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Political Polarization in Thailand: Urban vs. Rural Dynamics

This study aims to achieve two research objectives: (1) to examine the disparities in democratic attitudes and political participation between urban and rural areas in Thailand, and (2) to formulate policy recommendations aimed at mitigating political polarization between urban and rural areas in the country. It utilized a survey methodology, drawing data from the 7th World Values Survey, with a representative sample of Thai citizens from both urban and rural regions. The study analyzed four independent variables—place of residence, gender, socioeconomic status, and education level—alongside two categories of dependent variables, namely democratic attitudes and political participation. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS, encompassing a range of descriptive statistics as well as hierarchical linear and logistic regression analyses. The findings indicate that rural residents in Thailand tend to exhibit stronger democratic values than their urban counterparts. However, they also display lower levels of political participation. To enhance democracy in Thailand, it is imperative to create an environment conducive to political engagement, particularly in rural communities that often feel marginalized and resentful due to policies that appear to favor urban elites. Addressing this divide is crucial for the stability and development of Thailand’s democratic system.

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Social Neuroscience Approach of Persuasion in Visual Communication(s): A Qualitative Content Analysis of Female Representations in Pakistani Advertisements

The present study discusses the social persuasion advertisers use to implicitly communicate society’s sociocultural norms through visual communication in advertisements, specifically in Pakistan. For instance, the research explores how advertisers, as cultural brokers, represent women by challenging established sociocultural norms by utilising persuasive strategies through visual communication in Pakistani ads. The research comes under the qualitative content analysis paradigm; the data were collected, identified, interpreted, and analysed, focusing on the cultural values/norms represented through women’s dressing and sexually devised postures in Pakistani society. Moreover, the research employed the constant comparison method for the data analysis. Findings indicate that Pakistani advertisers represent women mainly in a stereotypical manner. However, when they deviate from representing her in a non-stereotypical way, they go far beyond the set norms to persuade them quickly. For instance, they found representing women as a posture of sexual appeal to persuade ordinary people’s minds by employing social neuro-persuasion challenging the Pakistani established sociocultural beliefs, norms, or values. These advertisers seem to deviate from traditional ideologies because they minutely know the sensual, desirous nature of most Pakistani men. Henceforth, they represent women as an alluring tool of persuasion.

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Impact of Fınancıal Knowledge and Investor’s Personalıty Traıts on Investment Intentıon: Role of Attıtude and Fınancıal Self Effıcacy

In recent years, there has been an upsurge in stock market investment intentions. Researchers are therefore becoming more and more eager to look into the factors that influence investors in general, and individual investors in particular to engage in stock market activities. Under the assumption of the theory of planned behavior this study looked at investor's intentions to invest in the stock market. The study primarily focusses on the impact of financial knowledge, personality traits, subjective norms, attitude, and financial selfefficacy on the stock market investment intentions of individual investors. To gather information from individual investors, the study used a cross-sectional research approach, on the population sample of 298 individuals. The data is collected from the Pakistani investors, from three big cities, i.e. Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, also considered as business centers of the country. The respondents include both the salaried workers and business owners. The findings indicate that attitude and financial self-efficacy were significant mediators for investors’ investment decisions. The results imply that people with a favorable outlook on investing in the stock market, risk-taking and innovative personalities, and financial expertise are more likely make investments. Those who have a mindset towards investing and financial selfefficacy also have more intentions.

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Implementation of the Bachelor of Studies (BS) Program in Government Colleges of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Prospects and Challenges

The present study explores the challenges and issues faced in the implementation of the BS program offered in government colleges and public sector universities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The responsibilities of colleges and universities are highlighted in view of National Education Policies. The research shows how and why the BS education system was initiated in Higher Education Institutions and what measures were taken for its successful implementation. The research methodology used was exploratory in nature, employing a mixed method approach for triangulation. The target population of the study was 65 randomly selected government colleges of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, sampled through the Convenience Sampling Technique. Primary data was collected through semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and a questionnaire from 127 faculty members of government colleges. The quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, while the qualitative data was analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. The findings of the study highlight the importance of academic autonomy for the government colleges to enable them to grow in knowledge and research. Recommendations such as bringing innovation to higher education, initiating research journals, strengthening of the Higher Education Academy of Research & Training (HEART) and implementing a rationalization policy in transfer rules at the directorate level, are made in light of the findings.

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Face-to-face Vs. Online Learning: Differences and Challenges in Communication

The current study attempts to investigate perceptions of EFL learners towards faceto-face vs. online learning focusing on differences and challenges in communication. The study used a mixed-method design to explain and thoroughly explore the issue. Quantitative data were collected and analyzed in the first phase, and qualitative data were collected and analyzed in the second phase. Quantitative findings reveal that most of the participants think that it is easier to communicate in a face-to-face learning class as opposed to an online learning mode. In all four variables—time management, motivation, ease and flexibility, and use of technology, the mean score for face-to-face learning is higher than for online learning. Though qualitative findings exhibit that the participants perceive both modes of learning as challenging, most of them think that communication in online learning has more challenges than in face-to-face mode of learning. The participants also proclaim that the low quality of the internet and little interaction are two significant issues in online communication which, they think, have no solutions. The study concludes that learners are satisfied with face-to-face learning as communication can be accomplished with little or no interruption. The findings of the current study suggest important implications for future research.

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