December 23, 2006

Lindemann, Patricia
[PSYC W1001] Science of Psychology

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

I understand that a lot of students take Science of Psych to take care of their science requirements, and I guess that in that context it might be an okay class. As a neuroscience major, this was a required course for me. I also had the unique experience of taking W1001 along with two other (and more interesting/challenging) psychology courses, and I was really disappointed with both this course and Lindemann's teaching. Of course, intro/survey courses are often limited by the breadth of the topic, but Science of Psych could have been a lot less painful with a teacher who did more than read from Powerpoint slides. Lindemann obviously means well, but she brings little to the table. Most of the material seems skimmed over, with Lindemann's awkward jokes taking the place of interesting presentation of content - the only exception was the section on developmental psychology, which is obviously one of her interests. I felt that the course suffered from a lack of professionalism on her part, or at least it made it hard for me to take it seriously. Humor is fine, but starting the class every session by saying "hello, boys and girls" doesn't promote an environment of mutual respect. That sounds like an overreaction on my part, but where provocative and inspiring education was lacking, a mature relationship between professor and students could have made a big difference. I could go on, but instead I'll recommend that you read the other reviews. If you're just looking for a "science" class and an easy A, you might like this class. If you actually care about psychology/neuroscience & behavior, you'll probably be disappointed, but unfortunately, it's required. Maybe someone better will be teaching it other semesters...

Workload:

Unchallenging reading (I did it, but you'd probably be just as successful reading the chapter summaries before the test), three 2-page reading analyses of mostly pop-psychology supplementary readings (tedium! pure and simple!), three non-cumulative exams that are curved pretty generously, subject participation (so easy!), plenty of easy extra credit opportunities