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Seriously, what is wrong with the reviewers on this site? Professor Balleine was intelligent and articulate about the material he was teaching. The lecture slides were straight forward, and as long as you have some idea of how to read a scientific graph (i.e. what the x and y axis are), they are anything but "indecipherable". Honestly, I am not a smart person by any means, but I received an A+ in this class by doing the following things: reading the chapters that were lectured on (which was kind of optional as he only tested out of his slides), paying attention in discussion and lecture, and going to review sessions and asking good questions. Honestly, on the day of the test I reviewed the material for about 3 hours the morning of and got A+ in the class. Please, if you are taking 110, take it with him, and just apply yourself a bit, pay attention in class, and you will do fine. If I can get an A, you can get an A, don't let the whiners get to you.
P.S. How is this class not up to date? The research was cutting edge towards the end of class, and you should never whine about not having podcasts...that is a luxury which in my opinion just makes you goto class less and do worse.
GOTO CLASS AND PAY ATTENTION. Good luck
The reviews here are exaggerated. I actually highly enjoyed the class. I cannot believe that some people say that this class is irrelevant! how could this class be irrelevant?! everything in life revolves around learning! the reading goes along with his lectures, and he tells you exactly what pages you need to read so that you don't waste your time reading irrelevant information. If you attend the lectures (awake and alert) and read the assigned pages after each lecture, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't get a good grade. The T.A.s will even break down everything for you during discussion section. Also, the professor is very nice and approachable.
It looks like nothing has changed after 7 years of teaching psych 110. I'm surprised by how little support there is in this class, given its size and importance. There are no audio or video podcasts, the lecture notes are truly indecipherable on their own, the lecture is not based on the book (there is no correlation between book and lecture) though you are also tested on this material, and lecture itself is not enjoyable. It's interesting, because I sat in lecture, seeing Balleine's mouth move, and hearing him speak, but had absolutely no idea what he was trying to convey. The lecture notes are particularly irksome as they are ridden with spelling errors, and if Balleine would put just a little more effort into adding supporting detail, they would actually be helpful. Discussion sections are your only hope in this class, as the TA's reduce entire lectures to single bullet points that actually make sense. To those who must take this class with Balleine: I pity you, and good luck.
Maybe I just really enjoyed the material, but I find almost all of these reviews to be horribly unjustified and exaggerated. At the end of the quarter nearly all the students complained about the trickiness of the questions, a statement I had a problem with. I felt like the questions were very conceptually sound, and that there was a VERY apparent logic as to why each answer was the correct one. I feel like people weren't prepared for all the technical wording of the tests, but as long as you had been reading the book all quarter I didn't see why a person wouldn't already be familiar with it. I worked my ass off and pulled an A-, which I was really happy about considering I virtually bombed the first midterm. Once I got it in my head that learning about learning isn't so bad, and that you progressively learn how to encode all this memory into your head just as all those darn rats did.
Out of all of the classes that UCLA offers, this is by far the WORST class I have ever taken. The subject itself is hard, so you would think someone who could explain the material well would be teaching the class. But no... He has organized notes, but they donot make much sense. The T.A.'s tried to be helpful, but I think that he confused them as well. It's a horrible class, but Psychobio majors have to take it, so come prepared to be confused.
Psych 110 is really boring. I cannot believe that there is a class for this kind of material. Maybe it's Professor Balleine. Half of all the experiments in the lecture notes are his own. He used them to explain the concepts we learned. However, this was really confusing because there were no explanations for those experiments in the book! We just learned about rats and the different manipulations with sugar & pellets! It was really confusing because there were so many different experiments with the same materials over and over again but with different ideas. It was too hard to remember all the details of his experiments but we were tested on these. His lectures were boring; I tried to follow but it was just too abstract. His tests were poorly worded. He could've made the questions more concise and not so specific in regards to the experiments.
I am a senior psychobiology major and I would say this is one of the worst class I have ever taken at UCLA. It made me wish I didn't pick psychobiology as a major.
I agree with the later comments on this post, and not at all with the previous ones. He really does a good job of making the class easy to grasp and the material is actually pretty interesting. He has a good sense of humor which definitely made the class tolerable. His tests are very fair, and there isn't a whole lot of reading to do. Not a bad core class to take! If you are going to take 110, take Balleine!
He's not that bad. Just attend lectures, do the reading, and if you are at all confused try office hours. The accent isn't that bad at all. The only real problem was that at office hours he might be busy for a while before hand or need to be somewhere else and seem very impatient. But once he starts talking about it he seems to be involved enough to at least believe you sort of get it.
Balleine is actually not that bad... I think more then anything, it was the material and subject itself - it leaves everyone scratching their heads afterwards. He tries his best and takes a jab at making humorous comments to liven up the lecture and I don't really think that his comedic comments are that funny - except the "Politics of Fruit" spiel, that was really funny and the only humorous thing that sticks in my mind in the class. He is not purposely making the subject hard, it just happens to be hard already and he gets a lot of the heat for it. I mean, even if I got a one on one session with someone who teaches Psych 110, I still think I wouldn't understand it... it goes over my head, thus making it hard for me to understand or be interested in it. His exams are fair - three 30 pts. exams with 10 pts going to four mini papers you have to do (I didn't like those much, but they were bareable). The content of the exams were mostly based on lectures, with the book supplimenting them, but they were kind of conceptual questions - so if you get the concept of the lectures and can apply them, you're in good shape. So, if you have to take Psych 110, I think it would be ok if you take it with him - but if you can avoid taking this subject all together, I would recommend that instead.
I don't really understand what everyone is complaining about. Either Prof. Balleine has changed his methods entirely, or there is some other Balleine masquerading around in the psych department. The tests are not based mostly on the book, rather, most questions come from lecture. Very briefly, I must take issue with the person who complained about Balleine's accent...it is English for God's sake!! He pronounces like 3 words slightly differently from the way we do, and people start having seizures. Balleine recognizes that he is teaching a pretty dry subject, but his droll sense of humor and occasional outbursts of hilarity (Politics of Fruit lecture) made class interesting. In short, I think he did about as much as he could do with the subject at hand.