May 16, 2014

Taylor, Kathleen
[PSYC W1001] Science of Psychology

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

This was a pretty good class, on the whole. It was very straightforward, the readings aligned with what was being taught in lecture, and the midterms and final were made up of the core material covered by the class. Another plus of the class is that there wasn't a discussion section. And at the end of the day, I actually learned quite a bit about psych, about stuff that's generally just good to know for life, I think.

Taylor was, all in all, a pretty good lecturer. She generally kept things interesting by interspersing some humor into what could have been really dry material, and by every once in a while engaging the class in little exercises/experiments to demonstrate psychology concepts she was talking about. She also did everything necessary for students (who keep up with things reasonably) to succeed, from posting lecture slides online to organizing TA-led review sessions before midterms and the final.

Taylor was not, however, very responsive at office hours; after going once, I was not tempted to ever go back. I asked her one question (not actually regarding the core course material but stemming from it) that she seemed to think was completely basic, and she proceeded to look at me like I was stupid and ask me what exactly I wanted her to say.

But on the whole, I don’t think you really need to go to office hours in order to succeed in the class. Just stay reasonably on top of the course material and you’ll be fine.

I would recommend this class if you’re a humanities major looking to get your science requirement done, as it’s probably one of the most straightforward science classes you’ll come across at Columbia.


3 midterms
1 final (optional)
1 written review of a scientific article