization of clinical studies to clinical practice, a more patient-focused research strategy has emerged. The question whether a particular treatment works for an individual case is the focus of this paradigm. The use of repeated assessments and the feedback of this information to therapists is a major ingredient of patient-focused research. Improving patient outcomes and reducing dropout rates by the use of psychometric feedback seems to be a promising path. Therapists seem to differ in the degree to which they make use of and profit from such feedback systems. This dissertation aims to better understand therapist differences in the context of patient-focused research and the impact of therapists on psychotherapy. Three different studies are included, which focus on different aspects within the field:
Study I (Chapter 5) investigated how therapists use psychometric feedback in their work with patients and how much therapists differ in their usage. Data from 72 therapists treating 648 patients were analyzed. It could be shown that therapists used the psychometric feedback for most of their patients. Substantial variance in the use of feedback (between 27% and 52%) was attributable to therapists. Therapists were more likely to use feedback when they reported being satisfied with the graphical information they received. The results therefore indicated that not only patient characteristics or treatment progress affected the use of feedback.
Study II (Chapter 6) picked up on the idea of analyzing systematic differences in therapists and applied it to the criterion of premature treatment termination (dropout). To answer the question whether therapist effects occur in terms of patients’ dropout rates, data from 707 patients treated by 66 therapists were investigated. It was shown that approximately six percent of variance in dropout rates could be attributed to therapists, even when initial impairment was controlled for. Other predictors of dropout were initial impairment, sex, education, personality styles, and treatment expectations.
Study III (Chapter 7) extends the dissertation by investigating the impact of a transfer from one therapist to another within ongoing treatments. Data from 124 patients who agreed to and experienced a transfer during their treatment were analyzed. A significant drop in patient-rated as well as therapist-rated alliance levels could be observed after a transfer. On average, there seemed to be no difficulties establishing a good therapeutic alliance with the new therapist, although differences between patients were observed. There was no increase in symptom severity due to therapy transfer. Various predictors of alliance and symptom development after transfer were investigated. Impacts on clinical practice were discussed.
Results of the three studies are discussed and general conclusions are drawn. Implications for future research as well as their utility for clinical practice and decision-making are presented.

In order to investigate the psychobiological consequences of acute stress under laboratory conditions, a wide range of methods for socially evaluative stress induction have been developed. The present dissertation is concerned with evaluating a virtual reality (VR)-based adaptation of one of the most widely used of those methods, the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). In the three empirical studies collected in this dissertation, we aimed to examine the efficacy and possible areas of application of the adaptation of this well-established psychosocial stressor in a virtual environment. We found that the TSST-VR reliably incites the activation of the major stress effector systems in the human body, albeit in a slightly less pronounced way than the original paradigm. Moreover, the experience of presence is discussed as one potential factor of influence in the origin of the psychophysiological stress response. Lastly, we present a use scenario for the TSST-VR in which we employed the method to investigate the effects of acute stress on emotion recognition performance. We conclude that, due to its advantages concerning versatility, standardization and economic administration, the paradigm harbors enormous potential not only for psychobiological research, but other applications such as clinical practice as well. Future studies should further explore the underlying effect mechanisms of stress in the virtual realm and the implementation of VR-based paradigms in different fields of application.

Optimal Control of Partial Integro-Differential Equations and Analysis of the Gaussian Kernel
(2018)

An important field of applied mathematics is the simulation of complex financial, mechanical, chemical, physical or medical processes with mathematical models. In addition to the pure modeling of the processes, the simultaneous optimization of an objective function by changing the model parameters is often the actual goal. Models in fields such as finance, biology or medicine benefit from this optimization step.
While many processes can be modeled using an ordinary differential equation (ODE), partial differential equations (PDEs) are needed to optimize heat conduction and flow characteristics, spreading of tumor cells in tissue as well as option prices. A partial integro-differential equation (PIDE) is a parital differential equation involving an integral operator, e.g., the convolution of the unknown function with a given kernel function. PIDEs occur for example in models that simulate adhesive forces between cells or option prices with jumps.
In each of the two parts of this thesis, a certain PIDE is the main object of interest. In the first part, we study a semilinear PIDE-constrained optimal control problem with the aim to derive necessary optimality conditions. In the second, we analyze a linear PIDE that includes the convolution of the unknown function with the Gaussian kernel.

Competitive analysis is a well known method for analyzing online algorithms.
Two online optimization problems, the scheduling problems and the list accessing problems, are considered in the thesis of Yida Zhu in the respect of this method.
For both problems, several existing online and offline algorithms are studied. Their performances are compared with the performances of corresponding offline optimal algorithms.
In particular, the list accessing algorithm BIT is carefully reviewed.
The classical proof of its worst case performance get simplified by adapting the knowledge about the optimal offline algorithm.
With regard to average case analysis, a new closed formula is developed to determine the performance of BIT on specific class of instances.
All algorithm considered in this thesis are also implemented in Julia.
Their empirical performances are studied and compared with each other directly.

In the present study a non-motion-stabilized scanning Doppler lidar was operated on board of RV Polarstern in the Arctic (June 2014) and Antarctic (December 2015– January 2016). This is the first time that such a system measured on an icebreaker in the Antarctic. A method for a motion correction of the data in the post-processing is presented.
The wind calculation is based on vertical azimuth display (VAD) scans with eight directions that pass a quality control. Additionally a method for an empirical signal-tonoise ratio (SNR) threshold is presented, which can be calculated for individual measurement set-ups. Lidar wind profiles are compared to total of about 120 radiosonde profiles and also to wind measurements of the ship.
The performance of the lidar measurements in comparison with radio soundings generally shows small root mean square deviation (bias) for wind speed of around 1ms-1(0.1ms-1) and for wind direction of around 10 (1). The post-processing of the non-motion-stabilized data shows comparably high quality to studies with motion-stabilized systems.
Two case studies show that a flexible change in SNR threshold can be beneficial for special situations. Further the studies reveal that short-lived low-level jets in the atmospheric boundary layer can be captured by lidar measurements with a high temporal resolution in contrast to routine radio soundings. The present study shows that a non-motionstabilized Doppler lidar can be operated successfully on an
icebreaker. It presents a processing chain including quality control tests and error quantification, which is useful for further measurement campaigns.

The nonhydrostatic regional climate model CCLM was used for a long-term hindcast run (2002–2016) for the Weddell Sea region with resolutions of 15 and 5 km and two different turbulence parametrizations. CCLM was nested in ERA-Interim data and used in forecast mode (suite of consecutive 30 h long simulations with 6 h spin-up). We prescribed the sea ice concentration from satellite data and used a thermodynamic sea ice model. The performance of the model was evaluated in terms of temperature and wind using data from Antarctic stations, automatic weather stations (AWSs), an operational forecast model and reanalyses data, and lidar wind profiles. For the reference run we found a warm bias for the near-surface temperature over the Antarctic Plateau. This bias was removed in the second run by adjusting the turbulence parametrization, which results in a more realistic representation of the surface inversion over the plateau but resulted in a negative bias for some coastal regions. A comparison with measurements over the sea ice of the Weddell Sea by three AWS buoys for 1 year showed small biases for temperature around ±1 K and for wind speed of 1 m s−1. Comparisons of radio soundings showed a model bias around 0 and a RMSE of 1–2 K for temperature and 3–4 m s−1 for wind speed. The comparison of CCLM simulations at resolutions down to 1 km with wind data from Doppler lidar measurements during December 2015 and January 2016 yielded almost no bias in wind speed and a RMSE of ca. 2 m s−1. Overall CCLM shows a good representation of temperature and wind for the Weddell Sea region. Based on these encouraging results, CCLM at high resolution will be used for the investigation of the regional climate in the Antarctic and atmosphere–ice–ocean interactions processes in a forthcoming study.

This cumulative thesis encompass three studies focusing on the Weddell Sea region in the Antarctic. The first study produces and evaluates a high quality data set of wind measurements for this region. The second study produces and evaluates a 15 year regional climate simulation for the Weddell Sea region. And the third study produces and evaluates a climatology of low level jets (LLJs) from the simulation data set. The evaluations were done in the attached three publications and the produced data sets are published online.
In 2015/2016, the RV Polarstern undertook an Antarctic expedition in the Weddell Sea. We operated a Doppler wind lidar on board during that time running different scan patterns. The resulting data was evaluated, corrected, processed and we derived horizontal wind speed and directions for vertical profiles with up to 2 km height. The measurements cover 38 days with a temporal resolution of 10-15 minutes. A comparisons with other radio sounding data showed only minor differences.
The resulting data set was used alongside other measurements to evaluate temperature and wind of simulation data. The simulation data was produced with the regional climate model CCLM for the period of 2002 to 2016 for the Weddell Sea region. Only smaller biases were found except for a strong warm bias during winter near the surface of the Antarctic Plateau. Thus we adapted the model setup and were able to remove the bias in a second simulation.
This new simulation data was then used to derive a climatology of low level jets (LLJs). Statistics of occurrence frequency, height and wind speed of LLJs for the Weddell Sea region are presented along other parameters. Another evaluation with measurements was also performed in the last study.

