Research Methods in Psychology

Amber Ankowski

Research Methods in Psychology

Psychology department

Amber Ankowski

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Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.0
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.1
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.0
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.1
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.8
Helpful
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Tags

  • Engaging Lectures
  • Has Group Projects
  • Needs Textbook
  • Participation Matters
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Tough Tests

Grades

Spring 2020
25.9%
21.6%
17.3%
12.9%
8.6%
4.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Summer 2019
16.1%
13.4%
10.7%
8.1%
5.4%
2.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Spring 2019
19.0%
15.8%
12.7%
9.5%
6.3%
3.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Spring 2017
16.8%
14.0%
11.2%
8.4%
5.6%
2.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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1 of 4

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Spring 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted July 2, 2020
Grade Received: P

I took this class as P/NP and I highly recommend this for everyone! I messed up on one assignment and scored one SD below the section's mean and that's when I knew I wouldn't get any A. This class is so ridiculously competitive; weighting your grade based on the scores of others in your class is extremely unfair. You have to beat all of your classmates by a significant margin in every single section assignment as well as kill your final paper to have a chance at an A. I messed up on one and even though the rest went really well, I knew I wouldn't get an A. There are lab participation points, which is basically answering questions during lab. This is where people get strangely competitive... The lecture portion is fairly straightforward. It was recorded ahead of time and the prof chose to make them even longer than class time usually was, they were often around the 2 hour mark. If you do the practice exams (all of them!!) and FaceTime a friend, you can expect a mid 90s grade. Prof adjusted the class for pandemic by weighing the lecture portion of the class as 40% and section as 60%, and based on protests by making the lecture exam portion the higher of your two exam grades. Another assignment that was due at the end of the week was graded due to completion only.

Quarter Taken: Summer 2018 Submitted Sept. 10, 2018 Grade Received: B

Honestly, 100B is the worst class I have ever taken in my entire life. To start off with, I did not originally pass this class the first time I took it - the first time I have ever not passed a class. I actually ended up with a D+ and retook it during the summer. Imagine 16 weeks of 100B...yeah it sucked. I ended up with a B during the summer session. I would strongly recommend for anyone to take it during the summer session unless you think you are a terrible writer (in summer lab is 60%, 40% lecture). Do not be prideful in this class, if you have to do the work for your group project because your lab groupmates don't want to? Okay, do it. It's your grade at stake for that project proposal, and it makes a huge difference. I know it sucks picking up on someone else's work, but there is a chance you will end up with crappy group members (I did both quarters) where either one or some of your group members just don't want to do the work. And then tell your TA. Speaking of your TA, go to your TA's office hours. So so so important. Come with specific questions and try and get them to answer everything they can for your papers. The biggest issue that people have with this class is that there are those who are good test takers, but those who are not good writers - and vice versa. Take advantage of the writing center if you are not a good writer. Something I wish I would have done differently during the Spring quarter when I originally took this class was to have gone to more of the Master TA's office hours. Everyone should actually try and make as many as they can. They have input in writing the exam - so you going to their office hours is very important. Make sure you ask about questions regarding the distinctions between concepts in the class. That for me was my biggest hurdle in tackling the exams - you have to know the differences between concepts and where each is used for what. If you don't, you are going to get it wrong. Do not get scared, but don't undermine this class because it is a lot. Remember that everyone, no matter how good they may be doing, is struggling in 100B. If I were you right now, get the book, start reading. Do the practice exams ahead of time (they are online). Get a head start on reading the lab manual. Do not overthink your answer choices for the exams and quizzes - the two times I've taken this class, this has cost me a letter grade. Try and really make a mental effort to stick to your first answer, unless you absolutely believe that it is incorrect.

Stay on top of your game with this class, be ahead of everyone else, go to office hours, go to the writing center, do your papers in advance, etc - and I guarantee you will go beyond than just passing this class. And if you can, take it in the summer.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted June 12, 2021
Grade Received: A-

This class was not enjoyable at all, however Professor Ankowski is an amazing lecturer who made the material super clear and easy to understand. It was 50% lecture, 50% lab for the final grade. The test questions are kinda subjective and based on fake research scenarios and are the type where it can be multiple options. However, they give us practice exams and the style was similar. Lab is a whole other problem tho and is super separate from lecture. Group projects in a virtual setting should be illegal and personally I thought it'd be easier if it was an individual project. Also running an experiment virtually was also super stressful. Everything depends on your TA so I would make sure to be active and talk in class and get to know your TA. Also if your group mates suck, just pull the weight and do it yourself so you don't get a bad grade. I feel like this class wouldn't be as bad, except the horrible grading curve for lab. You're graded on a bell curve and compared to everyone in your lab section, so even if you get an A range grade, and the mean was that A range grade, you get booted down to a B range grade, because they make the mean a B. However, if you work hard and check with your TA about your project every step of the way, it is doable!!

