Date of Graduation

Summer 2023


Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis



Committee Chair

Jordan Belisle


Translational research combines application of fundamental principles with the concern for everyday issues and outcomes, which makes it possible to use translational research to address these societal issues (Mace and Critchfield, 2010). This thesis combines and discusses two multi-authored manuscripts centered around translational research. In the first manuscript, participants completed a probability discounting task developed by the experimenters under the hypothetical situation of being in a relationship with moderate or low satisfaction. In the task, participants chose to cheat or not cheat on their partner as a function of the subjective attractiveness of the non-partner and the probability of getting caught by their partner. Half of the participants then completed the same task after watching a 5-minute arousing scene from a or a 5-minute guided meditation. Results showed that the overall probability of infidelity was greater with lower relationship satisfaction. In the second manuscript, was a translational analysis of Relational Density theory (RDT; Belisle and Dixon, 2020). To construct a geometric representation of their perspective of the relationship between various crimes, a multidimensional scaling procedure was utilized. Participants also completed a reentry switch point task in which they determined how much monthly assistance a prisoner should receive based on the crime they committed. Results showed that participants gave less monthly assistance to prisoners who committed a crime they perceived as more severe based on dimensional units in the geometric space. Taken together, these manuscripts demonstrate the utility of translational research in behavior analysis to bridge the gap between basic behavior change principles and issues of social relevance.


: infidelity, arousal, mindfulness, probability discounting, reentry, recidivism, Relational Frame Theory, Relational Density Theory, translational research

Subject Categories

Applied Behavior Analysis


© Maggie K. Adler

Available for download on Saturday, August 01, 2026

Open Access