This paper tested the ability of Mandarin learners of German, whose native language has lexical tone, to imitate pitch accent contrasts in German, an intonation language. In intonation languages, pitch accents do not convey lexical information; also, pitch accents are sparser than lexical tones as they only associate with prominent words in the utterance. We compared two kinds of German pitch-accent contrasts: (1) a “non-merger” contrast, which Mandarin listeners perceive as different and (2) a “merger” contrast, which sounds more similar to Mandarin listeners. Speakers of a tone language are generally very sensitive to pitch. Hypothesis 1 (H1) therefore stated that Mandarin learners produce the two kinds of contrasts similarly to native German speakers. However, the documented sensitivity to tonal contrasts, at the expense of processing phrase-level intonational contrasts, may generally hinder target-like production of intonational pitch accents in the L2 (Hypothesis 2, H2). Finally, cross-linguistic influence (CLI) predicts a difference in the realization of these two contrasts as well as improvement with higher proficiency (Hypothesis 3, H3). We used a delayed imitation paradigm, which is well-suited for assessing L2-phonetics and -phonology because it does not necessitate access to intonational meaning. We investigated the imitation of three kinds of accents, which were associated with the sentence-final noun in short wh-questions (e.g., Wer malt denn Mandalas, lit: “Who draws PRT mandalas?” “Who likes drawing mandalas?”). In Experiment 1, 28 native speakers of Mandarin participated (14 low- and 14 high-proficient). The learners’ productions of the two kinds of contrasts were analyzed using General Additive Mixed Models to evaluate differences in pitch accent contrasts over time, in comparison to the productions of native German participants from an earlier study in our lab. Results showed a more pronounced realization of the non-merger contrast compared to German natives and a less distinct realization of the merger contrast, with beneficial effects of proficiency, lending support to H3. Experiment 2 tested low-proficient Italian learners of German (whose L1 is an intonation language) to contextualize the Mandarin data and further investigate CLI. Italian learners realized the non-merger contrast more target-like than Mandarin learners, lending additional support to CLI (H3).

Three Kinds of Rising-Falling Contours in German wh-Questions: Evidence From Form and Function
(2022)

The intonational realization of utterances is generally characterized by regional as well as inter- and intra-speaker variability in f0. Category boundaries thus remain “fuzzy” and it is non-trivial how the (continuous) acoustic space maps onto (discrete) pitch accent categories. We focus on three types of rising-falling contours, which differ in the alignment of L(ow) and H(igh) tones with respect to the stressed syllable. Most of the intonational systems on German have described two rising accent categories, e.g., L+H* and L*+H in the German ToBI system. L+H* has a high-pitched stressed syllable and a low leading tone aligned in the pre-tonic syllable; L*+H a low-pitched stressed syllable and a high trailing tone in the post-tonic syllable. There are indications for the existence of a third category which lies between these two categories, with both L and H aligned within the stressed syllable, henceforth termed (LH)*. In the present paper, we empirically investigate the distinctiveness of three rising-falling contours [L+H*, (LH)*, and L*+H, all with a subsequent low boundary tone] in German wh-questions. We employ an approach that addresses both the form and the function of the contours, also taking regional variation into account. In Experiment 1 (form), we used a delayed imitation paradigm to test whether Northern and Southern German speakers can imitate the three rising-falling contours in wh-questions as distinct contours. In Experiment 2 (function), we used a free association task to investigate whether listeners interpret the pragmatic meaning of the three contours differently. Imitation results showed that German speakers—both from the North and the South—reproduced the three contours. There was a small but significant effect of regional variety such that contours produced by speakers from the North were slightly more distinct than those by speakers from the South. In the association task, listeners from both varieties attributed distinct meanings to the (LH)* accent as opposed to the two ToBI accents L+H* and L*+H. Combined evidence from form and function suggests that three distinct contours can be found in the acoustic and perceptual space of German rising-falling contours.

Interaction between the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis and the Circadian Clock System in Humans
(2017)

Rotation of the Earth creates day and night cycles of 24 h. The endogenous circadian clocks sense these light/dark rhythms and the master pacemaker situated in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus entrains the physical activities according to this information. The circadian machinery is built from the transcriptional/translational feedback loops generating the oscillations in all nucleated cells of the body. In addition, unexpected environmental changes, called stressors, also challenge living systems. A response to these stimuli is provided immediately via the autonomic-nervous system and slowly via the hypothalamus"pituitary"adrenal (HPA) axis. When the HPA axis is activated, circulating glucocorticoids are elevated and regulate organ activities in order to maintain survival of the organism. Both the clock and the stress systems are essential for continuity and interact with each other to keep internal homeostasis. The physiological interactions between the HPA axis and the circadian clock system are mainly addressed in animal studies, which focus on the effects of stress and circadian disturbances on cardiovascular, psychiatric and metabolic disorders. Although these studies give opportunity to test in whole body, apply unwelcome techniques, control and manipulate the parameters at the high level, generalization of the results to humans is still a debate. On the other hand, studies established with cell lines cannot really reflect the conditions occurring in a living organism. Thus, human studies are absolutely necessary to investigate mechanisms involved in stress and circadian responses. The studies presented in this thesis were intended to determine the effects of cortisol as an end-product of the HPA axis on PERIOD (PER1, PER2 and PER3) transcripts as circadian clock genes in healthy humans. The expression levels of PERIOD genes were measured under baseline conditions and after stress in whole blood. The results demonstrated here have given better understanding of transcriptional programming regulated by pulsatile cortisol at standard conditions and short-term effects of cortisol increase on circadian clocks after acute stress. These findings also draw attention to inter-individual variations in stress response as well as non-circadian functions of PERIOD genes in the periphery, which need to be examined in details in the future.

The classic Capital Asset Pricing Model and the portfolio theory suggest that investors hold the market portfolio to diversify idiosyncratic risks. The theory predicts that expected return of assets is positive and that reacts linearly on the overall market. However, in reality, we observe that investors often do not have perfectly diversified portfolios. Empirical studies find that new factors influence the deviation from the theoretical optimal investment. In the first part of this work (Chapter 2) we study such an example, namely the influence of maximum daily returns on subsequent returns. Here we follow ideas of Bali et al. (2011). The goal is to find cross-sectional relations between extremely positive returns and expected average returns. We take account a larger number of markets worldwide. Bali et al. (2011) report with respect to the U.S. market a robust negative relation between MAX (the maximum daily return) and the expected return in the subsequent time. We extent substantially their database to a number of other countries, and also take more recent data into account (until end of 2009). From that we conclude that the relation between MAX and expected returns is not consistent in all countries. Moreover, we test the robustness of the results of Bali et al. (2011) in two time-periods using the same data from CRSP. The results show that the effect of extremely positive returns is not stable over time. Indeed we find a negative cross-sectional relation between the extremely positive returns and the average returns for the first half of the time series, however, we do not find significant effects for the second half. The main results of this chapter serve as a basis for an unpublished working paper Yuan and Rieger (2014b). While in Chapter 2 we have studied factors that prevent optimal diversification, we consider in Chapter 3 and 4 situations where the optimal structure of diversification was previously unknown, namely diversification of options (or structured financial products). Financial derivatives are important additional investment form with respect to diversification. Not only common call and put options, but also structured products enable investors to pursue a multitude of investment strategies to improve the risk-return profile. Since derivatives become more and more important, diversification of portfolios with dimension of derivatives is of particularly practical relevance. We investigate the optimal diversification strategies in connection with underlying stocks for classical rational investors with constant relative risk aversion (CRRA). In particular, we apply Monte Carlo method based on the Black-Scholes model and the Heston model for stochastic volatility to model the stock market processes and the pricing of the derivatives. Afterwards, we compare the benchmark portfolio which consists of derivatives on single assets with derivatives on the index of these assets. First we compute the utility improvement of an investment in the risk-free assets and plain-vanilla options for CRRA investors in various scenarios. Furthermore, we extend our analysis to several kinds of structured products, in particular capital protected notes (CPNs), discount certificates (DCs) and bonus certificates (BCs). We find that the decision of an investor between these two diversification strategies leads to remarkable differences. The difference in the utility improvement is influenced by risk-preferences of investors, stock prices and the properties of the derivatives in the portfolio. The results will be presented in Chapter 3 and are the basis for a yet unpublished working paper Yuan and Rieger (2014a). To check furthermore whether underlyings of structured products influence decisions of investors, we discuss explicitly the utility gain of a stock-based product and an index-based product for an investor whose preferences are described by cumulative prospect theory (CPT) (Chapter 4, compare to Yuan (2014)). The goal is that to investigate the dependence of structured products on their underlying where we put emphasis on the difference between index-products and single-stock-products, in particular with respect to loss-aversion and mental accounting. We consider capital protected notes and discount certificates as examples, and model the stock prices and the index of these stocks via Monte Carlo simulations in the Black-Scholes framework. The results point out that market conditions, particularly the expected returns and volatility of the stocks play a crucial role in determining the preferences of investors for stock-based CPNs and index-based CPNs. A median CPT investor prefers the index-based CPNs if the expected return is higher and the volatility is lower, while he prefers the stock-based CPNs in the other situation. We also show that index-based DCs are robustly more attractive as compared to stock-based DCs for CPT investors.

