January 16, 2004

Graham, Norma
[PSYC W1001] Science of Psychology

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

Professor Graham is an incredibly nice person, perhaps she'd make a nice grandmother, but that doesn't qualify her to teach an intro psychology class. I'd tend to agree with much of what's been said regarding her inability to conduct a class. Nothing much happens in class other than her talking about vision and using a gratuitous number of overhead slides, which I don't think anyone fully understood. She shows a lot of videos (so you have to go to class) and then doesn't really talk about them. Part of the problem with the class is that it's virtually impossible to take notes since she really doesn't stay on point. I'd agree that the textbook was good and interesting, but honestly I can read a textbook on my own. I want a professor who's going to add to the book. Unfortunately, Professor Graham just can't stay on track. The course is definitely geared towards those who have already taken a neuroscience class and with her field of research being vision you will get more than you bargained for in that area. If you're content to read the textbook and really gain nothing more than that by all means take this class. My advice would be to take The Science of Psychology in the fall. When push comes to shove this class is about memorizing as much of the textbook as possible so you can ace the multiple choice tests.

Workload:

Two class-length multiple choice tests that cover a lot of material and ask very specific questions. Neither test is hard, but both require excellent memorization skills.
Two 8-10 page papers broken down into three sections. You (and a partner if you want) will have to do such fascinating exercises as write your own multiple choice questions and explain a function of the brain in a story book fasion. The papers are long and not particularly interesting.
This class is not incredibly hard, nor incredibly easy. If you do all the reading and have a good memory you can easily get an A-.