Research Methods in Psychology

Iris Firstenberg

Research Methods in Psychology

Psychology department

Iris Firstenberg

Add Review
from 146 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.2
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.2
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.2
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.9
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.6
Helpful
AD

Tags

  • Has Group Projects
  • Needs Textbook
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Tough Tests
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Participation Matters
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Often Funny

Grades

Winter 2020
15.8%
13.2%
10.5%
7.9%
5.3%
2.6%
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.

Fall 2020
27.4%
22.8%
18.2%
13.7%
9.1%
4.6%
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
20.2%
16.8%
13.4%
10.1%
6.7%
3.4%
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.

Winter 2019
19.8%
16.5%
13.2%
9.9%
6.6%
3.3%
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.

Fall 2019
23.5%
19.6%
15.6%
11.7%
7.8%
3.9%
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.

Fall 2018
19.4%
16.2%
13.0%
9.7%
6.5%
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.

Winter 2017
18.0%
15.0%
12.0%
9.0%
6.0%
3.0%
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.

Fall 2017
17.0%
14.2%
11.3%
8.5%
5.7%
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.

Summer 2016
20.0%
16.7%
13.3%
10.0%
6.7%
3.3%
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.

Winter 2016
17.7%
14.8%
11.8%
8.9%
5.9%
3.0%
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.

Fall 2016
17.6%
14.7%
11.7%
8.8%
5.9%
2.9%
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 2015
16.7%
13.9%
11.1%
8.3%
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.

Spring 2015
16.3%
13.6%
10.9%
8.2%
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.

Fall 2015
17.9%
15.0%
12.0%
9.0%
6.0%
3.0%
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 2014
17.0%
14.2%
11.3%
8.5%
5.7%
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.

Spring 2014
16.9%
14.1%
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.

Fall 2014
15.2%
12.7%
10.1%
7.6%
5.1%
2.5%
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 2013
17.4%
14.5%
11.6%
8.7%
5.8%
2.9%
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 2013
17.2%
14.3%
11.4%
8.6%
5.7%
2.9%
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.

Fall 2013
17.2%
14.3%
11.4%
8.6%
5.7%
2.9%
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.

Fall 2012
17.4%
14.5%
11.6%
8.7%
5.8%
2.9%
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 2010
16.3%
13.6%
10.9%
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.

Winter 2010
18.3%
15.3%
12.2%
9.2%
6.1%
3.1%
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.

Fall 2006
15.2%
12.7%
10.1%
7.6%
5.1%
2.5%
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.

AD
AD
1 of 13

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Summer 2018 Submitted Sept. 26, 2018 Grade Received: A+

After finishing Psych 100B, I have a strong desire to de-mystify this class for aspiring psych majors. Below you will find a guide that I would have found helpful when beginning this class.

Please note that this class’s structure will be changing in Fall 2018, but I still feel as though the basic advice I have can apply.

Is this class impossibly hard? Not really, in my opinion. By and large, people find this class to be extremely difficult, impossibly graded, and just plain unfair. I came into the class thinking that all the negatives you see here on this BruinWalk page would be the reality. In my experience, it really, really wasn't the reality. Was it a stressful class? Yes, it was, but all my classes give me stress. Truth be told if you actually put in the effort, you will be rewarded. However, a few baseline skills help to do well:

1. If you are an excellent writer, this class will be a breeze. I am double-majoring with History, so I have been through the gauntlet when it comes to challenging and long papers. The writing assignments in this class are on the easy side if you are an experienced writer. You get automatic style points if you know how to write with clarity, good grammar, and nice flow. However, the majority of psych majors (in my experience), are not as used to writing, and writing a lot.

2. You need to have good study habits. If you take the class in the summer like I did, the final will creep up on you because it happens around the same time as the first submission deadline. However, if you are taking stellar notes during lecture and are studying them many days in advance of each quiz, you will be well-prepared for the final without even doing dedicated studying. If you last-minute study for quizzes just by skimming over your half-done notes from lecture and then begin studying for the final at 10 PM the night before, you will not do as well. Treat the class like a job – put in the effort consistently and throughout the quarter and you will wonder what all the fuss about the class is about.

3. I think general communication skills are important just so you can easily talk to your TA and the professor and communicate what you need help with. If you are afraid of your TA or the professor, you will be left with unanswered questions and confusion. If you want a good grade, you have to push past any fear of a bad interaction with your TA or the professor. It is imperative that you show your instructors that you’re there to fight and are willing to learn and grow from this experience.

If you have all, some, or none of those skills, there are some other ways to help you succeed and learn in this class:

1. Take it in the summer with no other classes. It is only 6 weeks as opposed to 10 weeks, and it will be your main focus. I worked alongside this class (usually more than 12 hours a week) and still did very well because my only academic attention was directed towards this class. If you are directing your brain into to many different classes, it will be tougher to do well because this class requires your full attention.