Do Personality Traits, Trust and Fairness Shape the Stock-Investing Decisions of an Individual?
(2023)

This thesis is comprised of three projects, all of which are fundamentally connected to the choices that individuals make about stock investments. Differences in stock market participation (SMP) across countries are large and difficult to explain. The second chapter focuses on differences between Germany (low SMP) and East Asian countries (mostly high SMP). The study hypothesis is that cultural differences regarding social preferences and attitudes towards inequality lead to different attitudes towards stock markets and subsequently to different SMPs. Using a large-scale survey, it is found that these factors can, indeed, explain a substantial amount of the country differences that other known factors (financial literacy, risk preferences, etc.) could not. This suggests that social preferences should be given a more central role in programs that aim to enhance SMP in countries like Germany. The third chapter documented the importance of trust as well as herding for stock ownership decisions. The findings show that trust as a general concept has no significant contribution to stock investment intention. A thorough examination of general trust elements reveals that in group and out-group trust have an impact on individual stock market investment. Higher out group trust directly influences a person's decision to invest in stocks, whereas higher in-group trust increases herding attitudes in stock investment decisions and thus can potentially increase the likelihood of stock investments as well. The last chapter investigates the significance of personality traits in stock investing and home bias in portfolio selection. Findings show that personality traits do indeed have a significant impact on stock investment and portfolio allocation decisions. Despite the fact that the magnitude and significance of characteristics differ between two groups of investors, inexperienced and experienced, conscientiousness and neuroticism play an important role in stock investments and preferences. Moreover, high conscientiousness scores increase stock investment desire and portfolio allocation to risky assets like stocks, discouraging home bias in asset allocation. Regarding neuroticism, a higher-level increases home bias in portfolio selection and decreases willingness to stock investment and portfolio share. Finally, when an investor has no prior experience with portfolio selection, patriotism generates home bias. For experienced investors, having a low neuroticism score and a high conscientiousness and openness score seemed to be a constant factor in deciding to invest in a well-diversified international portfolio

Krylov subspace methods are often used to solve large-scale linear equations arising from optimization problems involving partial differential equations (PDEs). Appropriate preconditioning is vital for designing efficient iterative solvers of this type. This research consists of two parts. In the first part, we compare two different kinds of preconditioners for a conjugate gradient (CG) solver attacking one partial integro-differential equation (PIDE) in finance, both theoretically and numerically. An analysis on mesh independence and rate of convergence of the CG solver is included. The knowledge of preconditioning the PIDE is applied to a relevant optimization problem. The second part aims at developing a new preconditioning technique by embedding reduced order models of nonlinear PDEs, which are generated by proper orthogonal decomposition (POD), into deflated Krylov subspace algorithms in solving corresponding optimization problems. Numerical results are reported for a series of test problems.

This thesis discusses revue as a significantly inter-cultural genre in the history of global theatre. During the ‘modernisation’ period in Europe, America and Japan, most major urban cities experienced a boom in revue venues and performances. Few studies about revue have yet been done in theatre studies or in urban cultural studies. My thesis will attempt to reevaluate and redefine revue as a highly intercultural theatre genre by using the concept of liminality. In other words, the aim is to examine revue as a genre built on ‘modern composition of betweenness’, bridging seemingly opposing elements, such as the foreign and the domestic, the classic and the innovative, the traditional and the modern, the professional and the amateur, high and low culture, and the feminine and the masculine. The goal is to regard revue as a liminal genre constructed amidst the negotiations between these binaries, existing in a state of constant flux.
The purpose of this approach is to capture revue as a transitory phenomena in five dimensions: conceptual, spatial, temporal, categorical and physical. Over the course of six chapters, this
inter-disciplinary discussion will reveal the reasons why and the ways by which revue came to establish its prominent position in the Japanese theatre industry. The whole structure is also an attempt to provide plausible ways to apply sociological considerations to theatre studies.

Entrepreneurship is a process of discovering and exploiting opportunities, during which two crucial milestones emerge: in the very beginning when entrepreneurs start their businesses, and in the end when they determine the future of the business. This dissertation examines the establishment and exit of newly created as well as of acquired firms, in particular the behavior and performance of entrepreneurs at these two important stages of entrepreneurship. The first part of the dissertation investigates the impact of characteristics at the individual and at the firm level on an entrepreneur- selection of entry modes across new venture start-up and business takeover. The second part of the dissertation compares firm performance across different entrepreneurship entry modes and then examines management succession issues that family firm owners have to confront. This study has four main findings. First, previous work experience in small firms, same sector experience, and management experience affect an entrepreneur- choice of entry modes. Second, the choice of entry mode for hybrid entrepreneurs is associated with their characteristics, such as occupational experience, level of education, and gender, as well as with the characteristics of their firms, such as location. Third, business takeovers survive longer than new venture start-ups, and both entry modes have different survival determinants. Fourth, the family firm- decision of recruiting a family or a nonfamily manager is not only determined by a manager- abilities, but also by the relationship between the firm- economic and non-economic goals and the measurability of these goals. The findings of this study extend our knowledge on entrepreneurship entry modes by showing that new venture start-ups and business takeovers are two distinct entrepreneurship entry modes in terms of their founders" profiles, their survival rates and survival determinants. Moreover, this study contributes to the literature on top management hiring in family firms: it establishes family firm- non-economic goals as another factor that impacts the family firm- hiring decision between a family and a nonfamily manager.

Survey data can be viewed as incomplete or partially missing from a variety of perspectives and there are different ways of dealing with this kind of data in the prediction and the estimation of economic quantities. In this thesis, we present two selected research contexts in which the prediction or estimation of economic quantities is examined under incomplete survey data.
These contexts are first the investigation of composite estimators in the German Microcensus (Chapters 3 and 4) and second extensions of multivariate Fay-Herriot (MFH) models (Chapters 5 and 6), which are applied to small area problems.
Composite estimators are estimation methods that take into account the sample overlap in rotating panel surveys such as the German Microcensus in order to stabilise the estimation of the statistics of interest (e.g. employment statistics). Due to the partial sample overlaps, information from previous samples is only available for some of the respondents, so the data are partially missing.
MFH models are model-based estimation methods that work with aggregated survey data in order to obtain more precise estimation results for small area problems compared to classical estimation methods. In these models, several variables of interest are modelled simultaneously. The survey estimates of these variables, which are used as input in the MFH models, are often partially missing. If the domains of interest are not explicitly accounted for in a sampling design, the sizes of the samples allocated to them can, by chance, be small. As a result, it can happen that either no estimates can be calculated at all or that the estimated values are not published by statistical offices because their variances are too large.

Numerous RCTs demonstrate that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for depression is effective. However, these findings are not necessarily representative of CBT under routine care conditions. Routine care studies are not usually subjected to comparable standardizations, e.g. often therapists may not follow treatment manuals and patients are less homogeneous with regard to their diagnoses and sociodemographic variables. Results on the transferability of findings from clinical trials to routine care are sparse and point in different directions. As RCT samples are selective due to a stringent application of inclusion/exclusion criteria, comparisons between routine care and clinical trials must be based on a consistent analytic strategy. The present work demonstrates the merits of propensity score matching (PSM), which offers solutions to reduce bias by balancing two samples based on a range of pretreatment differences. The objective of this dissertation is the investigation of the transferability of findings from RCTs to routine care settings.

Educational assessment tends to rely on more or less standardized tests, teacher judgments, and observations. Although teachers spend approximately half of their professional conduct in assessment-related activities, most of them enter their professional life unprepared, as classroom assessment is often not part of their educational training. Since teacher judgments matter for the educational development of students, the judgments should be up to a high standard. The present dissertation comprises three studies focusing on accuracy of teacher judgments (Study 1), consequences of (mis-)judgment regarding teacher nomination for gifted programming (Study 2) and teacher recommendations for secondary school tracks (Study 3), and individual student characteristics that impact and potentially bias teacher judgment (Studies 1 through 3). All studies were designed to contribute to a further understanding of classroom assessment skills of teachers. Overall, the results implied that, teacher judgment of cognitive ability was an important constant for teacher nominations and recommendations but lacked accuracy. Furthermore, teacher judgments of various traits and school achievement were substantially related to social background variables, especially the parents" educational background. However, multivariate analysis showed social background variables to impact nomination and recommendation only marginally if at all. All results indicated differentiated but potentially biased teacher judgments to impact their far-reaching referral decisions directly, while the influence of social background on the referral decisions itself seems mediated. Implications regarding further research practices and educational assessment strategies are discussed. The implications on the needs of teachers to be educated on judgment and educational assessment are of particular interest and importance.