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted March 31, 2020 Grade Received: N/A

I took this class with a different professor last quarter but since we are all stuck at home, I figured I'd help anyone who needs it this quarter. I have the pdf of Research Methods in Psychology (3rd edition) by Beth Morling for anyone who needs it, for free.

Email me at hannahrush74@g.ucla.edu

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted June 23, 2019 Grade Received: A-

Keys to success in this class include being present on time to every single lecture, reading through key sections of the textbook, performing well on tests, and absolutely acing your Lab Section. The tests are moderately difficult so the advice I would give is to emphasize content covered in lecture and supplement that with the textbook readings. As long as you are above the mean for tests, you should be fine. Take initiative in your lab section and develop a good relationship with your TA; try to learn from your mistakes with each submission and do not get discouraged if you get a low grade in lab. Your goal should be to score one standard deviation or higher than the mean. By utilizing these tips, you are well on your way to earn an A or A- in this class.

Quarter Taken: Summer 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Aug. 9, 2021
Grade Received: A+

This class is not as bad as everyone says it is! I took this class in the summer while classes were still online, so I may not be able to speak for in-person instruction. But I can tell you that this class, while definitely tough and A LOT of work, was not as terrible as everyone made it out to be. As you are probably aware, this class is separated into two separate portions, lecture and lab. Lecture consists of quizzes and the final exam, and lab consists of a group project and a variety of corresponding assignments. The thing that makes this class difficult is the fact that lab is graded on a curve, such that the mean score on any assignment becomes a ‘B’. That means that if the mean on an assignment is 74%, 74% becomes a ‘B’ grade ( YAY!! ). However, this also means that if the mean is 95%, 95% becomes a ‘B’ grade ( BOO:( ). If you are about 1 standard deviation above the mean, you basically got an ‘A’ on the assignment, and if you are 1 STD below, you basically got a ‘C’. They do this to ameliorate the effect of individual differences in TA grading on students’ grades across sections. So essentially, not only are you competing against your discussion section to get an A, your grade also most definitely rests in your TA’s hands. That is why it is SO SO important to have a good TA. Thank goodness I was blessed with Lucas as my TA… he was literally the best.. so helpful, so encouraging, and never made us feel super overwhelmed! Also, in lab, you have to design an experiment with a group of 2 other people in your discussion section. A huge chunk of your lab grade revolves around this group project. That means that it is equally important to have a good group as it is to have a good TA. God really did a favor to me and blessed me with the best group ever. We worked REALLY hard on the group project and even met virtually many times to go over assignments. This was really helpful because we could compare and share ideas (without plagiarizing of course)!

As for actual work, this class involves A LOT of writing, so if you are a good writer, you will probably have a good time in this class. If you are a weak writer, you will probably struggle a lot. I recommend starting early on assignments and proofreading everything over and over. Follow the writing guides to a T. Make sure you include all the information they are looking for, and be specific with tiny details.

For exams, I simply did the practice questions that were provided (about 400 questions), and I was golden! Honestly, the material in this class is not difficult at all. It’s just a matter of getting used to the types of questions they ask on the exams. It can be tricky, but keep calm and read each question and answer option twice before answering.

The class is broken down as follows:

Lecture (50% of total grade):
- 1 quiz w 5 questions (we only had 1 quiz worth 11% of our lecture grade because we had a holiday on one Monday and the lowest quiz grade was dropped)
- 1 exam with 40 questions, but 1 question was dropped (worth 89% of our lecture grade)

Lab (50% of total grade):
- study strategy proposal (15%): you answer a set of questions about how you would design a study to test the verity of a study strategy (for example, our study strategy was “exercise before an exam”)
- project proposal (10%): this is a group assignment where you answer questions about the experiment that you want to conduct in class for your group project
- final project write-up (40%): you write a partial research paper with an introduction, methods section, and references; mine ended up being 15 pages long including the title page and references (note that I had 2 pages of references, most people only have 1)
- discussion short answer assignment (20%): you answer questions about the limitations and implications of your experiment
- participation (15%): this includes doing homework assignments (e.g., 3 critical evaluations of studies, methods editing exercise, seed article review, keywords search exercise, etc.), answering and asking questions in class, preparing a group oral presentation to discuss the results of your experiment

