What's creepy about the robotized rats isn't that they're unhappy. It's that they're happy doing things no autonomous rat would do. Chapin's paper boasts that his team steered the rats "through environments that they would normally avoid, such as brightly lit, open areas."… The rat wasn't whipped or pushed. It was "motivated."
The most famous novel about mind control, George Orwell's 1984 , ends with the protagonist losing his will at the prospect of having his head locked in a cage full of rats. How silly. Nobody's going to lock you in a cage. Soon, even rats won't have to be locked in cages. They'll be happy doing whatever we want them to do. They'll love Big Brother.
--- William Saletan