However, the grading scheme is flipped in the summer: 60% section and 40% lecture (it is the other way around in the normal school year). If you find that you are not a good writer and would rather not have more than half your grade focused on section where all the writing is, you may want to take it in the school year. Also, in the school year, you are given weeks to write assignments, while in summer you are given a few days to one week to do all the writing assignments. Since I am an experienced writer, this time pressure didn’t really get to me, but I know it can be a lot for those not used to writing a lot in a short period of time. If you feel that either of these facets of the summer version of this course concern you, maybe you should bite the bullet and do it in the school year. I still recommend pushing through in the summer.

2. How to overcome not being the best writer? Start your assignments as soon as they are assigned. Read over them daily, making edits along the way. Always make sure they line up with the APA guidelines in the course reader and APA manual. The longer you spend with a paper, the better it will be, believe it or not. Also, you can take your papers to the writing center to get a second set of eyes on it. Finally, you can also ask your TA questions - they have a limited scope with what they are allowed to help with, but it is still important to ask as many questions as possible to clarify content.

Now let’s talk about Professor Firstenberg: she is absolutely lovely. She is a wonderful lecturer and makes the concepts very accessible and interesting to learn. However, I think her stand-out quality is how kind, responsive, and helpful she is. It is easy to get wrapped up in section and forget that she is there to help, but I would recommend to talk with her at least a few times. She is the quickest professor I have ever had when it comes to answering emails: she answered one of my emails within 3 minutes of me sending it! She was also helpful when it came to section, believe it or not. She sat after lecture and helped students run through their group experiments and gave feedback on all of them, and even offered ways to improve them. She is so kind and helpful and I wish more professors were like her. Also, I hope students don’t blame her for how hard the grading can be. The class has been taught this way since the 1970s according to my TA and is consistent across professors.

How about TAs? It is luck of the draw, pretty much. Some are easier graders, and some are harder graders, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what type of grader your TA is because (as I understand) the curve applies within sections and between sections. This means that if you have a hard grader, you won’t be punished, your grade will be adjusted accordingly. This also means that if you have an easy grader, you won’t necessarily get a better grade. The danger is running into a TA that a) you do not get along with b) is not well-versed in the class or its material c) or is just generally bad at communication, answering questions, and teaching. I would say I was lucky because my TA was very well-versed in the class and its material and was in-tune with student concerns. I have no gauge to say what type of grader my TA was as I do not know of the averages of other sections, but as I mentioned before it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is performing above the mean in your own section.

Speaking of grades, here is my grade breakdown which can be helpful when gauging where you might stand in the class*:

Method section: 91% (average: 79%, SD: 6)
Group project: 83% (average: 77%, SD: 6)
Quizzes: 100%
First submission: 92% (average and SD are unknown)
Grade for the in-class final: 37/40
Final submission: 94% (average and SD are unknown)
Final grade in the class: A+

* Please note that due to the curve, the actual percentages really don't matter. All that matters is that you perform above the mean, ideally 1-2 SD above the mean. Easily my grades and the section averages could have been knocked down 20 percentage points each and it would be the exact same grade in the end. Students get caught up in the percentages, when in reality if you scored a 68% on an assignment where the average was a 50% and standard deviation was 6, you would be easily at an A. Please always keep this in mind, the percentages do not matter and are usually not consistent across sections and across quarters. All you need to care about is if you are consistently above the mean and are performing at the top of your section.

Here is what actually makes up your final grade (in the summer):

40% Lecture (1 multiple-choice exam that counts for 40% of your final grade)
60% Section (15% quizzes, 10% participation, assignments 75% - which are broken down into: 5% method section, 10% team project proposal, 60% project report [which is split into 35% for the first submission and 65% for the final report])

SUMMARY:
If you are a dedicated and driven student who puts in the effort and wants to succeed, you should do well. Start your assignments early, take your papers to the writing center, get to know your TA and professor, study early and consistently for the exam, become well-versed with the APA manual and its requirements. In the end, there is no secret formula to this class: if you put in the work, you will be rewarded.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2019 Submitted March 20, 2019 Grade Received: N/A

It is incredible how you can read the book, do the practice exams, and still do miserably poor on the actual exams because the exams are created to trick you. They want you to fail. Make sure you know how to decipher cryptic messages because there is nothing clear about this class. The professor needs a lesson in proper email etiquette; super rude.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted March 20, 2021
Grade Received: A+

What makes up for your final grade:

Lecture: 50% (midterm 40 + final 40 + weekly quizzes 15)
Lab: 50% (15% study strategy proposal + 10% group project + 40% final individual paper + 20% discussion assignment + 15% participation)

The lecture grade is curved based on the performance of all students. You can earn 1% extra credit by participating in a SONA study for your lecture part after the curve is applied.
Lab grade is curved based on the performance of students in your session. For both the lecture and lab part, if your grade is higher than the average, you will at least get some form of B (they said the curve would never hurt your grade).

