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Asian Journal of Scientific Research
eISSN: 2077-2076
pISSN: 1992-1454

Editor-in-Chief:  Kaiser Jamil
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Research Article
A Survey of Digital Technologies Used in the Procurement of Building Projects: Empirical Evidence from Nigeria
Eziyi Offia Ibem, Egidario Bridget Aduwo, Emmanuel Adekunle Ayo-Vaughan and Patience Fikiemo Tunji-Olayeni
Background and Objective: In spite of the important roles digital technologies play in the procurement of construction projects, there is a limited understanding of the extent of their adoption in Nigeria. The aim of this study was to investigate the different categories of digital technologies used by stakeholders in the design, tendering and construction stages of building projects and factors that influenced the decision to adopt them in the Nigerian building industry. Materials and Methods: The data were sourced via a questionnaire survey of 213 professional consultants, client organisations and contractors in the Nigerian building industry. Descriptive statistics and relative importance index (RII) were used to analyse the data. Results: The findings show that 61.5% of the participants were architects and quantity surveyors and most of them used software packages at project design stage and communication technologies at the tendering and construction stages. However, besides email, only very few used web/cloud-based systems, applications and services at the tendering and construction stages of building projects delivery. The top four most influential factors in the decision to adopt digital technologies in the procurement of building projects were the benefits of these technologies in eliminating geographic barriers (RII = 0.861), enhancing efficiency (RII = 0.855), promoting good inventory management and record keeping (RII = 0.813) and effective communication amongst project team members (RII = 0.812). Conclusion: Stakeholders in the Nigerian building industry use more of project data creation and communication technologies than intelligent systems; and thus, significant barriers exist in the adoption of intelligent systems in the procurement of building projects in the study area.
Research Article
Comparison of the Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in 9-13 Year-old Children from Two Countries Using CDC and IOTF Reference Charts
Abel Toriola, Olusesi Ajayi-Vincent, Patrick Oyeniyi, Isaac Akindutire, David Adeagbo, Patience Konwea, Olukemi Awosusi, Seyi Ogunsile, Violet Kankane Moselakgomo, Sunday Onagbiye and Makama Monyeki
Background and Objectives: The epidemic of obesity is frequently prevailing, certainly among pediatric inhabitants and could be influenced by environmental and heritable factors. So, the aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of overweight and obesity in 9-13 year old children from Nigeria and South Africa using the criteria of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) for obesity classification chart based on age and gender-specific BMI cut-off points. Materials and Methods: Anthropometric measurements were taken using standardised protocol and used to estimate body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) in 1361 South African and 1229 Nigeria school children aged 9-13 year old. Height, body weight, BMI and WHtR were examined for Nigerian and South African school children according to sample size and age category. The BMI for age was used to classify the children according to weight categories and by gender, after which the obesity prevalence using the BMI Category for cut-off points chart was performed by age and countries. Results: The results showed that 1.1% (IOTF) and 9.9% (CDC) of Nigerian children were overweight. Corresponding data for South African children were 1.8% (IOTF) and 10.0% (CDC). Obesity estimates for Nigerian and South African children slightly varied for IOTF classification (1.1, 0.7%), but were similar when CDC classification was used (5.1%). In contrast, the CDC standard indicated strikingly lower incidence of underweight among the South African (4.9%) and Nigerian (4.8%) children. Conclusion: The lack of consistency in body weight classification using CDC and IOTF chart raises the question as to the right classification to use to evaluate weight abnormalities in children and adolescents. The choice of cut-off point in assessing overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence should be based on reliable judgment as this could undermine the integrity of epidemiological research data.