The main focus of this work is to study the computational complexity of generalizations of the synchronization problem for deterministic finite automata (DFA). This problem asks for a given DFA, whether there exists a word w that maps each state of the automaton to one state. We call such a word w a synchronizing word. A synchronizing word brings a system from an unknown configuration into a well defined configuration and thereby resets the system.
We generalize this problem in four different ways.
First, we restrict the set of potential synchronizing words to a fixed regular language associated with the synchronization under regular constraint problem.
The motivation here is to control the structure of a synchronizing word so that, for instance, it first brings the system from an operate mode to a reset mode and then finally again into the operate mode.
The next generalization concerns the order of states in which a synchronizing word transitions the automaton. Here, a DFA A and a partial order R is given as input and the question is whether there exists a word that synchronizes A and for which the induced state order is consistent with R. Thereby, we study different ways for a word to induce an order on the state set.
Then, we change our focus from DFAs to push-down automata and generalize the synchronization problem to push-down automata and in the following work, to visibly push-down automata. Here, a synchronizing word still needs to map each state of the automaton to one state but it further needs to fulfill some constraints on the stack. We study three different types of stack constraints where after reading the synchronizing word, the stacks associated to each run in the automaton must be (1) empty, (2) identical, or (3) can be arbitrary.
We observe that the synchronization problem for general push-down automata is undecidable and study restricted sub-classes of push-down automata where the problem becomes decidable. For visibly push-down automata we even obtain efficient algorithms for some settings.
The second part of this work studies the intersection non-emptiness problem for DFAs. This problem is related to the problem of whether a given DFA A can be synchronized into a state q as we can see the set of words synchronizing A into q as the intersection of languages accepted by automata obtained by copying A with different initial states and q as their final state.
For the intersection non-emptiness problem, we first study the complexity of the, in general PSPACE-complete, problem restricted to subclasses of DFAs associated with the two well known Straubing-Thérien and Cohen-Brzozowski dot-depth hierarchies.
Finally, we study the problem whether a given minimal DFA A can be represented as the intersection of a finite set of smaller DFAs such that the language L(A) accepted by A is equal to the intersection of the languages accepted by the smaller DFAs. There, we focus on the subclass of permutation and commutative permutation DFAs and improve known complexity bounds.

The Firepower of Work Craving: When Self-Control Is Burning under the Rubble of Self-Regulation
(2017)

Work craving theory addresses how work-addicted individuals direct great emotion-regulatory efforts to weave their addictive web of working. They crave work for two main emotional incentives: to overcompensate low self-worth and to escape (i.e., reduce) negative affect, which is strategically achieved through neurotic perfectionism and compulsive working. Work-addicted individuals" strong persistence and self-discipline with respect to work-related activities suggest strong skills in volitional action control. However, their inability to disconnect from work implies low volitional skills. How can work-addicted individuals have poor and strong volitional skills at the same time? To answer this paradox, we elaborated on the relevance of two different volitional modes in work craving: self-regulation (self-maintenance) and self-control (goal maintenance). Four hypotheses were derived from Wojdylo- work craving theory and Kuhl- self-regulation theory: (H1) Work craving is associated with a combination of low self-regulation and high self-control. (H2) Work craving is associated with symptoms of psychological distress. (H3) Low self-regulation is associated with psychological distress symptoms. (H4) Work craving mediates the relationships between self-regulation deficits and psychological distress symptoms at high levels of self-control. Additionally, we aimed at supporting the discriminant validity of work craving with respect to work engagement by showing their different volitional underpinnings. Results of the two studies confirmed our hypotheses: whereas work craving was predicted by high self-control and low self-regulation and associated with higher psychological distress, work engagement was predicted by high self-regulation and high self-control and associated with lower symptoms of psychological distress. Furthermore, work styles mediated the relationship between volitional skills and symptoms of psychological distress. Based on these new insights, several suggestions for prevention and therapeutic interventions for work-addicted individuals are proposed.

Copositive programming is concerned with the problem of optimizing a linear function over the copositive cone, or its dual, the completely positive cone. It is an active field of research and has received a growing amount of attention in recent years. This is because many combinatorial as well as quadratic problems can be formulated as copositive optimization problems. The complexity of these problems is then moved entirely to the cone constraint, showing that general copositive programs are hard to solve. A better understanding of the copositive and the completely positive cone can therefore help in solving (certain classes of) quadratic problems. In this thesis, several aspects of copositive programming are considered. We start by studying the problem of computing the projection of a given matrix onto the copositive and the completely positive cone. These projections can be used to compute factorizations of completely positive matrices. As a second application, we use them to construct cutting planes to separate a matrix from the completely positive cone. Besides the cuts based on copositive projections, we will study another approach to separate a triangle-free doubly nonnegative matrix from the completely positive cone. A special focus is on copositive and completely positive programs that arise as reformulations of quadratic optimization problems. Among those we start by studying the standard quadratic optimization problem. We will show that for several classes of objective functions, the relaxation resulting from replacing the copositive or the completely positive cone in the conic reformulation by a tractable cone is exact. Based on these results, we develop two algorithms for solving standard quadratic optimization problems and discuss numerical results. The methods presented cannot immediately be adapted to general quadratic optimization problems. This is illustrated with examples.

Die Dissertation beschäftigt sich mit einer neuartigen Art von Branch-and-Bound Algorithmen, deren Unterschied zu klassischen Branch-and-Bound Algorithmen darin besteht, dass
das Branching durch die Addition von nicht-negativen Straftermen zur Zielfunktion erfolgt
anstatt durch das Hinzufügen weiterer Nebenbedingungen. Die Arbeit zeigt die theoretische Korrektheit des Algorithmusprinzips für verschiedene allgemeine Klassen von Problemen und evaluiert die Methode für verschiedene konkrete Problemklassen. Für diese Problemklassen, genauer Monotone und Nicht-Monotone Gemischtganzzahlige Lineare Komplementaritätsprobleme und Gemischtganzzahlige Lineare Probleme, präsentiert die Arbeit
verschiedene problemspezifische Verbesserungsmöglichkeiten und evaluiert diese numerisch.
Weiterhin vergleicht die Arbeit die neue Methode mit verschiedenen Benchmark-Methoden
mit größtenteils guten Ergebnissen und gibt einen Ausblick auf weitere Anwendungsgebiete
und zu beantwortende Forschungsfragen.

We use a novel sea-ice lead climatology for the winters of 2002/03 to 2020/21 based on satellite observations with 1 km2 spatial resolution to identify predominant patterns in Arctic wintertime sea-ice leads. The causes for the observed spatial and temporal variabilities are investigated using ocean surface current velocities and eddy kinetic energies from an ocean model (Finite Element Sea Ice–Ice-Shelf–Ocean Model, FESOM) and winds from a regional climate model (CCLM) and ERA5 reanalysis, respectively. The presented investigation provides evidence for an influence of ocean bathymetry and associated currents on the mechanic weakening of sea ice and the accompanying occurrence of sea-ice leads with their characteristic spatial patterns. While the driving mechanisms for this observation are not yet understood in detail, the presented results can contribute to opening new hypotheses on ocean–sea-ice interactions. The individual contribution of ocean and atmosphere to regional lead dynamics is complex, and a deeper insight requires detailed mechanistic investigations in combination with considerations of coastal geometries. While the ocean influence on lead dynamics seems to act on a rather long-term scale (seasonal to interannual), the influence of wind appears to trigger sea-ice lead dynamics on shorter timescales of weeks to months and is largely controlled by individual events causing increased divergence. No significant pan-Arctic trends in wintertime leads can be observed.

In this thesis, we investigate the quantization problem of Gaussian measures on Banach spaces by means of constructive methods. That is, for a random variable X and a natural number N, we are searching for those N elements in the underlying Banach space which give the best approximation to X in the average sense. We particularly focus on centered Gaussians on the space of continuous functions on [0,1] equipped with the supremum-norm, since in that case all known methods failed to achieve the optimal quantization rate for important Gauss-processes. In fact, by means of Spline-approximations and a scheme based on the Best-Approximations in the sense of the Kolmogorov n-width we were able to attain the optimal rate of convergence to zero for these quantization problems. Moreover, we established a new upper bound for the quantization error, which is based on a very simple criterion, the modulus of smoothness of the covariance function. Finally, we explicitly constructed those quantizers numerically.

In the context of accelerated global socio-environmental change, the Water-Energy-Food Nexus has received increasing attention within science and international politics by promoting integrated resource governance. This study explores the scientific nexus debates from a discourse analytical perspective to reveal knowledge and power relations as well as geographical settings of nexus research. We also investigate approaches to socio-nature relations that influence nexus research and subsequent political implications. Our findings suggest that the leading nexus discourse is dominated by natural scientific perspectives and a neo-Malthusian framing of environmental challenges. Accordingly, the promoted cross-sectoral nexus approach to resource governance emphasizes efficiency, security, future sustainability, and poverty reduction. Water, energy, and food are conceived as global trade goods that require close monitoring, management and control, to be achieved via quantitative assessments and technological interventions. Within the less visible discourse, social scientific perspectives engage with the social, political, and normative elements of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. These perspectives criticize the dominant nexus representation for itsmanagerial, neoliberal, and utilitarian approach to resource governance. The managerial framing is critiqued for masking power relations and social inequalities, while alternative framings acknowledge the political nature of resource governance and socio-nature relations. The spatial dimensions of the nexus debate are also discussed. Notably, the nexus is largely shaped by western knowledge, yet applied mainly in specific regions of the Global South. In order for the nexus to achieve integrative solutions for sustainability, the debate needs to overcome its current discursive and spatial separations. To this end, we need to engage more closely with alternative nexus discourses, embrace epistemic pluralism and encourage multi-perspective debates about the socio-nature relations we actually intend to promote.