I ended up in an A+:

Lecture (A+):
midterm (39/40, mean 33)
final (40/40, mean 32)
quizzes (15/15, mean unknown)
I did the 1% extra credit SONA study

Lab (A+):
participation 100%
study strategy (81/100, mean 78, sd 13, I didn't do very well, and I'll explain why later)
group project (98/100, mean 81, sd 14)
final paper (99/100, mean unknown)
discussion (59/60, mean unknown)

Tips:

1. The practice exams will give you a general idea of what the actual exams look like. Usually, the question will describe an experiment and then ask several questions regarding this experiment. I recommend you do all the practice exams (they gave us a short version, around 40 questions, and a long version, around 140 questions, before each exam). Ask questions and make sure you understand all the concepts before the exam. Almost every question was about concepts from lectures, but I remember one on the midterm that asked something from the textbook.

2. Bring DETAILED questions to your TA's office hours. I didn't do that before turning in my first graded assignment (study strategy proposal) and got a grade much lower than my expectation. After I got my grade back, I rewrote the part I got marked off and brought them to my TA's office hours, and made sure I understood why I got the point deducted (which was very helpful because then I realized that sometimes I didn't answer or just misunderstood what they asked on the instruction). For later assignments, I always brought MANY DETAILED questions to office hours and got them clarified.

3. Start to write your assignment ASAP; otherwise, you won't have enough time to ask questions and revise your assignment. Especially for the final paper, writing itself will take a long time (I'm not a fast writer, though). My final write-up was around 14 pages (of course, double-spaced), including a title page and 1.5 pages of reference.

4. For the group project, I think whether the experience is good or not will very likely depend on your group members. I'm SO lucky to have two great group members!! We shared responsibilities and went to office hours together, so everything went very smoothly for us. We also scheduled some meetings other than the regular discussion time. The group paper helped my individual write-up a lot (because the individual paper is also about your group experiment, although you cannot use any "group intelligence" from the group project assignment).

Lastly, I want to say that I'm a TRANSFER student, and this class is NOT as HARD as many people (including myself before taking it) imaged. It's definitely not the hardest class I've taken (but it's the most time-consuming one LOL). Please believe in yourself! If you'd like to devote your time and energy, you will learn A LOT from it.
BTW, my TA is Grace, and she is so supportive and sweet (:

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 25, 2020 Grade Received: B+

The professor is very nice and helpful, but it was just the class itself and the material that made me hate it. There are just too many questions on both exams that have similar answers and these questions are gonna confuse you. The lab work is definitely a heavy load, but if you communicate well with your TA and ask to clarify the requirements of the rubric you'll do well. As for the lecture, I would say read the book because although she only put 3-4 questions from it, these questions can help boost your score. These exams were definitely stressful and the best way to prepare for them is to complete the practice exams they post. Start your papers at least a week ahead so you have time to edit and ask your TA questions.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 24, 2020 Grade Received: A+

First off, don't be too afraid of this class. I was absolutely terrified because literally everyone tells you how bad it is. However, after taking this class, I can say that I learned a lot and that as long as you really try your best, it shouldn't be THAT bad as everyone says. I got an A+ but I definitely worked my ass off for it.
I can say professor Firstenberg was one of the best lecturers I had in college so far. Extremely clear and actually kept me awake for every lecture despite it being an 8am. There isn't that much material each lecture and I really liked that she wrote on the board instead of using slides so I could actually write notes by hand for once because I could still keep up with her. She used good examples that actually helped me understand the material. Overall, super glad I had her as my 100b professor. On the other hand, lab can be draining just by the fact that you spend 4 hours a week in lab. But even then, it's not too bad. It's mostly the group project that can be annoying.

Just as a reference for what I needed to get an A+:
<Lecture>
Exam 1: 39/40 (avg: 31)
Exam 2: 36/40 (avg: 29.9)
<Lab>
Method edit: 4.5/5
Advice proposal: 70/100 (avg: 73)
Group project proposal: 89/100 (avg: 83ish)
Final write-up: 95/100 (avg: 78.8)
Poster: 4.5/5
Quizzes: 15/15
Participation: unknown but I think I participated in discussion quite a bit, went to office hours, asked a lot of questions so I assume it was good
I only wrote the mean scores for stuff I knew/remembered.
I think my TA was on the harsher side of grading things but lab grade is curved for each section so as long as you're above the mean within your section you should be okay.
In terms of the group project – yes, this is the shittiest part of the whole class unless you have good teammates. I did 80% (if not, ALL) of the work but I was lucky because our group got a research topic I was actually interested in so it wasn't as painful as it could have been.

