Introduction to Cultural Psychology

May 2021

This class was very disorganized. At the beginning of the semester, the prof laid out everything and it seemed organized, but she ended up always changing things, and the midterm was extremely hard. The multiple choice questions were not fair, and very specific. The class did very poorly as a whole and she had to give us extra credit questions to make up for our grade. Also, the assignments took a long time to be graded, and often times I felt lost in the class as it was disorganized.

Apr 2021

The material in the class incorporated some political ideologies, so heads up. Other than that, the workload was fair and the professor was really flexible and understanding.

Apr 2021

Never taken a more disorganized class at Columbia. Though there was a planned structure to the class that she discussed at the beginning, it was barely ever followed. There were way too many "technical difficulties" for someone who boasted of having experience with online teaching. For example, the midterm was supposed to have 6 essay questions where 2 could be dropped but only 5 actually appeared. The prof wanted to make up for it so she said she'd upload an extra credit within a week but it only came around during finals. So more than technical difficulties, I'd say it was lack of organization if not interest. She sends an email before every class but it almost never addresses crucial stuff. It is almost like she only remembers she has to teach a class 10 minutes before it starts. The content seemed interesting but the way she went about teaching it was so chaotic, it successfully made most people lose interest in the class. She tries to make it sound like she cares about her students by saying that she'll make the final easier or bump everyone's midterm grade by 10% (both of which she did to be fair) but the delays in doing the things she actually says are painful and the lack of communication (for things that actually matter) just makes things worse. While the course sounds interesting and the topics are actually good, I didn't learn much at least in this online environment. It might be better in person but good luck with that too.

Feb 2021

The content of this class is amazing. The readings are incredible. Definitely must take if you're a psych major--- it completely changed the way I think about the entire discipline. Should be a required class for sure. My only issue is that Prof Seeley doesn't always seem to have a complete grasp on the readings: discussions tend to be a bit more surface level. But if you're willing to put in some work and delve into the readings yourself, you will get soooooooooooo much out of this class.

Dec 2020

This class was fantastic. I think it is a must take for all psychology majors - in my opinion should be a requirement. Professor Seeley is wonderful and thoughtful. The workload was all very relevant - every reading is worth doing but if you can't, skimming will also get you by. Contributing to discussion is important but doesn't feel like a lot of pressure. I really enjoyed the class and appreciated Prof Seeley's insight and feedback.

Nov 2014

I highly recommend taking this course- whether you are majoring/concentrating in Psych or not. The material is applicable to everyday life, with especially significant implications for business, law, and policy. Professor Purdie-Vaughans is a fantastic lecturer who is both extremely organized as well as engaging. She assigns only necessary reading and makes a point to keep it minimal and the work level entirely doable. She also makes it very clear that her goal is just to help students learn, not to trip them up or create an impossible course. She actually means this. Often, she would consult the class on assignments, exam dates, etc. Whatever she said would be on the exam was on it- and nothing more. Extremely considerate and fair. The TAs were all also very helpful, approachable, unpretentious, intelligent, and well-prepared when it came to answering questions and running review sessions. There is a required group project for the course. Since I hate group projects, this made me question whether I wanted to take the course. But the project can actually be a great learning experience and an opportunity to do actual research and visit a site related to a particular interest you select. Putting up with the typically frustrating group project aspects are, in my opinion, worth it for this. SHORT VERSION- TAKE THIS CLASS. Everything about it is amazing.

Nov 2011

Professor Purdie-Vaughns is great. I'm so glad I decided to enroll in her Introduction to Cultural Psychology class this semester even though she had no culpa reviews. I've enjoyed her teaching style so much that I'm writing one now! VPV (no one calls her that, by the way...) is a great lecturer. Her lectures (with projected slides that aren't posted on courseworks) are always clear, interesting, and manageable for note-takers on computer or by hand. She teaches at a relatively slow pace, allowing for a surprising amount of class discussion for a lecture hall. She always answers any and every question. VPV is eloquent, knowledgable about the field, and generally likable. If you're a psych major or just thinking about it, take anything with her. She says outright that her class is designed for everyone to do well, and she means it. She just wants us to learn. This has not been a really difficult class, but just enjoyable and somehow relaxing.