Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Michael Perone

Committee Co-Chair

Steven G Kinsey

Committee Member

Michael Perone

Committee Member

Claire C St Peter


"Advance notice" refers to procedures in which a stimulus is provided to signal the end of an ongoing activity and the nature of the upcoming activity. Applied research has considered whether advance notice will reduce the problem behavior that sometimes occurs during transitions. Interpretation of this research is complicated by procedural variations in the type of transitions arranged, the consequences of transition-related problem behavior, the method of providing advance notice, and the measurement of the effects of advance notice. The present experiment investigated effects of advance notice using an animal model of transition-related problem behavior. Key-pecking was maintained on a two-component multiple schedule. In the "lean" component, completing a fixed-ratio produced access to food pellets for a short time; in the "rich" component, completing the ratio produced longer access. The problem behavior was measured as the disruption in pecking that occurred in the transition between rich and lean components. Advance notice was provided in some conditions by flashing the houselight in half of the ratios preceding a lean component. In the present experiment, advance notice did not reduce disruptions in pecking. Instead, when advance notice had any effect, it extended the disruptions. Additional analyses revealed that delivery of notice also disrupted responding within the ratios. The results from the present experiment are discussed in the context of applied research on advance notice.