Tips:
- I'd try to keep up with the readings and take notes on them. The reading really isn't bad because a lot of it overlaps w lecture material but there are just some stuff she doesn't mention in class at all. I'd say max. 3 problems from the book for each exam. Yeah, it doesn't seem like much and not worth it but think of them as free points given to those who actually read.
- Even if you get shitty group members, don't lose all hope and motivation. Focus on the exams and ace them because at the end of the day it's 60% of your grade.
- Do NOT give up just because your group is shitty. I know it sucks to do all the work for your group but if they're shit, you just gotta push through and do all of it if they don't. You always have the teammate evaluation form at the end of the class to truthfully let your TA know that you had to do all the work.
- Definitely take advantage of the practice exams/questions. I personally think they are a pretty good representation of the actual exams. The actual exams are a little harder but not crazy harder. Exam 2 was for sure harder than exam 1.
- For the writing assignments for lab, really read the workbook (writing guidelines/rubric pages) and check off things to make sure you included every single component they asked for. I saw a lot of people get points docked for missing parts the workbook mentioned. Double check for APA formatting. Make sure to have a decent amount of relevant references for the final write-up. I had at least 7. The papers take up a LOT time so write ahead of time, try to get feedback from your TA as much as possible whenever you can and even from other TAs too.

This class was a pain mostly for the group stuff but other than that, it was one of those classes that didn't teach useless bullshit. I feel like I actually learned valuable research/analytical skills. If you're interested in going to graduate school for psych, I think this class is really great for getting a taste of what grad school would be like I assume. If you absolutely dreaded this class, maybe grad school isn't for you..?

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Dec. 26, 2020
Grade Received: A-

TAKEN DURING AN ONLINE QUARTER - Look guys, this class is probably gonna suck for you. Now that's out of the way, let's break the class down in what to worry about most and my advice if you end up taking it.

LECTURE (50% of final grade) - Quizzes, midterm, and final.
There are 5 quizzes through the quarter, each like 3 or 4 mc questions. Some were definitely easier than others in question difficulty.

Midterm and final were tough. Both mc. The average for both was 33/40 if I recall correctly. I got a 34/40 on the midterm, and I studied by doing the short version practice exam, that was kind of it. Same with the final, where I somehow got a 37/40. The exams are difficult, meant to confuse you, and can be deceiving. At least with it being online, we could use our notes. Unfortunately, you may be depending on getting your high grades in the tests and quizzes because the lab section can bite you in the ass. I suggest doing the practice exams, attending office hours, and review sessions (there was one for the final). The good news is that the material itself isn't hard to understand and Dr. Firstenberg is a great lecturer. I have nothing against her as a professor. DO NOT GET THE TEXTBOOK. I found an online version for free, but never even needed to use it.

LAB (50%) - Participation (15), Study strategy proposal (15), Project proposal (10), Final project write up + materials (40), discussion section assignment (20)

Participation - each lab section your TA is grading you on a scale of 1-4 I believe of how much you "participated." Just ask one question or make some comment and that counts, at least when I asked my TA for how I was doing with participation, she gave me full credit on days where I only really said one thing. Obviously that may differ between TAs. Sometimes you'd get participation credit for doing whatever activity in class.

Study strategy proposal - this was basically a practice assignment for the actual project proposal, but counts for more - idk why. I turned it in expecting an A, or lowest a B as I consider myself a strong writer. I got a 76 on this - the average for my section was a 75. The grading is TOUGH. You need to be crystal clear in your writing - no "it," no ambiguity at all, nothing. Write more rather than less to make sure you have everything. Once you do that, you definitely still don't have everything they're looking for. Do the assignment ahead of time, take a day away from it, come back, and you'll probably see stuff you can add or change. This obviously applies to the other assignments too, and is more important for those.

Project proposal - you complete this with your group (randomly chosen). Like the above assignment, but for your actual experiment you plan to conduct, rather than the hypothetical one. Make sure everything is clearly stated, and that your background section is a logical transition into why you chose the research question you did. KEEP IN MIND that anything used in your project proposal is considered "intellectual property of your group" and therefore cannot be used in your project write up - it's considered plagiarism... dumb, I know. I was very frustrated with this because I spent a lot of time on the proposal, so when it came time to do the write up, I basically had to rewrite in different words the same stuff. I suggest that you keep this in mind, so you don't put too much time and effort into the writing on this so that you can really shine in the final paper (especially when you're being graded against your peers).
My group got a 86 or 7 (originally a few points less but I argued for some points back). We were a few points above average.

