Month: October 2016

InS 9: Psych: Manipulating Behavior

We have been discussing how companies use conditioning to manipulate our behaviour, in order to make us (the consumer) buy their product. 

What techniques have we discussed that advertizers use to manipulate our behaviour?

Today, you will analyze a commercial that does this:

You will use the following sources to compete the task:

For Psychological studies, use

Here is your task

  • Identify and analyse the techniques the marketeers are using in their commercial adverts. With reference to one or more commercials you will identify some of the the techniques used to make us buy.
  • For each technique, you will evaluate its effectiveness. You must use sources to support your argument, not your personal opinion. Find a study that has proven this theory.
    • The study might not be directly related to your topic or use the same terminology as the sources abve. You need to refine your searches to find the proper study
    • Name each study by the lead researcher(s) last name(s) and mention the university where it was conducted at leats once.
  • You can do this on a google doc with hyperlinks or as a voice over video (4 minutes max)
  • Groups of 2
  • Please link your work here

Your work must include:

  • The clip or clips from a commercial ( any language ) as long as clip is either in English or another language
  • Identify the target audience and demographic – who is the commercial aimed at
  • Annotations or notes clearly explaining the technique (tricks) used in the commercials
  • An explanation of the reasons for using each technique
  • Your evaluation as to why you think it is effective or not, what makes it a good advert

Due beginning of lesson –

  • 9A: Thursday 10th November.
  • 9C: Friday November 11th

TSC Criteria

InS9: Psychology, Classical Conditioning and Positive and Negative Reinforcement

We have discussed how psychology is the study of human behaviour, and how our environment, as well as our genetic makeup affect the ways we act. Today, we will discuss way to alter people’s behaviour.

Part 1: Conditioning

Have you heard of Pavlov’s dogs? Discuss

Little Albert, one of the earliest studies of human behaviour modification.

What conclusions can you make from the Little Albert experiment?

Are there any flaws in the experiment?

  • How do we learn?
  • What has created your personality?
  • How do you know that you have free will?

Classical Conditioning – Ivan Pavlov

Ok that was a lot of information. Here’s a simpler version:











As a group, come up with a definition of the following:

  • Classical Conditioning
  • Unconditioned Response
  • Conditioned Stimulus
  • Conditioned Response

Now, let’s look over the first three questions again.

Part 2: Conditioning in Advertizing

Part 3: Complete this document and hyperlink it here

Part 4: Positive vs. Negative reinforcement

In your groups, research and come up with the definitions, in your own words, of positive and negative reinforcement.

For each one think of a specific example that affect your own behaviour.

Part 5:

In your groups, create a short (no more than 5 minutes) experiment that will successfully demonstrate how both positive and negative reinforcement affect a person or a group’s behaviour. You will then attempt this experiment on your classmates.

First, let’s discuss some ground rules when performing psychological experiments on others.

IB Core, Unit 4, Patterns in Resource Consumption: Ecological footprint and Malthusian theory

IB learning outcome: Evaluate the ecological footprint as a measure of the relationship between population size and resource consumption. Identify international variations in its size.

IB definition: The theoretical measurement of the amount of land and water a population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its waste under prevailing technology.

Measure in global hectares per person (gha per capita)


Mathis Wackernagel: Creator of The Ecological Footprint

1. As you watch the video, come up with your own definition fo Ecological footprint:


EF calculations take the following resources into account, and is calculated in terms of space: hectors per person. (Acres in the US)

  • Arable land
  • pasture land
  • forests
  • oceans
  • infrastructure
  • energy costs

2. In your groups, find out how EF is measured.

3. Using this website  and the map below, identify international variations in EF size. 



4.What is Earth’s optimal biocapacity?

5. What is the average ecological footprint per capita of Earth?

6. Define Earth’s EF deficit.

7. Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of using the ecological footprint as an indicator.

8. Now, calculate your own ecological footprint using one of the following online calculator. 

What part of your life habits were most responsible for you ecological footprint?


Rest of the class, read Codrington p. 145 to 154 and review these notes


Part 2: Malthusian Theory

IB learning outcome:

Discuss the two opposing views (neo-Malthusian and anti-Malthusian) of the relationship between population size and resource consumption

You will have some time before the debate to plan your case: You will debate the opposing views of Neo-Malthusian (not Malthus himself…he was way off!) and Anti-Malthusians.

  • You are responsible for research
  • The class will be divided in 2 teams, with 2 or 3 speakers
  • The others can pass notes and diagrams during the discussion on a shared document.
  • Topics to consider
    • Ecological footprint
    • Limits of Growth
    • The relationship between scarcity, price and long-term commodity trends
    • Increasing standards of living
    • Population projections
    • Environmental projections
  • Include case studies when possible

InS 9: Bystanderism continued

Part 1: Discuss Ted Talk 

Part 2:

Re-examine the factors that influence bystanderism using the reading guide. Make a copy of the document and explain the following factors and give one example that influence bystanderism.

Hyperlink your document here. 

Part 3: Now that you’re all experts

Here’s a film clip about a child abduction showing the bystander effect.

In your groups, discuss: Besides the diffusion of responsibility ,what other factors might be influencing the situation.

Part 4:

View the quick film clip on the Matthew Carrington situation

In your groups, discuss:  Ask yourself why no one took any action and write a quick synopsis of the events on your blog.  Be confident in your ability to examine the major factors that influence bystanderism and back up your argument with empirical evidence.  Be familiar with the minor factors. 


Homework: Watch this clip done by students at Boston University in 1976-77 and another by high school students regarding who would help a student passed out on the floor.

InS 9: Bystanderism

After having done a sample study last class, what rules can you think of that should be followed in every psychological study?

Part 1: Introduction to the bystander effect or the bystander intervention:

  • What you would do in the same situation.
  • What would make you react this way?

Watch the video on the death of Kitty Genovese which led to bystanderism research by Latane and Darley. 


Part 2: In groups, you will read the Law et al 259-263 reading handout (do not lose the handout)

What are the factors that influence whether someone helps or not?  The decision is not as simple as you might think.

Answer the following questions in groups:

Using examples of research, explain how the following factors affect wether or not someone will help a person in distress:

  • diffusion of responsibility, social influence (pluralistic ignorance) and audience inhibition
  • Arousal and cost and reward 
  • Similarity, victim attributes and responsibility and mood
  • Competence and experience

Post your responses here: 9A & 9C

  • Each group should also email me one question about their section with 4 multiple choices, and the correct answer in bold. 
  • HW for next class: watch the Ted Talk from the Heroic Imagination Project by Clint Wilkins.

InS 10 on the YIS Website

Have a look at the school website for the article about the InS 10 field trip to Kamakura.



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