UC Berkeley Psychology, Fall 2008

Psychology 2, Principles of Psychology
Rudy Mendoza-Denton, 3.9 out of 5
MWF 3-4 100 GPB & TuTh 330-5 1 LeConte

“He can be charming if you are a female and for a professor who teaches a class on stigma and prejudice he does a good job of doing stigmatizing others. He probably does not realize it. His graduate students have mentioned that he can be rude…If you struggle with self-esteem do not take this class. As much as he trys to be nice and helpful there is an underlying need to be better than others, or it appears that way. It also seems that he prefers female students… M-D is a clear and concise lecturer, and he doesn’t give much HW. I thought class was fairly easy. Final paper was graded fairly leniently. The two exams were multiple choice, but questions could be fairly trickly at times.”

Text: Psychology by Daniel L. Schacter, Daniel T. Gilbert, and Daniel M. Wegner

Psychology 101, Research and Data Analysis in Psychology
Frederic E. Theunissen, two ratings
MWF 10-11, 154 Dwinelle

“Prof. Theunissen is a dedicated instructor, but his lectures can be wordy and confusing. The textbook’s explanation supplemented his teaching of the main concepts. Your GSI can also either make stats easier to understand or not be very helpful at all. Do not fall behind in this class, because it will become very difficult if you do…Probably one of the nicest guys around. Exams are fair and representative of the material. I was confused from time to time, but he’ll revisit difficult material in lecture if you just ask.”

Text: Statistical Reasoning in the Behavioral Sciences by Bruce M. King and Edward W. Minium

Psychology 107, Buddhist Psychology
Eleanor Rosch, 4 out of 5
MW 1-2, 145 Dwinelle

“Makes buddhism fun. Lectures are not boring, they’re more like story time. Unlike any other course at Berkeley. This class will actually make you feel good about yourself unlike all the other Berkeley courses where u have to work your ass off and you walk away feeling like you got ur ass whooped by a midterm or a final…The material she covers apply DIRECTLY to your life, instead of useless material like hydrogen bonds or P values less than .05. You will not be bored during lecture. Very warm, very sweet, like a grandmother figure…minuses: the lectures are boring, there’s almost nothing about the intersection between buddhism and modern psychology, and this class tends to feel more like a comparative religion class.”

Psychology 110, Intro to Biological Psychology
Jonathan Wallis, 4 out of 5 (both rating snippets lasted below)
MW 2-3, 101 Morgan

“Don’t bother with the book. Study the lecture slides for tests: Everything is on there (but do remember the details). Lectures are fast, but extremely clear and well-organized…Lectures are kind of useless if you can get the lecture notes online because he just reads whatever is on the powerpoint slide. Dont get me wrong … the guy is a genius but his lectures arent quite effective. Nice guy overall …. multiple choice and essay questions for da test.”

Text: Biological Psychology: An Introduction to Behavioral, Cognitive, and Clinical Neuroscience, Fifth Edition by S. Marc Breedlove, Mark R. Rosenzweig, and Neil V. Watson

Psychology C113, Biological Clocks
Lance Kriegsfeld (only one rating, shown below)
TuTh 10-11, 3108 Etcheverry

“Interesting class. He is funny. Tests not too hard.”

Text: Chronobiology: Biological Timekeeping by Jay C. Dunlap, Jennifer J. Loros, and Patricia J. Decoursey

Psychology C115B, Animal Behavior
Roy Caldwell, 2.7 out of 5
MWF 9-10, 2060 VLSB

“The really tricky part came when there were true false questions for which I could make equally compelling arguments for true and false. Luckily its curved, because no amount of studying could prepare you for some of his questions…He kept fast-paced lectures, but posted exact notes online. I ended up with an A from the curve, even after getting a low B on the first midterm. All it takes is a few hours studying his lecture notes for the tests…Gives hard tests, but class is curved; study for the tests and go to section and you’re already gonna do better than the other breadth kids taking the class…I really enjoyed all the animal stories that he would tell. He’d give 2-3 examples of an idea, then explain the greater concept unifying everything…”

Text: Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach, Eighth Edition by John Alcock

Psychology 125, The Developing Brain
Silvia Bunge (4.5 out of 5)
Th 3-5, 2129 Tolman

“Wicked smart. What a looker! She is absolutely rivetting…Very interesting and well delivered presentations…Some material a little bit tough. Exams are fair. She’s incredibly smart & really loves this subject. Lectures are interesting, but she tends to go at a fast pace. Great course. I highly recommend. Plus she’s cute….One of the best. She’s an incredible teacher and she’s as sweet as can be. One of my personal favorites!”

Psychology 130, Clinical Psychology
Ann Kring, 4 out of 5
MW 1-2, 100 GPB

“She has been my favorite professor at Berkeley and the most inviting. If you want to talk to a professor about a recommendation she is extremely open and helpful… It’s a pretty easy class if you do the work. Lectures are clear and are right out of the professor’s textbook. She’s super helpful…She is passionate about her work and about taking that extra step to help other students – she is probably the friendliest & most generous professor in the psych department…The smaller casebook was quite a dense text to get through, though – the key to the short essays was to study that.”