In a first step, this paper analyses the emergence of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as new global development framework with regard to key actors, social learning cycles, innovation platforms, fundamental policy changes and transition dynamics towards sustainability. In a second step, it traces the convolution of social, political and environmental dimensions, social power relations and governance paradigms embedded in the drafting process and final framework of the water related SDG 6. This research concludes that the SDGs induced important paradigm and policy changes in addition to rearranging existing power relations.

This literature review was conducted to identify important wetlands in the Greater Accra Region and to illustrate dominant research trends, prevailing perspectives and corresponding research gaps. Six wetlands systems were identified as most significant lagoon systems, namely the Densu Delta, Sakumo, Muni-Pomadze, Keta, Korle and Songor Lagoons. Research foci for each of the respective wetlands were extrapolated and summarized in a category system. The frequency of different categories illustrates that natural science’s perspectives dominate, as most of Accra’s lagoons have been studied with regard to their ecological, physical and chemical properties. The development of research interest over time and focus on ecological baseline conditions are related to the designation of Ramsar Sites and orientation of national policies towards environmental protection. A research gap was identified, as studies link their findings to human activities but neglect the connection between governance variables and environmental developments. It is suggested to expand the natural science’s perspective on Accra’s wetlands to account for social and political aspects in order to develop a holistic and more sustainable management strategy.

Avoiding aerial microfibre contamination of environmental samples is essential for reliable analyses when it comes to the detection of ubiquitous microplastics. Almost all laboratories have contamination problems which are largely unavoidable without investments in clean-air devices. Therefore, our study supplies an approach to assess background microfibre contamination of samples in the laboratory under particle-free air conditions. We tested aerial contamination of samples indoor, in a mobile laboratory, within a laboratory fume hood and on a clean bench with particles filtration during the examining process of a fish. The used clean bench reduced aerial microfibre contamination in our laboratory by 96.5%. This highlights the value of suitable clean-air devices for valid microplastic pollution data. Our results indicate, that pollution levels by microfibres have been overestimated and actual pollution levels may be many times lower. Accordingly, such clean-air devices are recommended for microplastic laboratory applications in future research work to significantly lower error rates.

Geographic ranges of species and their determinants are of great interest in the field of biogeography and are often studied in terms of the species" ecological niches. In this context, the range of a species is defined by the accessibility of an area, abiotic factors and biotic interactions, which affect a species" distributions with different intensities across spatial scales. Parapatry describes a distributional pattern in which the ranges of two species meet along sharp range limits with narrow contact zones. Such parapatric range limits are determined by changing abiotic conditions along sharp environmental gradients or can result from interspecific resource competition. However, it has been shown that often the interplay of abiotic conditions and species interactions determine parapatry. The geographic ranges of the land salamanders, Salamandra salamandra and S. atra, narrowly overlap in the European Alps with only few syntopic localities and to date, the cause of parapatry is unknown. The goal of this thesis was thus to identify the importance of abiotic and biotic factors for their parapatric range limits at different spatial scales. On a broad spatial scale, the role of climate for the parapatric range limits of the species was investigated within three contact zones in Switzerland. Climatic conditions at species" records were analysed and species distribution modelling techniques were used to explore the species" climatic niches and to quantify the interspecific niche overlap. Furthermore, it was tested whether the parapatric range limit coincides with a strong climatic gradient. The results revealed distinct niches for the species as well as the presence of strong climatic gradients which could explain the parapatric range limits of the species. Yet, there was a moderate interspecific niche overlap in all contact zones indicating that the species may co-occur and interact with each other in areas where they both find adequate conditions. Comparison among contact zones revealed geographic variation in the species" niches as well as in the climatic conditions at their records suggesting that the species can occur in a much wider range of conditions than they actually do. These findings imply that climate represents a main factor for the species" parapatric range limits. Yet, interspecific niche overlap and the geographic variation provide indirect evidence that interspecific interaction may also affect their spatial distribution. To test whether competition restricts the species" ranges on the habitat scale and to understand local syntopic co-occurrence of the salamanders within their contact zones, site-occupancy modelling was used. This approach allowed to find the habitat predictors that best explain the species" local distribution. While the slope of the site positively affected the occupancy probability of S. salamandra, no tested predictor explained that of S. atra. Also, there was no effect of the occurrence of one species on the occupancy probability of the other providing no evidence for competition. Should competition occur, it does not lead to spatial segregation of the species on this scale. Because biotic interactions most significantly affect the ranges of species on small spatial scales, the microhabitat conditions at locations of the species within syntopic contact zones were compared and a null model analysis was applied to determine their niche overlap. Resource selection probability function models were used to assess those attributes that affect the species" habitat selections. The results revealed species-specific microhabitat preferences related to leaf litter cover, tree number and that the species were active at different temperatures as well as times of the day. The high degree of diurnal activity of S. atra may be due to its preference of forest floor microhabitats that long remain suitable during daytime. Besides, there was a great niche overlap for shelters indicating that the species may compete for this resource. Differential habitat selection and the use of the available shelters at different times of the day may minimize species interactions and allow their local co-occurrence within contact zones. To identify whether the potential infection with the pathogenic chytrid fungus could serve as an alternative biotic explanation for the range margins of S. atra, several populations throughout its range were screened for infection. Since the occurrence of this pathogen was detected mostly at lower altitudes of the Alps, it may confine the range of S. atra to higher elevations. Because chytrid was not detected in any of the samples, the pathogen unlikely plays a role in determining its range limits. Overall, these findings underline the complexity of mechanisms that determine the range margins of parapatric species and provide an important basis for subsequent studies regarding the determinants of the parapatric distribution of the two salamander species.

Digitalization primarily takes place in and through organizations. Despite this prominent role, however, the importance of organizational structure-building processes in the digital transformation is still underexposed in discourse. The fact that ongoing digitalization is linked to an established phenomenon and its own logic, is regularly not addressed due to the attraction potential of the semantics of the digital revolution. Digital revolution and the reordering of societal relationships, though, manifest themselves primarily in processes of reorganization. Structural automation processes in the ongoing digital transformation are limiting the scope for action, necessitating forms of structural structurelessness in organizations that cultivate opportunities for chance. Since organizations realize their operations as a dual of structure and individual, and the principle of organization is therefore based on the complementarity of structural formality and unpredictable informality. The paper discusses the topicality of the classical form of modern organization in the digital age and reflects on approaches to a contemporary design of spaces of opportunity. The reflexive handling of future openness is the central task of management and leadership in order to enable variation and innovation in organizations.

Shape optimization is of interest in many fields of application. In particular, shape optimization problems arise frequently in technological processes which are modelled by partial differential equations (PDEs). In a lot of practical circumstances, the shape under investigation is parametrized by a finite number of parameters, which, on the one hand, allows the application of standard optimization approaches, but, on the other hand, unnecessarily limits the space of reachable shapes. Shape calculus presents a way to circumvent this dilemma. However, so far shape optimization based on shape calculus is mainly performed using gradient descent methods. One reason for this is the lack of symmetry of second order shape derivatives or shape Hessians. A major difference between shape optimization and the standard PDE constrained optimization framework is the lack of a linear space structure on shape spaces. If one cannot use a linear space structure, then the next best structure is a Riemannian manifold structure, in which one works with Riemannian shape Hessians. They possess the often sought property of symmetry, characterize well-posedness of optimization problems and define sufficient optimality conditions. In general, shape Hessians are used to accelerate gradient-based shape optimization methods. This thesis deals with shape optimization problems constrained by PDEs and embeds these problems in the framework of optimization on Riemannian manifolds to provide efficient techniques for PDE constrained shape optimization problems on shape spaces. A Lagrange-Newton and a quasi-Newton technique in shape spaces for PDE constrained shape optimization problems are formulated. These techniques are based on the Hadamard-form of shape derivatives, i.e., on the form of integrals over the surface of the shape under investigation. It is often a very tedious, not to say painful, process to derive such surface expressions. Along the way, volume formulations in the form of integrals over the entire domain appear as an intermediate step. This thesis couples volume integral formulations of shape derivatives with optimization strategies on shape spaces in order to establish efficient shape algorithms reducing analytical effort and programming work. In this context, a novel shape space is proposed.

