January 20, 2003

Galanter, Eugene
[PSYC W1001] Science of Psychology

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

"Let me reiterate - this class is a joke." "I will love you just as much, regardless of the grade you get on my quiz." "I mean, who cares what you get in this course? It's stupid!" - Eugene Galanter

Galanter's class, half self depreciating comments and rediculus stories, half aimless rambles about quasi-psychophysics, is more like visiting hours with a semi-senile great uncle at the old age home than a class that fulfills the college science requirement. Rest assured that you will learn something about psychology - mostly from the paragraph or two you read from the textbook in the middle of an open book test - but lectures consist of dead time between amusing and just plain bizarre comments. Galater is senior faculty in his department, and he knows it. He no more wants to be teaching an intro course than anyone in the class wants to be there. Though it's more than obvious that he knows his stuff, he has a bit of trouble transmitting his knowledge, whether it's because he can't hear a question shouted out from the second row, can't remember how to derive a formula ("Look in my book," he advised us, "it's all there, written when I was a lot younger, a lot more coherent, and, if I'm remembering correctly, sober.") . . . lectures aren't too necessary, but miss one and you risk missing one of his gems. Overall, a class worth taking for the science requirement. You'll walk in confused, stay confused throughout, and be even more confused, though pleased, when you receive your A.

Workload:

Three open book quizzes, given in the most annoying style possible - mastering the "cross off the right answer" method might be the most difficult part of this course.