Final project write up - this is individual. Just so you get an estimate of the size of what this is, mine ended up being 12 pages. Do not do what I did and start it the day before. Professors always say this, and of course I ignore and I end up doing fine. In this class, DONT DO IT. I'm serious. What took up the most time for me was finding research papers to use as my sources. The actual writing didn't take long, as really you're just giving background to your experiment and why you chose to study what you are, and the other part is just describing your hypotheses and methods. Straightforward, but PLEASE give yourself time to proofread. Using the workbook was really helpful as a sort of template, and I used the writing guide (basically the rubric) as my bible. I turned this in literally a minute before the deadline, 10 minutes into class. This assignment ruined my whole week lol. I was very stressed and pulled an all nighter to get it done. It sucked my soul away. I ended up getting a 90/100. This is not evidence for you to wait till last minute. I suspect my TA started to loosen up on the grading as the quarter went by and I died writing this paper. Legit took me a few days to recover.

Materials - This is a group assignment. I hated it because I did almost all the work, but obviously this is an individual experience. You do get the chance to provide feedback about your team in the end to your TA though, so at least they'll know any struggles you had with your group when considering your grade. You basically just turn in everything you plan to use when you conduct your experiment. Depending on your group's design, this could be easy or very difficult. Just depends.

Discussion assignment - Individual. This was probably the easiest assignment. You just state your findings, flaws your experiment had, future implications of your results, and what you could do to fix the flaws. I got 56/60. I don't know what the average was.

FINAL TAKEAWAYS
I HIGHLY HIGHLY suggest going to office hours with your TA to go over your assignments. I only did this with my group for the proposal and materials, but I know it definitely gave us points we wouldn't have gotten otherwise because we were able to know exactly what needed working on. If I hadn't done my write up last minute, I'm sure going to office hours would have helped.

This class sucks, but it's not the content that will be your issue. If you put time and energy into lab section and ask for TA feedback, I feel like you will have higher chances of getting a good grade in the class. I almost took the class P/NP, but glad I didn't.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Dec. 23, 2020
Grade Received: A

I heard so many bad things about this class and tbh was very afraid. I'm a psychobiology major on a pre-med track and none of my other classes have scared me so much going into it. However, I really don't think this class is all that bad. The workload sometimes seems like a lot. However, that's not because there's a lot of assignments. The curve in the lab portion of the class kind of forces you to spend a lot of time on the assignments because you can get points taken off for the smallest things. The tests were very fair and the professor provides a lot of practice beforehand. Lectures were extremely engaging (they were prerecorded), quizzes were based on lectures and were fair, and the lead TAs (Manisha and Ginny) did a very good job of answering students' questions before tests. They had a discussion forum where we could ask questions and they were always answered within a day.

This class is known for its horrible curve. The lecture grade can only be curved to benefit you but the lab curve may hurt you. This quarter the mean was set to a B-, which made it a little easier to estimate your lab grade.
My Stats: (Overall A)
<Lecture>
Exam 1: 38/40 (AVG 33/40)
Exam 2: 39/40 (AVG 33/40)
Quizzes: 14/15
<Lab>
Study Strategy Proposal (worth 15%): 85/100 (AVG: 79.2 SD:8.17)
Project Proposal (worth 10%): 91/100 (AVG: 85.35 SD: 3.62)
Final Project Write-Up/Materials (worth 40%): 90/100 (AVG: 85.63 SD: 5.09)
Discussion Short Answers (worth 20%): (56/60) (AVG: 53.3 SD: 3.36)
Participation (worth 15%): Not sure what I got but I assume that it was good enough since I participated in class and attended office hours several times.

Exam Tips:
1. Do the practice exams well in advance. Take note of the questions you got wrong. Go back to the questions you got wrong after several days when the exam gets closer and redo them. The practice exams reflect the actual exam very well.
2. Redo all quizzes before the exams. The more practice you get the better.
3. These exams have a lot of "A&B" and "none of the above" type answers, which can get very confusing. Don't overthink it. Try to answer the question before even looking at the answers. Then go through each answer and eliminate!
4. Don't try to read between the lines in the questions. Only answer according to what is given in the question. Do not assume!
5. Keep a separate piece of paper where you write down all of the important info about the experiment being discussed. Write down things that may be questioned such as the type of study, IVs, DVs, confounding variables, and EVs.

Lab Tips:
1. Start all writing assignments as soon as you get them! I can not reiterate this enough! Try to get through the assignment before your TA's office hours. Write down all questions you have regarding the assignment and ask your TA at office hours. Your TA is the one grading so ask them very specific questions. You do not want to miss little points.
2. Reread your completed assignment multiple times and have someone else also read it. Read through it once to check if you fulfilled the rubric. Read through it once to check for tense. Read through it again to check for conciseness.
3. Model your assignments to examples given in class. This will make your life easy. Don't try to get super creative. Keep the assignments simple and to the point.

