I took this to fulfill a science requirement and it was a great choice. Prof. Lindemann is a good lecturer and pretty funny too. You learn a good bit and the workload is super minimal (about a textbook chapter per week with a pass-fail practice quiz and then three 2-page essays during the semester). What's great about the class is that the expectations are super clear and it's well-organized, you know exactly what you need to do. Assessments: this was on zoom but we had five in-class quizzes that were open book/open note/open internet and she drops the lowest quiz grade, no midterm, final is also open book and was pretty easy. It's definitely important to read the textbook!
What a kind, helpful, and informative professor! I thoroughly enjoyed her class and she is a pleasure. Pretty easy A class.
I don’t think she changed much when we went to Zoom. She’s nice and holds office hours, but her class is definitely hard. It was interesting and I enjoyed taking it, but it’s definitely not just an easy A to fulfill your science requirement. Her quizzes were the hardest part for me and I never felt like I got the hang of the material.
Professor Rosis is one of the sweetest professors you'll ever find. She makes classes fun, is very accommodating, and gives plenty of space and time to ask questions. Her grading is fair and the class average was pretty good. Take this class if you want a class that you want to look forwards to and feels like a breeze to you!
I took Science of Psych in 2019 with him because Lindemann's section was full and it was great! The material was clear, exams never seem out of left-field, and he was a fairly engaging lecturer.
I personally really liked her I thought she was one of the best lecturers I've had so far. Spoke to her after class one time and she was super nice. I understand some people had rough TAs and totally get how that can completely RUIN a class for you. HOWEVER, that goes with literally ANY lecture class EVER. You honestly just have to take your chances. If we're comparing lecturers, I've asked around and almost all people agree that Lindemann is the best. I also found the grading to be pretty lenient and when I talked to other people in the class they said mostly the same thing. Also at the beginning of the semester, Prof Lindemann gave the distribution of grades and 40% of people usually get in the A range for her class and something like 50-55% get in the B range. It's a really doable class, just study the lecture material and read the textbook (!!!) bc there will be questions on the test (though they were usually SUPER straightforward) and you will really be just fine. The midterms had NO SURPRISES I PROMISE!!! the questions were suuuuuper straightforward - every single question was based on the lecture and very few were on the textbook reading In conclusion, take her class! and sorry in advance if you get satan as your TA
Had him in the spring in 2019? Like any intro class, there is a lot of material to go over. Really cool professor, I enjoyed the lectures they were condensed and easy to understand.
Deeply patronizing, she made a 10 minute long powerpoint about how terrible our papers were (we were assigned a five paragraph essay to be written in two pages, double-spaced, if any words over the paper won't be read). Her slides are illegible though with a million commas in each sentence? Bad lectures, boring readings and homework.
Prof. Kao isn't as bad as the reviews make her seem if you're actually interested in the fields of psychology and neuroscience. I was fortunate in that I already took AP Psych in high school, and the main difference I saw between my high school class and her lectures were the number of experiments we talked about within each unit. As a prospective neuro major, this research she discussed was interesting...if I wasn't that, I could understand getting bored - her slides were basically black and white text (which she explained in her perception unit as a way to assist those who are colorblind). At the same time, I have trouble understanding why people in my class were performing so poorly on exams and really bashing her teaching for their performance on exams. The three exams have a VERY predictable format and questions that are answerable if you attend lectures and put around 2 nights into studying. She is not to be blamed for your exam scores if other people who attended the lecture managed the material fine. Don't be so discouraged by her other reviews
Horrible teacher. Do not take this class. If you have to fulfill a science requirement, just take a different course or wait for the next semester for a different professor. Kao knows little to none about psychology besides out of her field-- she seems almost defensive when answering questions during lecture, she does nothing to reach out or get to know her students, and her TA's lectures are better and more interesting than hers. She reads off her slides which are mostly filled with words. Why do I need a professor to simply read off to me? Her definitions on her slides overcomplicate things and you can benefit much more just by reading the textbook. Some of the questions on her test are not mentioned in lecture NOR are they obviously marked in the textbook. As someone who read each chapter and diligently studied, her questions asked very obscure topics. Like what is the point of that? To trick your students? She lectures in a monotone, boring voice that makes me wonder how she got hired and why I continue going to lecture each week. Do yourself a favor, and never meet this professor. Never take her class. When asked how to study for the test or what topics will be on it, she says, everything. study everything. So useless.
Professor Lindemann is sweet, approachable, and charismatic. She and the material are the only things amazing about this course. If she were the one in charge of grading everything in this class it would most likely be an easy A and a fun class. Unfortunately, the TAs in this class absolutely R U I N it. I am majoring in psych(keep that in mind considering I actually thoroughly enjoyed the course material and writing the papers and taking the exams in this class) BUT good God the TA's grade so insanely harshly AND they don't even have the right to because they are LITERALLY OUR AGE. I DID NOT PAY $70,000 TO GO TO A PRESTIGIOUS IVY LEAGUE INSTITUTION TO HAVE MY WORK EVALUATED BY SOMEONE MY AGE. I don't care if that sounds entitled or bratty because it is true This class NEEDS major restructuring or it needs to be a 2000's level course because there is no justifiable reason for it to be as difficult as it is. 5/10 legitimately almost ruined psychology for me. PS I'm taking a 3000's level global core that is substantially easier than this introductory course.
Professor Kao is the best. Anyone who doesn't like this class is weak and ungrateful. She will not lie to you and sometimes sacrifices simplicity for precision but if you drink a freaking coffee before lecture and pay full attention you will be completely prepared for the exams and learn a lot of interesting stuff about the brain. She is a wonderful, delightful, lovely person in office hours. Honestly makes me angry that people are talking sh*t.
Let's be 100 about this class. I took the class because people told me it'd be an easy science requirement filler (which it is if you took AP Psych), so judge me if you want -- I don't care. This class was actually HARD. There's a lot of material covered on each exam so there's never enough time to study enough for anything. Also, the TA's grade everything ridiculously harshly. To get a good grade in this class, you need to write EXACTLY the way that they want you to. Example: The exam questions were convoluted and it's not like they ever tried to help/go over their expectations for how to properly respond to short/long answer questions. All that being said, the lectures were entertaining. Lindemann's cool -- which is the one thing I'd say is accurate about all the reviews I see about this class. TLDR: This class was designed to weed people out of the psych major so it's not ideal whatsoever to take this for your science requirement unless you've already taken AP Psych.
Let's be 100 about this class. I took the class because people told me it'd be an easy science requirement filler (which it is if you took AP Psych), so judge me if you want -- I don't care. This class was actually HARD. There's a lot of material covered on each exam so there's never enough time to study enough for anything. Also, the TA's grade everything ridiculously harshly. To get a good grade in this class, you need to write EXACTLY the way that they want you to. Example: The exam questions were convoluted and it's not like they ever tried to help/go over their expectations for how to properly respond to short/long answer questions. All that being said, the lectures were entertaining. Lindemann's cool -- which is the one thing I'd say is accurate about all the reviews I see about this class. TLDR: This class was designed to weed people out of the psych major so it's not ideal whatsoever to take this for your science requirement unless you've already taken AP Psych.
She should probably not be teaching this course. You can tell she specializes in neuroscience because she always teaches about it even though it's never tested. She always says she's going to "keep it simple" but it really never is simple. She does, however, post her slides which is extremely helpful because she often puts a lot of information on one slide and it hurts your hand if you have to write it all down. Also, when studying for the exams, I found the book to be of absolutely no help and studied purely off of her lectures (basically just memorizing the definitions she gave us and reviewing a few of the graphs).
After reading the previous reviews, I gave Professor Kao the benefit of the doubt and took the course anyways. I regret doing so. Her lecturing was done in a way that was like she had read her reviews of “boring” and “monotone” and was trying to overcompensate in class with bad jokes and strange ways of including student discussion. I probably learned more from the TA lectures than hers, which as someone mentioned, were heavily focused on studies, most of which were very obscure. One thing that I found very disrespectful was that during one of the TA lectures, Professor Kao interrupted the TA probably around 10 times, throwing in her take every few minutes. Regarding the exams, you need to know every thing that is in the lecture notes and in the textbook, as she says everything is fair game.
Oh well....where to start with this pathetic professor? (full disclosure: I got an A in the class) Prof. Kao puts so much effort into making psychology unbearable and a pain in the ass. To start with, she's not even a psychologist but a neuroscientist working at CUMC. Her slides are basically graphs with some titles in a black and white background. Besides reading the slides with the most monotonous voice ever, she does nothing more during class time. She's taking attendance and her tests are multiple choice with graphs. Now, the graphs. The graphs are the results from some random neuroscience experiment completely unrelated to psychology. It's impossible to read her slides if you miss class. Also, be warned! She's surprisingly unaccommodating and rude with students. The suggested book is a 2006 psychology book, heavy with neuroscience. However, you will not learn any neuroscience whatsoever bc either the neuroscience material won't be the exam or bc she will just require you to memorize the graph. STEER AWAY from this class
My opinion towards this course throughout the time of the semester, perfectly aligns with the Yerkes-Dodson Law curve. It took me a month to get used her teaching style as well as the course itself (I personally think the beginning of the class, talking about research and history is quite dreary), then by mid-point, I really enjoyed the class as I have been learning more and more interesting aspects of psychology. But by the end, you will realize that Dr. Lindemann is mostly just reading the powerpoint. Another thing I want to point out is that, this 13-week or so class tries to cover the whole textbook, meaning firstly, there would be a lot a lot of reading, secondly, it is basically two classes for each chapter, maybe it would be better if we focus on just specific chapters. Now TAs, I am very unlucky that my TA is not really helpful - very difficult to reach, and she has failed to show up at the OH. I am sure it really depends on the TA him or herself, but if you decide to take this class, make sure you find a good TA and maybe build a relationship. Finally the exams and grades. Attendance is a must, there are three papers and three exams. TAs grade papers pretty harshly, so be sure to follow the instruction very carefully. As for exams, there are two parts - multiple choices and short answer questions. The former one focuses on the textbook. From my experience, you really need to go through the textbook carefully, and the TAs usually choose some really detailed question, which I am not happy about my multiple choices. Short answers are much easier and they are based on the lectures, so just go through slides and go to review sessions, you'd do fine.
I loved Prof Taylor's class! TAKE THIS CLASS if you like flexibility because she lets YOU choose how you want this class to work for you. We had 3 midterms and she gave us the option of either taking the final and dropping our lowest test score or keeping our 3 midterms and not even taking the final!! Her lectures are pretty okay... she follows powerpoint slides which are pretty boring but cover most of the material and then she gives us optional study questions after each powerpoint which are SUPER useful because she will NEVER test you on anything that's not on the questions. That being said, if you put in the work, you can do well in this class. Overall I liked her a lot, she makes jokes in class and always explains the concepts with lots of examples to help you understand. Definitely recommend her!!!!!!
I was not a science major, but took The Science Of Psychology to fulfill the GS science requirement. Dr. Lindemann's class was well organized(best ever for me at GS), and i looked forward to every class.I would say her class is a piece of cake for a science major, but very challenging for a humanities major. You will need to read the textbook (i suggest before every lecture) and study her powerpoints and all related key terms for exams.. The TA's usually give a great review before exams that i suggest you attend(since they create large portions of the exams) plus the audio for each lecture as well as the powerpoints, were available on Courseworks. In short, you are given all the tools you need to succeed, and it is up to you to do the work.. Finally, you must participate in experiments within the psych dept.. Do not procrastinate- get that done before mid October or you might be in danger of not fulfilling the 6 credits needed.
Took Science of Psych in Fall 2016; As a non-science major who has absolutely zero interest in the sciences, this class wasn't that bad. Professor Lindemann is a good professor, is really nice, and knows the material well. If you pay attention, do the extra credit, and actually study, it would be easy to get good grades (I P/D/F'ed the course b/c I didn't do any of the three). Its important to pay attention to the lectures because the open-end questions on the tests are mostly related to the material that she lectures on, while the multiple choice is related to the textbook. My main complaint for this course is the grading of the essays. Most of the TA's are undergraduate students, who are like yourself, mostly either juniors or sophomores. The grading for the essays can be REALLY harsh, but the criteria of grading is very vague. They check off a rubric, so, for example, if they "think" you didn't connect the concepts between an article and concept right, they will dock points. And when you go to them asking why they docked off points, they give vague/unclear explanations and they themselves don't know why. You can never know what the hell standards they base it off of. I compared my essay with a friend's who had gotten a much better score, but we both agreed that both papers were similar in quality. One TA told me that they were told that if they "think the paper generally seemed like a B paper" to adjust the scores accordingly. Really? Then why the fuck do we have a rubric in the first place? For example, I got points docked off for weird wording, but as a humanities major and having read the essay over 10 times, I'm pretty sure that there was nothing off about the grammar/syntax/wording of the essay. After meeting with TA's for my first two essays, I immediately P/D/F'ed the course, because the grading is really subjective and I knew my final grade would take a toll. BASICALLY, while the TA's may know concepts and can grade tests objectively, they don't know how the hell to grade papers. That being said, I didn't particularly dislike the TA's (they were really helpful in several aspects), but that I don't trust their expertise or experience in grading papers with an objective eye.
This was an awesome class, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Professor Lindemann is quirky and likable, and the videos and lectures were on point. The lessons are very memorable and enjoyable. Definitely go for it.
This class was a joke. But then again, it's intro psych so not sure what I expected. Never went to class, read the chapters from the textbook before the midterm. Did well on the tests. Lots of memorization. Overall, an easy class which doesn't require a ton of effort. Great way to a get a non-technical requirement out of the way if you're SEAS.
Do not take this course, the professor is no good and the TAs don't even know the materials.
I agree with the previous statement below that she is kind of a dick. She would tell me that the test are going to get easier as we go on, but it never did. Her test are tricky and if you are not familiar with science terminology you will not be fine. Overall, she is a ok lecturer but not a teacher. The TAs were also horrible they don't even know this stuff. She is from a farm town background which explains this dick attitude, she does not care about students' grade, she told us that the grade will be rounded up at the end of the semester if you are close to the next letter grade, but she never did round up my grade as it was 1 percent away from the next letter grade. This class is a nightmare especially for an Intro class. DO NOT TAKE THIS COURSE if you just want to get the science core curriculum done!
I'm going to be completely honest, Professor Taylor is a good lecturer. You will come out of this class knowing Psychology. But she is also a dick, and the TAs were no better. The percent of A's were 32% which is relatively low for a psych intro class and it's because every exam in this class was loaded with tricks and bullshit true or false questions. Also, the essays were graded extremely harshly. This class was the worst grade I will probably get in my college career. Do yourself a favor and don't take Psych with Taylor.
This is a fair class. Reasonable weekly readings. Helpful lecture notes posted on courseworks. Knowledgeable TAs. Exposure to practical applications of Course material. Fair grading scheme. Extra credit available. The only problem is that lindemann doesn't know how to dress for the weather and also that she only knows things relevant to intro to psych. If its out of the range of the course scope she has no idea how to answer.
It's surprising that someone could be such a bad lecturer. She speaks in a monotone voice and is able to make even psychology seen super boring. In many lectures she says, "You will not need to know this for the exam" and i am shocked that we spend so much class going too much in depth on neuroscience and complex experiments that we don't need to know for the exam. Her power points are mainly just graphs and images with only the broadest main points listed, making them hard to study from if you miss class. However, she pretty much follows the book and the material is relatively easy to learn. Over half the class was taking the course for the science requirement which brought in a curve for the exam. Professor Cornwall taught the second half and he is a great lecturer, has detailed slides, and includes many interesting and relevant examples. His passion contrasts sharply with Kao's teaching methods.