Research Article
Technical Efficiency of Oil Palm Production under a Large Agricultural Plot Scheme in Thailand
Cha-on Juyjaeng, Suneeporn Suwanmaneepong and Panya Mankeb
Background and Objective: Thai government launched a Large Agricultural Plot Scheme (LAPS) in 2005 in order to enhance the effectiveness of the extension programme. The objective of this research was to compare the technical efficiency (TE) of oil palm production and factors influencing the TE of oil palm production between member and non-member farmers under the LAPS in Bang Saphan Noi district, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, Thailand. Methodology: The data were collected from January-June, 2017 from 57 LAPS member farmers and 63 non-LAPS member farmers. This paper estimated technical inefficiency by using a stochastic production frontier model and Tobit regression to investigate the factors influencing the TE. Results: The results revealed that the TE of oil palm production of the LAPS member farmers was ranked 12-99%, whereas that of the non-LAPS member farmers was ranked 14-99%. The TE mean of LAPS member farmers was 0.63, while the TE mean of non-LAPS member farmers was 0.52. The years of experience on oil palm plantations and age were crucial factors that contributed to the TE of LAPS member farmers and TE of non-LAPS member farmers, respectively. Conclusion: The TE mean of LAPS member farmers was higher than that of non-LAPS member farmers knowledge and experience sharing between old and young generations who are eager to work in oil palm production should also be a concern.
Research Article
Comparative Analysis of the Technical Efficiency of Different Production Systems for Rice Farming in Eastern Thailand
Chanhathai Kerdsriserm, Suneeporn Suwanmaneepong and Panya Mankeb
Background and Objective: Generally, there are three different rice farming production systems: Farming under the agriculture network, conventional organic rice farming and chemical rice farming. This study estimated the technical efficiency (TE) of different production systems for rice farming in eastern Thailand. Materials and Methods: Chachoengsao and Prachinburi were selected as the study areas. Farm-level data were collected during the 2016-2017 production period from 150 respondents consisting of 58 organic farmers under the Alternative Agriculture Network (AAN), 42 conventional organic rice farmers and 50 chemical rice farmers. A stochastic frontier analysis was employed to analyze the survey data. Results: The results indicated that the technical efficiency scores for organic rice farmers under the AAN had the highest level of efficiency compared to conventional organic rice and chemical rice farmers. The average TE of the farmers under the AAN was approximately 0.733, ranging from 0.375-0.940, while the average TE of the conventional organic rice farmers was approximately 0.669, ranging from 0.103-0.948 and the average TE of the chemical rice farmers was approximately 0.688, ranging from 0.293-0.999. The results indicate that farmers should use high-quality seeds and organic fertilizer to improve the efficiency of organic rice. Conclusion: The findings indicated that the technical efficiency scores for organic rice farmers under the AAN had the highest level of efficiency comparing to conventional organic rice and chemical rice farmers.
Research Article
Drought Risk Mapping in East Nusa Tenggara Indonesia Based on Return Periods
Heri Kuswanto, Kartika Fithriasari and Rosyida Inas
Background and Objectives: Drought has been one of the major causes of disaster in Indonesia. The Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) of East Nusa Tenggara (hereafter denoted as NTT) Province in Indonesia has reported that there were 20 districts in NTT affected by drought in 2015. This study aimed to map drought risk in NTT by using the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The drought duration as well as the magnitude based on return periods of 5, 25 and 50 years were estimated as the basis of mapping. Methodology: The study were carried out by examining daily rainfall data recorded by several meteorological stations in NTT with in the period of 1999-2015. Return periods were estimated by quantifying the probability of extreme events, which thus translated into Scale-Duration-Frequency (TDF) and Time Scale Magnitude-Frequency (TMF). Results: The SPI analysis showed that NTT has experienced about 25 months of drought events within the periods of 1999 to 2015. The mapping results showed that Gewayantana is a district with the longest drought duration (reaching 30 months in 50 years) and strongest drought magnitude (11.2 SPI level) for all specified return periods. Meanwhile, Komodo and Frans Sales Lega districts are two regions with the lowest risk indicated by shortest drought duration and lowest magnitude compared to the others. The longest drought duration were mostly started in November. Conclusion: The drought risk maps derived from the magnitude and duration of the future drought in NTT clearly indicated that the severity of drought events in NTT increases over the time. However, the drought duration and magnitude for 50 years return period seems to be over-estimated.