Lastly, do not get caught up in what everyone is saying on the GroupMe! Everyone has a different TA so everyone will be graded differently. Ask your TA for help even for the smallest things!

Overall, this class does take hard work. It was not an easy A but if you do the practice exams multiple times, study the quizzes, start early on assignments, and attend your TA's office hours things will be easier for you. Do not let this class scare you. You're here at UCLA for a reason.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Dec. 23, 2020
Grade Received: A+

Psych 100B was definitely the class that I dreaded the most as a psych major, but it turned out alright. We were allowed to take this class P/NP this quarter (Fall 2020), but I turned in my petition too late and did not change my grading scheme. This was the best thing that can possibly happen because I ended up with an A+.
Structure of the class and My Tips:
7 lectures: The material is not difficult to understand and Professor Firstenberg is an engaging lecturer. Take detailed notes and that will make your life a lot easier. I would try to watch it a day before I have to take my quiz so the material is still fresh in my mind.
Two 2-hour Labs weekly: Honestly, this was the most exhausting part of the class besides the assignments. I feel like a big portion of labs was a waste of my time. Oftentimes, there will be breakout rooms where we get into groups to work on an assignment together and then present our answers to the class. This would take a long time and I feel like I did not gain much from this. However, lab is very useful when the TA discusses how to write assignments, so definitely pay attention and ask questions during this time. Participation is mandatory, you cannot miss any lab. Our TA tallied how many times we spoke or wrote in the chat for our participation points. Try to speak as many times as you can and come up with questions to get the points.
5 Quizzes: This happens during the beginning of the second lab of each week, and it happens during weeks 2-7 (excluding exam week). Three questions and you have around 10 minutes to complete it. They were open-notes and relatively straightforward. Make sure you understand the material and have good notes beforehand.
Exams: While two practice exams were given, they are easier than the exams themselves. But, they are the closest thing you can get to the exam so utilize them! The exams were open book but do not think you can rely on your notes to do well because the questions were pretty confusing. To do well, you really have to know the concepts and how to apply them. The best way to study was to go through all lecture notes and if you don’t understand something completely, rewatch that part of the lecture. I typed out a study guide while studying that I can also refer to during the exam. Complete both practice exams and make sure you understand every single problem; this means understanding why the correct answer is correct and why the wrong answers are wrong. I skimmed through the textbook but there weren’t many questions on the exams regarding topics in the book. Read if you have time but it is not the end of the world if you don’t read.
Group Work: Most of the lab assignments are based on an experiment you and your group will conduct. If you get hardworking group mates, then you are very lucky. If you don’t, you really have to put in the effort because the two biggest lab assignments are based on this experiment. You will design the experiment, complete the Project Proposal Assignment, and create the materials with your group. If your group sucks, express it all in the group participation survey.
Assignments: Four writing assignments total and besides the one I mentioned above, the other three are all individual work. Your lab grade is curved within your lab section. It is curved in a way that you have to score well above the mean to get a good grade which really sucks. This is also why it is not always good to have a TA who grades easily. I had a great TA who was encouraging and was always open to helping us with our assignments. The averages for the assignments always fell around the 80% mark. Always ask your TA for clarification for anything you do not understand. While, they cannot explicitly help you write your paper, ask them what they look for in the assignment. Follow the rubric as closely as possible, do not miss a single thing. I think this is how I earned good grades on my assignments. Become comfortable with the APA format. The workbook does touch on how to write some of the assignments, but I felt that it was not very useful. My TA also provided screenshots of the pages in their slides, so the workbook wasn't very needed. A lot of the reviews say to start the assignment WAY ahead of time; I think that is good advice but I didn’t really do that. I usually started brainstorming and outlining a few days before it was due and then write it out in one or two days, usually finishing on the day it was due. I had a later lab time which means I can do a final edit the day it was due which places less stress on me. I strongly believe that outlining is the most important part, once you have a good outline, writing will be much easier. Always create your outline with your rubric pulled up to make sure you hit the main points. You should also do a final edit with fresh eyes or else you will miss your mistakes. I want to again stress how important it is to follow the rubric and to make sure your assignment follows the required APA format before you turn it in.
Other stuff: There will be small homework assignments throughout that will be counted towards your participation grade. They were relatively easy and straightforward.
The following are my stats. The course is divided into two sections: lecture and lab. They are both worth 50% of the grade and different assignments are further broken down in both sections.
For Lab:
Participation (15%) - Unknown, I think I was around the average for individual participation
Study Strategy Proposal (15%) - 94/100 (avg: 81, SD: 16)
Project Proposal/Group Project (10%) - 98/100 (I think the avg was around 93%)
Final Project (40%) - 97/100 (avg: 82, SD: 20)
Discussion Section Short Answers Assignment (20%) - 60/60 (avg: 51, SD: 11)
Overall Lab Grade: A
For lecture (I think each question is worth the same number of points):
Exam 1: 40/40 (avg: 33)
Exam 2: 38/40 (avg: 33)
Quizzes: 100% (avg: unknown)
Overall Lecture Grade: A+
Summary: I am not sure how the professor curved the class but I know a lot of people regretted not taking this class for a letter grade. It seems like there was a decent curve. You won’t really know how you stand in the class during week 10, so try to make the best decision you can regarding the grading type. Don’t worry too much about your individual assignment grades, and instead focus on how you compare to the other students in your lab (the competition really sucks though). I don’t think I am a great writer but I definitely think if you are a good writer, you will have a much easier time in this class. I think a lot of the work is in the planning/brainstorming process, so definitely don’t leave everything to the day before it is due. Try to become comfortable with speaking to your TA, they will be your best resource. Don’t do your assignments last minute or big mistakes will slip through. I personally did not find this class as horrible as people say, but it was very demanding and the assignments were very tedious. You will need to dedicate a large chunk of your time to this class so be prepared. I have cried a couple of times due to this class and I pulled through, so stay hopeful!

