Introduction to Cognitive Science

Sean P McAuliffe

Introduction to Cognitive Science

Psychology department

Sean P McAuliffe

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from 33 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 2.7
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.2
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.9
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 2.5
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.2
Helpful
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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Has Group Projects
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Tough Tests
  • Needs Textbook
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Often Funny

Grades

Summer 2019
14.0%
11.7%
9.4%
7.0%
4.7%
2.3%
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.

Spring 2019
18.1%
15.1%
12.1%
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.

Winter 2017
17.5%
14.6%
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.

Summer 2016
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 2016
20.6%
17.2%
13.8%
10.3%
6.9%
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 2016
18.8%
15.6%
12.5%
9.4%
6.3%
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.

Winter 2015
18.7%
15.6%
12.4%
9.3%
6.2%
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.

Winter 2010
19.1%
16.0%
12.8%
9.6%
6.4%
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.

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1 of 3

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Summer 2020
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted Sept. 9, 2020
Grade Received: N/A

This class is unlike other psychology/life science classes. It questions theoretical probabilities rather than simply lecturing facts and expects the students to form their opinions while remaining open-minded on topics such as consciousness, free will, and judgement.

The textbook does not help, although it is available for $25 pdf copy.

Pros: Professor McAuliffe respected the time of his students; he always started and ended in the designated time slot. His materials outside of his slides (videos, examples, personal stories) were engaging and interesting. He does a good job of not imposing opinions and encourages discussion.

Cons: However, his instructions for a video project (15% of grade) were vague. Although I appreciated the artistic freedom, it would've been nice to have more guidance. Lecture recordings were sometimes uploaded 3 days late. Sometimes, he accelerates and skimps his explanations of important topics for the sake of time, and in my class, explicitly said that he would skip a topic that later showed up in 5 questions on the final exam.

Especially for a class that relied on Zoom and slides, I would've liked more prompt email communication between the professor and student.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted April 7, 2020 Grade Received: P

Selling pdf for this class text me at +16617783593

Quarter Taken: Summer 2019 Submitted Sept. 12, 2019 Grade Received: B

The material of this class is going to be dense and difficult with any professor, but Professor McAuliffe made the class more difficult than necessary. His slides were completely unhelpful; I recommend taking voice recordings of the class if you want to prosper. The exams don't test knowledge or understandings of the concepts, but rather if you attended lecture and memorized every word he said and example he gave. He is very passionate and knowledgable about the material, but he doesn't do a great job of conveying this information to students. I spent an ample amount of time studying for the exams, and I still found them extremely difficult. Most students in the class also performed poorly on the exams, so there was a helpful curve.

Quarter Taken: Summer 2019 Submitted Sept. 10, 2019 Grade Received: A

The professor is not very good at explaining some of the more difficult concepts such as signal detection theory. I truly had no idea what he was talking about in class no matter how hard I tried. However, a quick 6 minute khan academy video was more clear than whatever his very seemingly random rant. He asks for a lot of class engagement and uses us to participate in mini experiments in class to give a better picture of what he's talking about. It's a valiant effort, but he completely fails in connecting the two points. Consequently, it feels like we're just doing a lot of pointless stuff in class. It can be VERY discouraging especially if you're there because you actually want to learn. He is enthusiastic, passionate, and overall a great guy, but he really needs to reconsider how he teaches. He glosses over a lot of material that seems so important (but this could be the nature of the summer session). It was really no surprise that the mean grade of the class was around 58% because the tests asks important questions that he was never able to explain well. I got an A in the class so I can tell you that I am not biased. I know he reads these reviews because he said so in class, so I'd just like to tell him to reconsider how he teaches some of these more complex concepts like signal detection theory. You're a nice guy Sean, but you may want to consider asking students what they've learned at the end of the lectures because most of my learning was from reading the textbook on my own time (and I didn't miss a single lecture or arrive late a single time). I'm not too mad, as this is just a lower-div course... But frankly, I expected much better from a UCLA professor.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted June 29, 2019 Grade Received: NR