Research Article
Physical Activity and Risk Factors of Cardio-metabolic Diseases in South African Children
Violet Kankane Moselakgomo and Marlise Van Staden
Background and Objectives: Prevalence of overweight and obesity and its associated cardio-metabolic disease risk has become a major public health concern world-wide. This study examined the relationship between physical activity and risk factors of cardio-metabolic diseases among South African children. Materials and Methods: A total of 1361 (boys: n = 678; girls: n = 683) aged 9-13 years South African primary school children participated in the study. Body weight, body height, waist and hip circumferences and blood pressure were measured using standard protocol. Body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio were calculated and used in the evaluation of health risks associated with cardio-metabolic diseases. A short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to evaluate physical activity levels among the children. Data were coded and analyzed using SPSS software. Results: A total of 67.1 and 32.9% of boys and girls, participated in the study, respectively. A significant low physical activity level of participation was observed in the studied group. Derived physical activity categories as stratified by gender, indicated that 28.8, 56.7 and 14.5% of boys had low, moderate and vigorous mets, respectively. For girls, 26, 59 and 15% low, moderate and vigorous mets, was observed. Conclusion: The South African children had low levels of physical activity which were significantly associated with increased BMI, systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
Research Article
Longitudinal Evaluation of University GPA and Real Performance of Mathematics Graduates
Mubarak Alkahtani and Adam Sbeil
Background and Objective: Saudi Arabian university graduates are required to qualify a national examination test related to their field in order to ratify their degrees. The results of mathematics graduate in this exam were not appreciable. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the reasons of low success rate of the students besides having higher Grade Point Averages (GPAs). This research constituted a longitudinal performance analysis of mathematics students who graduated during 2010-2014 from the Department of Mathematics, College of Sciences and Humanities, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Alkharj, Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods: The study population comprised of 97 graduates who belonged to either government schools or private schools at secondary level and admitted to the University for Bachelor degree, which they qualified. The mathematics skills of these graduates were tested at four levels; firstly, skills before entering to the university; secondly, at the entry levels in the university; thirdly, after graduation from the University and fourthly; during their employment in the various organizations level. A longitudinal, correlative and case study research methods were employed to obtain descriptive statistics such as correlations and multiple regressions analysis. Results: There appeared a significant positive and weak relationship between the high school grades averages and the university GPA. The students who secured good grades in school also secured good grades in university and vice versa. The students who graduated from the government schools performed better in mathematics skills as compared to the students who came out from private schools. There was inflating tendency of grades to the students in university as compared to their actual mathematical skills because the students who obtained 3.0 GPA in the university successively failed even in their seventh attempt to pass compulsory national aptitude test in order to ratify their degrees. Conclusion: It was recommend that the university authorities must devise strategies to linking grades to actual skills of students and tendency to inflate grade must be restricted and a comprehensive study be undertaken at whole of the university level as well as at all universities level to generalize these results.
Research Article
Effects of Exogenous Melatonin and Zinc Amino Acid on Male Clarias macrocephalus Broodstock
Siti-Ariza Aripin, Orapint Jintasataporn and Ruangvit Yoonpundh
Background and Objective: Melatonin and zinc amino acid is involved in the reproductive processes through the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis and development process, respectively. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of melatonin and zinc amino acid (ZnAA) feeding administration on the maturation of male walking catfish, Clarias macrocephalus. Materials and Methods: The combinations of melatonin and ZnAA at the concentration of 0 ppm ZnAA and 0 mg kg–1 melatonin (Control), 100 ppm ZnAA and 50 mg kg–1 melatonin (MZn1) and 200 ppm ZnAA and 50 mg kg–1 melatonin (MZn2) were to enhance male reproductive system. The testis histology, gonadosomatic index and sperm quality were investigated. Results: The melatonin-ZnAA feed was found to be consistent with higher spermatozoa cell counts (Control: 51.3%, MZn1: 75% and MZn2: 70.5%). Furthermore, the feeding treatment increased the gonadosomatic index (0.45-0.96%, p: 0.005), decreased the sperm abnormality (14.5-44%, p: 0.022), increased the sperm motility (3.9-25.5%, p: 0.013) and increased the sperm concentration (109.4-317.5 106 mL–1, p: 0.037) after 8 weeks of treatment. Conclusion: The present results showed that melatonin-ZnAA (MZn2) helped in enhancing the maturation of male C. macrocephalus.