Text: Abnormal Psychology by Ann M. Kring, Gerald C. Davison, John M. Neale, and Sheri L. Johnson, Case Studies in Abnormal Psychology by Thomas F. Oltmanns, Michele Martin, John M. Neale, and Gerald C. Davison

Psychology 133, Psychology of Sleep
Alison Harvey, 3.8 out of 5
MW 2-3, 100 GPB

“Allison is one of my favorite professors here at Cal. I wasn’t interested in sleep prior to the class, and now I’m considering doing my research in it. If you review the lectures and reading, the tests will be a piece of cake. She’s also extremely approachable… she is friendly and a great professor. it is a plus that she is in the field of sleep research and understands if you must nap during her lecture. overall, she is one of my favorite professors at cal.”

No text listed

Psychology 140, Developmental Psychology
Alison Gopnik, 2 out of 5
MW 11-12, 4 LeConte

“By far the WORST prof I’ve had at Cal. I feel like I learned more about her family than I did about developmental psychology. She rambles on in lecture about her family and barely touches upon key developmental psych concepts… She (mistakenly!) assumes that we are as in love with her son as she is. Many lectures are about how GREAT Bunny is. Made us watch Bunny on DVD…She is notorious among students and faculty alike as being completely and totally bad at what she does. Its such a shame because developmental psych is an interesting field. I’m not sure why they gave her tenure. Avoid her like the plague…I didn’t learn much, and most of what I did learn was from the book. There are unclear expectations and the grading is pretty subjective.”

Text: The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind by Alison Gopnik, Andrew N. Meltzoff, and Patricia K. Kuhl & The Development of Children by Michael Cole, Sheila R. Cole, and Cynthia Lightfoot

Psychology 141, Development During Infancy
Joseph Campos, 4.4 out of 5
TuTh 2-3, 20 Barrows

“I didn’t think I’d like this class but it ended up being very enjoyable. Campos can be a space cadet, but the GSI (Eric) clarifies everything in section. The tests were unique and actually made you think but were not impossible…Testing is easy. There are two take home midterms and a final that can be taken to make up either or both the midterms (not take home). Reading is not from a textbook but original texts… Nice professor, but really bad lecturer. He will spend the first 20 minutes talking about some random rant or opinion he has, he talks like the whole world is listening when there are only 30 people in class…His course is not easy–you have to be quite intellectual to follow his lectures because he does not dumb anything down for you. I miss him so much!! He’s had a positive impact on so many students’ lives.”

Text: Reader used.

Psychology 150, Psychology of Personality
Oliver P. John, 4.5 out of 5
MW 10-11, 100 GPB

“You’d never think that the same man who wrote our soul-crushingly dry textbook is a lively, hilarious professor. I found lectures a bit scattered but very informative. He provides outlines of what he’s going to lecture on…This was a pretty easy class, but you still learn a great deal about personality. his lectures were funny but informative, and he was very approachable in office hours…His class is fun and the tests are easy as long as you keep up with the material…If you like an easy A and a superficial, dumbed-down depiction of how psychologists study personality, then this is for you. Fell asleep often, finally stopped attending, and still got an A+.”

Text: None reported.

Psychology 156, Human Emotion
Dacher Keltner, 3.9 out of 5
MW 2-3, 155 Dwinelle

“Don’t listen to the brown-nosing comments regarding this professor–they are all wrong. Lectures are disorganized, GSIs are not in touch with prof, textbook is long-winded, and theories are backed up with little evidence…His lectures were interesting and a plus is he webcasts all of them. The book was a must-read for me, especially because you have to memorize a ton of vocab terms for the test. The graders seemed really picky, but you always know what to expect because he gives you a handout…His lectures were usually pretty good, sometime funny, sometimes a little dull. He gives essay tests, which are fairly easy, but graded harshly. The text is very readable…though ALL of the the lecture material could be found in the book, his delivery helped to solidify concepts. Tests were very reasonable: he gave us clear study guides w/the essay questions! Webcast!”

Text: Understanding Emotions by Keith Oatley, Dacher Keltner, and Jennifer M. Jenkins

Psychology 160, Social Psychology
Serena Chen
MW 11-12, 100 GPB

“If you want a prof who teaches clearly, tests fairly, and knows her stuff, she’s the one. I’ve also done research with her and she’s a great mentor, as well…She is very knowledgeable, and it shows in her lectures. She is very clear, concised, and organized in both her lecture slides and her lectures. She is very good at engaging the class, and making sure they understand the concepts…Very easy class, scored 95%+ on all exams…Most important she is very accessible and helpful outside class and makes the class fun. She genuinely cares about all her students without a top-down approach.”

Text: Social Psychology (6th Edition) by Elliot Aronson, Timothy D. Wilson, and Robin Akert

Crosslisted courses can be found in Cognitive Science and Integrative Biology sections.

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