I liked this class a lot. You can tell that Rissman truly cares about his students and the class that he teaches, and wants to make you love the class too. His tests are fair; definitely re-watch the lectures and notes if you want to pass them. Honestly, I wouldn't bother reading the book...I did, and that was a mistake, because everything he asks if based on his old lectures. Overall, I don't regret taking this class, and I say you should take it too.
Fall 2022 - Rissman needs to learn to narrow down topics to the essential material he would like his students to learn, but instead, he dumps so much information in his lectures in order to test you on it all. He takes every minute of the lecture to do this, down to the last second. In the last lecture, he wanted to introduce a final concept to us and took the last 4-5 minutes to say what was on the slides, and said he expects to know it for the final. That is not real teaching or lecturing, imo. The workload includes "ZAPS" which are low stake modules, weekly 10-question lecture quizzes, iClicker polls for participation, discussion attendance, a term paper, the midterm, and the final. He made SONA extra credit more challenging by assigning 0.5 credits/1 hour instead of the usual 1 credit/1 hour, with the excuse that it will help researchers. Still, if he was really supportive of grad student researchers, he could take other action items that other professors have taken in support of their current UAW strike. He claimed to be sympathetic to the challenging midterm seeing many of us got low scores, so he gave everyone 5 points. For MC he likes to give 3 choices added with A & B and B&C, so it can be confusing.
Spring 2020 - One of the best professors I've had at UCLA. His lectures on bias and discrimination in policing were really insightful. He was always very approachable and I felt like I got so much more out of this class from his teaching style. He was super empathetic and supportive throughout everything going on during spring (COVID-19, BLM protests); during the protests, he even dedicated some class time to talk about how we felt. I agree with the other reviews, he truly cares about his students' success and wellbeing. All around, great professor and human being. Thank you Dr. Rissman!
Winter 2018 - I took this course as Psych 124K (Legal, Ethical, and Societal Implications of Cognitive Neuroscience). This class was one of the best experiences I've had at UCLA! All students had to email Dr. Rissman prior to the course to express interest and we received an email with a PTE number should we be chosen. The class was a seminar style with 24 students. While Dr. Rissman lectured during our class meetings, he encouraged a lot of discussion and left plenty of time to allow for this. The lecture material was a great sampling of the various topics involving the ethics of neuroscience. I think he went into enough depth to get a good understanding of the material without it feeling shallow. Overall, Dr. Rissman is an incredibly nice guy. He's always willing to answer questions. The class was graded based off of class participation, two papers (one short paper and one longer paper), and a short-answer/paragraph final. Everything in this course was very fair and you can tell that Dr. Rissman cares more for sharing his knowledge and educating the students than meeting quotas or enforcing curves.