The overall objective of this thesis was to gain a deeper understanding of the antecedents, processes, and manifestations of uniqueness-driven consumer behavior. To achieve this goal, five studies have been conducted in Germany and Switzerland with a total of 1048 participants across different demographic and socio-economic backgrounds. Two concepts were employed in all studies: Consumer need for uniqueness (CNFU) and general uniqueness perception (GUP). CNFU (Tian, Bearden, & Hunter, 2001), a mainly US"based consumer research concept, measures the individual need, and thus the motivation to acquire, use, and dispose consumer goods in order to develop a unique image. GUP, adapted from the two-component theory of individuality (Kampmeier, 2001), represents a global and direct measure of self-ascribed uniqueness. Study #1 looked at the interrelation of the uniqueness-driven concepts. Therefore, GUP and CNFU were employed in the study as potential psychological factors that influence and predict uniqueness-driven consumer behavior. Different behavioral measures were used: The newly developed possession of individualized products (POIP), the newly developed products for uniqueness display (PFUD), and the already established uniqueness-enhancing behaviors (UEB). Analyses showed that CNFU mediates the relationship between GUP and the behavioral measures in a German speaking setting. Thus, GUP (representing self-perception) was identified as the driver behind CNFU (representing motivation) and the actual consumer behavior. Study #2 examined further manifestations of uniqueness-driven consumer behavior. For this purpose, an extreme form of uniqueness-increasing behavior was researched: Tattooing. The influence of GUP and CNFU on tattooing behavior was investigated using a sample derived from a tattoo exhibition. To do so, a newly developed measure to determine the percentage of the body covered by tattoos was employed. It was revealed that individuals with higher GUP and CNFU levels indeed have a higher tattooing degree. Study #3 further explored the predictive possibilities and limitations of the GUP and CNFU concepts. On the one hand, study #3 specifically looked at the consumption of customized apparel products as mass customization is said to become the standard of the century (Piller & Müller, 2004). It was shown that individuals with higher CNFU levels not only purchased more customized apparel products in the last six months, but also spend more money on them. On the other hand, uniqueness-enhancing activities (UEA), such as travel to exotic places or extreme sports, were investigated by using a newly developed 30-item scale. It was revealed that CNFU partly mediates the GUP and UEA relationship, proving that CNFU indeed predicts a broad range of consumer behaviors and that GUP is the driver behind the need and the behavior. Study #4, entered a new terrain. In contrast to the previous three studies, it explored the so termed "passive" side of uniqueness-seeking in the consumer context. Individuals might feel unique because business companies treat them in a special way. Such a unique customer treatment (UCT) involves activities like customer service or customer relationship management. Study #4 investigated if individuals differ in their need for such a treatment. Hence, with the need for unique customer treatment (NFUCT) a new uniqueness-driven consumer need was introduced and its impact on customer loyalty examined. Analyses, for example, revealed that individuals with high NFUCT levels receiving a high unique customer treatment (UCT) showed the highest customer loyalty, whereas the lowest customer loyalty was found among those individuals with high NFUCT levels receiving a low unique customer treatment (UCT). Study #5 mainly examined the processes behind uniqueness-driven consumer behavior. Here, not only the psychological influences, but also situational influences were examined. This study investigated the impact of a non-personal "indirect" uniqueness manipulation on the consumption of customized apparel products by simultaneously controlling for the influence of GUP and CNFU. Therefore, two equal experimental groups were created. Afterwards, these groups either received an e-mail with a "pro-individualism" campaign or a "pro-collectivism" campaign especially developed for study #5. The conducted experiment revealed that, individuals receiving a "pro-individualism" poster campaign telling the participants that uniqueness is socially appropriate and desired were willing to spend more money on customization options compared to individuals receiving a "pro-collectivism" poster campaign. Hence, not only psychological antecedents such as GUP and CNFU influence uniqueness-driven consumer behavior, but also situational factors.

Software and interactive systems that adapt their behavior to the user are often referred to as Adaptive Systems. These systems infer the user's goals, knowledge or preferences by observing the user's actions. A synposis of 43 published studies demonstrated that only few of the existing systems are evaluated empirically. Most studies failed to show an advantage of the user model. A new framework is proposed that categorizes existing studies and defines an evaluation procedure which is able to uncover failures and maladaptations in the user model. It consists of four layers: evaluation of input data, evaluation of inference, evaluation of adaptation decision and evaluation of total interaction. Exemplary, the framework has been applied to the HTML-Tutor, an online-course that adapts to the learners' knowledge. Several empirical studies are described that test the accuracy of the user models, and explore the effects of adaptation to knowledge respectively prior knowledge. Generalization issues of the approach are discussed.

Legalisation cannot be fully explained by interest politics. If that were the case, the attitudes towards legalisation would be expected to be based on objective interests and actual policies in France and Germany would be expected to be more similar. Nor can it be explained by institutional agency, because there are no hints that states struggle with different normative traditions. Rather, political actors seek to make use of the structures that already exist to guar-antee legitimacy for their actions. If the main concern of governmental actors really is to accumulate legitimacy, as stated in the introduction, then politicians have a good starting position in the case of legalisation of illegal foreigners. Citizens" negative attitudes towards legalisation cannot be explained by imagined labour market competition; income effects play only a secondary role. The most important explanatory factor is the educational level of each individual. Objective interests do not trigger attitudes towards legalisation, but rather a basic men-tal predisposition for or against illegal immigrants who are eligible for legalisation. Politics concerning amnesties are thus not tied to an objectively given structure like the socio-economic composition of the electorate, but are open for political discretion. Attitudes on legalising illegal immigrants can be regarded as being mediated by beliefs and perceptions, which can be used by political agents or altered by political developments. However, politicians must adhere to a national frame of legitimating strategies that cannot be neglected without consequences. It was evident in the cross-country comparison of political debates that there are national systems of reference that provide patterns of interpretation. Legalisation is seen and incorporated into immigration policy in a very specific way that differs from one country to the next. In both countries investigated in this study, there are fundamental debates about which basic principles apply to legalisation and which of these should be held in higher esteem: a legal system able to work, humanitarian rights, practical considerations, etc. The results suggest that legalisation is "technicized" in France by describing it as an unusual but possible pragmatic instrument for the adjustment of the inefficient rule of law. In Germany, however, legalisation is discussed at a more normative level. Proponents of conservative immigration policies regard it as a substantial infringement on the rule of law, so that even defenders of a humanitarian solution for illegal immigrants are not able to challenge this view without significant political harm. But the arguments brought to bear in the debate on legalisation are not necessarily sound because they are not irrefutable facts, but instruments to generate legitimacy, and there are enough possibilities for arguing and persuading because socio-economic factors play a minor role. One of the most important arguments, the alleged pull effect of legalisation, has been subjected to an empirical investigation. In the political debate, it does not make any dif-ference whether this is true or not, insofar as it is not contested by incontrovertible findings. In reality, the results suggest that amnesties indeed exert a small attracting influence on illegal immigration, which has been contested by immigration friendly politicians in the French par-liament. The effect, however, is not large; therefore, some conservative politicians may put too much stress on this argument. Moreover, one can see legalisation as an instrument to restore legitimacy that has slipped away from immigration politics because of a high number of illegally residing foreigners. This aspect explains some of the peculiarities in the French debate on legalisation, e.g. the idea that the coherence of the law is secured by creating exceptional rules for legalising illegal immigrants. It has become clear that the politics of legalisation are susceptible to manipulation by introducing certain interpretations into the political debate, which become predominant and supersede other views. In this study, there are no signs of a systematic misuse of this constellation by any certain actor. However, the history of immigration policy is full of examples of symbolic politics in which a certain measure has been initiated while the actors are totally aware of its lack of effect. Legalisation has escaped this fate so far because it is a specific instrument that is the result of neglecting populist mechanisms rather than an ex-ample of a superficial measure. This result does not apply to policies concerning illegal immi-gration in general, both with regard to concealing a lack of control and flexing the state- muscles.

The daily dose of health information: A psychological view on the health information seeking process
(2021)

The search for health information is becoming increasingly important in everyday life, as well as socially and scientifically relevant Previous studies have mainly focused on the design and communication of information. However, the view of the seeker as well as individual
differences in skills and abilities has been a neglected topic so far. A psychological perspective on the process of searching for health information would provide important starting points for promoting the general dissemination of relevant information and thus improving health behaviour and health status. Within the present dissertation, the process of seeking health information was thus divided into sequential stages to identify relevant personality traits and skills. Accordignly, three studies are presented that focus on one stage
of the process respectively and empirically test potential crucial traits and skills: Study I investigates possible determinants of an intention for a comprehensive search for health information. Building an intention is considered as the basic step of the search process.
Motivational dispositions and self-regulatory skills were related to each other in a structural equation model and empirically tested based on theoretical investigations. Model fit showed an overall good fit and specific direct and indirect effects from approach and avoidance
motivation on the intention to seek comprehensively could be found, which supports the theoretical assumptions. The results show that as early as the formation of intention, the psychological perspective reveals influential personality traits and skills. Study II deals with the subsequent step, the selection of information sources. The preference for basic characteristics of information sources (i.e., accessibility, expertise, and interaction) is related to health information literacy as a collective term for relevant skills and intelligence as a personality trait. Furthermore, the study considers the influence of possible over- or underestimation of these characteristics. The results show not only a different predictive
contribution of health literacy and intelligence, but also the relevance of subjective and objective measurement.
Finally, Study III deals with the selection and evaluation of the health information previously found. The phenomenon of selective exposure is analysed, as this can be considered problematic in the health context. For this purpose, an experimental design was implemented in which a varying health threat was suggested to the participants. Relevant information was presented and the selective choice of this information was assessed. Health literacy was tested
as a moderator in a function of the induced threat and perceived vulnerability, triggering defence motives on the degree of bias. Findings show the importance of the consideration of the defence motives, which could cause a bias in the form of selective exposure. Furthermore, health literacy even seems to amplify this effect.
Results of the three studies are synthesized, discussed and general conclusions are drawn and implications for further research are determined.

