PSYCH 120B

Sensation and Perception

Description: Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Requisites: courses 10, 100A. Designed for juniors/seniors. Acquisition of information about physical world through basic sensory mechanisms and perceptual processes. Perception of objects, surfaces, space, motion, and events. Connections between information, computations, and biological mechanisms in vision, audition, and other systems. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A / 5
Clarity N/A / 5
Workload N/A / 5
Helpfulness N/A / 5
Overall Rating 2.8
Easiness 2.8 / 5
Clarity 2.6 / 5
Workload 2.8 / 5
Helpfulness 2.8 / 5
Most Helpful Review
Fall 2019 - I don't understand the bad reviews at all, I mean i get that other students can have different experiences w/ a class but the sheer amount of negative reviews surprises me. I felt like this class was very fair, and the professor is very clear on what is expected of you. Sure, there are times during lecture where you may be bored but the subject is pretty technical so that may be expected. Shams has changed the grading scheme so now there is only one exam (the final) that is worth 30%, 3 paper critiques (each worth 20%), and some minilabs (worth 10% total). There is also a ton of extra credit offered, you can get AT LEAST 3% for participating in SONA and submitting an exam question, which is an entire letter grade! If you do well on pop quizzes and go above and beyond on the papers, you can get even more extra credit. But the 3% alone is unheard of, especially for a column A class. I'd make sure to do all the EC cuz it's very easy, and that cushion or boost may be very helpful by the time you take the final. Also, one thing that's great about this class is you don't have to show up if you don't want to- not even to discussion (never had a class like that before). I personally never showed up to lecture or discussion and got an A, but I still worked hard for it. I heard the discussion are really helpful though cuz you can get personal help from the TA since not many students show up, so you may be encouraged to go if you feel like the topics covered are difficult. So as stated previously, the bulk of your grade comes from 3 papers. For each paper, you read a research paper and answer some questions on it. They were pretty easy if you have taken psych 100b before, basically you just find the IVs and DVs, confounds, etc. stuff that should probably come 2nd nature to you if you've taken psych 100b somewhat recently. I was lucky enough to have taken it the quarter before taking this class so I found the papers to be pretty easy. I also liked that there were sentence limits to each question, since it gives you a sense of how much you need to write to answer the question, as I personally have a bad habit of writing too much. Though if you haven't taken 100b before, you may be wary about taking this class just because things like finding confounds and levels to the IVs aren't things that are intuitive, and the class has been changed to where the papers are worth more than half of you grade (I heard there used to be 2 exams). Also the TAs are limited in how much they are allowed to help you on the papers, so be mindful about that. I also felt like the final was fair- I was very worried about it beforehand just cuz it was the only exam we have ever taken for this class, so no one knew what to expect. She asks a lot of broad, somewhat superficial question so don't get so bogged down on the details to where you miss the main point of the concepts you learn. I felt like the book was not necessary, it tends to go too in-depth, giving you more info than you need to do well on the final. However, it may help you to read on some concepts you may be confused about. Just make sure you prioritize on knowing all the slides first. I just watched the lectures and typed everything she said that wasn't written on the slides. It's important you take good notes because the slides tend to lack material. Overall, I thought Shams was a great professor and it seemed to me like she designed a very fair class. Bottom line is, don't let all the negative reviews keep you from taking her class. I'd recommend this course to anyone that needs to fulfill the column A requirement
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