Review Comment

[PSYC W2640] Introduction to Social Cognition

April 17, 2019

Heiphetz, Larisa
[PSYC W2640] Introduction to Social Cognition and [Psych W2640] Intro to Social Cognition

Nice prof, nice class, nice exams! She's pretty excited about the class and has an uplifting energy. Good class!

Workload:

2 midterms, final, random in class assignment (15%)

July 01, 2018

Heiphetz, Larisa
[PSYC W2640] Introduction to Social Cognition

First of all, Heiphetz is an interesting person herself. She is always very energetic, ambitious and enjoying what she is teaching. I have never seen such an enthusiastic prof at Columbia. The class material is very interesting and applicable to the daily life. It even covers relationships. She is a very successful prof overall. She is always very welcoming for questions, even not related to the subject directly. The exams are very straight-forward and mostly expecting you to explain the theory thoroughly and provide examples.

DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED

Workload:

2 midterms (easy) 1 final (medium) 8 extremely easy, mostly commenting or giving examples to the concepts pop-up quizzes (15%) Very light workload

May 16, 2011

Sparrow, Betsy Silver_nugget
[PSYC W2640] Introduction to Social Cognition

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

The course material is fascinating. Regardless of your field, the stuff you learn in this class will stick with you. Sparrow is a decent lecturer, but only because what she's talking about is compelling. The grading system is just plain silly (but fairly easy, if you actually study). This is the first class I've ever taking where I wished the professor actually tried to push more by having actual assignments/tests that weren't all dumb multiple choice.

Workload:

3 Midterms consisting of 33 multiple choice questions each (you drop the lowest grade), 1 short answer final where she gives you the questions in advance, thereby making the final laughably easy and an exercise in pointlessness.

May 20, 2010

Sparrow, Betsy Silver_nugget
[PSYC W2640] Introduction to Social Cognition

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

Prof. Sparrow is not the most gifted lecturer. She often mumbles, making it very difficult to understand what she is saying, and her occasional cursing and mainstream political comments are distracting and offensive. She also panders to the students, in a very transparent effort for approval. Her midterms do not adequately test your knowledge of the material; rather, they indicate how well you can choose the correct answer from the somewhat tricky multiple-choice questions. In lieu of a textbook, she assigns approximately four articles per week. These are mostly research articles from psychology journals and are quite difficult to get through, but completely unnecessary for success in the course. They may, indeed, deepen understanding of the course material, but as previously mentioned, the midterms do not exactly test that knowledge. If you want to see what you did wrong on any of the exams, you have to schedule an appointment to see her or one of the TAs, as no in-class opportunities are provided to review your performance.

That said, the topic is truly fascinating and, although much of it is common sense because of its everyday relevance, you will learn about the mechanisms and theories behind why human beings behave the way we do. You will also become aware of the myriad studies which have been conducted in this exciting field of psychology. Prof. Sparrow's lecture slides are well put together and thorough and, really, the only things you need to study for exams. Barring any drastic changes to the course, what you need to do for an A is attend lectures and study the slides, focusing on the main subtopics she introduces at the beginning of each class.

Workload:

3 all multiple-choice midterms (33 questions each; lowest grade of 3 is dropped; remaining 2 worth 30% each; each M-C question is worth too much -- 3 pts.); final made up of 4 essay questions provided in advance (worth 40%)

February 14, 2009

Sparrow, Betsy Silver_nugget
[PSYC W2640] Introduction to Social Cognition

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

Professor Sparrow is definitely an amazing person. Her lectures were engaging and she did a great job clarifying the materials. The only thing that I had problem with was her tests with vague questions. (You will find some questions uninterpretable, and sometimes fairly indifferent answer choices) But the good side was that she curved them.

Workload:

Optional readings. 3 Tests focused primarily on the lecture slides.

January 12, 2009

Sparrow, Betsy Silver_nugget
[PSYC W2640] Introduction to Social Cognition

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

Absolutely terrible...and I got an A in the class so I am not bitter due to bad grades. I am bitter because a topic that is common sense to most people was made into a semester-long torture fest as an incompetent professor fumbled through a billion poorly-presented experiments. Most of which I had already learned in prior psychology classes and only through intense scrutiny discovered were indeed actually the same experiments--even though you would think they were from a different area of study with the way she explained it.

With every question asked in class by students, she would stall, mumble something and move on, or supply an answer that had nothing to do with the question, or say something incorrect, or just reply that she did not know.

The tests were just as randomly constructed as the class. The questions asked seem to stem from nowhere and the answers to choose from on the multiple choice often left one to the game of eeny-meeny-miny-mo. The textbook was useless and compensated for the natural simplicity of the subject matter by making the material as esoteric as psychology will naturally permit. Only after a couple of months did Professor Sparrow finally concede the futility of using the textbook and told us to simply stop completely, relying only on her notes for study.

Since the textbook was useless, the reading for this class was not much-a few articles a week. The tests were not hard to do well if you had a mix of common sense and knowledge of psychology from prior classes--that is for the questions that were answerable based on material.

Then, there is her ignorance in other areas. To connect to students and perhaps appear "cool," Sparrow often made random popular political statements... in a Social Cognition class. How they are relevant still boggles my mind--almost as much as the complete dearth of her insights both regarding psychology and the other topics she deigned to comment on.

Yes, she is nice-- but why shouldn't she be. This is not a reason to take her class. The fact that she smiles while being a bad teacher instead of yelling while being a bad teacher is poor comfort.

OVERALL: STAY AWAY!

Workload:

No work really besides the effort spent trying to stop yourself from committing suicide.

May 17, 2008

Sparrow, Betsy Silver_nugget
[PSYC W2640] Introduction to Social Cognition

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

Awesome professor and extremely sweet person! Lots of reading but it's very interesting. I never missed a class and that definitely speaks to how much I enjoyed the course.

Workload:

3-4 exams. No papers.

July 26, 2004

Kammrath, Lara Silver_nugget
[PSYC W2640] Introduction to Social Cognition

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

Terrific professor! Take this class if youcan! She is very positive, caring and enthusiastic. It is very clear that she loves to teach, she cares about her students and she wants everyone to do well. The class itself is extremely interesting and the readings are great!

Workload:

Short response papers, presentation and a short final paper.

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