I am amazed at how unbelievably awful of a lecturer Professor Kao is. Most of the lectures cover either obscure psych studies that are barely relevant to the material or very detailed anatomical and physiological information about psych topics that she tells us we don't need to know. She occasionally goes over some important definitions, but she basically repeats what's in the book. If she goes into anything with any level of excitement, it's usually a biological process that she tells us we don't actually need to know. For our midterm, she's given us very little information (and unlike most science of psych classes, we only have one). We've been told that it will be 50% multiple choice and 50% short answer, but I honestly have no idea how to study because there is no practice exam, no list of topics, and little help from her in class. I'm halfway through this course and thankfully she isn't teaching the second half, but even a semester of these lectures was too much - and by too much, I mean too little important, course-relevant information and too much random, useless information.
Lindemann was a fantastic, funny teacher and an exceptionally fair grader. This is definitely a great course to take for credit towards the science requirement if (like me) you're a humanities major. Attend class, because she takes attendance with iClickers, but also because I found that the way she presents the material helped me to recall it for the exams. The exams themselves are challenging but not impossible. She tells you exactly how to study for it: read the textbook, know all the vocabulary terms she gives you, but really only focus on the details of what is talked about in class. Personally, I tried to spend about 2-4 hours reading and taking notes on each chapter, but I also often just took notes on the vocabulary when I was pressed for time, and I didn't get below an A on any exam. The papers were more harshly graded (by the TAs) but they also count for much, much less than the exams do (I got a 17/20 on two and still ended up with an A in the class). Lindemann also gives you extra credit opportunities each week. Not a "never go to class and still get an A" course, but totally manageable, and Lindemann is a great professor.
If you have to take this course, it's fine to take it with Professor Rakitin. It will not be a fascinating course that makes you want to learn more psych, but it also won't be the bane of your existence. He basically reads off slides that follow the book (with some slight modifications) and that are posted online beforehand. He can sometimes make funny comments that keep you awake but mostly goes through the material. The bright side is that the course is very organized with clear expectations. Since the slides are posted in full, there is not much of a need to always attend lecture either.
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 donâ€™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 youâ€™ll be fine. I would recommend this class if youâ€™re a humanities major looking to get your science requirement done, as itâ€™s probably one of the most straightforward science classes youâ€™ll come across at Columbia.
If you value your time, money, or generally have self respect, DO NOT take this class. You will learn more by sitting outside the lecture room reading the book, than inside, listening to her attempts to cover thrice the amount of data her class ought to cover, by skipping over anything important. She tries to be funny which is cute till you realize she will mess up your grade because the exams are like kindergarten: you gave to recite the book word by word. Miss a word, lose a point. You can still score, but only if you're gifted at the rote and vomit routine. And she only holds office hours before 9AM. And she's nasty if you dare ask her something she thinks should be effin obvious. There are much better psych courses, and whoever can get this lady counseling for her ivy envy will have my eternal gratitude. Ps: if you're taking this as a science requirement, drop out now.
If you're gonna take this class, take it with Rakitin. You can get an A without ever going (35% of the class gets an A- and up). Although he'll tell you that you need to go to lectures because not everything on the test will come out of the textbook, he's lying. Read the textbook sections 2-3 times, look over the slides, and get an A. Don't waste time attending class, use that time to read the textbook, do other work or take a nap. His lectures (the one I went to at least) are boring and unnecessary. If you can learn out of a textbook and you're looking for an easy A, I would recommend this class. While the readings are tedious and time-consuming, they are not difficult and the tests are extremely straightforward, essentially testing your ability to memorize the book.
I love psychology and Prof. Rakitin's class is a good introduction to the subject. There are, however, a number of issues with his teaching style: (1) his lectures tend to be too focused on the topics HE wants to discuss; (2) they seem like a vinyl record played at the wrong speed (i.e. way too fast for any intelligible information to get through without you laughing at the "funny voices" coming from the phonograph), and (3) they provide little opportunity for those really interested in the subject to explore it further. With this said, he is not the worst professor on Earth. He motivates you just enough to keep you interested and the occasional errors during lecture are more due to his delivery speed than lack of knowledge of the subject matter. He knows his stuff, for sure. He does deliver on a series of fronts and if you go to his lectures, you will do fine. It is true most exam questions can be answered after just reading the textbook, but the second part relies heavily on Prof. Rakitin's actual lectures. Attending them may well mean the difference between a B+ or A- and an A. His scaling formula for exams is okay, although he never explained how it works. (See below for a critique on his "normalization" of WA scores). Read the textbook and attend lecture, even if it is to take a good nap. One day, perhaps, you will be able to catch something useful from Prof. Rakitin's monologue. He gets a B+ for his teaching abilities.
Don't believe the haters, Lindemann is an awesome professor. Not only will you learn the science of psychology in this class, you will also learn how to apply it to improve your everyday life. For instance, Lindemann will teach you how to wear red to make yourself more attractive, and to take your girlfriend to a scary movie on date night so that she will confuse her fear arousal reaction with love and like you more. Taking this class has totally given me the confidence to successfully hit on women, so it is obviously the best class I've ever taken. Lindemann also really knows her stuff and incorporates a lot of interesting analogies/examples into her lectures to make the material come to life. All the whining about the difficulty of the exams/papers is completely unwarranted. Only one perfect score every few years? Please, what a load of crap. Out of the three papers I wrote, two got a 10/10. I never got a 100 on an exam, but I did get a 99 (someone in the class did score a 100 though, that douchebag). Not that you need such scores to do well, the final grade is curved so that 35% of the class gets As, so your raw score doesn't even matter. The TAs as a whole were also not a bad bunch. Due to the size of the class, Lindemann has six TAs, and even though you get assigned one, you can drop in to see any of them. No doubt due to Columbia's emphasis on diversity, there was a very diverse mix of smart/nice/hot TAs, so you can definitely find one that matches whatever you're looking for.
Rakitin is a terrible, terrible professor. DO NOT TAKE HIS CLASS IF YOU CAN AVOID IT. I went to every lecture until halfway through the semester and was unable to stay awake during even one. His lectures are boring and taken exactly out of the textbook, so as long as you keep up with the reading and study the lecture slides before the exams you'll be fine. He leaves all the dirty work to his TAs- they grade your papers and exams, and he doesn't even show up on exam days. He is often rude to students who come in a few minutes late and shuts down questions when he doesn't want to answer them. I have since stopped going to lectures because I really get nothing out of them. I also came into the semester thinking about a potential psych major, and Rakitin has totally dissuaded me from his line of work. Bottom line: if you want a class that is pretty easy and you can basically teach yourself the material, then go ahead and take this class. If you want an intellectually stimulating introduction to psychology, find someone else-- Rakitin is definitely NOT your guy.
i had rakitin for both science of psych and statistics for behavioral scientists. science of psych is an easy class if you go to class. you won't have to do any hw except two short papers (very easy) and you can cram-read the textbook (just focus on terms; it's all term-based) before the midterms and final. it's a really interesting class and he's a very good lecturer. stats with him is different. his lectures are confusing. fortunately, the book he uses (levin & fox) is the most amazing statistics textbook or resource i have ever ever EVER experienced. it is incredibly clear and the only stats-book-video-resource-anything that focuses on conceptual learning one thing about him is that his tests are usually poorly/confusingly-written. if you know the material well you should still be able to get a/a-, but you're leaving a little something up to chance
This is honestly not a bad class. All the previous reviewers who complain about the workload must be confused about how to skim a textbook. If there were no iClickers, I wouldn't have gone to class, but since you have to...just go and sit there and do other work or sleep twice a week, it's really not that hard. The tests and "papers" are ridiculously easy - although graded a bit harshly by the fanatical TAs, they are literally curved so much that a B minus may become an A, so don't worry too much. This class is an easy A, but if you're not taking it for the psych major or to get into higher-level psych classes, you might want a more stimulating way to fulfill the science requirement. However, Professor Lindemann is genuinely one of the most enthusiastic (and possibly crazy) people I have ever met, which keeps the class semi-interesting.
AVOID THIS TEACHER!!!! He is basically an arrogant guy with lots of issues. He is cocky and tries to intimidate the students. He should be teaching in high school! He treats the students like monkeys and uses the class to feel good about himself. The guy needs some theraphy! He may know a lot about Parkinson's but he should study a little bit of biology, too! I got an A but I REAAAAAALLY REGRET having signed/paid for this class, and I WANT TO BE A PSYCH MAJOR!!!!
If I had to describe the class in one word, it would be "straightforward". Taylor goes through the material quickly but clearly and is happy to answer questions. The lectures often have videos and personal anecdotes that make them more enjoyable. The lecture slides are uploaded after the class with "Study Questions" added, and those questions are what she bases the exams off of. Taylor is very no-nonsense, but she manages to enforce her rules in a respectful manner. I never found her to be rude or cocky, but then again I can handle tough professors better than most. THAT being said, I wouldn't even consider her tough, just focused. There's an emphasis on the fact that it's an intro course with lots of different topics to cover, meaning if you ask to go in-depth on something, Taylor will likely divert your question in order to save class time, but will recommend coming to office hours to get it explained if you're interested. I went to office hours for 2 of the TAs and constantly emailed one, and they were more than happy to help. The only issue was that since they study different subject areas, one would be more knowledgeable about a certain topic than another, but they would ALWAYS direct you to the correct TA to ask. I had a wonderful experience with the TAs. The reading helps - in fact, the book is pretty funny and quite helpful, and I would recommend doing the reading - but she in no way enforces it unless she did not have time to cover some material due to extenuating circumstances.
Have to laugh at the mixed reviews. Yes, Taylor expects you to work. If you do, you'll be fine. Lectures are mostly interesting with demonstrations, videos, etc. Taylor knows this subject and can answer any question thrown at her, even the irrelevant ones. Love to read the reviews from the whiners (boo hoo, why can't I get an A without studying?) but any big lecture course is gonna have those. Note to whiners: You're at Columbia. Do the work. Get over yourself. Taylor is pretty fair, lots of hints about what will be on exams, study questions with every lecture, and says outright that the exams come from study questions. It takes a fair amount of time to answer those questions and memorized the crapload of details that come with every intro course (and science courses in general) but if don't leave it to the night before the midterm, you'll be fine. I got an A without having to take the final. Don't know what the other review was whining about with office hours - Taylor is there before lecture, and for an hour or two in the afternoon once a week (I forget which day). Short version: If you're willing to work in a class, take Taylor's Science of Psych. If you're looking for that easy A, stay away. If you're just trying to get a P for the science requirement, you could do a lot worse than Taylor's class.
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.
Some people (like the two most recent reviewers) clearly despise this class. Having just finished Science of Psych with Taylor, I'd like to highlight a different side of the course. While her personality may indeed be an issue at times (she gives death stares to people who walk in late), the class itself is not awful. Her lectures are usually interesting and she presents information clearly. She often throws in a video or a demonstration to change things up. Easily the best aspect of her class is the fact that she provides us with study questions for each lecture, which are (for the most part) limited to what she actually teaches us. These study questions cover 98% of the material that shows up on exams and virtually eliminate the need for reading the textbook. Lots of people never crack the textbook open at all, making the course less of a time-suck. As for the exams themselves, they really stick to what she talked about in class. Some of the questions can be tricky and unclear, but it honestly isn't too ridiculous to get A's on all of the exams if you've put in some time answering all the study questions and making sure you actually remember the basics of your answers. Getting an A+ in the course, which requires a 98+ on EVERY exam, is virtually impossible â€“ even if you know 100% of the material, odds are you'll screw up a bizarre question or two that you misinterpret. Personally, I never had to deal with the TA's or Professor Taylor on an individual basis, but at least the TA's seemed nice enough. I ended up with an A in the class (any questions I had I just googled to get the answer) and I put in a good amount of time studying before each exam, but I rarely read the textbook (pretty much just used her lecture slides and study questions). If you're the type of person who doesn't like reading the textbook and prefers to attend (and pay attention to) lectures, this is probably the class for you. I assume it requires a similar amount of memorization as Lindemann's class.
There's a very wide range of experiences with this class. For instance, the lowest grade on the first exam was an 18% and the highest was like an 108% percent (with the extra credit offered only for that exam). I ending up doing well, but my personal experience with the professor and TAs was terrible, particularly as the semester progressed. At first, I found Professor Taylor to be strict and no-nonsense, but a competent professor. She delivered organized lectures and kept the class informed about assignments and class requirements with her announcements at the beginning of every class. Taylor was also very understanding with the first assignment: a 5 point short answer question modeled after the exam short answers, to be submitted via Courseworks. Half the class had technical difficulties or was unclear about the deadline. She still gave full credit for late submissions, which was very nice of her. However, as the semester progressed, I found the professor to be exceedingly rude and condescending. Once, a public safety officer walked in and waited for Professor Taylor to acknowledge her so that she could alert her to a potential safety concern in the building. The Professor arrogantly told her off for disrupting the lecture. Taylor also held office hours at 8 AM. I don't understand why ... she usually came late and appeared lethargic and unwilling to listen to students' questions. It was moments like these that made me loathe Taylor as a person. I also didn't like the fact that her lectures often contradicted the textbook. In fact, people would often point out specific inconsistencies during the TA-led review sessions, and the TAs would openly say that the professor had been wrong. Finally, the final exam was hastily written, as it was riddled with spelling errors. Even though this is an introductory course, the professor, lectures and TAs all failed to meet the standards I have come to expect from a Columbia course. I would suggest that you avoid Taylor for Science of Psychology.
Kathleen Taylor is the epitome of what I find distasteful about Columbia professors in large lecture courses: she is condescending, outright rude, and treats her students as though they are kindergarteners/generally inept as opposed to intelligent adults. She is not above completely ignoring you when you speak to her, brushing off your e-mails, or looking at you as though you have a mental disability when you ask her a reasonable, relevant question. She is pitiless when it comes to grading, and the TAs take themselves way too seriously. While Taylor is not a miserable lecturer (although there's never any sense in going, really), my personal experiences with her have been overwhelmingly negative. All in all, she's not the worst lecturer, but she's a pretty bad human being and she doesn't treat her students well, which makes her a pretty bad professor - don't expect any sympathy or even baseline respect. Her exams are not overwhelmingly difficult, but getting an A is tricky considering there is NO CURVE in the class. (the A range is 90-100, B 80-90 and even if you have an 89.89, you still get a B+. Like I said, heartless). If you can, take Lindemann for science of psych. She isn't a (forgive me) jaded bitch.
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
Professor Lindemann is a pretty good teacher. I'm going to be honest -- Science of Psychology is a pretty straightforward, unchallenging class. As long as you do the reading and/or show up to lectures, you will be completely fine. However, I would recommend Lindemann to anyone who's taking the class to fulfill a major requirement or the science requirement. She's funny, nice, and engaging. Lots of interesting psych videos, which is always a plus. Also, she uses iClickers, which I really like because I'm pretty consistent about showing up to lectures and like to be rewarded, but if that's not your game then keep that in mind.
The worst class I have taken at Columbia besides the dreaded University Writing section. Attendance is mandatory (and enforced via use of the iClicker), powerpoints presented at break-neck speed (though they are posted on courseworks after each class along with an MP3 of the lecture, for whatever good it will do you) and the usual collection of smug T.A.s on power trips. The good: -Grading is curved. 35% of the class will get grades in the A-/A/A+ range. -The powerpoints, though generally uninformative, are entertaining. PAY attention, as she has mini-quizzes that you must participate in to get participation/attendance credit. -Extra credit is available: you must do 6 out of 9 possible E.C. assignments to get a point boost that MAY--or may not--increase your final overall grade by half a grade point, e.g. your B+ might become an A- if you do the EC. According to Lindemann, this will affect roughly 25% of the class. -She and her cadre of T.A.s do hold frequent office hours. The bad: -Much of what is covered on the exams will NEVER be covered in class. SHE SIMPLY DOES NOT COVER ALL OF THE MATERIAL. You MUST, therefore, read the textbook and TEACH YOURSELF. The textbook is dense, poorly written, and generally a mess. If you DO NOT crack open this green monster, you will probably NOT do well on the exams. Many of the questions come directly from the study guide. In all of her years of teaching at Columbia, Lindemann claims to have given a perfect grade--a 100%--exactly ONCE. The median grade tends to fall around 80 or so. -The mini papers (2 pages) are graded HARSHLY by the Tyrannical Asses. You have to write three of them, each worth 5% of your grade, one of which must be on one of the mandatory experiments. -You do have to participate in 6 points worth of experiments. DO THIS EARLY. It's worth 5% of your grade. -Three goddamn exams, each worth 25% of your grade. -This class ALWAYS fills up. If it's in 501 Scherm, that means you'll be packed in. I think it's capped at around 195 or something insane. -Attendance, as I mentioned, is mandatory. If you're a psych major, this could turn you off to the department. I took Karatsoreos' "Mind, Brain, and Behavior," which is a much more technical/scientific class before I took this and I LOVED it. This class makes me never want to take psych again. The majority of people will get As and Bs, but everyone knows a "B" at Columbia means "Bullshit." If you're satisfied with mediocrity in grades and instruction, by all means, take this. If not, go elsewhere.
