December 25, 2010

Lindemann, Patricia
[PSYC W1001] Science of Psychology

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

I have to disagree with many of the reviewers for Lindemann's Sci of Psy class. I really enjoyed this class, and I am now considering a major in Psych or Neuroscience because of it.

First of all, Lindemann herself is rather goofy. She has an extraordinarily odd sense of humor and an overall strange wardrobe and appearance, but this does not detract from her ability as an instructor. I always thought she got the concepts across well, elaborating on the powerpoints with cogent examples instead of just reading them. I never tried to email her or go to office hours so I can't speak to that.

I thought the material covered was fascinating, and Lindemann would often show us wonderful video clips in class which got the concepts across really effectively. The textbook was also really good in my opinion. It is verbose to be sure, but I never felt lost or unsure about any concepts it covered. Even though the sheer number of pages is a slog, I found myself wanting to do the readings. iClickers are employed. They are sort of a cheap way to take attendance, but I think they add to the class (allow for informal polling, little comprehension questions, etc.)

You have to participate in experiments. This is annoying. I didn't do any really cool experiments but your experience might be different.

Despite the class's large size, it is not difficult to do well. Simply read the chapters and review the powerpoints before exams. If you want to boost your score up a few more points, do the online quizzes that go along with the textbooks and make vocab flashcards on the notes. Using this method, I got A's on all the midterms (and I suspect on the final). Compared to other science classes, it is an absolute joke. I've taken several pre-med type science courses and this one was much, much easier. That being said, there may be easier classes for your science requirement (Beyond the Solar System comes to mind). It just depends on your personal style.

If you're good at memorizing, interested in Psych, want to fulfill the science requirement or a combination of the 3, I would highly recommend this class. It's very interesting, and you will start to notice things which pertain to topics covered in class everywhere.

Workload:

Not so bad compared to most other science classes. Tests make up 75% of grade, I believe.
A lot of textbook reading. DO NOT LEAVE FOR RIGHT BEFORE THE EXAM.
2 Midterms with ~30 MC questions (some are hard, but most are possible if you study) and a fill in the blank/short answer section (some questions are ambiguous but most are clear and getable)
1 Final (a midterm with longer fill in blank/short answer. Heavily focused on final portion of class.)
Experiment Participation (3 hrs of doing dumb stuff for grad students)
3 Essays (2 on articles, 1 on experiment participation, they are really stupid and add nothing to the class but they are only 2 pages double-spaced so suck it up. Also, not much of your grade.)
Attendance (You get to miss 3 classes, then it starts to count against you. If you have to miss more, have someone else take your clicker to class. It's not hard folks.)