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

So it's finally time to review perhaps the most daunting, difficult class of the psychology major. After reading so many reviews for this class and taking it in Fall 2020 online, I feel obligated to provide my own insight into this class now.

Fall 2020 was the first time that the psych department accepted P/NP for this class in accepting it as a prereq for the major, so I took it P/NP to try and preserve my GPA. Turns out that was a good move; if not for the P/NP I probably would end up with a B/B+.

The lecture part of this class is deceptive. There's only about 7 lectures, all prerecorded and released every week. The content for this class is very easy and the 5 quizzes are also fairly easy; however, the exams are NOT easy whatsoever. You will get two practice exams ahead of the actual two exams, but despite the content and question formatting being similar, the actual difficulty of the real exams is MUCH GREATER than the practice exams. By this I mean that the questions and answers of your actual midterm and final tests are far more confusing and difficult; looking over the correct answers afterwards and trying to make sense of what the TAs offered as explanations did not help much at all. The mean for every exam was a 33/40 by the way, and I scored around that mean for both exams despite going through all the practice exams. The quizzes and exams were all open notes though, so that might help a little. There is a possible curve that only helps for your lab grade and 1 point of SONA extra credit.

By far the more difficult half of the class is the lab portion. The TAs are pretty hit or miss; I personally found my TA quite helpful. They do grade very harshly on the assignments that count, so you not only need to follow instructions to a tee but also ask ask ASK your TA about anything you're confused on for clarification. When in doubt, it's better to write more, even if redundant, than to leave something out. If you think you covered everything, you probably didn't. So make sure you participate in the labs and put your best foot forward on all assignments. The difficult part about lab is that you are pit against your classmates on a lab curve where the mean score is usually a low 80% (B-) and your score is relative to the mean based on standard deviations. If you don't know what this means, the short version is that grading for lab SUCKS unless you score at the top of your lab above everyone else.

A brief breakdown of my grades for the lab portion:
High 70s on the Method Editing (15% of the lab grade) and Project Proposal (10% of the lab grade)
Presumably full points/near full points for Participation (there's a lot that goes into participation despite it counting only 15% of the lab grade)
90% on the Final Project Proposal (40% of your lab grade - please try to finish this a few days AHEAD of time and not last minute so you can proofread the next few days, trust me on this)
83% on the Discussion Short Answers (20% of your lab grade - this is the final assignment for the class and although I got 83%, the mean for my lab was a 50% so obviously I scored very high in comparison lol)

All in all, because this class ultimately aggregates everything to letter grades, I got a B+ in lecture and a B in lab. I'm just glad to have passed this class. It was definitely stressful at times (especially towards the last few weeks with group presentations and the final project) but it's possible to do okay in it. It's definitely not a GPA booster by any means though. I will say this; while you do need the Workbook for lab (costs about $9 on RedShelf) you don't really need the Morling textbook. I downloaded it and NEVER USED IT and did fine. Everything on the quizzes/exams is covered in lecture anyways so just take good notes every week.

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

I'm not sure how much more difficult/easy this class is in an online format as well as over the 6-week summer session, so I cannot say for sure that my insight will be totally relevant for future students taking this class, but, quite simply, I think this class's difficulty level is exaggerated. It's certainly a tough class that requires a lot of time and work, and so I think taking it over the summer (regardless of whether online or in-person) with no other classes to worry about is a great option for everyone (although the grading scheme is flipped so that lab is 60% and lecture/exam is 40%). In my session, we did not have to collect our own data for our research paper, due to the shortness of summer as well as us being online because of COVID. This probably relieved a lot of stress the class would've caused otherwise.