Lots of mixed reviews on Taylor. I basically never went to class so I'll give you my take on the class from that POV. I had fun during the lectures that I did attend, surfed FB and online shopping while half-listening to her anecdotal personal stories/watching silly videos demonstrating psychological concepts with monkeys and children and such. She posts all her powerpoints online, and the midterm questions are all straight out of the end-of-powerpoint review questions. So if you don't go to class you're OK there, just will miss a few concepts that are confusing/vague on the powerpoint and you probably had to be in class to hear her explain. Go to class and take some notes if you want to get an A. Skip it all together if you're okay with a B. It's that simple.
Um, why does this man have a silver nugget? I took both Professor Rakitin's Science of Psych and his Statistics for Behavioral Scientists class and I have two words for this man: dry and arrogant. SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY I remember sitting through his first lecture and thinking "Maybe I'm only bored because this is the introductory stuff. Maybe it will get better." It doesn't. Like me, 2/3 of our class realized this and the room went from being overfilled on the first day to having maybe 1/3 of the chairs filled during lectures. For the portion of the lectures I did attend, I believe I fell asleep for around half of them. The most interesting day was when the TA taught in Rakitin's place. Rakitin is also terrible at explaining things. When he attempted to explain to us how the eye worked, he managed to confuse the class even more --he messed up on the first try, corrected himself on the second time explaining (a separate day), and again corrected something he said on the second day during a third time of explaining (yet another day). Do not ask this man a question unless you want to get throughly confused and/or talked down at. He feels the need to go through every little detail when answering questions and ends up answering in such a winding fashion that you forget what you initially asked. The only good thing about this class was the textbook, which was fantastic and probably the only reason Rakitin has a silver nugget. If you carefully read the textbook and skim the slides for the final, you're in good shape for the exams. STATISTICS FOR BEHAVIORAL SCIENTISTS It was a sad, sad day when I realized that Professor Rakitin was the only professor for that semester who was teaching this required class for Psychology majors. In all fairness, this was his first semester of teaching this course, and he told us himself that he thought the textbook was horrible and had a hard time following it. With that said, his droning lectures got even worse when one inserted Statistics into the equation because of his insistence on going through the proofs for most equations. While helpful, Rakitin didn't seem to understand that he was talking to an audience of Psychology/Neuroscience majors who couldn't care less what the proofs were. What's worse is that he would often mess up on those proofs and confuse students even more. Confused professor + non-math*confused students = disaster! Homeworks and exams (probably because the problems were so easy) were graded pretty harshly, and often points were taken off for seemingly arbitrary reasons. For example, if you did a summation and divided it, and did this: (1+2+3+4+5)/5=3, you would get points off because they would want you to list ALL steps (1+2+3+4+5)/5=15/5=3. You should still be able to scrap an A-range grade in this course if you study a decent amount, but this course with this professor is honestly just not worth your time. If you have taken any real math/statistics course at Columbia, you should probably avoid this course at all costs in case you (1) get bored out of your mind or (2) get destroyed for showing the amount of work you are used to showing or (3) both. If you haven't taken a real math/statistics course at Columbia, then you should go take one because you certainly aren't learning any math in this one.
Don't know why Taylor doesn't have a nugget yet -- she is a fantastic lecturer. Her lectures are interesting and straightforward, and she has funny demonstrations and videos that really illustrate her points (she sometimes asks about the demonstrations or you can reference them on exams too, and they're pretty easy to remember). Her exams are really straightforward -- three 'midterms', one final, you can drop your lowest grade so if you do well on the midterms you don't have to take the final. The midterms are some fill in the blank (no word bank), matching, and then usually three sets of two essays each, and you choose one to do (for a total of three essays). The final is all multiple choice, cumulative. GO TO CLASS! The exams are based entirely off the lectures, you do not need to open the book at all (except for 'supplementary' 'enriching' info), and if you study from your notes you'll be fine. I studied the few days before each exam and got As. Taylor knows a lot about the subject and she's upfront about things she doesn't know. There are Q&A sessions held by the TAs before each exam, they are helpful even if you don't have questions prepared because others do, but you don't have to go to them by any means (I went to some but not others and it seemed OK either way). The TAs have office hours and so does she, but I've never been to them. They were very helpful over email about questions, though. This class is a great intro psych class. A lot of interesting things are covered like decision-making and emotions, and after you get a better sense of what psych fields specifically you're interested. I'm not a psych major, I was just curious about it and fulfilling a science requirement, I feel like I've learned a lot about psych although I'm not sure I'll take more classes in the field. I'm really glad I took the class though, for someone not interested in pursuing it at all and unsure at the beginning of the semester whether I wanted to stay in it, I would say it's one of my favorite classes of the semester.
Let me offer two ways to approach whether or not you should register for this course: (1) sign up, buy the book, meet with your TA (it's mandatory), compete the three short essays, take the three midterms, participate in a few psych experiments, and get an A...all without ever attending the class. You absolutely do not not need to ever show up. The book is easy to read and actually interesting. You'll see why in point #2 why point #1 makes so much sense. (2) The lectures are boring and confusing. The overheads are filled with mistakes. The professor is okay, a nice guy, but he contradicts what's in the book so you're never quite sure how to answer a question on the midterm...based on his info or the book's info.
I have to disagree with many of the reviewers for Lindemann's Sci of Psy class. I really enjoyed this class, and I am now considering a major in Psych or Neuroscience because of it. First of all, Lindemann herself is rather goofy. She has an extraordinarily odd sense of humor and an overall strange wardrobe and appearance, but this does not detract from her ability as an instructor. I always thought she got the concepts across well, elaborating on the powerpoints with cogent examples instead of just reading them. I never tried to email her or go to office hours so I can't speak to that. I thought the material covered was fascinating, and Lindemann would often show us wonderful video clips in class which got the concepts across really effectively. The textbook was also really good in my opinion. It is verbose to be sure, but I never felt lost or unsure about any concepts it covered. Even though the sheer number of pages is a slog, I found myself wanting to do the readings. iClickers are employed. They are sort of a cheap way to take attendance, but I think they add to the class (allow for informal polling, little comprehension questions, etc.) You have to participate in experiments. This is annoying. I didn't do any really cool experiments but your experience might be different. Despite the class's large size, it is not difficult to do well. Simply read the chapters and review the powerpoints before exams. If you want to boost your score up a few more points, do the online quizzes that go along with the textbooks and make vocab flashcards on the notes. Using this method, I got A's on all the midterms (and I suspect on the final). Compared to other science classes, it is an absolute joke. I've taken several pre-med type science courses and this one was much, much easier. That being said, there may be easier classes for your science requirement (Beyond the Solar System comes to mind). It just depends on your personal style. If you're good at memorizing, interested in Psych, want to fulfill the science requirement or a combination of the 3, I would highly recommend this class. It's very interesting, and you will start to notice things which pertain to topics covered in class everywhere.
Prof. Lindenmann is goofy to the point that impedes her teaching. She often couldn't get through the slides because of her tangents (which some found entertaining, I found them to be like a comic on stage who isn't quite garnering any laughs - though he thinks he is). It's an intro-psych class. The topics covered in class are intuitive, if you haven't learned them already. Kind of easy - more a fight against the curve. The topics covered in class got better throughout the semester - though as a friend put it - "You are more advanced then this. And didn't you already take Mind, Brain and Behavior?"
So if you're taking this for a science requirement, and only that, run. You won't care enough to do everything this class requires. Honestly, I just wanted to pass. Literally. If you're busy outside of class beware because the reading take forever-and-a-half, the experiment participation is annoying (you need to have 6 credits which is around 3-5 hours depending on which ones you choose), and a lot of money is spent on this class. A lot of people disagree because they're either infatuated with Lindemann's really cool personality or they "0mgg l0v3" psychology. People ask a lot of stupid shit in this class, too. And the TAs are really annoying--they fill up my e-mail inbox with stupid crap that only three people (from what I can tell by the TAs' constant badgering) respond to. In all, it's a great class if you actually like psych, are good at science, or wanted to try something new. But, as a Poly Sci major who doesn't enjoy science, I despised this class. Not the professor, just the class in general.
Great class. Kathleen Taylor is truly one of the best lecturers I have ever had. She keeps the class fun - often performing experiments, showing a variety of videos, and interjecting her own stories into the class. She obviously wants her students to do well. She posts all her lectures online along with study guide questions related to the lectures and the book. The majority of questions on her tests are taken directly from the study guide questions. During lecture, she will sometimes flat out say "this is going to be on the midterm." You don't have to go to class to do well in it, but I would encourage anyone who signs up for the course to go. You won't regret it.
Professor Lindemann is certainly very energetic and hilarious. At times her funny anecdotes seem off topic or irrelevant but in general they are related to the course material. Her lectures are pretty good. They often incorporate super interesting video clips. Unlike the person below me, I found the book for this class to be poorly written (and the chapters are long + take forever to read). The authors spend too much time trying to relate psychology to the real-world and not enough time actually explaining what the psychological terms are. They also clearly do not understand what a thesaurus is. In general, I think Professor Lindemann is a good teacher. I took AP Psych prior to this class (and received a 5...not to brag but to give you the idea that I knew a lot of psychology before coming into this class) and I found that sometimes she confused me on things I already knew well. So in that regard, she doesn't explain everything super clearly. But, read the book and you should be good to go. Iclickers are used in class and thus you can't miss more than 2 classes. OR you could just have your friend bring your Iclicker to class for you, and then you don't have to go. But as mentioned below, tests are partly based on lecture discussion so its beneficial to go. If you take this class, try to stay on top of the reading. SERIOUSLY. It is death if you don't. Reading 6 chapters the weekend before the test is nearly impossible.
Yo. I don't know what these other reviewers are on. Professor Taylor is honestly one of the best I've had at Columbia, or anywhere else. And I'm not even a psych major (though I'm seriously considering it, having taken this class). She's everything you want from a professor: organized, engaging, interactive, passionate, hilarious, and extraordinarily knowledgeable in her field. Lectures are never boring, she's always bringing in interesting family anecdotes and relevant yet entertaining Youtube videos. Attendance isn't mandatory (she posts lecture notes online) but tons of people always show up, to her credit. Whether you intend to major in psych, or just want to get your science requirement out of the way, this is a great class to take. I actually find myself looking forward to Prof Taylor's lectures all week :)
By far the worst Professor I have ever had. I did not feel comfortable approaching him about anything. All he does is read his powerpoints in a monotone or at times angry voice, these presentations are just outlines of the reading not having any more information then the textbook and is posted on coarseworks before the class. Fortunately, the textbook is pretty interesting and is basically all you need to know for the exams. Make sure to memorize key terms and people in the field and experiments explained in the text. Try to take this class with ANY other professor.
Rakitin is...meh. There's nothing necessarily bad about him, I guess, but nothing great either. The course is entirely based on the readings, which are lengthy. His lectures consist of him angrily reading his powerpoints, which come directly from the readings, so there is really no reason to come to class if you are doing and understanding the readings. Most people caught on to this by the second week; only about 30% of the class came to lectures, and of those, 80% were on facebook. Though he is willing to answer questions, generally the only interaction with the class was Rakitin angrily dealing with the one GS student who always asked obvious questions. Also, even though there were over 120 people in the class, there were somehow no discussion sections.
Professor Rakiting is probably one of the nicest professors I've ever had. His lectures are pretty decent, depending on the material. If it relates to a topic he knows a lot about (aka does research on), the lecture is AMAZING. Other times, it's bleh... Probably going to about 50% of the lectures (like going to the latter lecture of every week) is your best bet. He has a really good sense of humor and is extremely helpful in answering questions. If you have any extra questions, ask him after class and he'll be happy to help you. The book he uses is awesome. Granted, it is a bit long, but out of all the Science of Psych textbooks, is is by far your best option. Like a past reviewer said, if carefully you read and take notes on the book, you're pretty much set for the class and his exams.
Rakitin is a perfectly good professor, though I don't like the way he lectures and thus found his classes painful to sit through. Problem solved: I stopped going to class. I attended maybe 30% of the lectures and passed the course with an A; simply keep up with the reading and you can, too. Lectures: pretty much straight out of the book; you can always review them on CourseWorks (they're very straightforward). Office Hours: he held ours in the lecture hall 30 minutes prior to class. Terrible setting, though you could always email him to schedule something better. Exams: Moderately difficult, part multiple choice and part fill-in-the-blank Written Assignments: analyze three articles and write a 2 page paper on each. Not hard.
I could not disagree more with the post below, which harshly critiqued the course. I truly enjoyed this course and thought the professor was absolutely fantastic. From day one, Lindemann was cheerful, energetic, and approachable. She has a very friendly and down-to-earth approach to teaching, which suits an introductory course like this one perfectly. When she teaches, you can tell that she actually enjoys her job and wants to be in the classroom. This sort of attitude is usually pretty infectious! Basically, she is simply an incredibly likable person, not to mention a very knowledgeable professor. I'd like to take some time to acknowledge the comment below that said that this course was poorly organized. Again, I could not disagree more. I thought that the class structure worked very well for the sort of class it was - an introductory course with over 100 students. Each class, Lindemann would lecture us based off a powerpoint slide. However, she did not solely read off the slides; she would always elaborate more than the slides or insert a silly joke every now and then. This works really well because if you missed a class, it really wasn't a big deal because you could collect the info from the slides, but going to class was far from a painful experience. In fact, I often found myself very entertained in class, especially since almost every lecture contained one or more rather interesting videos (not to mention, towards the latter part of the semester we watched a lot of videos featuring cute babies and monkeys). To sum up, the class was structured to be very relaxed yet engaging. I highly, highly recommend this class! The vast majority of the lectures/subject material is really interesting and easy to understand (intro psych is for the most part very intuitive). Also, for those of you out there who just want to get out of a science requirement, this course is not very science-heavy except for the one neuroscience unit. Plus, the teacher is great!
At times he has very interesting topics at hand and he discusses in a very logical and critical way of thinking. However, sometimes he explains the materials in a way too academically--using lots of complex sentences in a very fast manner that unless he addresses slower I can't understand. This is very important to me: if I can't understand well, why come to class? But I know from inside that he is a good teacher; I just don't understand him well. The textbook "Psychological Science" by Gazzaniga is a very good book to read, by the way. Always get me spending time for the reading for about six hours in a row (of course during the exam season, but that helps me A LOT to stay focused.) The book covers all you need to know as the broad picture of psychology. It always is supports by rich amount of researches--making the materials more scientific. Also the real-world psychology sections are real punches.
