Review Comment

[PSYC W2610] Intro to Personality

December 22, 2010

Mischel, Walter
[PSYC W2610] Intro to Personality

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

After reading all the reviews of Prof. Mischel on CULPA, I was expecting a bad experience, but it was really good. I didn't find him to be egotistical at all. Sure we cover a lot of his own work, but that's because it was very relevant. His attitude about it isn't arrogant. The main textbook is also surprisingly well-written and easy to understand for a science text. (That said, his monolith from 1968 is pretty boring).
Although he's not the most compelling lecturer in history, he's by no means terrible, and he's certainly open to answering questions (at length) from anyone. He has a sense of humor and he really knows his shit. What do you want?

Workload:

2 multiple choice exams and a take-home final, with a choice of 4 of 6 500-word max essay questions. (I did think that the multiple choice questions weren't very well-written--they didn't seem to quite correspond to the stuff in the book). There are fairly heavy, but not deadly readings each week, and you have to post a minimum of 3 questions on them each week to CourseWorks

May 07, 2007

Mischel, Walter
[PSYC W2610] Intro to Personality

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professor Mischel was nice in person, but in class he somehow managed to take something as interesting as personality psychology and make it reeeally boring. Every class was composed of him reading off lecture slides in a way that led me to suspect he not only didn't put them together, but didn't even review them at all before class. There was also a lot of fumbling with the technological stuff (it was kind of cute at first, then just tedious). There were occasionally some really adorable videos on children in experiments, but maybe not enough to make attending class worthwhile.

I was generally repelled by his big ego and seeming hostility towards people who asked questions but were not pretty girls. Looking back on the class, it kind of felt like Mischel was just going through all the history so he could get to his stuff in the end. He was far more engaging when teaching his own theories...maybe he should just stick to that.

Workload:

one midterm, one final--multiple choice. i barely did any work and got a b-. just read the book and it's a breeze. lectures are usually redundant if you do the reading.

November 14, 2006

Mischel, Walter
[PSYC W2610] Intro to Personality

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Upon entering the classroom or lecture hall in which Professor Mischel is teaching, follow these simple steps:

1) remove your shoes
2) bow your head
3)assume a penitent position on a plank dotted with upward-facing rusty roofing nails, to remind you of the pain Walter has undergone as a sacrifice on your behalf
4)copulate with and successfully impregnate a woman
5) assume penitent position for nine months
6)have woman return with child
7)offer child to Walter as a sacrifice

What I'm getting at folks, in case my message is a hazy one, is that Walter Mischel has easily the most inflated sense of self-importance I've ever encountered. I mean, I can fry up an egg while singing and planning my day all at once, but I didn't write a BOOK in which every other textual reference is to my ability to do these things! The lectures stray from the book's text about as far as a piece of salami strays from your cheek if you've slapped it there and are holding it in place; the TAs don't speak during class, which they should; Walter insists on floating around the room on his laurels. Be warned.

Workload:

Not bad.

July 09, 2006

Kang, Nita
[PSYC W2610] Intro to Personality

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

PLUSES:
The content was pretty engaging. The very readable and study-friendly textbook contained nearly all the material for the course. The instructor summarized each chapter well and presented the summaries via Power Point; these were well put together and a good study tool as well as a handy reference for the future.

The instructor was pleasant (if slightly smug) and made an effort to have in-class activities to help us learn certain concepts and for review.

The paper (30%) was a good test of how well we learned various theories and can apply them to a clinical subject.

MINUSES:
Working like a fiend MIGHT get you a high B/low A.

Attendance (10%): Since 95% of the material covered in class could be learned just by reading the book and the lectures were posted on Courseworks, the 3hr mandatory lectures were sort of a drain on reading/study time and often did not enhance understanding of the material. (For those who choose not to read the book, just go to class and you'll learn most of what you need, but the picky details required on tests are NOT in the PowerPoints.) The instructor explained some things very well but on the other hand was often hesitant about the examples she gave and did not seem confident about her understanding of some of the theories she covered. ***Certain students seemed to think that droning on and on with time-consuming and irrelevant comments would improve their attendance grade - there was NO time for this in a packed summer course with a lot of material to cover. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS TO YOUR FELLOW STUDENTS!***

Presentation of article (10%): Should be worth more since most people spent quite a bit of time on it and a short paper is required along with the presentation.