Research Article
Avoidance of Risk, Ambiguity and Uncertainty in Investment Choices
Nguyen HuuTho, Phung Thai Minh Trang and Nguyen Van Hoa
Background and Objectives: Risk avoidance (RA), Ambiguity avoidance (AA) and uncertainty avoidance (UA) lie at the heart of finance theory and are among the key elements involving handling risk, ambiguity and uncertainty. However, there are no studies on the scales that elucidate the distinction between RA, AA and UA. Also, few studies relate to these aspects in the emerging stock market, Vietnam. The objectives of this study, therefore, develop the scales of risk avoidance, ambiguity avoidance and uncertainty avoidance and investigate the relationships between RA, AA, UA and demographics and investment choices. Materials and Methods: The mix method (qualitative and quantitative) included four phases as follows: In-depth interviews (10 investors), development of the scales of RA, AA and UA, a pilot test (50 investors) and web-based and paper-based surveys (400 investors). Results: (1) High avoidance of, ranked in descending order, was as follows: uncertainty (68% of total investors), ambiguity (42%) and risk (36%). (2) Female investors were more likely to avoid risk, ambiguity and uncertainty than male investors. (3) The more participation in investment courses, the higher avoidance of risk, ambiguity and uncertainty and the more the safer investments were chosen. (4) Investors who were prone to risk, ambiguity, uncertainty-avoiding were more likely to choose safe investments. Conclusion: The distinctive scales between RA, AA and UA have been explored. In addition, there were strong effects of RA, AA and UA on investment choices of individual investors in the emerging stock market, Vietnam
Research Article
Understanding Individuals’ Intention to Use Mobile Cloud Services: Cognitive and Security Perspectives
Sanghyun Kim and Hyunsun Park
Background and Objective: The use of mobile cloud services continues to grow and attract considerable attention. The purpose of this study was to develop a research model that helps the IT community understand the determinants motivating individuals to adopt mobile cloud services. The proposed research model suggests several variables, including control, comfort, trust, vulnerability and unauthorized access, that affect an individual’s intention to use mobile cloud services. Materials and Methods: A total of 427 responses from mobile cloud users were collected to test the proposed model. First, the measurement model was evaluated by performing a confirmatory factor analysis along with Cronbach’s alpha for testing reliability. Covariance-based structural equation modeling using AMOS 22.0 was then used to test the proposed hypotheses. Results: Findings indicated that three cognitive factors: Intimacy, control and trust and two security factors: Vulnerability and unauthorized access had a significant impact on intention to use mobile cloud services. The most influential variable was intimacy but the security-related variables, particularly vulnerability, were also found to be important to users. Conclusion: This study revealed various factors that should be considered not only in academic research but also in mobile cloud service development for service providers.
Research Article
On the LQ Optimization Subject to Descriptor System under Disturbance
Zulakmal , Narwen , Budi Rudianto, Ahmad Iqbal Baqi and Muhafzan
Background and Objective: Recently, the linear quadratic (LQ) optimization subject to descriptor system received much attention from several researchers in field of descriptor system. In this study, it was aimed to establish a sufficient condition that guaranteeing the existence of pair the optimal control and optimal state of the LQ optimization problem subject to descriptor system under disturbance. Materials and Methods: In order to solve the considered problem, the LQ optimization problem subject to descriptor system transformed into the normal LQ optimization problem. The available results of the normal LQ optimization problem were utilized to find a sufficient condition for the existence of optimal solution for LQ optimization problem subject to descriptor system under disturbance. Results: The final results show that this sufficient condition constitutes a method to find the pair the optimal control and optimal state of the LQ optimization problem subject to descriptor system under disturbance. Conclusion: The impulse controllability and stabilizability of the constraint constitute the desired sufficient condition.