Definitely my least favorite class ever. Although Lindemann is a lovely person, she simply recites a power point lecture, which does not engage the class. However, it is the exams which need to be examined. Like a previous commentator wrote, they are complex and difficult. Most of the class did not even complete the first test, and the average grade was a 70. The text book is very dense, and often confusing, and the supplemental self test book is an absolute waste of time and money. Although the material is potentially interesting and of value, the course is put together so poorly, and is so illogical that many students dropped out and failed. If you are taking this class as a core requirement, this is not the class for you unless you have prior experience. Specifically, one needs to know the entire text, but entire chapters were completely omitted from the tests. Hours upon hours were wasted in memorizing everything from how the ear works, to specific facts about biological reproduction, yet they were nowhere to be found on an exam. However, Lindemann insisted that a close reading of everything was required, and ALL was fair game. This was nothing but a lie. In addition, it was likewise promised that if all of the assignments were completed, border line grades would be boosted. Again, nothing but a lie. The only redemption were the written assignments graded by the TA's, but they were subjective based on who was doing the grading. In short, because of the science of psychology and prof. Lindemann, I no longer have any desire to be a psychology major. It completely ruined my experience here.
Prof. Lindemann is a very funny lady! :) She's nice, highly intelligent and very knowledgable in the field. Her lectures were very interesting and she was cracking up jokes all the time! The book was extremely interesting too. However, you have to be a little bit careful with this class, especially if you are not considering to be a psych major. I know some students who changed their minds after taking this class about being psych majors. I even thought about it myself. Even though it is an introductory course, Pr. Lindemann is trying to challenge her students all the time. Just like she says to her students, she makes her exams in such a way that she does not expect everyone to get a 100. Even more than that, she actually never had students who got a 100 on any of her tests for this class untill this semester. Her tests are pretty long, questions sometimes tricky and are based 50% on lectures and 50% on book (make sure you read everything in the book and try to remember it because you can get a question on even the least important point from it!). The good thing is, however, she makes a generous curve at the end. I got an A- for which I am not complaining, but I have to say that I put tons of work into it and I am an A student. So, if you are looking for an easy scienece requirement fullfillment, this class is probably not the best choice (although, it is still better than math or physics, in my opinion), but if you are intersted in the field of psychology and want to be challenged and amazed by the many things it allows you to discover and learn about yourself and other people, than it is a class for you.
I really enjoyed this class and it was one of the reasons I decided to consider a Psychology major. Prof. Lindemann, while a little quirky, is essentially a really good lecturer and her classes were interesting and insightful. She always had organized powerpoints, and was willing to spend as much time as it took to explain them. She was always open to taking questions from the students, and would try to involve the class as much as she could. I loved the number of relevant studies she brought up, and we got to see some really interesting videos from original, classic psych studies. This being a survey course, I think Prof. Lindemann did a great job of covering the entire field of psychology in a way that made it easy to navigate. The exams do indeed test you on memorization (not a lot though!), but there are also questions relating to applications of the materials she discusses and explains in class. If you read the textbook and attend the lectures, you'll be more than fine. All in all, I found this class very interesting and enjoyable and would definitely recommend it!
I really don't understand the negative reviews. Go to class, take notes, and you will be more than fine. The questions on the exam are right off the study guide. You don't even have to do the reading. Not to mention she is just a good teacher--clear and interesting way of presenting the info and passionate about what she does. It says a lot that she can keep my attention at 9am!
I really enjoyed Prof. Lindemann's Science of Psychology class. Though I found the first unit to be a tiny bit tedious, I was all ears for the following two units. Because of this class, I switched my major to Psychology. Helpful tip--DO NOT WASTE TIME ON THE READING! (unless you want a guaranteed A) I did not read the book. I did, however, attend every lecture. Then, to study for the test, I simply studied the lecture slides and my notes took the practice tests (you can buy a supplementary book--do it!) to identify my areas of weakness. The Supplementary book with practice tests provides you with answers and a brief overview of the content of each chapter. My favorite thing was that next to the answers to the practice tests were the page numbers in the text book where I could find explanations of certain theories, facts, ideas, etc. In short, I just used the text book as a reference for writing my papers and to review for the test a bit. I wound up with an A- and barely did any work for this class. But then again, I'd rather have an A- and more free time to sleep or work on assignments for other classes rather than spend an extra 4+ hours every week just to finish the reading and get an A.
He's kind of a dick. The being said, he teaches the class fine. There's not much to say about him since it's such a big lecture. His powerpoint presentations follow the book to the letter, with some additional stuff he covers because it relates to his own work. He says "Come to lecture because it's not all covered in the book," but that's not really true. I passed the class with a B, read most of the book, attended 50-75% of the lectures (and fell asleep in several of them), and just took the practice exams on the textbook website and made notes the day before the exams to study (didn't take notes in class). The usefulness of lectures like his are to basically repeat what you just read so that you remember it a bit better. The final isn't cumulative, so you only have to study one chunk of the book for each test. You'll be required to meet with your TA once or twice, not really a big deal. If you're good at science but not majoring in it, and want a good science requirement, this is a good class with not that much work and a pretty good payout in terms of what you learn from the textbook. If anything, I'd rate the textbook, and say it's really good for an intro to psych. Covers a HUGE range of material, and I appreciate what I learned from the class, and kept the book for future use.
Although the material is fascinating, and the instructor is very nice, this class for many students is truly a disaster. Basically, you have to memorize Peter Gray's book "Psychology," which is dense, and poorly written for non-science people. The material is presented so fast, that unless you have some sort of background, it is impossible to keep up. A "workbook" is also sold in conjunction with the text, but it is completely useless. I threw it out after the first test (of which there are three), and did considerably better on the other two. The three papers that are required are graded subjectively by the TA's, who depending on your grader, can be understanding to those who have never been exposed to NeuroScience to down right hostile. Of course, Lindemann supports the TA's 100%, and basically tells you that everything will be all right, which is pretty much just to shut you up and pass you along. Lindemann promised our section that if we completed all of the assignments, and turned them in on time, our grade would be boosted a bit if we were border line. I did this task, along with several other students, and did not find this to be the case. I'm not sure why such a claim was made, but it proved to be false. The three tests were for the most part numbing. The questions were twisted and designed to trick, rather than simply be straight forward. In short, the tests were not designed to test one's knowledge of the material. In fact, the first exam was so complicated and poorly designed, that most of the class failed to complete it. Of course, no adjustment was made for this error on behalf the instructor and T.A's.. When paying over $3,000 a course, I expect to be treated fairly and in a straightforward fashion. Moreover, I expect that an intro course truly is an intro course, of which The Science of Psychology is not. Accordingly, I would not recommend this class or instructor as a means to fulfill the science requirement, especially when there are far superior intro courses out there. In short, don't take this class.
I would never take this class again. Ever! Too bad it's a summer session and students have only 4 days to withdraw (if you want your money back). When the class started there were 43 people in the class. After the second midterm only 23-25 were left. I personally know people that went and withdrew(and they lost their money) after the second midterm. He is a very very harsh grader. You have to memorize("know it by heart"- "I will wake you up in the middle of the night and you report me all the learned material in a timely manner with your eyes closed" kind of memorization). His questions in the exams are not clear. And..here we go..students love that...: He DOES tries to trick you! He even admits that. When he'd go over the exam in class he's say with a vicious smile on his face :"Oh, yeah,that was a tricky one!". Another thing about exams is he only gives you 70 mins but the amount of "in-writing" that you have to put on the paper is enormous(1 question: full-page essay; 4 questions: half-a-page essays(he gives you the same questions as for a question where you have to write a full-page essay, BUT this time you have to package all the details into half-a-page.That is very hard to do and sometimes is impossible. And don't forget he is a harsh grade and he will take a couple of points off. He might write : "not clear"(even if you covered all the definitions and examples correctly but only wrote 4 sentences on an experiment); one diagram; page and a half of matching,true/false and "come up with a definition when you read this definition"(that is so stupid because there is so many definitions that you can come up with if he'd give you a word "language" for example. IF YOU ARE HUMAN YOU DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO WRITE(FORGET ABOUT THINK) ALL THIS. I have tried. I was writing as a maniac(I actually even was training myself to write fast at home for an hour before an exam) and I did not stop to think about questions for a long time(I had no fun in June because I was only studying for Psych class and I forgot how the Sun looks like) I still did not have enough time to finish to read true/false,match and "come up with definition" questions. Many people got in the low 50's after the first exam because they were so thrown off by the pace. He is old and I'm not sure if he even knows how to use a computer. His ancient method of teaching without PowerPoints,handouts,ect. He'd sometimes write words(definitions) on the board. His handwriting is horrible. I had to come up and ask him to spell them later. He never posted grades online and when people were asking him what is the curve, the point averge on the exam, or how many points exactly is "A" he never gave clear answers. Why?! Because he can care less.He never did the curve. He doesn't know how to do it! He doesn't even know how to use CourseWorks! His accent is ridiculous and he is very soft-spoken. Plus, he paces back and forth all the time from one end of the class to the other. As an example, one time he was talking about an experiment and I though he was talking about sharks. I was sitting there taking notes but it wasnt making any sense..then I realized that the word "shark" supposed to be "shock". He mumbles a lot. Actually, wait, that is the way he talks! He has no office hours. And when you tried to ask him questions after the lecture he'd throw something at you and always make it look like that he's on a hurry and have to ran somewhere. His lectures were not helpful AT ALL. All the material that he gave us was really inconsistent with the book material and the review list that he gave up before an exam. I spent all my time online trying to clarify the material. Sometimes I think that he has some kind of agenda to fail us all. He really doesn't care how you would do and what grade you'd get. After all, he's only here for the summer to make extra money and then he'll leave to Turkey to teach at his University and work in his lab. And you?! You will still be living in NYC and get a "B-" for all the hard work that you did with a ruined GPA.
Awful! Avoid at all cost! Unless you are a genius in psychology and have some prior knowledge, otherwise it is IMPOSSIBLE to get a good grade. The multiple choice exam is very confusing and has nothing to do with her lectures and the book assigned for the class. I wonder who puts the exam questions together but it is very poorly done and definitely is not aimed at checking your knowledge of the subject. I took two different PSYC classes with Prof. Taylor...do not repeat my mistake, please! I am very disappointed though I even was thinking to major in PSYC.
The people who wrote the previous reviews seem to have not gone to class. I took Professor Taylor's class at 9:10 and I had a great experience. It's true that you don't have to go to class to be fine in this course, but she often has us watch interesting videos in class. The class is a huge lecture course and most people are taking it to fill a science requirement or something of the sort so she is sort of limited with what she can do, but I think given the circumstances she did a great job. This class is really good for people looking for an easy and interesting way to fulfill the science requirement.
Professor Rakitin was a great guy. He has a unique sense of humor that you get used to after a while. He is very knowledgeable and is good at getting the pertinent information across. This is a great class for fulfilling the science requirement. With a little effort, an A is not hard to get.
This was one of my favorite classes last semester. Professor Lindemann, although a bit quirky, is essentially a really good lecturer. She is clear, organized most of the time, approachable and encouraging. Her lectures were interesting and she was willing to answer any questions the students had. After taking other courses in the Psych department, I realize how well she taught this broad survey course, bringing up the most pertinent points and introducing students to important research and findings. I felt I had a very sound grounding in Psychology after taking this course. The exams are based heavily on memorization for the multiple-choice part, relying heavily on the textbook reading and on application of various concepts and research findings discussed in depth in class for the short answer part of the exam. She curves pretty generously and according to her estimates around 30% of the class last semester was in the A range.
Horrendous experience. Appears to be rather lazy, does not hand exams back on time, her lectures are mostly uninformative, and her TA's are unbelievable. Don't so it if you can avoid it.
A very good professor in that he will teach you the basics of psych and its different subfields, and is fair enough not to scare away humanities types. Like below reviews say, his lectures are pretty much straight from the textbook, but you definitely still need to go because he adds in stuff that's on exams. It's true he's kind of pompous and obnoxious, but he explains things very clearly and will always clarify if asked. One thing that's great is he always leaves time to take questions during lecture, which are both interesting and helpful. Exams are tricky but curved generously; written assignments are a joke. All in all, if you do the reading (not that heavy), go to lecture, and study a moderate amount, you will learn psychology basics and get at least an A- (I did and I'm an English major). Definitely recommend whether you're looking to fulfill science requirement or get into psych.
Rakitin is a fine professor. As far as Sci of Psych professors go he is pretty good. He presents the materials ok. His lectures are basically a dumbing down of the book, which you will be tested on it its entirety anyway, so there is almost no point in going to lecture. He is obviously very interested in his field and misses no opportunity to talk about his work with Parkinson's disease, so if you are into that kind of thing, great. The book he uses is very interesting, though, which is a plus. The truth is that it is not a very hard course and I wish we had learned more, but that's life.
Professor Lindemann is really funny, very clear and very passionate about psychology. Her lectures were very straightforward and a blast. If you do the reading, show up and pay attention, you should do more than fine on her generous grading curve!
Prof. Lindemann is a good lecturer. She's very enthusiastic and makes the class interesting. She puts the slides up to help, and provides sufficient review for the tests. The tests are straight from class/slide material, and if you keep up with the reading it should be relatively easy.
He teaches directly out of the book, so no need to go to class, which is always a plus. When I did go, however, he was a moderately good lecturer. The textbook is mildly interesting to very interesting so even though the chapters are long, the reading is easy and entertaining. The writing assignmnets are a joke and take like 20 minutes each. Exams are pretty easy and very straightforward, but take quite awhile to study for (we go through an entire textbook in one semester). The online quizzes provided by the text are quite useful. Painless way to fulfill science requirement. Experimental credits easy and painless too, just don't procrastinate too much. 35% get an A for the course, take that as you will.
Very interesting course! She posts her lectures after each class which is very helpful if you miss a class here or there. She usually throws in some kind of you tube video or something which are very interesting and helps the class to go by faster. Also, she has a great sense of humor and provides really good examples for every lesson. For the tests, do the study guides and go over the lecture slides. Know those study guides because she takes her test questions right from them. You don't really have to read the textbook but they definitely help in preparing the study guides and will solidify any problem areas. Take her over Lindemann
Honestly, if you are looking to add an A to your transcript, please take take his class. Exams are very reflective of the material presented in lecture. He presents some of the exam questions in a rather challenging way, but for the most part you will find the answers obvious and the essays exactly what you expected. Dr. Canbeyli is also incredibly kind and helpful, so don't be shy to ask him questions. If anyone is reading this & thinking about coming to the Columbia summer session, you will have plenty of time for other things (i.e. fun) while taking his class. Make sure that you stay on top of the reading though. The class average was actually pretty low for each test, but I have a feeling that those who didn't succeed were habitually neglecting the work. You will enjoy this class!!!
This was the most difficult class I've ever encountered, and my GPA took a major hit. The amount of reading, writing, assignments, and memorization borders on insane for an intro course. Furthermore, this course should never have been listed as an intro course. The class is disorganized, difficult to follow, and the text can often be confusing. Prof. Lindemann, however, is for the most part pleasant, although Lindemann did openly threaten to slap a girl in class if she turned in her paper while speaking. (The student arrived late, and had no idea that she was not allowed to turn in her paper). The TA's were mostly good, but sometimes cancelled office hours at the last minute, especially during finals. It is, however, understandable that they have their own work to attend to as well. The average grade on the three tests were considerably low, and the class is curved which really does not help. Supposedly, if you complete all the extra credit assignments, six out of nine, your grade will be boosted by a half (B- to B) if you are border line. This was not the case with me, or several others I spoke with. Thetests themselves are needlessly difficult. In short, they are not straight forward, which adds another level of complexity that we could all do without. The TA's, who grade the papers, do not seem to understand that for most people in this class, this is their first exposure to science. It's supposed to be an, now read slowly, INTRO course, but ended up being an intercourse because many of us got screwed. Lastly, I spent more time on The Science of Psychology than on all my other classes combined, and still did poorly. Indeed, it effected my grades across the board, making this the worst semester of my Columbia career. Unless you are farmiliar with the countless amount of experiments, data, theorists, and neuro science, avoid this class at all costs.
