December 28, 2012

Taylor, Kathleen
[PSYC W1001] Science of Psychology

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

I enjoyed Taylor's class and disagree with the reviewers who take issue with her personality. Maybe it's based on who you are, but I personally did not find her to be "disrespectful" or rude. I would definitely say that she's sassy and rough around the edges, but not so much that I felt personally disliked. Many of her "rude" comments are intended to be funny, though it might not be your kind of humor.

Lectures: they were worth attending, if at least for some of the interesting or entertaining stories and videos. Generally they aligned well with what was asked on exams, though the fact that the majority of the class surfs the internet at some point during class time should indicate that not every detail will be relevant later.

Textbook readings: some people never opened it, others did many or most of the readings. The book was actually quite funny and had some really interesting sections that we didn't talk about much in class. Generally speaking, it's extremely useful if you find yourself confused about lecture material (or missed a class).

Exams: generally pretty fair. From time to time there would be questions with tricky wording or focused on topics we hadn't covered as well, but Taylor and the TAs were helpful during exam periods if something weren't clear. The study questions she includes at the end of each Powerpoint is surefire the best way to study -- they indicate what the exam will focus on and are by themselves a great test prep technique. The questions that go along with textbook chapters can be useful if you find yourself with extra test prep time (or want to really make the most of the reading) but aren't necessary.

I'd say if you're looking for a very cuddly class experience, don't take this class. If you want a clear, interesting professor who builds the format of the class for students' success, pick Taylor.

Workload:

Three midterms and one final (you can opt out of taking the final if you're happy with your grades on the other three, though). Lowest test is dropped.

A written research critique you have two months to do but can start the morning it's due.

Three hours of experimental credit, which really aren't that bad.

Attendance is mandatory at the first two class periods or you get dropped.