Date of Award
Master of Science
Behavior Analysis and Therapy
This study presented meat consumption as an environmentally relevant behavior (ERB) and examined how the delay to an environmental loss might affect peoples’ decisions to eat meat. Participants completed a delay discounting survey where they selected what percentage of meat they would eliminate from their diet based on varying delays to rising sea levels flooding of their neighborhood. After watching a brief educational video, participants completed the survey a second time to examine whether the video had any influence on discounting rates in the post-survey. Participants also completed the 27-Item Monetary Choice Questionnaire (MCQ; Kirby & Marakovic, 1996) in order to compare individuals’ monetary discounting rates to their environmental discounting rates. Data were analyzed using calculations of area under the curve (AUC) and Mazur’s (1987) hyperbolic discounting equation. Results showed that the average percentage of meat that people chose to eliminate from their diets decreased as a function of the delay to the environmental loss, the educational video was effective in reducing environmental discounting rates, and discounting rates for monetary outcomes were positively and significantly correlated with discounting rates for environmental outcomes. Implications, limitations, and avenues for future research are discussed.
This thesis is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.