Super nice dude and totally willing to discuss anything with you. Every time I went to class I thought I was at a comedy show. Loved McAuliffe's energy and silliness. This being said though, his exams are insanely hard. I HIGHLY recommend recording EVERY lecture and printing out slides/typing notes directly on slides because a lot of what he will test you on is in between the lines or requires a very specific definition (or case study) that he gave you. His slides are ABSOLUTELY NOT HELPFUL ON THEIR OWN. If you miss class and only had the slides, you will be so confused. Relisten to lectures as you review your notes. Make flashcards and acronyms for terms. He expects you to know his entire lectures front, back, upside down and around the corner. Make sure that you study the SLIDES and NOT the book. That was my biggest mistake! The book was sooooo useless and almost all of the test was from lecture. Go to office hours with him or your TA!! This will help clarify a lot of things since he has a tendency to gloss over things very very fast and leave you in confusion...

Quarter Taken: Spring 2019 Submitted June 27, 2019 Grade Received: A-

If you take this class with McAuliffe, make sure you record the lectures. He uses slides, but those slides don't always contain all the information you need for the tests, and often he tests on things that he's mentioned only once or twice at most in lecture. McAuliffe often tries to be funny to make lectures more engaging, but this usually leads to him getting way off topic and rushing through important topics that WILL be on his tests as he tries to catch up on time. He was somewhat willing to help, but I believe its probably easier to go to the TA if you have a question on clarifying any topics, since McAuliffe doesn't always explain things clearly. His tests are MC and short answer, and there's a lot of unnecessary trick questions, so you should read the questions carefully before submitting your tests. Overall, my best piece of advice is to record the lectures and pay attention to all the examples he gives in class, as those will likely be on the test, either the exact example he gave in class, or a similar version of that.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2018 Submitted July 11, 2018 Grade Received: A

I really have no idea why people gave professor Mcauliffe such bad reviews. He is a really knowledgeable and funny lecturer who has genuine interests in the class material. The lecture is always interesting and I never feel bored in his classes. He encourages students to go to his office hours and is always willing to answer all kinds of questions. His lectures are condensed of information, and the tests never go outside of the class materials. He has a textbook but it is completely voluntary to read/ buy it. The book is more complex than the lecture. I spent most of my time going over the textbook for mdt1 which was actually a mistake. Just focus on your notes and lecture slides. The midterms and final are all mc+short answers, no complex questions. There is a group project for 2 people to do a short video, and he appreciates the content more than the format.
The class is hard, yes, but it is hard no matter who the professor is. You just have to remember a lot of concepts and experiments. One suggestion for this Psych 85: Record the lectures! Listen to every sentence of the professor again and again because that is basically what is going to be tested.
Overall, choose Mcauliffe for Psych 85! Good class, really interesting materials, VERY generous curve. Just understand the materials and memorize, follow the professor's thoughts then you'll be fine!

Quarter Taken: Winter 2017 Submitted April 9, 2017 Grade Received: C+

Mcauliffe is a really good professor. He's a tough grader, and his tests are really hard, but his lectures are fun and engaging. He really cares about his students, and if you go to office hours and study hard, he won't fail you. He's a really nice guy, and I'd recommend his class to anyone I know. Your GPA might take a hit, but it's worth it to actually learn the material in a way you'll retain.

Quarter Taken: Spring 2018 Submitted Jan. 30, 2017 Grade Received: N/A

This class was okay. His lecture is just him going over the powerpoint slides, and it's not podcasted so I would recommend going because some of his slides alone don't make any sense and he explains them to you in his own way. There are 2 midterms and 1 final. The midterms are MC and short answer. Not too bad but depends on how the TA also grades. I have all my powerpoint slides and my study guides to do well in this class.

Contact: [email protected]

Quarter Taken: Winter 2016 Submitted June 20, 2016 Grade Received: B

I really didn't enjoy this class. The professor was unclear and his slides were not helpful. I attended a few office hours and didn't get any clarifications about my answers. Also the study guides for the midterms were not helpful, the test was completely different. The tests were fill in the blank and short answer which was not easy. The curve was really helpful at the end of the quarter.

1 of 3

Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Has Group Projects
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Tough Tests
  • Needs Textbook
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Often Funny
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