Prof. Rakitin is a pretty solid guy. His lectures are organized and structured, and he posts them (along with his own additional notes) to CourseWorks. The material is pretty basic and almost all of it can be found in the textbook (which I highly recommend you read since half of his exams are based entirely on the material discussed in the book). In general, his exams aren't too hard; if you really focus on the terms and definitions presented in the textbook, and have a fair understanding of the material discussed during his lectures, it really isn't bad at all. His exams are half multiple choice (from textbook) and half matching/fill-in-the-blank (from the lectures). I managed to get an A on all three exams. The papers, on the other hand, are a different story. The TAs use a tricky grading system (that I never quite mastered) that had me bouncing from an A- on the first paper, to C- and a D+ on the next two. But don't worry, it's still possible (to which I can personally attest) to receive an A in the class, even if you do incredibly poorly on the papers (as I did). I recommend taking this course; you can satisfy the science requirement, as well as, the introductory requirement of the Psychology major.
The two old reviews in CULPA do not do Brian Rakitin justice at all. Rakitin was probably one of the best/most conscientious professors I've had at Columbia thus far. It shows that he prepares meticulously for classes, and he's never late. He makes jokes during class too which are sometimes funny, and he answers a lot of questions during and after class; if he doesn't know the answer he's honest and tells you he doesn't know the answer, but he's the kind of prof that will look it up for you and give you the answer next time. Occasionally he shows hilarious or chilling videos that make you want to be a psych major or a minor at least. One down side was that the TAs weren't so great but I don't think that's his fault. Grades aren't harsh at all and turn out to be more generous than he threatens they will be--if you go to class and do the work you'll be fine. I definitely recommend his class. take it.
I'm an English major and I took this class to fulfill the science requirement but I also figured it'd be a pretty easy A. It isn't-- whereas it isn't that difficult to get an A, you really do have to do all of the work. It's also good to know that she curves the class so that 35% get A's. The other reviewers pretty much covered what Lindemann herself is like (goofy, decent lecturer, copies slides right out of the textbook), but she lets her TA's do all of her grading. Some of them are extremely harsh with the reading analyses (which are a PAIN!) for no apparent reason (one of her TA's told me she just doesn't like to give grades higher than 8/10). The exams cover a ton of info in the textbook so definitely keep up with the reading because there is a ridiculous amount. Overall, I'd probably say that if you have a heavy courseload this semester, skip this class because you're going to want to dedicate a lot of time to the readings to be able to do well. Although she does give extra credit, which is nice.
I don't know where people get off bashing Professor Rakitin. He manages to make an introductory lecture engaging and fun. And even if you're a little bored by the material on occasion watching his giant, curly ponytail is highly entertaining. All of the lectures (in very clear powerpoint format) are posted on CourseWorks. There are more than enough TAs to answer any questions you could have and Rakitin himself stays behind after class to field tons of inane queries from students. If anything, Rakitin is too kind and open, being overly patient with redundant and plain old stupid questions from students during his lecture. It's a great intro course and a pain-free way to fulfill the science requirement.
Ignore the previous two reviews. Rakitin gives 35% A's, and rarely fails people, which is saying something in a class of 200 that fills up every semester. I was initially predisposed to judge him harshly because he has a ponytail down to his derriere and because his first lecture seemed too close to the text, but I was completely wrong. He's one of the most articulate people you will ever meet and his lectures get more fascinating every week. You won't want to miss them. The tests aren't bad at all because they only cover what's in the textbook, and there's virtually no graded homework. The final is just another unit test (no cumulative test) and anyway the material covered in his class offers so much insight into the human mind that you'll wish they'd drilled it into you more heavy-handedly. I've never gone to one-on-one with him but I hear he's great. A word of advice, though; get the three hours of experiment participation out of the way early so you don't end up doing shock experiments at the hands of grad students on a Saturday night on the weekend before finals, as I did.
Prof. Canbeyli's (pronounced "JAHN-BAY-LEE") primary strength as a lecturer is, with a few exceptions, his deep knowledge of the material he teaches. He is quite adept at giving a two and a half hour lecture without straying from the main topic much or covering too much material too quickly. He provides many examples in class for the theories he discusses, and they genuinely helped to increase my understanding of them. He is particularly knowledgeable about neuroscience and neuroanatomy, given his background as a chemical engineering major while an undergraduate at SEAS. His knowledge on this topic is occasionally stifling, however, as he often goes in to more detail than necessary (or at least more detail than the textbook does). Toward the end of the course when the material starts dealing less and less with anatomy and more with social psychology and behavior, Professor Canbeyli acknowledges that he is not as well-read in those areas, and it certainly shows in his lectures. His weakest lectures by far were on the topic of linguistics, a weakness he had in common with the authors of the textbook. His tests are quite comprehensive. My only criticism of them is that he stressed "not memorizing, but understanding" and yet tests were impossible to do well on without memorizing quite a lot of the material. We had three midterms and no final, and each one required you to know just about every aspect of the theories and terminology in detail in order to do well. Tests consisted of fill-in-the-blank (with no word bank, quite difficult), true or false, matching scientists to their discoveries, drawing diagrams, four short essays chosen from six options, and one long essay chosen from two options. The only other complaint I can make is that he is a bit soft-spoken when lecturing. Sit close to the front if possible. On the whole though, a very well-paced course from a knowledgeable and engaging professor. Knowing everything I do now, I would sign up for this course again to fulfill the science requirement.
To everyone who took the AP Psych exam or class but Columbia wouldn't give them credit- this class is your easy A. As other reviewers stated, she fusses about half of the material coming from her lectures and half coming from the book, but really it's all in the book. I basically attended less than a quarter of the classes and still got an A. Just do the written assignments, do them well, and read the book before exams. Her curves are pretty generous. The book is really well organized for studying and very readable. The experiment participation credit is a 15% (?) giveaway. All that aside, she's a sweetheart, a dear motherly lady. It's hard not to like her- at least for as long as you're awake during her class.
I will write a more detailed review when I have more time but I advise that you stay away from this class. Above review is fairly accurate. He almost seems as if his aim is to trick you on these exams. I walked into the first exam feeling very prepared, however the questions are on very specific details that he often did not even cover during lecture. My guess is that he has no interest in teaching and is here for his research. This class lowered my GPA significantly. Stay away!
Professor Lindemann's class is ultimately the reason I decided to switch into the psychology major. Her lectures are clear and they follow the book. The book itself is amazing, understandable and really easy to study from. Some topics are more interesting than others, but this is because we do an overview a lot of different topics, but still manage to learn a decent amount about all of them. If you want to see if you're interested in psych start here, though I'll admit some lectures were a little boring. She is enthusiastic, which is also a plus in a lecture class. She tends to err on entertaining too many stupid questions, however. One last suggestion - pay attention to everything you learn here! A third of my higher level courses cover what was covered in Science of Psych; this class will be beneficial in every psych class you take.
Prof. Lindemann knows her stuff and does as much as one can with a broad survey course like this. She certainly has an quirky sense of humour (don't most psychology professors) - it's indearing to some, not so much for others. Her classes are fairly well laid out although the powerpoint notes can be a little hard to follow at times. I recommend this class to anyone thinking of majoring in Psychology, it will give you a good foundational knowledge of the field.
Lindeman is no great teacher, but she knows who she's teaching: English majors knocking out a science credit. her powerpoint presentations in class essentially copy the book verbatim, with the pleasant addition of background colors and bullets. then she basically reads them to the class, allowing occasional interruptions from would-be psych majors with pretentious questions. she makes this big statement the first day about how only half of the test questions come from the book--the other half, she says, come from her class lectures. but after a few lectures, you realize that couldn't possibly be true, since she reads the book to you in class. that approach makes her exams easy, but it also transforms interesting information into just information.
Yes, this is a survey course: do not expect a lot of depth. It is an easy science credit for non-science folks. Regardless, Professor Lindemann seems to put a lot of time and energy into the course. I found her lectures to be very engaging and at times entertaining. Her sense of humor is quirky (okay, dorky), but I found that endearing. I'd rather have a dynamic lecture with dumb jokes thrown in than a static, monotonous lecture that's lame-joke-free. There is a moderate amount of reading required, and you probably won't do well on the exams if you don't do it, but the textbook is well-written although superficial. The three reading analyses were annoying, and her expectations for them were vague. I recommend looking at each of the reading options before writing; some have a lot more scope for analysis than others. If you disagree with the TA's grade on these, Lindemann will look it over herself and possibly adjust your grade; I got an additional two points (out of ten) this way on one analysis. Exams weren't too difficult if you did the reading and went to most of the lectures; there are no trick questions.
Professor Rakitin is a nice guy. No, really, he is. You just won't find it in the class room. Rakitin likes to berade his students when they're late (as he should). But his lecture style is a little rough. He has an aggressive personality in front of the class. If you visit him during office hours, you'll see him more laid back and understanding. He'll walk you through what you missed on an exam and why. Warning: his exams are impossible. Through speaking to many of my student peers, we found his exams might have well been written in Greek. The questions are asked in such a puzzling way that study guides from the textbook will never have you prepared. The answers to the test questions are just as perplexing with caveats built into True/False statements. The textbook readings are dense, and Rakitin only skims the surface of these chapters. If you don't read and memorize and somehow think like he does, you'll lose out on the exam. Even with a curve, this class is just too hard under his leadership to excel in overall. If you're taking this to fulfill a core, may the force be with you.
I understand that a lot of students take Science of Psych to take care of their science requirements, and I guess that in that context it might be an okay class. As a neuroscience major, this was a required course for me. I also had the unique experience of taking W1001 along with two other (and more interesting/challenging) psychology courses, and I was really disappointed with both this course and Lindemann's teaching. Of course, intro/survey courses are often limited by the breadth of the topic, but Science of Psych could have been a lot less painful with a teacher who did more than read from Powerpoint slides. Lindemann obviously means well, but she brings little to the table. Most of the material seems skimmed over, with Lindemann's awkward jokes taking the place of interesting presentation of content - the only exception was the section on developmental psychology, which is obviously one of her interests. I felt that the course suffered from a lack of professionalism on her part, or at least it made it hard for me to take it seriously. Humor is fine, but starting the class every session by saying "hello, boys and girls" doesn't promote an environment of mutual respect. That sounds like an overreaction on my part, but where provocative and inspiring education was lacking, a mature relationship between professor and students could have made a big difference. I could go on, but instead I'll recommend that you read the other reviews. If you're just looking for a "science" class and an easy A, you might like this class. If you actually care about psychology/neuroscience & behavior, you'll probably be disappointed, but unfortunately, it's required. Maybe someone better will be teaching it other semesters...
I agree with other reviewers, in that this is not the first class to choose if you are just trying to fulfill your science requirement. There is a lot of reading, A LOT OF READING, which you're going to have to do if you want do well on the tests. There are extra credit opportunites, which is quite stupid, because if you do all of them, and only, and only if you have a C+ or B+, you could possibly get a B-, or an A-. The midterms are hard, but they are curved. However, if you don't read the text and study for the tests, you probably aren't going to do well on the tests. Also, there are 3 reading analyses to complete, relatively easy, but some work into it and you can do well on them. And lastly, LECTURES are extremly BORING and a WASTE OF TIME. The first thrid of the class i went every time, and with the curve i got a b-. Second third, I went to no lectures, and i got a b+. Basically, READ THE TEXT and you will wing up doing well on the tests. If you have nothing to do and you want to hear see her odd character lecturing common sense stuff about psychology, then go.
Do not take this class. He doesn't curve till the end so you have no idea how you are doing and you will drive yourself nuts As far as teaching....he lectures straight from the slides. His TAs were disconnected and his students slept. He was impossible to talk to. The slides were not good and contained long quotes from Freud which he liked to read word for word. He gave unedited chapters of his book which was rejected for publication to the class. The tests were silly, from test banks and did not match up at all with the book or what was learned in class. In fact, often the slides/book/test answers contradicted each other. I did manage an A, but after a horrendous semester. It was a miserable class and I hear great things about Galanter. Wait for his class unless you want to spend your semester studying and memorizing useless facts just to deal with the crazy, unedited tests.
Although a knowledgeable and brilliant psychologist, as a teacher, Prof. Terrace is boring. His lectures are very dry and can be difficult to stay awake through. It is obvious he knows what he is doing, and perhaps he is overqualified to teach an intro class. He seems unenthused about everything with the exception of his own Nim Chimpsky experiment.
I have never actually written a culpa review, but after reading the amazingly broad spectrum of reviews on Galanter, I am tempted to offer my own opinions on his course (keep in mind I am not 'bitter', I received an A-range grade in this class). Eugene Galanter is clearly a genius-or incredibly skilled at imitating one. This course however, can best be described as "muddy". His lectures are a drag, and without any statistics background they can be tremendously difficult to follow. Often I just ended up typing whatever I could catch, and staring at my notes in frustration and terror at the end of the day/week/unit. On the first day he puts a simple equation on the board and suggests that it is all the mathematics you need to know to do this course. Technically, he is right (I mean, I did it), but be prepared for much much more difficulty than that particular equation suggests. The lectures often digress into anecdotal chatter about Galanter's personal history, all of which is amusing and interesting and impressive but has nothing to do with the material. However, you cannot skip them entirely because often times a few questions on his thirty-question (or so) quizzes are pulled from sentences he uses in class. Verbatim. The readings are much more central to the quizzes (which I agree are really 'exams') but it is impossible to keep up with the syllabus because it has nothing to do with Galanter's lectures. You will be reading cute stories about Freud's youth long before he touches on the topic in class, which brings me to another point about the readings: they're scattered, and a large portion is anecdotal (like you cared about Pavlov's wife?). Furthermore, they're on CD, so if you're like me and prefer to highlight and make notes on the reading you'll be printing like a mad woman. If the INTENSE stack of readings you must review for the quizzes isn't enough, the TAs occasionally add some more on courseworks (and yes they pop up on the test). Of course, the oft-complained-of format can be a bit annoying but isn't impossible, my best reccomendation is to review your quiz three times before you hand it in (if you show up on time for it you'll have plenty of time to do this and still leave early) and of course, just make your own notes off of the readings. You can do well in this, but you will not enjoy it (and may break down and cry in the night's previous to the exam). Honestly, despite my respect for Galanter, you will end up frustrated and bored. If you're using it for the CORE, take it with a friend and try and split the workload.
Dante's Inferno is the best way to desscribe this class. Galanter does not give quizzes, he gives incredibly frustrating tests. The questions are multiple choice, but he wants you to circle the incorrect answers. If you accidently circle the correct answer, he penalizes you by taking points off your test grade. As a result, many students received minus deviations throughout the semster. According to one of the TAs, the lowest grade in our class on the first test was a -40. Example questions that Galanter may ask are: "Pavlov is to Fechner as Frued is to...," "If X is the total number of students comprising Columbia's student body and Y = the total number of females under the age of 20, what does N represent?" And to the reviewer who says that Galanter curves final grades because he got a B+; I also received a D in this class.
To start with the most important thing, I am glad that I took Science of Psychology with Galanter. That said, I don't think he's for everyone. Some of the lectures were quite vague and difficult to understand. He went off on tangents and told bizarre stories. The TA's during the review sessions (which were held during normal lecture time the class before the test) were far better at lucidly explaining the material. The readings (Galanter's own books) were... a little hard to get through, but provided some entertaining writing and good information. The worst part about the readings was that they came on CD, and there were very few pictures and diagrams (I sound like a kindergartener), and I think for a course like psychology that could've been helpful. That's the thing, the class didn't really feel like a science class. That may be because I had the wrong impression of what psychology is going into it, but needless to say it didn't feel too scientific. I came away with a decent grasp of what psychology is, but my favorite part of the course was just hearing Galanter's rants. He is clearly a brilliant man, and he's been around. He received his PhD from Penn in the 50's if I remember correctly and has worked with some of the brightest psychologists of all time. He himself was quite a scholar in his day. So, spending some time in his world was fun. The grading was based on three heavily curved multiple choice exams with the gimmick that you choose the three wrong answers instead of the one right one in order to receive points, to discourage guessing. Did I mention they are open note? I missed a lecture or two, took decent but not fantastic notes, and copied the relevant material from the readings (which we were allowed to do) the night before and cruised to an A+ in the class. I'm not sure if the people in the class were that dumb and/or were thrown off by the "select the wrong answers" instruction, or maybe I'm just that smart, who knows, but I thought it was an easy class. Your mileage may vary. In summary, I'm not sure if I learned as much psych as I could've from another teacher, but I think the unique experience of hearing Galanter ramble combined with the ease of the course made it a good choice.