And these are the grades that I got:

Lecture (A+):
- 1 quiz: 5/5
- Final Exam: 39/39

Total: 44/44 (100%)

Lab (A+):
- study strategy proposal: 100/100
- project proposal: 100/100
- final project write-up: 100/100
- discussion short answer: 58/60
- participation: 100/100

Total: 458/460 (99.6%)

For me, this class wasn’t too hard. I consider myself a strong writer and that’s probably why I got the grades that I got. I also took this class alongside Psych 115, which is a difficult class in its own right. Because I took both these classes during the summer, it was a lot to keep up with given the fast-paced and dense nature of both classes. Nevertheless, I am living proof that it is doable! In fact, I ended up getting an A+ in both classes. This just proves that good effort, hard work, and a little bit of luck should be good enough to get the grade that you want.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted May 22, 2021
Grade Received: P

Definitely one of the main weeder classes of all the psych classes here at UCLA. Material is pretty straight forward, Ankowski is a good lecturer as well but the exams are a nightmare. Questions on exams are designed to be tricky. The exams are pretty much based on how well you decipher questions rather than applying and using the material itself. So, you can study well and understand concepts and still fail both exams. Lab is alright except for the nit picking super arbitrary grading done by TAs. You have to do better than all your other classmates in the other lab sections to avoid the curve that actually LOWERS your lab grade in the end, so it's highly likely you will get a grade less than what you actually deserve for the lab section. The whole grading system for this course is bs for an intro course and it really needs to be evaluated.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted June 22, 2020
Grade Received: A

I took this class before on Winter '20, with Firstenberg, but retroactively dropped it. I found that the online version of this class (Spring '20) was easier in comparison to the traditional version. Why: (i) pre-recorded lectures were extremely helpful for going back to earlier concepts, (ii) presentation slides were used, in comparison to a chalkboard, (iii) exams were open-note and open-book, (iv) quizzes were graded for completion, instead of correctness, and (iv) the first assignment was also graded for completion, instead of correctness. Cons: (i) grades depended heavily on lab (40% lecture, 60% lab), which still utilized the bell-curve system (means that you'll be ranked against your peers in your own lab section), (ii) you really need some luck to get hardworking groupmates, and (iii) you don't actually get to conduct your final project.

Exam advice: Understand every single part of the lecture and do the practice exam. Once you're done, re-do it. Look at every possible answer and fully understand why the wrong answers are wrong and why the right answer is right. The exam will be testing 60% your test-taking abilities, and 40% the lecture materials. I did not touch the textbook at all and relied solely on the lectures. I found the second test to be SO much harder.

Lab advice: Try to speak up at least once every lab section. I found that lab assignments were extremely time-consuming, so try to get started on each assignment ASAP. Hit every point in the rubric and you'll be good to go.

Here are my stats:
Exam 1: 40/40
Exam 2: 39/40
Advice Proposal: 100/100
Project Proposal: 88/90
Final Project: 94/100

Quarter Taken: Summer 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Aug. 12, 2021
Grade Received: A

This class really is not as hard as its made out to be. For lab, I would say just stay on top of your assignments and make sure you get ample feedback from you TA. For the lecture, watch all the lectures and do the practice exams. If you do the above, you will be fine!

Quarter Taken: Summer 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Aug. 10, 2021
Grade Received: A

I still cannot believe that I got an A finally. You can see how terrible and unreasonable the class structure is from other reviews, but I still wanna say: don't panic when you mess up with one single assignment. I was really frustrated and uneasy when I found that I got a very very low grade for my project proposal--in fact I believe our group got the worst grade in the section. However, I didn't give up and tried my best to do other assignments. I think my participation grade should be high because I contributed to the discussion every time, and my other assignments are fair (even though for the last assignment I scored below the mean). That's why I got an A in the end I think. Also, don't forget that you have the lecture part to boost your grade. The materials are fairly easy to understand, and the professor is a good lecturer. I scored over 97% for my lecture part. In conclusion: don't panic; don't freak out; try to talk to your TA about your grade and what's on your mind when doing the assignment (sometimes they would change your grade if you really persuade them); do well on your lecture.

1 of 4

Tags

  • Engaging Lectures
  • Has Group Projects
  • Needs Textbook
  • Participation Matters
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Tough Tests
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