December 08, 2001

Terrace, Herbert
[PSYC W1001] Science of Psychology

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

Terrace has done some important psych work...but as a teacher, he's not very effective. The class itself is easy - completely managable for science idiots like me looking to finish the requirement. It covers all the basics - history, memory, language, etc. But his lectures are convoluted, seemingly thrown together, and really not worth much at all. If it weren't for good TAs, nothing would make much sense. Basic concepts seem alien until re-explained. Making things even worse is the fact that he uses his own textbook, one that he wrote and apparently never got published. It's unfinished (lots of "place chart here"), which is REALLY ANNOYING. It's also as nonsensical as his lectures, so be sure to utilize the TAs! He really shouldn't be teaching, in my opinion - he's clearly smart, but should stick to the lab where he only has to deal with monkeys instead of students.

Workload:

three exams a semester, non-cumuliative (very nice at finals time because it's already all over). a decent amount of reading, not too much...but make sure you get to the psych library early to get reserve readings - for a huge class, there aren't nearly enough copies on reserve and everything is always gone the week before exams. weekly mandatory discussion sections with a 5-minute pass/fail quiz each time - makes you go to section...if you fail, you can re-take it as many times as neccesary, but not if you miss it. i usually loathe sections, but it definitely helps clear things up for this class. plus, the TAs write the exam, so listening to what they have to say is more valuable than what Terrace tries not to garble.