Final paper (30%): 15-18pp. A good assignment and one of the more enjoyable papers one can write, but we just barely learned some of the material that had to be discussed in the paper a few days before the paper was due. [Another option would be a shorter paper due earlier and only a test on the rest of the material.]

Tests (1st 15%, 2nd 15%, 3rd 20%): The tests seemed designed to find out what we DIDN'T learn (picky and often irrelevant details) rather than to elicit what we DID learn (the main ideas of each personality theory - it is a 2000 level course, not a 4000). The instructor requested feedback about the tests and the class overall but did not quite implement the feedback until compiling the slightly more relevant but still tricky & picky third test. She had to add 11 points to every test score on all 3 tests to get most of the scores into the A-D range! Otherwise there would have been no or few A's on tests at all, it seems, and there were some very hard-working students in the class (along with a some who read magazines or IM'd most of the time). The tests should really be based on what was covered and designed to emphasize important ideas; if something only rates 1 sentence in the book, it should not be on the test. Since a lot of points needed to be added to bring test scores into the A-D range in a 2000 level class, the tests and/or the focus of lectures should be improved/changed significantly. A one-point extra-credit assignment is not enough to make up for the bad fit of the tests to the material.

Workload:

Average, pretty manageable for a CU summer class. Attendance (10%), presentation of an article and 3-5pp paper (10%); final paper (30%); test 1 (15%), test 2 (15%), test 3/final exam (20%).

June 18, 2006

Kang, Nita
[PSYC W2610] Intro to Personality

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I must agree with the review that has been posted (all except the class title and number of tests). This professor is listed as Jan Kang and Nita Kang.

Anything you learn in this class will be negated by the frustrating test experiences and average-busting grades. The professor merely reads from power points that are available on courseworks, so the only reason to go to class is the attendance sheet that has to be signed by every student. If you want to take this class, wait for a semester when Professor Mischel is teaching it.
Even though the test grades are curved with a curve that would strike out Babe Ruth, more than half of the class could walk away with a C. This Professor pretends to care what students think, she sent out an email asking us for our thoughts on the class - but only after she told us why she thought the class was good and why her tests were more than fair.

Workload:

3 tests, 2 papers and 1 presentation. A fair amount of reading, nothing unusual for a summer class.

February 05, 2003

Mischel, Walter
[PSYC W2610] Intro to Personality

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Walter Mischel is first and foremost a very cute old man (he's 72). He is also extremely well-renowned, and for good reason. His breakthrough 1968 changed the personality field of psychology greatly; basically, he contradicted what everyone else was saying (i.e., the behaviorists), so he totally threw the foundation of personality psychology on it's head - some people still think of him as the devil in his field. Mischel's theories seem almost obvious to us now, but at the time they were very monumental. I found his class both interesting and informative. I thought his lectures were good, not enthralling, but definitely interesting. The book, which he wrote, is easy to follow and not boring. He is a nice man who will make you smile at his old age and cuteness.

Workload:

Three multiple choice exams - not too bad if you read and review a little, although the wording can be a little tricky.

May 29, 2002

Mischel, Walter
[PSYC W2610] Intro to Personality

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Walter Mischel is nothing special. I could have come up with his groundbreaking theories on Personality when I was in sixth grade. This course caused me to disregard psychology as a science and think of it rather as a bunch of subjective viewpoints that are interesting but, other than that, meaningless. You can take this course and, if you read the text, get a decent grade, but it's kind of worthless.

Workload:

3 multiple choice exams, not bad if you've done the moderate reading.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
PSYC / PSYC PSYC PSYC W2610: Introduction to Personality Walter Mischel 2010 Fall MW / 10:35-11:50 AM 1
PSYC / PSYC PSYC PSYC W2610: Introduction to Personality Walter Mischel 2009 Fall MW / 10:35-11:50 AM 1
PSYC / PSYC PSYC PSYC W2610: Introduction to Personality Walter Mischel 2006 Fall TR / 10:35-11:50 AM 1
PSYC / PSYC PSYC PSYC W2610: Introduction to Personality Walter Mischel 2004 Spring TR / 4:10- 5:25 PM 1