Introduction to Experimental Psychology Lab

Apr 2021

Extremely boring class (and almost always ran the full three hours) with lots of busy work, but a mostly painless way to get the lab requirement out of the way for humanities majors like myself. My TA was Gabby and she was very clear and helpful; Ken talks a lot but is also helpful when you directly ask questions. Grading was overall fair but they can be a little nitpicky at times so it's best to ask for clarification if you're even a little confused.

Jan 2021

Mariel Roberts is a great professor! She always started the class by checking in with us. She is very understanding and clearly cares about students' mental and physical health. Multiple times throughout the semester she reduced our workload after hearing about how stressed we were or how much work we had. She is also a really informative professor who gave clear instructions and was always available for help.

Nov 2020

Prof Roberts genuinely cares for her students. She is fun and engaging during lectures and does not overwork the class. Prof Roberts will go the extra mile to make sure you understand everything. She is super helpful during OH! She has a young perspective (this is her first year teaching) and can relate to her students. Great experience!

Dec 2016

Took his class last year and still remember the way he suggested he'd read all the CULPA reviews, bad ones of course. So I am here to do him some justice. To be clear, I've taken 2 psych lectures and 2 labs and hated ALL of them, not because I wasn't interested in psych but because they were unnecessarily time-consuming. That being said, Prof. Light really taught me a lot and prepared me well for the more "advanced" psych lab. He always stayed late after class to answer questions and really hoped everyone to acquire the skills for basic psych research.

Oct 2016

I took this class last semester and am currently three weeks into an upper level psych lab with a different professor, feeling nostalgic and compelled to leave Professor Light a review. While, like other reviewers have suggested, I didn't find the course itself to be especially interesting (it is an intro course after all, so it's mainly about beginning how to conduct an experiment, use excel, write a paper (etc), I definitely learned the necessary skills and am now appreciative of that. I really think Professor Light was a great professor. It was clear he cared about what he was teaching, which helped, and was willing to meet with students outside of lab / genuinely cared about students doing well, and unlike what other reviews say, knew that a 1.5 intro lab wasn't anyone's first priority. While the workload did seem to be quite a bit at times, I'd say it was pretty fair overall. As I'm now taking psych lectures/labs with other professors, I realize how great of a person he was in terms of how he treated his students and how much he cares about the material and about teaching it; unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be a combination most professors have. Professor Light contributed in part to my decision to major in psych–– something I thought I would NEVER do, as I took this with the sole intention of fulfilling my science requirement. And last but not least, I'll forever remember his iconic April Fool's joke.

Jun 2016

AMAZING PROFESSOR!!! The class itself is boring, but he really teaches you what you need to know. If you have no experience with writing papers or running experiments, take this class. I will say that it is a bit of a workload, but if you apply minimal effort, you'll get an A. He also is super open to meeting and helping as much as possible.

May 2016

Ken Light is boring, but that isn't the problem. The problem is that he takes himself way too seriously and threatens to fail you for the smallest of reasons (or, more importantly, for your missing class for RELIGIOUS REASONS. THAT IS NOT OKAY.) In my mind, that disqualifies you as a qualified professor. Period. Don't take his class, especially if you're religious in any way. He will not understand.

Apr 2015

The worst professor I've ever had. The worst lecturer, cares waaaay too much about his class, nitpicky, critical, dry and uninspired. He finds joy out of forcing his students to sit through his monotonous lectures for three hours. He makes you do group projects that take weeks to complete. He needs to chill. I don't know why he hasn't been fired yet.

Apr 2015

Avoid him at all costs. He will harass you and threaten to fail you. He tries to find a reason to get you in trouble and will make one up if he has to. His classes are unnecessary and tedious. A total waste of time.

Apr 2015

Honestly, I am outraged seeing the comments below. I don't know how anybody can claim that Ken Light is a good professor, because frankly he is the worst professor I have had in my time here at Barnard. The reasons are many, so I decided to number them: 1. Do not think that he cares at all about your success in this class. He does not. He can and WILL dock you about ten points for slight formatting errors, not caring at all that this is an intro class and we don't all know how to write perfectly formatted APA papers. Today, he walked into class and announced that no one had done as well on the essays as he had hoped. As I looked around me, I saw seventies, eighties, and nothing in the nineties. The man does not like to give good grades, period. 2. His absurdly harsh grading might be understandable if he only explained assignments well. Once again, he does not. You would think somebody would realize, if less than half of the class got a decent grade on a paper, that he was doing something wrong as a professor. He truly does not explain the formatting thoroughly, and WILL dock you points if you get something wrong that he didn't explain thoroughly. 3. His comments on papers and presentations are rude, abrasive, harsh, and bordering on unprofessional. He has no problem telling you that your slight formatting error is "completely and totally unacceptable" or that you "would have been docked more points if I wasn't being nice." Simply put, he's mean. He will make you feel bad about yourself. 4. Once again, I can't stress this enough - it is absurdly difficult to get good grades on certain assignments. Often times, it seems like it all boils down to luck. You're honestly lucky if you get all his nitpicky formatting right. And if you have a bad lab group, good luck; he WILL decide he doesn't like your lab group, and he WILL target you and grade you unfairly. 5. This brings me to my next point. If he doesn't like you for whatever reason, and it could be the fault of someone in your lab group, he will grade you unfairly. 6. Come on, guys. I shouldn't see a classroom full of seventies and eighties on papers; he obviously gets pleasure out of giving bad grades. There has to be better lab professors. If I could have not done a lab this semester and held off until I could have a better professor, I would have. Ken Light was not worth it. A 1.5 CREDIT CLASS SHOULDN'T BE MY HARDEST CLASS, AND IT SHOULDN'T BE THE ONLY CLASS INDUCING PANIC ATTACKS.

