Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark


The purpose of this study was to examine choice-making as it relates to providing a source of clean water to those at varying social distances. A discounting survey was completed by 65 participants asking them to choose between spending a specified about of money on plastic water bottles that have a 100% chance of harming the environment or spending $1000 on a water filtration system that has a 0% chance of harming the environment. Results indicated that as social distance increased, responding became more impulsive as evident by a steeper amount of discounting. For “Person #1”, 27.69% of participants chose to spend money on plastic water bottles while for “Person #100”, 53.8% of participants chose to spend money on plastic water bottles. The R2 calculated was 0.8633. Results also indicated that there was a positive correlation between frequency of behaving in sustainable ways and how much one valued the environment, as well as how concerned one was with the environment. Implications, strengths and limitations, and future research opportunities are discussed.




This thesis is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.