Rat Park: An incredibly interesting experiment on the social and cognitive factors of addiction


Read and document the above study (click the picture) on societal factors of addiction! It’s really incredible! But makes intuitive sense!

After reading, answer the following questions:

  1. What social psychology principals come to mind while contemplating the results of the study?
  2. What other study regarding cognitive factors (from our cognitive unit of study) corroborates or reinforces the theories regarding addiction inherent in the illustrated study? (cite a specific study).
  3. Other thoughts/ideas/musings/conclusions?

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

A Healthy Mind can often lead to a healthy body and certainly vice versa due to the bi-directionality of wellness. 

Your task is to understand the cognitive, social and Physiological factors of obesity and then design a prevention program grounded in psychological rationale and research. 

Your Learning Activity guide is linked below:

Developing a Treatment Program for Obesity


Effective Treatments for Addictive Behavior

Addiction has biological, psychological and social origins.  Like all aspects of psychology, it’s crucial to understand etiology in order to design a proper treatment approach. 

Read the following research regarding treatment approaches to addiction and complete the linked assignment below. 

Changing Addictive Behaviors: A Process Perspective

Carlo C. DiClemente
Current Directions in Psychological Science
Vol. 2, No. 4


“That Feeling of Not Feeling”: Numbing the Pain for Substance-Dependent African American Women

Joanne T. Ehrmin


Affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous after treatment: A study of its therapeutic effects and mechanisms of action.

By Morgenstern, Jon; Labouvie, Erich; McCrady, Barbara S.; Kahler, Christopher W.; Frey, Ronni M.


Treatment Assignment: 

 Treatment addiction

I Whip My Prana Energy Back and Forth: Jaden and Willow Smith on Time, Life, creativity and driver’s ed

This is what TOK is all about…this post.  When the average person reads the follwing interview with Jaden and Willow Smith, they come away thinking, “Wow. psycho.”  I’m not saying that emotional response isn’t valid, nor am i saying it’s valid. What I am suggesting is that it’s simplistic. A TOK student MUST read this interview and come away with QUESTIONS NOT CONCLUSIONS.

So. Read the interview and generate 3 questions and label those questions with the AREA OF KNOWLEDGE and WAY of KNOWING the question relates to.


What if Walmart Paid a Living Wage? To What Extent Should Gov’t intervene in Price Floor establishment?

A major critique of the “living wage” regulation adopted by some states (california) and suggested for a the federal government to implement is the worry that it would create large economic ripple effects such as raising the price of goods. In this video, slate magazine breaks down the economic effects for walmart. 

  1. Do you support a living wage? 

  2. What philosophical questions arise around discussing a living wage?

  3. What are the known economic effects of price floors on an industry?

  4. What are the pros/cons of a living wage?

  5. To what extent is this an economic issue? To what extent is this a humanitarian/morality issue?

**Check out the living wage calculator that MIT created**


And below is a great op od in the NYTIMES illustrating inequality in america:




Read the article from The Atlantic below:


and then consider the following:

  1. Do you think the fictional village in the rain forest is an accurate portrayal of america?
  2. What is the harm of such methods of press and discourse?
  3. What explains the Polarity within society?
  4. Has society always been so polar and extreme in views or is this a new thing?
  5. Do your friends discuss like this? Why or why not?