Apr 2015

Ken Light is probably the most well-intentioned professor one could imagine. Yes, learning the very basics of APA style and how to graph on excel can be boring at best, Prof Light is ready and willing to help you every step of the way. It's unfortunate that the class is 3 hours once a week because it's hard to remain engaged from week to week. At the end of the day, he's really there because he wants you to succeed. He's very available via email and in person, to answer any and all questions. He writes very clearly on the board, which is almost unnecessary, but honestly very appreciated. If you're ever confused about anything at all, he's willing to explain. Also, as another reviewer said, he's really helpful about getting you into a section. At the beginning of the semester, he has everyone fill out a form with their top choice sections so that he can get everyone (or everyone he can) into a section that fits their schedule. I didn't get into the section I was originally on the waitlist for, but then he accidentally put me in a section that didn't fit in my schedule. When I told him, he was very apologetic and actually asked another girl to switch into my section so that I could still take the class because he did have a space for me. Very, very accommodating guy who just wants you to learn about the nitty gritty of psych rules and succeed in the class. If you put in the effort, show up on time, and turn in complete assignments, you should do well in the class.

Apr 2014

Although Professor Light's course was limited by the demands of a 3 hour lab (i.e. they're always kind of tedious), I honestly think that it was the best way I'd have wanted to be exposed to experimental psychology. The best part about the class was having such a supportive and genuinely good person as a teacher. Professor Light is always interested in and excited about the material and enabling students to understand and enjoy it. He's responsive to class emails and questions, and was flexible enough to allow me to change lab sections in the very beginning of the course, when I had to attend an event that was really important. And while the lecture is (too) long (I sincerely don't understand why departments actually feel the need to institute 3 hour labs in the first place), his genuineness makes it enjoyable and you really do learn. My advice: participation is graded in class anyways, but my particular class this year tended to be very (sometimes overly) participatory. Paying attention and asking good questions made the experience more rewarding for both Professor Light and for us -- Definitely stay involved!

Sep 2013

Ken Light is a really great teacher. He is very specific in his directions for labs/ tests and always available through email and in person. Yes, we all know that three hour lab classes can be monotonous, but Ken does his best to mix up the class period with lecture, discussion, and lab experiments. The time flew in most class periods. I recommend Ken Light's labs will gain and retain important knowledge that you will use throughout your college career.

Dec 2012

So when I signed up on the lottery Intro to Psych Lab, I signed up for Professor Pham's class. Barnard, instead, put me in Professor Light's class. This was the first time that this lab was taught at Barnard with a new professor, so I guess we all needed to be a bit lenient. But I kind of expected the road to go both ways. I found the class very very structured. We come in. We take a quiz. We do some debriefing/after discussion. We do a lab. Done. And we didn't stray from this path all that much. Fine. I'm good with structure. But at the same time, I didn't really feel that I learned much or felt as passionate about psychology as I did with the intro lecture class. Here we were in a small forum (made very small do to the lottery) and I hardly knew any of my classmates. We did not have class discussions, and I did not feel compelled to converse outside of class because I didn't feel there was anything stimulating to talk about. Even the group work felt very detached. And all the papers that we learned from were quite dull. This was meant to look like a survey course of all the different areas of psychology, areas that are very interesting. This lab made them all look uninteresting. As for Professor Light himself... He was a 6/10. And it is not because of his stutter at all. He was pleasant and a good guy and seemed to legitimately like his subject and be willing to help where he could. But I could tell the students in Professor Pham's class were enjoying their time more (I had a friend take her class). Just a small example of that was the ending paper. I heard that Professor Pham's class got a little bit better of an idea what the ending paper was supposed to look like, whereas I felt I was on my own, trying to ask the professor and TA the right questions about what the final product was supposed to look like rather than having a legitimate step-by-step structure (we had an excerpt that told us what we were supposed to do, but even with that outline, I was lost). I guess it was because I didn't have any previous history in writing scientific papers. I was also annoyed that we were not able to take our papers/homework home with us. I understand why they were doing it, but still. We signed an honor code at the beginning of each exam. Isn't that enough for you?