The presented research aims at providing a first empirical investigation on lexical structure in Chinese with appropriate quantitative methods. The research objects contain individual properties of words (part of speech, polyfunctionality, polysemy, word length), the relationships between properties (part of speech and polyfunctionality, polyfunctionality and polysemy, polysemy and word length) and the lexical structure composed by those properties. Some extant hypotheses in QL, such as distributions of polysemy and the relationship between word length and polysemy, are tested on the data of Chinese, which enrich the applicability of the laws with a language not tested yet. Several original hypotheses such as the distribution of polyfunctionality and the relationship between polyfunctionality and polysemy are set up and inspected.

A big challenge for agriculture in the 21st century is the provision of food safety to fast growing world- population, which not only demands the well utilisation of the available agricultural resources but also to develop new advancements in the mass production of food crops. Wheat is the third largest food crop of the world and Pakistan is the eighth largest wheat producing country globally. Rice is the second most important staple food of Pakistan after wheat, grown in all provinces of the country. Maize is the world- top ranking food crop followed by wheat and rice. The harvested produts have to be stored in different types of storage structures on small or large scale for food as well as seed purpose. In Pakistan, the harvested grains are stored for the whole year till the introduction of fresh produce in order to ensure the regular food supply throughout the year. However, it is this extended storage period making the commodity more vulnerable to insect attacks. Rhyzopertha dominica (Coleoptera: Bostrychidae), Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Laemophloeidae), Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) and Liposcelis spp. (Psocoptera: Liposcelididae) are the major and most damaging insect pests of stored products all around the world. Various management strategies have been adopted for stored grain insect pests mostly relying upon the use of a broad spectrum of insecticides, but the injudicious use of these chemicals raised various environmental and human health related issues, which necessitate the safe use of the prevailing control measures and evaluation of new and alternative control methods. The application of new chemical insecticides, microbial insecticides (particularly entomopathogenic fungi) and the use of inert dusts (diatomaceous earths) is believed amongst the potential alternatives to generally used insecticides in stored grain insect management system. In the current investigations, laboratory bioassays conducted to evaluate the effects of combining Imidacloprid (new chemistry insecticide) with and without Protect-It (diatomaceous earth formulation) against R. dominica, L. paeta, C. ferrugineus and T. castaneum, on three different grain commodities (i.e. wheat, maize and rice) revealed differences in adult mortality levels among grains and insect species tested. Individually, Imidacloprid was more effective as compared with Protect-It alone and the highest numbers of dead adults were recorded in wheat. The insecticidal efficacy of B. bassiana with Protect-It and DEBBM was also assessed against all test insect species under laboratory conditions. The findings of these studies revealed that the more extended exposure period and the higher combined application rate of B. bassiana and DEs provided the highest mortality of the test insect species. The progeny emergence of each insect species was also greatly suppressed where the highest dose rates of the combined treatments were applied. The residual efficacy of all three control measures Imidacloprid, B. bassiana and DEBBM formulation was also evaluated against all test insect species. The bioassays were carried out after grain treatments and monthly for 6 months. The results indicated that the adult mortality of each test insect species was decreased within the six month storage period, and the integarted application of the test grain protectants enhanced the mortality rates than their alone treatments. The maximum mortality was noted in the combined treatment of DEBBM with Imidacloprid. At the end, the effectiveness of B. bassiana, DEBBM and Imidacloprid applied alone as well as in combinations, against all above mentioned test insect species was also evaluated under field conditions in trials conducted in four districts of Punjab, Pakistan. For each district, a significant difference was observed between treatments, while the combined treatments gave better control of test species as compared with them alone. The least number of surviving adults and minimum percentage of grain damage was observed for the DEBBM and Imidacloprid combination, but DEBBM with B. bassiana provided the best long-term protection as compared with the remaining treatments.

Sample surveys are a widely used and cost effective tool to gain information about a population under consideration. Nowadays, there is an increasing demand not only for information on the population level but also on the level of subpopulations. For some of these subpopulations of interest, however, very small subsample sizes might occur such that the application of traditional estimation methods is not expedient. In order to provide reliable information also for those so called small areas, small area estimation (SAE) methods combine auxiliary information and the sample data via a statistical model.
The present thesis deals, among other aspects, with the development of highly flexible and close to reality small area models. For this purpose, the penalized spline method is adequately modified which allows to determine the model parameters via the solution of an unconstrained optimization problem. Due to this optimization framework, the incorporation of shape constraints into the modeling process is achieved in terms of additional linear inequality constraints on the optimization problem. This results in small area estimators that allow for both the utilization of the penalized spline method as a highly flexible modeling technique and the incorporation of arbitrary shape constraints on the underlying P-spline function.
In order to incorporate multiple covariates, a tensor product approach is employed to extend the penalized spline method to multiple input variables. This leads to high-dimensional optimization problems for which naive solution algorithms yield an unjustifiable complexity in terms of runtime and in terms of memory requirements. By exploiting the underlying tensor nature, the present thesis provides adequate computationally efficient solution algorithms for the considered optimization problems and the related memory efficient, i.e. matrix-free, implementations. The crucial point thereby is the (repetitive) application of a matrix-free conjugated gradient method, whose runtime is drastically reduced by a matrx-free multigrid preconditioner.

Roof and wall slates are fine-grained rocks with slaty cleavage, and it is often difficult to determine their mineral composition. A new norm mineral calculation called slatecalculation allows the determination of a virtual mineral composition based on full chemical analysis, including the amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon (C), and sulfur (S). Derived norm minerals include feldspars, carbonates, micas, hydro-micas, chlorites, ore-minerals, and quartz. The mineral components of the slate are assessed with superior accuracy compared to the petrographic analysis based on the European Standard EN 12326. The inevitable methodical inaccuracies in the calculations are limited and transparent. In the present paper, slates, shales, and phyllites from worldwide occurrences were examined. This also gives an overview of the rocks used for discontinuous roofing and external cladding.

Optimal control problems are optimization problems governed by ordinary or partial differential equations (PDEs). A general formulation is given byrn \min_{(y,u)} J(y,u) with subject to e(y,u)=0, assuming that e_y^{-1} exists and consists of the three main elements: 1. The cost functional J that models the purpose of the control on the system. 2. The definition of a control function u that represents the influence of the environment of the systems. 3. The set of differential equations e(y,u) modeling the controlled system, represented by the state function y:=y(u) which depends on u. These kind of problems are well investigated and arise in many fields of application, for example robot control, control of biological processes, test drive simulation and shape and topology optimization. In this thesis, an academic model problem of the form \min_{(y,u)} J(y,u):=\min_{(y,u)}\frac{1}{2}\|y-y_d\|^2_{L^2(\Omega)}+\frac{\alpha}{2}\|u\|^2_{L^2(\Omega)} subject to -\div(A\grad y)+cy=f+u in \Omega, y=0 on \partial\Omega and u\in U_{ad} is considered. The objective is tracking type with a given target function y_d and a regularization term with parameter \alpha. The control function u takes effect on the whole domain \Omega. The underlying partial differential equation is assumed to be uniformly elliptic. This problem belongs to the class of linear-quadratic elliptic control problems with distributed control. The existence and uniqueness of an optimal solution for problems of this type is well-known and in a first step, following the paradigm 'first optimize, then discretize', the necessary and sufficient optimality conditions are derived by means of the adjoint equation which ends in a characterization of the optimal solution in form of an optimality system. In a second step, the occurring differential operators are approximated by finite differences and the hence resulting discretized optimality system is solved with a collective smoothing multigrid method (CSMG). In general, there are several optimization methods for solving the optimal control problem: an application of the implicit function theorem leads to so-called black-box approaches where the PDE-constrained optimization problem is transformed into an unconstrained optimization problem and the reduced gradient for these reduced functional is computed via the adjoint approach. Another possibilities are Quasi-Newton methods, which approximate the Hessian by a low-rank update based on gradient evaluations, Krylov-Newton methods or (reduced) SQP methods. The use of multigrid methods for optimization purposes is motivated by its optimal computational complexity, i.e. the number of required computer iterations scales linearly with the number of unknowns and the rate of convergence, which is independent of the grid size. Originally multigrid methods are a class of algorithms for solving linear systems arising from the discretization of partial differential equations. The main part of this thesis is devoted to the investigation of the implementability and the efficiency of the CSMG on commodity graphics cards. GPUs (graphic processing units) are designed for highly parallelizable graphics computations and possess many cores of SIMD-architecture, which are able to outperform the CPU regarding to computational power and memory bandwidth. Here they are considered as prototype for prospective multi-core computers with several hundred of cores. When using GPUs as streamprocessors, two major problems arise: data have to be transferred from the CPU main memory to the GPU main memory, which can be quite slow and the limited size of the GPU main memory. Furthermore, only when the streamprocessors are fully used to capacity, a remarkable speed-up comparing to a CPU is achieved. Therefore, new algorithms for the solution of optimal control problems are designed in this thesis. To this end, a nonoverlapping domain decomposition method is introduced which allows the exploitation of the computational power of many GPUs resp. CPUs in parallel. This algorithm is based on preliminary work for elliptic problems and enhanced for the application to optimal control problems. For the domain decomposition into two subdomains the linear system for the unknowns on the interface is solved with a Schur complement method by using a discrete approximation of the Steklov-Poincare operator. For the academic optimal control problem, the arising capacitance matrix can be inverted analytically. On this basis, two different algorithms for the nonoverlapping domain decomposition for the case of many subdomains are proposed in this thesis: on the one hand, a recursive approach and on the other hand a simultaneous approach. Numerical test compare the performance of the CSMG for the one domain case and the two approaches for the multi-domain case on a GPU and CPU for different variants.