Research Article
Investigating Cause-specific Mortality in GCC Countries Through Multivariate Statistical Methods
Igor Barahona and Tarifa Almulhim
Background and Objective: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a group member of states, namely, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which are currently high-income countries according to the World Bank. Several studies have been performed on cause-specific mortality in high-income and developed countries all over the world but no studies exist on cause-specific mortality in the GCC region. The aim of this study is to carry out a multivariate analysis and provide empirical (explanative) evidence regarding the most critical, frequent causes of mortality in GCC countries. Materials and Methods: The study was based on cause-specific mortality data for GCC countries from the World Health Organization (WHO). By applying a multiple correspondence analysis and heat maps, we investigate associations between a set of 19 types of non-communicable diseases for six GCC countries. Results: Mortality caused by non-communicable diseases show different prevalence and intensities on each country, however, two factors are identified as primary risk for all GCC countries: (i) Harmful habits and lifestyles (smoking, lack of physical activity, etc) and (ii) Extreme weather conditions that characterize the region. Conclusion: There are common risk factors causing mortality in GCC region. Policy makers in the healthcare, life insurance and actuarial sectors should find this work useful for improving decision making processes, since GCC countries have joint agreements in these areas.
Research Article
Softcode of Multi-Processing Milne’s Device for Estimating First-Order Ordinary Differential Equations
Jimevwo Godwin Oghonyon, Olaide Adetola Adesanya, Hudson. Akewe and Hilary Izuchukwu Okagbue
Background and Objectives: Softcodes is a form of Mathematica language invented for the successful implementation of MPMD. Technical computing is an aspect of computing for the sole purpose of computation leading to better accuracy. This paper considers softcode of multi-processing Milne’s device for estimating first-order Ordinary Differential Equations (ODEs). Materials and Methods: Multi-Processing Milne’s Device (MPMD) is source from Adams collection of predicting-correcting scheme implemented via interpolation and collocation adopting multinomial finite sequence near resolution. This combination is mathematically assembled in MPMD pattern and analyzed to produce the order of the MPMD thereby setting up the chief local truncation errors. Results: The computational results generated were aided with Softcodes in Mathematica data format and setting the bounds of convergency. Conclusion: The calculated results are compared with subsisting methods to enhance the viability and effectiveness of the MPMD over others.
Research Article
Coliform Bacteria Contamination in Chlorine-treated Swimming Pool Sports Complex
Carolyn Payus, Imelda Geoffrey, Khairul Amrie and Alvin Oliver
Background and Objective: Sufficient amount of chlorine is needed to be maintained in the pool as not only the adult go for swimming but also children with more sensitive skin. This study was conducted to determine the presence of coliform group of bacteria which involved faecal coliform and Escherichia coli as microbial indicators for water quality contamination in the Sports Complex swimming pool water that is treated with chlorine disinfectant. Materials and Methods: Identification of faecal coliform and Escherichia coli were done through Membrane Filtration Method from APHA standard. The amount of free chlorine content in the swimming pool were also analyzed using HACH Spectrophotometer in order to relate the reactions of the supplied free chlorine towards the number of the microbial colonies inside the swimming pool. Results: The result shows that the outdoor swimming pool has a higher concentration for both faecal coliform and Escherichia coli compare to the indoor swimming pool and the highest concentration of faecal coliform can reached 266±64.65 CFU 100 mL–1 and Escherichia coli up to 113±57.40 CFU 100 mL–1. This showed that coliform bacteria still presence in the swimming pool at the sports complex although it has been treated with chlorine disinfectant. In a meantime, for the free chlorine content it showed that the average concentration in outdoor pool were recorded lower at 0.492±0.531 mg L–1 which was way below the minimum limit 1.0 mg L–1 of the permissible NSPF standard, whereas indoor pool were recorded at 1.069±0.585 mg L–1. Conclusion: The microbial presence and chlorine content in indoor swimming pool can be said more hygienic and cleaner to swim compare to the outdoor.
