November 12, 2012

Lindemann, Patricia
[PSYC W1001] Science of Psychology

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

Should you take this course?
No.

And here's why:

Prof. Lindemann is actually a very nice, intelligent women who works very hard to make this somewhat unchallenging course, interesting. I don't understand why people seem to have an issue with her. The course was structured quite well and the lectures were good. Sure she is weird, she's a psych professor, what did you expect?

The problems with the course are:

The tests will make you want to die. Prof. Lindemann makes it very clear that you will be tested on the lectures AND the textbook. This is all find and dandy but the tests are written poorly, with questions that are ambiguous beyond belief and often refer to things mentioned only briefly lectures that don't appear on the textbook at all.

The essays will make you want to shoot the TA first and then turn the gun on yourself. They are graded out of 10 and as she mentioned in class "a 10 essay is very rare, only once in a few years." What this basically means is that your score starts from 9, and a score like 8.5 was the highest in the class (mine btw, how sad).

Which leads me to the other problem in the course, the TAs. Prof. Lindemann makes a good use out of them, they of course grade everything, run the review sessions, and sometimes give lectures on their topic of research. The problem is that some of them ARE THE MOST PRETENTIOUS, ARROGANT, WISE ASS, USELESS, TAs ON A POWER TRIP you have ever met at Columbia.
(Especially Greg, if you have him as your TA, drop the class, because he really does represents everything that is wrong about the universe today.)
I was lucky to have Daniel, he is awesome.

To sum it up - Intro Psych can be sometimes interesting but at most stupid and obvious (did you know you have to be objective when you perform a study?? I know! It's amazing!!!!).
If you take it to fullfil a core, consider taking Taylor or Barnard courses instead cause according to many, they are easier than Lindemann's

Workload:

Quite a lot.
Reading a chapter for every lecture (30+ pages). If you'll only open the book before the tests you won't do well.
3 papers, only 2 pages but graded harshly
3 exams, not that much to study actually, but the questions are annoying and tricky.
Extra credit - optional, like 3 stupid little questions that you can do while you are eating. If you do 6 out of the 9 that are given, you can get bumped from a b+ to a- (do them, they're super easy)
Participating in idiotic studies of grad students.
Participating in class via the little monsters known as iClickers