This study investigated correlative, factorial, and structural relationships between scores for ability emotional intelligence in the workplace (measured with the Geneva Emotional Competence Test), as well as fluid and crystallized abilities (measured with the Intelligence Structure Battery), carried out by a 188-participant student sample. Confirming existing research, recognition, understanding, and management of emotions were related primarily to crystallized ability tests measuring general knowledge, verbal fluency, and knowledge of word meaning. Meanwhile, emotion regulation was the least correlated with any other cognitive or emotional ability. In line with research on the trainability of emotional intelligence, these results may support the notion that emotional abilities are subject to acquired knowledge, where situational (i.e., workplace-specific) emotional intelligence may depend on accumulating relevant experiences.

THE NONLOCAL NEUMANN PROBLEM
(2023)

Instead of presuming only local interaction, we assume nonlocal interactions. By doing so, mass
at a point in space does not only interact with an arbitrarily small neighborhood surrounding it,
but it can also interact with mass somewhere far, far away. Thus, mass jumping from one point to
another is also a possibility we can consider in our models. So, if we consider a region in space, this
region interacts in a local model at most with its closure. While in a nonlocal model this region may
interact with the whole space. Therefore, in the formulation of nonlocal boundary value problems
the enforcement of boundary conditions on the topological boundary may not suffice. Furthermore,
choosing the complement as nonlocal boundary may work for Dirichlet boundary conditions, but
in the case of Neumann boundary conditions this may lead to an overfitted model.
In this thesis, we introduce a nonlocal boundary and study the well-posedness of a nonlocal Neu-
mann problem. We present sufficient assumptions which guarantee the existence of a weak solution.
As in a local model our weak formulation is derived from an integration by parts formula. However,
we also study a different weak formulation where the nonlocal boundary conditions are incorporated
into the nonlocal diffusion-convection operator.
After studying the well-posedness of our nonlocal Neumann problem, we consider some applications
of this problem. For example, we take a look at a system of coupled Neumann problems and analyze
the difference between a local coupled Neumann problems and a nonlocal one. Furthermore, we let
our Neumann problem be the state equation of an optimal control problem which we then study. We
also add a time component to our Neumann problem and analyze this nonlocal parabolic evolution
equation.
As mentioned before, in a local model mass at a point in space only interacts with an arbitrarily
small neighborhood surrounding it. We analyze what happens if we consider a family of nonlocal
models where the interaction shrinks so that, in limit, mass at a point in space only interacts with
an arbitrarily small neighborhood surrounding it.

Nonlocal operators are used in a wide variety of models and applications due to many natural phenomena being driven by nonlocal dynamics. Nonlocal operators are integral operators allowing for interactions between two distinct points in space. The nonlocal models investigated in this thesis involve kernels that are assumed to have a finite range of nonlocal interactions. Kernels of this type are used in nonlocal elasticity and convection-diffusion models as well as finance and image analysis. Also within the mathematical theory they arouse great interest, as they are asymptotically related to fractional and classical differential equations.
The results in this thesis can be grouped according to the following three aspects: modeling and analysis, discretization and optimization.
Mathematical models demonstrate their true usefulness when put into numerical practice. For computational purposes, it is important that the support of the kernel is clearly determined. Therefore nonlocal interactions are typically assumed to occur within an Euclidean ball of finite radius. In this thesis we consider more general interaction sets including norm induced balls as special cases and extend established results about well-posedness and asymptotic limits.
The discretization of integral equations is a challenging endeavor. Especially kernels which are truncated by Euclidean balls require carefully designed quadrature rules for the implementation of efficient finite element codes. In this thesis we investigate the computational benefits of polyhedral interaction sets as well as geometrically approximated interaction sets. In addition to that we outline the computational advantages of sufficiently structured problem settings.
Shape optimization methods have been proven useful for identifying interfaces in models governed by partial differential equations. Here we consider a class of shape optimization problems constrained by nonlocal equations which involve interface-dependent kernels. We derive the shape derivative associated to the nonlocal system model and solve the problem by established numerical techniques.

For the first time, the German Census 2011 will be conducted via a new method the register based census. In contrast to a traditional census, where all inhabitants are surveyed, the German government will mainly attempt to count individuals using population registers of administrative authorities, such as the municipalities and the Federal Employment Agency. Census data that cannot be collected from the registers, such as information on education, training, and occupation, will be collected by an interview-based sample survey. Moreover, the new method reduces citizens' obligations to provide information and helps reduce costs significantly. The use of sample surveys is limited if results with a detailed regional or subject-matter breakdown have to be prepared. Classical estimation methods are sometimes criticized, since estimation is often problematic for small samples. Fortunately, model based small area estimators serve as an alternative. These methods help to increase the information, and hence the effective sample size. In the German Census 2011 it is possible to embed areas on a map in a geographical context. This may offer additional information, such as neighborhood relations or spatial interactions. Standard small area models, like Fay-Herriot or Battese-Harter-Fuller, do not account for such interactions explicitly. The aim of our work is to extend the classical models by integrating the spatial information explicitly into the model. In addition, the possible gain in efficiency will be analyzed.

Although geographically it belongs to Europe, as far as the constitutionality control of the statutory provisions is concerned, Greece follows the American system. That means that there is no Constitutional Court and, on the contrary, every court (even those of first instance) are entitled, and indeed obliged, to control the constitutionality of the laws (Articles 87 par. 2 and 93 par. 4 of the Greek Constitution). The Greek Courts examine only the substantial and not the formal constitutionality of the statutory provisions. If a court comes to the result of the unconstitutionality, then the statutory provision is not annulled and removed from the legal order, but it is not applied by the court in the relevant court procedure. The only – rather rare – case where a statutory provision is erga omnes annulled is when this is ordered by a decision of the Highest Special Court (Article 100 of the Greek Constitution), following a disagreement between two of the three highest Courts, namely between Symvoulio tis Epikrateias (highest Administrative Court), Areios Pagos (Cassations Court in Civil and Criminal procedures) and Elegtiko Synedrio (Court of Audit).
The presentation is going to examine the origins of the Greek system of the constitutionality control. It will also focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the Greek system and on the scientific and political discussion. Last but not least, the presentation will examine the role of the Council of State, which, although formally not a Constitutional Court, in practice issues the vast majority of the court decisions which accept the unconstitutionality of statutory provisions.

This work studies typical mathematical challenges occurring in the modeling and simulation of manufacturing processes of paper or industrial textiles. In particular, we consider three topics: approximate models for the motion of small inertial particles in an incompressible Newtonian fluid, effective macroscopic approximations for a dilute particle suspension contained in a bounded domain accounting for a non-uniform particle distribution and particle inertia, and possibilities for a reduction of computational cost in the simulations of slender elastic fibers moving in a turbulent fluid flow.
We consider the full particle-fluid interface problem given in terms of the Navier-Stokes equations coupled to momentum equations of a small rigid body. By choosing an appropriate asymptotic scaling for the particle-fluid density ratio and using an asymptotic expansion for the solution components, we derive approximations of the original interface problem. The approximate systems differ according to the chosen scaling of the density ratio in their physical behavior allowing the characterization of different inertial regimes.
We extend the asymptotic approach to the case of many particles suspended in a Newtonian fluid. Under specific assumptions for the combination of particle size and particle number, we derive asymptotic approximations of this system. The approximate systems describe the particle motion which allows to use a mean field approach in order to formulate the continuity equation for the particle probability density function. The coupling of the latter with the approximation for the fluid momentum equation then reveals a macroscopic suspension description which accounts for non-uniform particle distributions in space and for small particle inertia.
A slender fiber in a turbulent air flow can be modeled as a stochastic inextensible one-dimensionally parametrized Kirchhoff beam, i.e., by a stochastic partial differential algebraic equation. Its simulations involve the solution of large non-linear systems of equations by Newton's method. In order to decrease the computational time, we explore different methods for the estimation of the solution. Additionally, we apply smoothing techniques to the Wiener Process in order to regularize the stochastic force driving the fiber, exploring their respective impact on the solution and performance. We also explore the applicability of the Wiener chaos expansion as a solution technique for the simulation of the fiber dynamics.

In this thesis, in order to shed light on the biological function of the membrane-bound Glucocorticoid Receptor (mGR), proteomic changes induced by 15 min in vivo acute stress and by short in vitro activation of the mGR were analyzed in T-lymphocytes. The numerous overlaps between the two datasets suggest that the mGR mediates physiologically relevant actions and participates in the early stress response, triggering rapid early priming events that pave the way for the slower genomic GC activities. In addition, a new commercially available method with suitable sensitivity to detect the human mGR is reported and the transcriptional origin of this protein investigated. Our results indicates that specific GR-transcripts, containing exon 1C and 1D, are associated with the expression of this membrane isoform.