I went into this class absolutely terrified, expecting to get a B at best, as I had read over the reviews and looked over grade distributions over and over. I think, now that I've actually done the class, that many of the poor experiences with this class can be traced to whether the student has an interest in going into research. I personally aim to go into clinical psychology and am in research labs already, so I was really interested in the material and very enthusiastic to learn, and I ended up performing really well. Unless this class is a pre-req for you (in which case you have to take it either way), don't take it if you aren't interested in research. That being said, if you already have research experience and/or are interested in the topic, this class should be more than manageable, especially if you have a TA who's a fair grader.

I've heard from peers that their TAs were really hardcore and unfair in grading, and I think that's where potential issues lie. My TA (Taylor Hazelbaker) was phenomenal, and was extremely clear and fair in how she graded, such that the curve was correlated with what a typical grading scheme would look like. Even if you do get a tough TA, though, the class is graded on a curve based on your specific lab section (rather than being relative to the entire class). So, even if you got a 70 on an assignment, it's possible for that grade to be considered an A (if the average is 60, for example). You won't really be able to know what exactly your grade is until everything is turned in and graded, but you can get a sense of where you're at based on your grade relative to the average and standard deviation as provided by your TA. Regardless, it's key to go to your TA's office hours. TAs won't be able to read over your papers, but they can answer a multitude of questions that will ultimately help you write a paper that has what they're looking for. I genuinely think my grades would have been much worse had I not checked in with my TA so often. Additionally, it's important to meet often with your lab group once you're assigned to one. You guys will be writing your experiment proposal together as well as creating your materials together.

In terms of the lecture-based component, there was only one final exam as well as 4 quizzes (one each week leading up to the final exam), all multiple choice. You don't really need to read the textbook for these, although it can help clarify things you're unsure about. Prof. Firstenberg doesn't include questions that the lecture material cannot answer on its own, though. Prof. Firstenberg provides 4 practice exams (2 short, 2 long) that I cannot urge you enough to use. They're the exact same format as the actual exam(s), and provide really good practice for the types of questions this class uses. These questions are less fact-based and much more practice/concept-based, providing you with a description of a research study and asking you to identify flaws in it, what design it was, what you could conclude from it, etc. There are a lot of "A, B, and C"/"A and B, but not C"/"none of the above" type answers, so it's critical that you read closely. Again, the practice exams will absolutely prepare you for this. The questions can be tricky, but they're totally doable and the material itself is not hard. You just need to read closely and think through your answers. The examples that Prof. Firstenberg gives during lecture are also very helpful, so make sure to include those in whatever notes you take (although, the exams online are open-note, so you can always download the powerpoint PDFs and go through them--they won't be on ccle during the actual exam, so make sure to keep them for yourself).

To conclude this very long-winded review, I'll include my grades as well as the averages and SDs (when known), so to give an idea of how I got the final grade that I did:

*Weekly quizzes: 11/12 (mean=9.19, SD=1.78)

*Final exam: 38/40 (mean=33.60, SD=4.60)

*Study Strategy Proposal: 96/100 (mean=82.14, SD=10.90)

*Group Project Proposal: 87/100 (mean=87.57, SD=4.02)

*Final Research Paper: 94/100 (mean and SD unknown)

*Discussion Section: 90/100 (mean and SD unknown)

In terms of the assignments (since I realize it might be unclear as to what exactly these assignments are), there are only 3 graded papers you need to worry about, at least online and during the summer. The first assignment (which is 15% of your lab grade), the "study strategy proposal," is a set of questions asking you to come up with a simple experiment regarding a type of study strategy for students to use. You basically go over the hypothetical design, procedure, and potential implications for the results. This is basically the same format used for the group project proposal (also 15% of your lab grade), in which you and your assigned group plan out your own experiment based on a specific experiment topic assigned to you (for example, my group and I got the topic "Impression Formation"). The final research paper is your write-up based on the group project proposal, and includes a title page, introduction, method section, and references. It's the largest portion of your lab grade, with the write-up amounting to 25% (submitted individually). There's another 5% for your project materials (submitted as a group), amounting to 30% total for the final project submission.

I'm sure there are some details I've left out, but past reviews have covered them really well. Please don't scare yourself over this class too much--it's really doable if you're actually interested in the material. :)

1 of 13

Tags

  • Has Group Projects
  • Needs Textbook
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Tough Tests
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Participation Matters
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Often Funny
ADS

Report Review

Did this review contain...

There are errors in the report form.

Thank you for the report!

We'll look into this shortly.

It seems like you’re

using an ad blocker. :(


Bruinwalk is an entirely Daily Bruin-run service brought to you for free. We hate annoying ads just as much as you do, but they help keep our lights on. We promise to keep our ads as relevant for you as possible, so please consider disabling your ad-blocking software while using this site.

Thank you for supporting us!