I feel compelled to add one important thing to my previous review after reading them. I have no clue how someone received a D in the class after finishing in the middle of the pack on the exams. On all three exams, I scored one or two points above the mean+SD. I received an A+. I saw someone arguing that the class was not curved. How do you explain me getting somewhere around 85% correct answers on the tests and receiving an A+ if there is no curve? Unbelievable.
One word - Wow. Never thought I'd ever take the time to write on culpa, but I feel compelled to help as many students as possible. Wow. And for the people who gave positive reviews of the man and his class - Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.
I would not recommend this class as an easy way to fulfill your science requirement, but if you are interested in psychology, the course gives a good overview of the many different aspects of psychology and the relavent theories. Prof. Lindemann is a pretty good lecturer - she works from a Powerpoint which she posts online later, so it's easy to make up notes when you miss class (or just space out), but things make more sense if you actually go to lecture. The tests are difficult and designed to be so, and they consist of free response questions drawn from the lectures, and multiple choice questions that supposedly come from the reading, but of course a good amount of the reading is ALSO in lectures, there are only a few somewhat-obscure questions that come from only the reading. The reading response papers were surprisingly hard, and the subject-participation requirement (where you have to participate in psychological experiments) is kind of a bitch. Keep looking if you want a good non- sciency way to fulfill the requirement.
I completely agree with the last review in that if you have not previously taken any courses in statistics, you will have absolutely no idea what he is talking about a great deal of the time. The "quizzes" (exams, really) have the most ridiculous format I've ever encountered. Rather than select the 1 correct answer, you are supposed to cross off the 3 out of the 4 incorrect answers. The review sessions held by the T.A.'s prior to each quiz are useless. The handout they give you which lists all of the topics and historical figures you should know to prepare for the test will simply be a waste of your time if you adhere to it, because half the topics on the review sheet won't even be on the quiz. The lectures are terribly boring, with more than half the class not even showing up anymore after the first quiz and those that do either spend the 75 minutes IM'ing or playing solitaire. If you're lucky, every once in a while Galanter will crack a joke that is remotely funny but most of the time you will be bored to tears as he simply regurgitates from his own writings which are all circa 1962 and written in a fashion that make even the most intelligent student at times feel like an idiot. My advice: don't walk, but run as far away from this class as you possibly can.
Prof. Lindemann is a good choice for those who wish to take science of psych. (from what i've heard, galanter and those profs. who teach second semester should be avoided). in short, she's the best option. the course is definitely not difficult, simply because of the fact that the material is pretty straightforward and logical. the exams reminded me of high school. multiple choice was quite easy, simply requiring that you be able to recognize an answer (i.e. very little comprehension was necessary for this section of the exams). the short answer section which followed the multpile choice on each exam was a bit more challenging because, naturally, it required more recall than simple recognition. the exams are only difficult in that they are long, so don't take your time. as for the lectures, i wouldn't venture to call them enlightening in any way. they are mostly a regurgitation of the info. in peter gray's textbook (which, although pretty boring to read, is very well-written), with a few additional ideas sprinkled in here and there. the video clips that she showed were usually interesting. if you have the kind of mind that can retain a lot information for a short time, i recommend doing most of the reading a few days before the exam (but make sure you get it all done). each exam covers about 200 pp. of material in textbook. in short, a solid and well-designed class, definitely worth taking if you're interested in psych. also, she's a pretty nice lady.
This class provided a broad exposure to various topics in psychology. I found Prof. LindemannÂ’s lectures to be both funny and informative. The TAÂ’s were FANTASTIC!! I did have a couple of complaints. The first was that her powerpoint slides were disorganized and a bit outdated. I say disorganized because they looked like notes from a textbook. They were very confusing at times. Do not make my mistake of skipping class in the morning and hoping to simply copy her posted lecture slides. You will not understand what the slides mean at all!!! This brings me to another complaint: the fact that the class was at 9:10 in the morning. I donÂ’t think I need to explain the complications with thisÂ…
This class blows!!! At first it seems great because there are only three open note quizes and no papers or finals but I urge you all to resist the temptation to take this class. There are mountains of reading and the text/ lectures don't relate very well to the exams. Often it seemed like exam questions were worded in the most convoluted and intentionaly misleading way possible so that even if you knew what the questions were trying to ask you couldn't answer them anyway. The guest lecturers and the TA lead review sessions make you realize how little you're learning and the horrible test scores pretty much across the board would lead you to believe they would have to curve (keep dreaming). I went to every single lecture, did the readings, did the full six credits of psych tests, was right around the middle of the pack for every exam and I got a D in this class. AVOID AT ALL COSTS !!!!
While I don't completely disagree with the previous reviewer, I think that there are some good things about Prof. Lindemann and the course that should be mentioned. Firstly, Prof. Lindemann, though at times may seem disorganized, does know her stuff and will answer your questions if you approach her after class about them. The TAs also work really hard and are very approachable and helpful if you take the time to ask them questions about things you don't understand. The course is generally interesting, and grading is fairly easy. To be honest, (and I don't mean any offense to the previous reviewer in this), but I think for a teacher, Prof. Lindemann is pretty good and I'm glad Columbia has given us the opportunity to learn from her and her TAs.
I think this is a great class. I mean, Patty obviously loves her subject, and definitely does a good job of projecting that love to the students. There is a TON of reading from the textbook as well as outside articles in this course. It is very difficult to keep up sometimes, but it is all very interesting. My main complaint is that although there is an agonizing overlap between lectures and readings as far as material, there is just enough that are specific to each that makes it necessary to do both. Tricia is a very funny professor and I recommend it for anyone interested in psychology. It is a very stimulating and fun course.
I would not recommend this class for students who want a true introduction to psychology. It seems that Galanter, who is old but still quick and funny, is more interested in sharing what he thinks is important in psychology than giving a true introduction to the discipline.
Horrible. If you are looking to flunk out of Columbia, you're more than welcome to take this course. I signed up for the course with an interest in psychology, and now I regret it more than anything. Did not think it was going to be an easy class by any means, but wasn't expecting to be a bomb either. I repeat, DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS unless you're a psych major!!!!!! Can't give you any more warning than this.
Well, where do I start..prof Lindemann is not organized, doesnÂ’t do a good enough job explaining, her power point slides are not accurate, this is unacceptable that a prof. at Columbia would present herself and teach a 150 student class in such a way. The lack of seriousness that characterizes this prof. is amazing, this is Columbia University, how, why, donÂ’t we deserve someone who will do the job or at least try to do it in the best way he/she can? DonÂ’t raise your hand for questions, she wont see you anyway, and mostly no direct answers unless one of the TAÂ’s is answering. Office hours are always cancelled for some reason, replying emails is a secondary thing for this prof. Although I am doing well in this class I find the way this teacher conducts the class inappropriate to the place we are all studying in. There was one good thing in that class- a wonderful TA, Poonam(not the nicest-sorry-at times, but it doesnÂ’t matter, we are here to study!), very knowledgeable and serious, it seems that as a grad student, she would do a far better job teaching the class. I can just regret that all we got from Poonam was one lecture, but it was the best one during this term. Thanks If you are a serious student who wants a serious professor, donÂ’t take this class, but if you just care about the workload it's mild.
Normally I don't bother to review on CULPA; however, I feel that all of the positive reviews about Galanter are incredibly misleading. It is obvious that only the students who "aced" this class are the ones attempting to elevate Galanter from a pompous piece of garbage to the level of a human being. What you should bear in mind is the huge number of students - about 50 - who withdrew from this section. Among them were a number of psychology majors. I know this for a fact as 3 psych majors withdrew from our study group. Galanter's "readings" consist entirely of books that he has written. Bear in mind: Galanter's books are geared towards his contemporaries in the psychology field - NOT undergraduates. There is no logical cohesion between lectures, the texts, and the syllabus. If there is a topic or formula that is unclear to you, then good luck finding an answer. Galanter tells the class: "Direct all questions to the TAs." The TAs in turn, were just as lost as the students. Originally there was to be a disucssion section, but Galanter decided that it was unecessary. After all, every student is well versed in statistics, as well as fluent in Latin. Which are required to understand several of the formulas. Personally, I think the glowing reviews about Galanter's class were posted by the TAs, or Galanter himself. Galanter will most likely remain in your memories far after the class ends as THE WORST Professor you will have at Columbia. I realize the intense negativity I am imbuing into this review, but it works to balance out all of the unfair "positive" repsonses on this class. If you are thinking of enrolling, ask around for feedback on Galanter. I am certain there are more students with hatred for this man, then there are with love.
Great class, professor takes the effort to engage the class in interesting concepts in psychology. Great class to take for the science requirement or to get a general understanding of what psychology is about
Lindemann is a kind person, but she was the most immature, unorganized, and unprofessional lecturer that i've had in my two years here. My main complaint? She cannot for the life of her present the material clearly. Laser-pointers endlessly confuse her as do HER OWN powerpoint slides: she wastes way too much time scratching her head trying to figure out "what [she] meant when [she] wrote that." Also, many of her powerpoint slide had errors -- not just typos but major mistakes and evidence that SHE DOESN'T KNOW THE MATERIAL that she's presenting (a particularly memorable example: she called <i>circadian</i> rhythm the <i>circadium</i> rhythm.) Lindemann never knows what material is coming up on her powerpoint slides and ends up jumping all over. Because of her bad vision, she occasionally has trouble reading her slides on the overhead. And don't even bother raising your hand to ask a question--she'll never see you unless you're sitting in the front few rows. The first half of this course is a total repeat of MBB (Mind, Brain, Behavior -- both courses are required for the Neuroscience major). Jennifer Mangel's fall MBB course was 100x better than this course. Even the TAs were better. My main problem with this course was that classtime was a total waste. Lectures would drag endlessly as Lindemann repeated the same concepts over and over. In 75 minutes, we never seemed to get through more than 10 slides -- hardly any material at all. Way too much time was wasted apologizing for errors on her slides and trying to unconfuse the class (and also trying to figure out how to use the laser-pointer--you think she'd learn...) In 75min, Mangel's MBB class would accomplish sooooo much more (covering about 3x the material in 3x as much depth). I'm not one to complain about a class being too easy, but covering too little material in Lindemann's class doesn't translate to easier tests -- we're still expected to cover about 200 pages of reading for each exam! If we covered more material in class, the textbook reading would be less painful and it would be easier to justify going to class. On the positive side, the textbook (Gray's Psychology) is really great and covers a wide-range of material which will teach you about the real world. It also does a great job demonstrating how behavior/traits are useful in an evolutionary sense. So to conclude, I really disliked this professor. Her fumbling mistakes might be acceptable for a first-time professor but Lindemann repeatedly teaches this course. To put such an unorganized and unprofessional professor in front of 150 students is unacceptable and I can only hope that no visiting students sat in on this class (they'd instantly lose all respect for Columbia). It's a strange phenomenon (which i've confirmed with other neuro majors): all the science of psych professors suck and all the mind brain behavior professors are great. The solution? For people that want a good professor to teach them psychology (and neuro), take a Barnard intro psych course (unfortunately it won't count towards the psych or neuro major)
I love Patty Lindemann. Contrary to what you'd expect from an instructor in a large lecture class, Patty personally relates the material to real life and uses abundant examples of case studies and statistics not even included in the text. On top of that, she's hillarious without even trying to be. I definitely suggest taking Psych with her, and if you're just fulfilling the Science Req, take this class.
Galanter is not the greatest lecturer in the world. He could be best described as "meandering." This is not to say his lectures aren't enjoyable, as they often are. However, I often found myself leaving class wondering if my attendance was worth anything. Contrary to popular opinion, the most valuable part of 1001 for me was the readings. Not all were the most interesting, but holistically they form a pretty good overview of the subject's basic areas of study. Galanter's choices are about 50 years old, including the ones he wrote. WIth a few exceptions they were very easy to get through, if not the freshest of material. Given the course's historical approach, a little age is nothing to despair. His quizzes are hard, frustratingly so, even if you've done the readings and attended every lecture. Nearly everyone does poorly so the curve is quite generous. As others have remarked, doing the readings and attending lectures is sure to earn you an A.
WARNING - this is not a class for slackers. You will get an A in this class if you do the readings, take notes on the readings, and attend and take notes during class. Easily. However, the readings are incredible dry and lengthy so good luck with that. Galanter is a quirky firecracker of an old, old man, making lectures more than entertaining. He sang to us in morse code once. If you want a B or B+ then you should do some of the reading if you have time, go to as many classes as possible, but most importantly share notes with other people - the tests are open-book .
Man he was really funny that first day of class.... After that every class got a little bit worse. By the midterm I had stopped going alltogether. I got a B could have been better but I didn't do the experiments, and never went to class. If you do manage to learn something congrats you're the first.
Once you get over Galanter's senile funniness (the type of humor you'd get from walking around a nursing home) he is a terrible lecturer who made me contemplate taking my own life each and every time I sat down in his class. It was a gamble with longshot odds every time i went to class whether i could come away with something remotely valuable. the way he speaks (and writes in his textbook) is very difficult to understand and makes me hate him even more. I thought i was failing the class until i got my A. So i guess you can do well in the class if you are willing to put up with massive BS and not learn a damn thing. if you do decide to take the class, i urge you to not spend 35$ on his stupid CD and copy it from someone
I REALLY enjoyed this class and it made me consider Psychology as an option for my major. Lindemann's way of leading a lecture and transforming both interesting and dry material into ideas that are both relevant to our daily lives and in need of discussion amazed me. I'll admit that I came in thinking that I would fly by after taking AP Psychology in high school; nevertheless, I am pleased that Professor Lindemann put me "in my place" so to speak because I gained so much from this course and pushed to receive a good grade.
I would definitely reccomend this class, if only to fill part of your science requirement. Galanter is, as another reviewer said, basically senile, but he's hysterically funny. He also made major contributions to the field of psychology, so he really knows what he's talking about. The lectures vary between very interesting - both because of the material and because of his random stories - and sleep-inducing. There are three "quizzes" (50 minute multiple choice tests), but they're based more on extensive reading than lecture notes and are open book.
Galanter is the best guy ever!! He's guaranteed to keep you entertained throughout the whole lecture, but that's where the fun ends. The class was tough, but I learned a lot. I recommend this class to someone who has plenty of time to do all the readings assigned for the quizzes and attend all the lectures.
Lindemann isn't bad at all. The lectures can have you looking at the clock every five minutes, but it's in powerpoint and you can access them if you miss a class. She does sometimes show videos that show up as test questions but it's not that serious. She is very nice and presents the material in a comprehensive and understandable manner and will answer and questions students have about any of the material. She can be kind of corny sometimes, it just adds character. This class served as a great introduction to psychology and I would recommend it.
This was a very interesting class. Galanter looks like he's about to keel over and die but he is actually very competent and often entertaining as well. Lectures are often hard to follow and have very little to do with the readings. So you have to do both. There are 3 midterms and they are hard but the curve is good so don't worry. There is no writing in this class, only multiple choice so it's an excellent non-tech for us engineers.
Yes, this class fills a science requirement. And yes, there are only 3 quizzes all semester. But this man is nuts. I mean that in a nice way, actually. On a scale from one to senile, Galanter should be in a nursing home, but he's quite entertaining from time to time. "No one on earth understands the Finns and the Hungarians, and I firmly believe that this is because they are extraterrestrials." What? Oh man. You don't need to go to the lectures, the readings are all on a cd so you only pay $35 for all of your books, and the quizzes are open notebook. If you do the readings, and show up on occassion, it's an easy class. Boring usually, but easy.