Research Article
Essential Oil Effect on the Physicochemical Characteristics of Different Wood Species
Fadoua Bennouna, Saad Ibnsouda Koraichi, Hassan Barkai, Yassir Lekbach, Soumya El Abed and Mohammed Lachkar
Background and Objective: The hydrophobicity and electron donor-electron acceptor properties of wood are considered an important parameters for microbial adhesion and wood degradation. Thus, the physicochemical properties of various wood species before and after treatment with Mentha pulegium, Rosmarinus officinalis and Cananga odorata essential oils were assessed. Materials and Methods: The hydrophobicity, electron acceptor (γ+) and electron donor (γ‾) properties of untreated and treated wood were determined using contact angle measurement. Results: All wood species tested have an electron donor character γ‾ higher than electron acceptor character γ+ and were characterized as having hydrophobic character except dibetou and beech woods which exhibit a hydrophilic character. The degree of hydrophobicity has decreased considerably using Mentha pulegium essential oil with values of water contact angles varying between 14.80±0.06 and 34.20±0.45°C followed by Cananga odorata and Rosmarinus officinalis essential oils with values of water contact angles ranged from 27.70±1.54° to 49.80±0.45° and from 37.00±0.35° to 58.90±0.45°, respectively. Conclusion: In this study, the hydrophobicity and the electron donor-electron acceptor properties have changed after treatment of wood species surfaces with the three essential oils.
Research Article
Nanoencapsulation of Bioactive Compounds Extracted from Egyptian Prickly Pears Peel Fruit: Antioxidant and Their Application in Guava Juice
Khaled F. Mahmoud, Hatem S. Ali and Azza A. Amin
Background and Objective: Nanoencapsulation involves coating for bioactive compounds and can strongly affect their mechanical, formative properties, bioavailability and stability. The aim of this study was to benefit the bioactive compounds extracted from Egyptian prickly pear peel fruit in nanoencapsulation formula to protect and improve their stability and bioavailability and evaluate their activity comparing to synthetic ones. Materials and Methods: Bioactive compounds were extracted by ethanol, exposed to ultrasonic water bath, then encapsulated in two natural polymers (sodium alginate and chitosan) using nanotechnology techniques aside with their chemical and physical evaluation and application in guava juice. Results: No significant differences in DPPH radical-scavenging activity were observed between ethanol extract (EE) and nanoencapsulate formulas (NEE-Chi and NEE-Algi+Chi) of prickly pears peels fruit extract at 15 mg mL–1 concentration. While, scavenging activity of prickly pears peels fruit extract in NEE-Alg at the same concentration was also significantly less than other formulas. Nanoencapsulate extract in chitosan (NEE-Chi) and NEE-Alg+Chi formulas had the highest reducing power activity (481.76 and 462.49 μg GAE/100 g DW), respectively. The highest nanoencapsulated yield and efficiency were observed for NEE-Chi formula being 91.74 and 97.81%, respectively. Thermal stability (DSC) of nano-encapsulated increased after nano-encapsulation showing the highest results with NEE-Alg+Chi being 219.53°C. The addition of NEE-Alg+Chi to guava juice showed significantly affected the taste, odor, color, mouth feel, appearance and overall acceptability being 6.9, 6.7, 6.8, 6.8, 6.8 and 6.7, respectively, compared to other samples of guava juice supplemented with prickly pears peel fruit extracts. The highest content of total antioxidant capacity in guava juice samples was found in NEE-Chi formula stored for 120 days at 23°C. Conclusion: The impact of this study indicated that nanoencapsulation affects positively the bioactive compounds extracted from prickly pears peels fruit, improves the antioxidant activity, enhancing the quality and stability of bioactive compounds.
Review Article
Psychological Mechanism of Corruption: A Comprehensive Review
Juneman Abraham, Julia Suleeman and Bagus Takwin
Corruption prevention can be more effective if it does not rely merely on legal enforcement. This theoretical review aimed to propose a hypothetical psychological model capable of explaining the behavior of corruption. Moral disengagement is a variable that is considered ontologically closest in "distance" to the variable of corruption behavior. Counterfeit self, implicit self-theory, ethical mindset and moral emotion are taken into account as the pivotal factors of the corruption behavior and its mechanism of moral disengagement. Counterfeit self along with some moderating variables are regarded to "set" one’s future corrupt behavior based on his/her past/prior ethical or unethical behavior and moral emotions. This review discovered a conjectural-theoretical model of the corruption psychology. It can be used to design a social intervention and training for individuals to manage the mindset and emotion that can buffer counterfeit self effect. In addition, the users of these research findings are recommended to be aware of the surroundings that consist of groups of people with particular ethical mindset, moral emotion proneness and self-theory.

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