Review Comment

[PHIL V2400] Psychology and Philosophy of the Human Experience

November 09, 2013

Morrison, John and New, Joshua
[PHIL V2400] Psychology and Philosophy of the Human Experience

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

DO NOT. DO NOTTTTT TAKE THIS CLASS. I was a freshman when I took this class and I am psychology major now. I can honestly say this is the worst class I will probably take in my four years. It was so disorganized, confusing, and mind-numbingly boring. Granted, the curve was gracious. But in the end, that did not make up for the stress I went through before the midterm and final. Just don't do it. Don't. DO NOT.

Workload:

A midterm and final (open ended essays). Heavy reading throughout the semester that is impossible to keep up with.

December 18, 2012

New, Joshua
[PHIL V2400] Psychology and Philosophy of the Human Experience

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

I have never felt the need to write a culpa review before taking a class with New. I am a senior and can say with confidence that he is the worst professor I have had at this school. I took his course, the Psychology and Philosophy of the Human Experience, which is co-taught with Professor John Morrison. I really wouldn't recommend the class, but that is mostly because I would NEVER recommend any course in which Professor New involved.

Teaching:
He has a powerpoint for every class which is comprised of roughly 70-100 slides. Of course he can't get through all of them, so he spends a majority of the class contemplating which slides to include and which to omit, mostly by asking Professor Morrison, a philosophy professor, what he thinks (as if he would know). The slides that he does cover he might as well skip. I would say I actually know less about psychology after taking this class, as much of what he said just confused me. His knowledge of psychology is either really lacking, or he is a really good psychologist who can't teach.

Exams:
Extremely unfair. You might as well not look at his fair game sheet because studying that information won't help you at all on the exam. I would say roughly 30% of the information on the exams was never covered in class and definitely not a primary focus of any of the readings (which are all rather long and boring, and I am a psychology major so if anything I should find them interesting!). The exams are all multiple choice, which I'm sure many people like. However, they are the kind of multiple choice questions where there could easily be 2+ correct answers, and sometimes it doesn't even seem like any of the choices are correct. I would say that this is just my personal struggle, except that the average on the exam, was a 75. For an intro level psychology, all multiple choice exam, I'd say that's pretty low. I honestly believe that students' issues with his exams are partly due to his inability to teach the tested material well, and primarily due to his inability to write exam questions. Want an example of the kind of questions you'll see?
We learned during a lecture that there is a positive correlation between neocortical size and social group size of a species. One question on the final exams asked which of the following relationships are true. Two of the answers were wrong, answer (3) neocortical size and social network size answer (4) neocortical size and average group size.
I would say that that question is unfair, as are many of his questions.

I really really really suggest not taking this class. It's such a shame because I went into it with a really positive attitude because I think we need more interdisciplinary courses at Columbia. But not this kind of interdisciplinary course.

Workload:

Psychology Midterm: 50 MC
Psychology Final: 50 MC

Philosophy portion is taught by Professor Morrison, but he has a midterm and final where you have to write 2-3 short essays responding to the readings.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
PHLB / PHIL PHLB PHIL V2400: Psychol & Philosophy of Hum Exper John Morrison, Joshua New 2012 Fall TR / 1:10- 2:25 PM 1