January 06, 2010

Hart, Carl
[PSYC W2460] Drugs and Behavior

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

It is not hard to do well in this class. Like the previous reviewer said: read the book, go to class, study your notes, etc. I did just that and got an A. However, this is still hands-down the most disappointing academic experience I have had at Columbia.

To begin with, Professor Hart is a total jerk. He is unbelievably pompous and condescending, both to his students (well, only to the ones who say something that goes against his ridiculously biased political views), TAs, and even guest lecturers. He only lectured about half the time, and the times he wasn't lecturing he was either completely absent, without telling his class, or sleeping in the back, awaking only to snap angrily at the poor TA. All in all, he is the most unprofessional faculty member I have encountered. He is also clearly only interested in politics, not psychology. Which brings me to my next point:

THIS IS NOT A SCIENCE CLASS! It shouldn't fulfill the science requirement, shouldn't be in the psychology department, and It DEFINITELY shouldn't be a 2400-level class, since "neurobiology" is only mentioned as an aside and at a level that middle schoolers could understand. Hart includes big "scary" science words on his slides, but I saw right through it! He spends about 90% of the class time talking about social aspects of drug use, but this isn't a social psych class. I didn't pay to hear him preach about how misunderstood meth is, and I certainly didn't pay to hear the lawyer (not scientist) who fights for the rights of pregnant drug-users preach about the evil government.

Workload:

Easy. The textbook is written for 7th graders. Seriously.