I find hillarious reading other reviews of professor Lindemann, because for most part they are exaggerated. I would tell you: she is not as bad as she appears to be. She is concentrated on making you understand the material that is already easy and straightforward. She is not one of these professors that bullshit alot about nothing. Her lectures are well organized and presented on the powerpoint. If you miss the class, you can still acess them online. There are no midterms or finals in that class. There are 3 tests, each covers the third of the class material. These tests fairly test your understandng of the material:is fair: 50 multiple choice that are based on the book, and 10 common-sence short answer questions based on the class notes. What I would admit is that she is weird, but it is no harm to you at all. She tries HARD to be funny, but if someone laughs at her jokes, they do so just cuz they are trying to be nice. Once she tripped on the extension cord, but in order to ease the embarasement she started dancing something inbetween the electric slide and polka. By the end of the semester, you would learn the names of her two kids (Rebecca and Jordan), the profession of her housband, and a whole bunch of other "girl talk" I would strongly advice you to take this class though. Patricia is a very nice lady, who is open to after class discussions. Feel free to email her with whatever you are concerned about.
If you are scared by the ridiculous reviews of Galanter (as I definitely was) you may have opted to take this class at 9 am w/ Patricia. She is pretty much boring and reads aloud her powerpoint slides without adding any additional information. She is really nice, but extremely strange (she often does little dances and uses high pitched voices to imitate everything from a neuron to a prisoner), she seems to be interested in the class and our opinions but she pretty much manges to make the (incredibly interesting) text material quite boring. Its not a hard class by any stretch and I guess she is quite enthusiastic for 9 am- although I can't say I quite understood her humor. The midterms are basically multiple choice and are highly based on the text (so do your readings as you go!), the papers are very short and graded somewhat arbitrarily. Extra credit is available 8 times (must do 6) and she says that it will be used to decide whether students at a borderline grade are curved up or down.
Undeniably adorable but a little incoherent at times. Sometimes you will leave class thinking, "What did we DO today? Did we learn anything?" You will be baffled as to what to take notes on. Other times, however, she will surprise you with her clarity. That happens too. It is a hit-and-miss type deal. However, all in all, if you're at all interested in learning the basics about psychology, this is a good bet. Except for the essay take-home (which you can do with a partner), the only tests she gives are multiple-choice and straight-forward. That is to say, if you put the time in and learn the material, the test is easy... if you skim it the night before, it ain't. Also, this class is really really funny. Many of the videos that she shows in class are laugh riots-- not all, but many-- and during the developmental psychology unit, she will bring in a baby. You will watch the baby chew on her doll. Graham will try to measure the baby's head... that won't work. If the baby has a favorite song, the class will be coerced into singing it for the child. This is a fun class. Keep up with the reading and form study groups for exam prep, and you should do fine.
Oh Boy. This was a tough class through which to sit. This guy like graduated from harvard and studied under B.F. Skinner at columbia. His accolades seemingly neither prove nor enhance his teaching ability. it just didn't make sense. here's a guy who worked directly under the guy who practically defined psychology in the late 20th century, and he can't finish a thought or a sentence. His book, which he wrote and was nice enough to make everyone buy, reads like stereo instructions. nothing was clear. the TA's were more help than he was. During the pre-midterm review session, it would be a safe bet that everyone inattendance learned more in that 2 hours than in a semester. it would be a mistake to take this class and hope to learn anything. nice guy, though.
This class was great. True, Norma does spend way too much time going over the same announcements. And her lectures at first seem disorganized or rambling or boring, but give it time -- they're actually quite subtle. A little knowledge of statistics really helps to grasp what she's getting at. At the end I had a good general understanding and appreciation for psychology, rather than just a knowledge of a few experiments here and there. And Gray's book is outstanding, without a doubt the best textbook I've ever used, in any class. Contrary to what other reviews have said, yes you need to go to class, and yes you need to read the book. Just review your notes and the text before the test and you'll do really well.
No offense to all who posted before me, but this class was by far the easiest class I have ever taken in Columbia. You just do the readings the night before, and take the 3 OPEN BOOK, OPEN NOTE quizzes. Everyone seems to bitch about his multiple choice method where u check the wrong answers, but really it just allows you to pick up free points even when you dont know the answer, by checking the obviiously wrong answers. i slept through most of the lectures, writing notes in my sleep, but the quizzes are fairly redundant, with most questions just a different wording than some previous ones. Granted, you wont learn a damned thing. Galantar seemed to be teaching us psychological breakthoughs of the 1940's rather anything current or interesting. Although, he's your typical old fart with great old fart humor. Normally, Id hate to bust everyone else's balls, but I feel I owe the Columbia community a service by recommending this class - trust me, it is not nearly as hard as these reviews make it out, and I know for certain that other students agree with me. And all the reviews from previous semesters agree with me. Did the 1,000 yr old Galantar change his tests and grading policies all of a sudden for this past semester and make his class harder? doubtful. This IS the science requirement to take.
Stay away. Norma is a sweet-enough lady, and adorable, but this class is painful and very difficult to do well in. Her lectures are dull (they lie somewhere in the realm of actual teaching and rambling, not quite either), and the only interesting things are the days when she shows videos. I dunno, at some point I just stopped going to class. The text book by Peter Gray is FASCINATING though. Very well written, and just amazingly interesting. That may have been the one highlight of the course. I became quite acquainted with the textbook when studying for her exams. Turned out to be a waste of time... her exams are IMPOSSIBLE. They ask you to remember such minor facts or random parts of lectures (which, admittedly, I just flat out stopped attending mid-way thru the semester). I don't regret it though. I received the same grade on the exam that I went to class for and studied minorly for than for the exam I stopped going to and studied extensively. I guess its however you want to deal with teh course. I guess I figured it would be an easy way to fulfill the science requirement. I was sadly mistaken. I hear its easier in the Fall. My suggestion would be to take it there. The largeness of the class also makes portions of it very time consuming, and I feel like a lot of the information could be better presented in a smaller class. Perhaps discussion sections. Wow, I really hated this class...
I already wrote a glowing review of Professor Graham, but after reading some of the more recent reviews, I feel that it is time for another. As a psychology major, I have taken quite a few psychology courses. It is unbelievable how many psychology professors present their entire lectures using Power Point, reading their notes verbatim. Perhaps many of you have gotten so used to this wretched style of lecturing (if that is what it is called to read slides out loud) that when you come across a professor who actually teaches, you mistake it for rambling? I will save you from my spiel about how Power Point is killing teaching (and learning), and instead let me say this: Norma Graham is an amazing professor who truly loves to teach, who challenges you to think and read critically, and who will inspire you to think differently about science. Even if you plan to never take another psychology course again, take this class. With her genuine enthusiasm about psychology, with her attitude that science is about continuous questioning and careful investigation, and with her thoughtful approach to teaching, Professor Graham is one of the best professors you will come across in all your time at Columbia. She is definitely one of my favorites!
Good Things About Professor Graham: 1. She is a really kind person. 2. She makes us read from a really good textbook Bad Things About Her: 1. She does not know how to teach. She rambles and rambles hardly ever getting to the point. I learned more from the one class the TA Kate taught than I have from all of Prof. Graham's lectures combined. The only way to do well is to teach yourself the material on your own.
god awful! she spends at least half an hour before each class going through administrative procedures. i know her ta's office hours by heart now. and then she tells us every class that we cannot expect to do well on the test no matter what because cramming is a bad study method etc etc. plus she spends another thirty minutes fixing the projector and fiddling with the lights and her stack of transparencies. all handouts are on the website so print them out she reminds you EVERY CLASS. FIVE TIMES. EACH CLASS. however, her grading is purely based on exam grades so either youre a good test taker or youre not. and her optional hw assignments she talks about all semester. they dont count. at all. the most informative lectures are when her tas lecture or when she shows videos or demos. dont waste your time and ruin your gpa. the curve is INSANE. so many premed and postbacs its CRAZY and if one person gets a perfect score on an exam...like someone in my class, youre screwed bc then the curve is shifted usually to your disagvantage. ths course just SUCKS AT LIFE.
I have to put my two cents in here on Norma Graham. SHE IS A GREAT PROFESSOR! I really enjoy the lectures. I would call her lecturing "organic" but NOT rambling. I enjoy her candor and her funny asides--they make the lecture more interesting. Plus, she has a sincere desire to teach and to get to know her students. I have managed to get A&B ranges on all the tests with the minimal effort of reading and going to class and listening. As a person with an arts background and who is not keen on science, I highly recommend this class with Norma.
I saw all the horrible reviews and I thought "I'll give this professor a shot." I regretted that almost immediately. I agreee with all of what others have said about this class. It's not really that hard, in fact I managed a B without really reading the textbook or coming to the last month of class (that's how little the materials helped me). But easy doesn't mean bearable. The first major problem is that he wrote the textbook...but never finished it. As a result there are constant references to chapters, graphs, and pictures that don't exist. Even my TA said that it was one of the worst introductory psychology books he's ever seen. To top it off his power point lectures either serve to repeat the book verbatim or directly contradict it. Often in discussion sessions our TA would end up having to reteach certain parts of the lecture because what was said simply didn't make sense to anyone. All in all, it's not a really tough class but it is incredibly frustrating and, I found, skippable...
DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS!! The only explanation for why there are some positive reviews of this class is because Galanter USED TO curve each individual quiz grade, and then curve at the end. Now he ONLY curves the grades at the end of the semester, but it isn't very much help since the quizzes are IMPOSSIBLE. I went to every single class, took copious notes, and did a fair amount of reading. However, NONE of that helps you out on what I've decided are prank quizzes. Guessing does not help you on the quizzes either, so there's no way out. I do not know ANYONE who received a good grade in this course. I ended up Pass/Failing as a senior (who needed to knock off the sciecne requirement) b/c of the grades I got on the first two quizzes. Galanter actually had bravado to offer to sign off on LATE DROPS because he realized how may people were going to fail the class!!! What a nice guy right! My roomate(who did more readings than I did), stuck it out and got a C! This class is an embaressment, and MUST be taken off the list for non-science majors.
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.
After reading the reviews on this class I figured it would be an easy way to knock off the science requirement. Boy was I wrong. This class ended up being one of the worst experiences of my life. The tests were open book but it didn't help much. I remeber finding the part of the book for the question and stil couldn't answer it right because of the way Galanter worded his questions and answers. There is no such thing as a huge curve either. Maybe in the past but not anymore. Galanter's lectures themselves are way to scientific for the typical undergrad to understand. Overall, I highly don't recommend taking this class unless you feel like getting f***ed
Do not take this class. I repeat DO NOT take this class. It is not an easy A. I got 5 points under the mean on every test and I ended up with a C+ in the class. Professor Galanter has no idea how to convey information to the class. Yes he is brilliant but like the pitfall of so many other professors on campus he can't teach. He babbles on about psychophysics this and psychophysics that so much you actually need another indtroductory course to figure out what he is saying. Yeah the quizzes are open book and open note and for some people open computer which I didn't think was fair when they pulled me aside and told me I was cheating. All in all, this class is awful. It may have been an easy A in the past but not anymore. This class royally sucks.
Ok, I went into this class thinking (like the other 200+people) that would be an easy A as well as covering fairly interesting subject matter. I can honestly say that I was not satisfied in either respect. I only skipped two lectures, but in retrospect, there really is no point in going to class becuase he is very boring (albeit he does make some funny jokes, if that's what you're into) and unnecessarily concentrates on his own field of psychophysics. Overall a very dry class with way too much reader assigned that I don't think anyone ever did.
Went to five classes. All were interminable. Three tests - none easy. Open book, true, but doesn't really help; Galanter's questions are at once ridiculous and circuitous. No one I spoke to actually enjoyed the class.
Terrace is as bad as they say. But, he is brilliant. Perhaps that is why he is such a miserable lecturer. If you want to hear from someone who is an expert in his field, take this class. If you want to be entertained---don't.
Oh jesus...that is honestly all that I have to say. The sad thing is that this isn't a terribly hard class. In fact, it is fairly easy. However, Terrace is so boring it made my teeth hurt. The only thing mildly entertaining about the lectures is when Terrace shows up in a pink dress shirt. For some reason he is strangely captivating in this get-up. And, the text? Well, let's just say it is no suprise that it is still in manuscript form. I don't like monkeys. And, as a cognitive psychologist who plays with monkeys, Terrace speaks an awful lot about them. Also, his lecture examples are infamously confusing. So, in conclusion...if you don't like monkeys and boring/confusing lectures don't take this class.
Prof Graham is a very nice lady who makes a point to get to know the students--not easy in a large lecture course. The lectures are interesting and well presented. As this is a broad intro course, don't expect a lot of detail or depth in the lecture (although there is more of this in the text), but it's a very good review of the major topics. She has a bit of a cognitive bent to the course (focuses on the brain more than on social aspects of psychology--if you're thinking about majoring in neuroscience and behavior, she's a good prof to take W1001 with. Maybe the wrong course if you're looking to find out how your mom messed up your life). The textbook is great--you end up reading most of it, but it's all interesting and well written. If you keep up with the reading, it shouldn't be a problem and you'll learn a lot. She gives little quizzes that she uses for attendance at the beginning of class-they don't count for anything, but they give you an idea of the type of info she'll ask about on the exam.
This class is a complete waste of time. The professor is either an idiot or thinks her students are, and nothing whatsoever is covered in class because Graham pauses so much in what looks like ministrokes, and is far too accepting of students' ass-clownish questions. At least in groups and symetry you don't have to go to class, but for this course you are subjected to her horrible lectures, and early in the morning at that.
This class was one of the most enjoyable classes I've taken at Columbia. Galanter is old and quirky, true, but he's a great professor. He really knows his stuff, and he loves to share it. He's really opinionated and full of weird facts and stories. His lectures are really entertaining. If you're looking for a teacher that'll know your name and discuss your problems, he's not the one. If you're looking to meet a real individual who has alot to offer if you're open to it, you've struck gold.
"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.
I started this course with a fair amount of trepidation based on the mostly negative reviews here on CULPA, and, unfortunately, the course was just about as bad as promised. I won't rehash what everyone else said in great detail, but just for fun, the textbook is crap, the slides are confusing, Terrace's unemotional delivery of material is soporific, and the tests are irritatingly detailed. Luckily, there's a pretty steep curve, since few people do well, so I managed to get a decent grade, but the overall experience was an unpleasant one. This course makes it obvious that Columbia is more intent on hiring profs who are prestigious researchers (as evidenced by Terrace's recent scientific breakthroughs) over those who are simply good teachers.
Galanter is one of the most amusing professors at Columbia. I attribute this to his obvious descent into senility. Once he couldnt derive his own equations on the board, despite the TAs calling out the answer to him. In his defense, im sure he couldnt hear them all the way in the front row. He also says global warming is ok, since Columbia is on a hill and should survive a rise in ocean levels. That said, his lectures were cures for insomnia. I have never seen more people openly sleeping and drooling before. But his personal anecdotes are really funny and disturbing. Evidently, the army considered using pidgeons to guide the controls for missiles in the 50s. But if the class is too boring for you, its ok. Galanter encourages people to not attend. He also makes his quizzes open book, which helps alot (except for the poor delinquents who missed the class where the open book thing was announced). The grading is cake, with probably the most generous curve i have ever seen. It didnt seem like a curve, more like him bumping up everyones grade by a letter. All in all, definitely worth it for the science requirement.
The people who say this class is the equivalent of death need to grow up. It's a nice way to scoot right around that science requirement of the core, without doing any science at all. The class was informative, although presented in slightly dry tones. Professor Terrace's personality and presentations may be slightly dull and dry, but just keep taking notes and you'll realize the material itself is pretty interesting. Showing up to class and taking notes on what he says (not the power points-- you can get those later online) prove to be invaluable come exam time, as you learn his random babblings were actually important. In taking this class, I discovered a formula that never failed me. Get a laptop and learn to type fast. During his lectures, instead of focusing on how dry the sound of his voice is, just write down everything he says in bullet format, underneath the headings of the corresponding slide he's showing. A week before each test, print up the slides and match each heading with your notes, and study them that way. It's a no-fail, and excellant preparation for each test. Just take notes on the required readings as well, and you are virtually guaranteed an A on every test. I promise.
This was a great class. Galanter is a very funny lecturer. Sometimes you may not have a clue what hes talking about, but that just adds to the fun. The workload is minimal. There are three multiple choice quizzes... and that's it.
Am I the only one who kind of liked him? His lectures were not bad, they were actually relatively interesting most of the time. He lectured in an easy to understand way and he wasnt afraid to waste class time showing movies that pertain to the subject. While the critiques before me talk about his book, I must admit it was not a pleasure. It was poorly written, however, I found it actually much more benificial cause it was his exact views, and the tests came directly from it cause he is the one who wrote it and the test, so it made it easier to be successful in the class. So while it was not a very encouraging book, it was ok to get by.
On the first day of class, Galanter said "This is not a basic psychology course. If you want a normal psychology course I suggest you transfer to NYU or Staten Island Community College." Galanter was right - it wasn't a basic psychology course. He spent the first 3/4 of the semester talking about "Psychophysics" and thresholds, and while he likes to crack jokes every so often, he can get extremely boring. There were 200 people registered for the class - 100 people on any given day, and half of those people were sleeping in their chairs... another 25 either writing down his quotable quotes (such as: "Trees are just big weeds") or drawing pictures of him. Galanter's knowledgeable in psychology - especially in educational psychology & educational testing, but he presents his information in such a boring fashion that you can't appreciate his knowledge. Guest lecturers were a nice break from the banal lectures. Galanters test are "mark incorrect", which means that you can get partial credit if you can only identify 2 of the 3 incorrect answers. However, if you mark the correct answers as incorrect, you can wind up with a negative score. The curves on the quizzes are huge, and the final course grades are curved even more, so that the lowest grade given was a C, and there were A+s... Though I do not recommend this course, as I feel as if I learned no psychology from it, if you do take the class, I suggest that you attend his lectures, even if you sleep through them... many questions on the quizzes come right out of the babble that he says... Also, don't expect him to be very approachable - as far as I know he doesn't even have office hours. The TAs, however, proved to be somewhat helpful at least as far as telling us what was on the quizzes (don't study according to the syllabus). And while this course is extremely boring, it knocks off one of the science requirements.
Norma Graham is a truly dedicated professor who does everything possible to inspire her students and introduce them to the many possibilities in the field. Yes, there is a lot of reading, but it is in a great, well-written textbook by Peter Gray. Graham bends over backwards to make herself accessible to students and to invite them to consult her. I only wish other professors at Columbia had this degree of interest in their students. Graham is an exceptional person, as well as a commited teacher.
I have to agree with the mediocre reviews of this class. Professor Graham seems like a very sweet woman, but this course was pretty much a waste of time. Psychology was reduced to either straight biology or a bunch of broad, untestable generalizations. I don't know if its the nature of intro courses to be this useless, but I certainly had trouble motivating myself to get up at 9 in the morning for this class-- it was usually boring and pointless, and rarely made the material any clearer than the book did.
This was one of the most un-Columbia-ish class I've ever taken. The entire workload is 3 multiple-choice quizzes, and the curve is so huge that you'll think you're a Harvard student. Galanter takes a very history-based approach, so this is great for the non-science-type person who needs the class for the Core. Lectures are somewhat interesting and peppered with Galanter's crude sex jokes and anecdotes, but they often get boring when he goes off onto tangents. Few people bother showing up, anyway.
Not quite as bad as everyone says. Professor Terrace is indeed a boring lecturer, but his lectures are fairly easy to follow and often informative if you can get past his deadpan monotone delivery. The worst part about this course is easily the textbook, which, as stated before, is written by Terrace himself. Like the lectures the book is a pretty boring read, though quite informative. The annoying part about it is its incompleteness Â— no glossary or highlighting of key terms, frequent grammatical and editorial errors, missing (but important) diagrams all over the place, sometimes missing sections of text. And it costs almost $50. Piece of advice: get a good TA. The discussion sections were probably the saving grace of this course.
Worst class ever. The only way a freshmen could have been worse introduced to a college lecture class would have been if instead of going to the lectures, someone had kicked my in the nuts for four hours a week. The lectures are like chinese water torture and the only reason the man teaches is probably because he want's his little monkey projects to stay funded. The only interesting class was when he put on a video, which turned out to be about him and all these other psychologists made fun of his research. I don't care how boring Gallanter is, it can't be worse than the ass pounding this class was.
Prof. Graham is a very nice person, but a lot is left to be said about the class. The lectures were largely pointless and confusing. Perhaps due to the large amount of material covered in the class, most of what was taught seemed superficial. The two tests were somewhat arbitrary- expect to find the most obscure details asked. The class is tolerable- not spectacular.
The prof. loves her students and is super dedicated to them. Her office hours are non-stop and there are always students there. The class is pretty boring, however, in that it is a lot of biology of the brain, sleeping etc. This is not a course to take if you are interested in theoretical psychology. She brought some cool videos and guests but i slept through a very good portion of the course because it was relatively dry.
Everyone else seems to rather like Prof. Graham, so I'd like to provide a dissenting opinion. The fact is, she annoys the hell out of me, and her class is pretty worthless. This class requires a very large amount of reading, almost none of which is covered in class-- Prof. Graham prefers to show videos and waste your time with "demonstrations" of small children who come into the class and run around obnoxiously, personality tests, diagrams with pictorial representations of how we process the word "Cat," and the like. She spends time every class with what she calls "business," which deals with the (somehow infinitely complex) class website, the TA office hours, and so forth. She has never really given a substantial lecture, and instead spends time explaining very simple concepts painfully slowly. It would be preferable to read the textbook and not waste your time with class, except for the fact that she takes attendance...and watch for her to swig out of her water-filled Diet Coke bottle mid-sentence--- or maybe that's not really water in there??
It was an interesting class to say the least. Off the bat, he is boring. If his voice doesn't put you to sleep, his 100s of useless slides will. I've never slept so much, even in High School. The textbook that you HAVE to buy and he wrote, consists of about 150 pages divided in to chapters in particular reading. Don't try to complement the lectures with the textbooks cauz it just won't work. I mean some stuff was interesting, The guy knows his stuff, but you are always wondering how to put it all together. Hope you get a decent TA...
I don't understand what the other reviewers didn't like about Galanter. His lectures were extremely interesting, and he explained them in great detail. His stories always related to the subject. I never missed his class because I didn't want to. He makes you read from four books, three of which were boring, but if you do the reading and study your notes you'll ace each exam. By ace I mean A+, because he gives those out. His system of letting you mark the incorrect answers is fabulous, you can get a lot of credit even if you don't know all the answers. Take his class if you can, his lectures are enthralling if you care at all about psychology.
I would advise you to take Terrace's Science of Psychology if you enjoy the feeling of being raped again and again. I began the course with a sincere love of Psychology and a strong desire to make it my major. After taking the final test of the semester, I have neither. Terrace is a truly horrible lecturer, as each of his lectures (as well as his slapdash attempt at a text book) are comprised of many vaguely-related digressions. He utilizes his time in front of the class to speed through the miniscule amount of course material he has to present, and then passes the rest of the hour-and-a-half entertaining himself with random PowerPoint slides that have little relation to what should be the content of the lecture. Unfortunately, there is no source text to consult in case one actually wishes to learn something. Rather, Terrace's students are treated to an manuscript of Terrace's ramblings that is missing essential diagrams, bold-printed key terms, a glossary, and a sense of organization. What makes this even more offensive is that this pile of paper costs $46.10, and CANNOT BE SOLD BACK!! The rest of the reading comes from lengthy artices of slight relevance that, of course, must be photocopied on the student's dime. Countless inconsistencies appear among what is said in the lectures, what is printed in the text, and what the T.A.s have to say in discussion sections. These inconsistencies are naturally left for the student to sort through before the test. However, in spite of Professor Terrace's contempt for his students, it is possible to enjoy bits and pieces of his course due to the innate merits of the material. For the record, I will continue my Psychology track, if for no other reason than to reclaim my love for the material that was thoroughly trampled by Herbert Terrace.
Terrace has done some important psych work...but as a teacher, he's not very effective. The class itself is easy - completely managable for science idiots like me looking to finish the requirement. It covers all the basics - history, memory, language, etc. But his lectures are convoluted, seemingly thrown together, and really not worth much at all. If it weren't for good TAs, nothing would make much sense. Basic concepts seem alien until re-explained. Making things even worse is the fact that he uses his own textbook, one that he wrote and apparently never got published. It's unfinished (lots of "place chart here"), which is REALLY ANNOYING. It's also as nonsensical as his lectures, so be sure to utilize the TAs! He really shouldn't be teaching, in my opinion - he's clearly smart, but should stick to the lab where he only has to deal with monkeys instead of students.
Unlike Charleton Heston, this man deals better with apes than humans. His lectures are intolerably boring, so much so that only half of the three hundred students attend them on any one-day. This truancy is facilitated by the fact that he wrote his own text book which is basically a transcript of the lectures, and the TA's post the lecture notes on the internet. with these two sources, it is possible to skim by the weekly pass/fail quizzes and the three non cumulative exams, though i do mean skim since the exams are terribly specific. avoid this course if at all possible (psych majors must take it, though it is also taught by Galanter, who i hear is more engaging.)
I like his lectures, and they have prepared me well for the quizzes, on which i've gotten As. This guy is NOT so bad.
Professor Mischel is quite distinguished in this field. He wrote the book that his class uses. The course goes through the 5 major approaches to Personality and the content is very interesting. HOWEVER, Professor Mischel is not. His lectures follow the book very closely making coming to class boring.
Look, this class is NOT as bad as everyone says. BUT, Terrace definitely leaves something to be desired. He has a great wealth of knowledge of his subject, but lacks the charisma to present it with any real affection. His text book is horribly organized and poorly edited, but informative. Thank goodness there are sections.
I wanted to like this class. Yet I found Professor Galanter's explanations indecipherable and when I looked around the other students seemed stunned by the rambling lectures, like deer caught in headlights -- uncertain which way to turn or whom to ask. The day before tests, teaching assistants would come and, at the last minute, explain what Galanter really meant, to prepare us for the multiple choice tests. Assistants explained that in general students tested below the C level and to compensate the tests were curved upwards. With that bit of information, I dropped the class. I found it absurd to spend a semester attempting to learn that which Galanter seemed either unwilling or unable to teach effectively. Also, his requirements that his own books be used as textbooks and that we memorize pages of forumulae seemed pointless.
Okay, so you've read all the other Galanter reviews--so you get the picture. If you do choose to take his class, follow these rules: 1.) Go to the first class, sign the role sheet, find out the "quiz" days. 2.) come to class on the days of the "quizzes". 3.) pick a method for taking the incoherently difficult multiple choice quizzes (I personlly recommend "eenie-meenie-minie-moe") 4.) in a Zen-like manner, accept your B+ or A- at the end of the semester.
Eugene may be a little nutty sometimes, but his charm and wit make his class worth tolerating all of his idiosyncrasies. He firmly asserts that for $38,000 per annum, one ought to get more from a class than a reiteration of the text. Indeed, Galanter will give you great stories, bad jokes, and some insights into the science of psychology. In the end, if you need an intro psych class or a science credit, this is the way to go. Galanter is, at the very least, a fun old fart.
Oh please, for the love of god, don't take this class with this man. It is the equivalent of an academic root canal. If you are lucky, you will fall asleep. That is, if you are stupid enough to attend the excruciatingly boring lectures; stupid, because he wrote the only textbook used and lectures from it verbatim. He even repeats the anecdotes. I'm not kidding. If you for some reason must take this class under pain of death, just read the damn book before the tests and you should be ok. Or you could try the old 'Abracadabra' method, since the inane things are multiple choice.
Will spend time before class clearing up administrative issues and outlining the lecture-to-come. How annoying or helpful you find the heavy repetition will depend on how often you show up to class. The intro class can get confusing, but mostly because of the wide range of topics and new information that she incorporates. Very solid -- organized, clear about the requirements.
If you're interested only in satisfying your science requirement, this is a great class to do it in. The reading is relatively light and if your TAs are good the three "quizzes" that are given are fairly easy. If you want to learn about psychology, however, you had better look elsewhere. Galanter isn't interested in teaching the class - his lectures are often a collection of personal anecdotes and name dropping that take up only two thirds of the alotted lecture time. He has no plan for teaching the class and chooses to lecture on whatever happens to strike his fancy. He does not cover a lot of the things a tradition psych class might and spends a disproportianate amount of time on some extremely boring areas that are the focus of his research. Although one shouldn't expect to learn a whole lot about psychology, on the whole the class is a reasonably pleasant experience.
Professor Gallanter's ability to lecture is unrivaled in my experiences here at Columbia. He did what I had initially thought of as unthinkable: he took psychology and almost made me believe it's a science. It's a good thing the class ended when it did, otherwise he might have had me fooled. Professor took dry, almost unintelligable material and made it interesting - even to an engineering student. Some people in the class considered Professor a "dinosaur" or "relic of the past"; I'd heard more than one or two frustrated mumbles during the course of any lecture, leading me to think that psychology students had begun to feel hostility towards a man who tried his damnedest to have the course live up to its name. So, if you are willing to read a few pages a week, attend lectures that inspire awe in whoever remains awake throughout them, and are willing to deal with 3 multiple choice quizzes in which even simply crossing out two wrong answers per question can get you a decent grade (and it takes little more to do really well), then this class is definitely worth your time.
At first, I really thought this would be a great class--Professor Galanter seemed like a funny guy. But as time passed, I realized that his funniness was the exception, not the rule. Most of the time, he is incredibly boring. Many people hardly ever bother going to class. Also, it doesnt help that the material is not in the least bit interesting. The texts are too long, and seem to be books that he authored or co-authored, or that were authored by authors with whom he co-authored other books. No doubt, Professor Galanter is incredibly talented in this field. I am often impressed that he is able to lecture in great detail mostly without referring to notes. But the class seems not to be about psychology, but about topics that he is interested in, which are mostly dry, incredibly boring statistical analyses of basic psychological processes. I can't remember the last time that I went through a whole class period without falling asleep once. Usually the only thing that keeps me awake is my metaphysical ponderings on why exactly I am sitting in that gigantic surreal lecture hall--the information that Im hearing isn't useful for anything, and by God it certainly isn't interesting. So why am I there? And of course, there isn't any good answer to that question. So I usually just give up on thinking about it and go back to sleep.
The other review of this guy says it all: Galanter is a source of fun, but not enough to make up for his tedium.
I'll just be adding to the store of compliments about this wonderful professor but I don't think that enough can be said. This class is always crammed to the gills, with people sitting on the floor on the first day so register as early as possible. It's worth it. Prof Graham is a great lecturer, organized and interesting, and the material covered is extremely good. I learnt so much from this one class that it's made me determined to take more psych classes in future. Truly inspiring, and Prof Graham is a great person. Go see her during office hours, she'll take time off to chat with you.
Very repetitive, but good lecturer, easily accessible, kind, good grades flourish...Reviews the lecture to come at the beginning of class. Wants to get to know each student individually. The Grandmotherly type. Workload: 2 big exams, 3 hours of volunteer participation in studies required (or an additional paper if you have objections to volunteering in psychological studies), and a paper (I think).
Kind and inviting, her lectures are outlined at the beginning of each class and she always spends time to clear up organizational/administrative issues -- for better or worse. It may seem a bit tedious at times but if you tend to skip classes, her reminders can be quite useful. The introductory psychology class covers such a wide range of topics that her lectures sometimes get you more confused because of the new information she brings in. However, she's very engaging, organized, and clear about her requirements and you end up learning very solidly. The good far outweighs the bad.
A truly kind, intelligent professor. It's not rocket science, but she makes psychology interesting and approachable to even non-science students. Professor Graham attempts to get to know her students and is always willing to assist a confused undergraduate. I'm concentrating in psych because of her.