Electoral Politics: Political Psychology
UCLA Department of Psychology: M138 - Fall 2009
Pass: 1 ~ No Pass: 0 ~ Satisfactory: 0 ~ Unsatisfactory: 0 ~ Incomplete: 0
Survey Methods in Psychology
UCLA Department of Psychology: 136C - Spring 2006
Pass: 0 ~ No Pass: 0 ~ Satisfactory: 0 ~ Unsatisfactory: 0 ~ Incomplete: 0
I can honestly say that I loved this class and I have absolutely no regrets about taking it. Truly fascinating stuff. I had some initial worries about the psych material since I have never had any exposure to psychology whatsoever (poli sci major here), but the psychological side of political psychology was very easy to pick up and in most cases, not much more than common sense stated academically.
I did not find him to be too monotone, unlike some truly sleep-inducing professors I have taken (ahem, Binder). Sears' style, in my opinion was more akin to that of Zaller (whose research was actually mentioned quite a bit in this class). His voice could be a bit livelier but he throws in jokes all the time and has a very funny, albeit somewhat bizarre sense of humor.
So, the grading. He curves at a B. That's all you really need to know. Do better than half the class, get above a B. Do worse than half the class, get below a B. He barely fails anyone so at the very worst you'll end up with a solid C. Some of the test questions are a little out of left field, but that's what the curve is for. Tip: pay attention to his opinions on various topics and theories. He likes to write test questions asking about his personal opinions, which is admittedly kind of annoying.
Class is based on a midterm, a final, and a final paper. The final is not cumulative. For the final paper you choose 2 essay questions from a selection of 8 questions, and each essay is only 3 pages max. I started the quarter with a 3.9 GPA, barely studied, and earned an A-.
Professor Sears is an expert in his field. He is also very eager to teach and help students with the material. Here are the facts: he uses 2 textbooks that you will have to be read during the 10 weeks of the course in addition to weekly online ‘articles’ which add up to 50-100 pages per week. On top of that, there are the PowerPoint slides and all the additional information that he goes over during lectures. Average midterm grade was a ‘D’ for the whole class and he flunked the whole class for the final paper. Midterm and final are short answer which is the most challenging thing to do when you are expected to memorize the smallest details from hundreds and hundreds of pages read before the exam. He has a curve that will make your F turn into a C, but how good is that when you really want to learn and the professor is unrealistic with his expectations – not to mention your GPA? If this course was taught by any other professor with hard work you could get an A, but that’s not the case with Sears. He is in his mid 70s and his class style reflects that. As many other reviews say, he is a nice guy and a Poli Sci expert but your GPA WILL suffer. Don’t believe me? Take the class then.
I think the course, Political Psychology, is not as bad as some of the other reviews make it out to be. Sears was nice enough to put the lectures online - I barely went to class and listened to his lectures via BruinCast (3x faster because he talks really slowly), read some of the articles, and ended up getting an A. There is a very generous curve (especially for the midterm). The course's grade comes from 3 sources, all weighed equally: a midterm, a final, and a set of take-home essays. The midterm and final are short answer and can be somewhat specific, but the overwhelming majority of the questions are general ideas from the literature and lectures. Overall, a very interesting topic and a very nice professor.
A very challenging course indeed. in retrospect, i did not get much from the lecture due to the professor's monotone and boring slides. slides are confusing without sorting out the umbrella topics and subtopics. material is hard and you are expected to know everything from the course-readers and lecture in order to do well for the midterm and final. expect to read 100ish pages per week if you want to do well. the material is far from relating to psychology, but most of the course is to discuss on american voters' behavior and so on. I struggled very hard to get a B
I thought this was a great class and I learned allot from it. It is true that the professor can tend to be a little boring but I think it is because he has a very low monotonic voice. Nevertheless, his lectures were very interesting if you actually paid attention. I thought this class was great but you do have to do work to deserve your grade. All of the readings as well as good note taking in class are needed or your grade will suffer. The midterm and finals were short answer questions and their was also two 3 page papers at the end (besides the final). I thought all of the questions and assignments from everything were reasonable and not difficult at all if you actually spent time studying. Overall I loved this class even if it was allot of work and I did only get a B grade. By the way, do not be discouraged if you do really low in the first test since people usually do terrible the curve is really low here and the other assignments make up for this also.
I think there has been un fair criticism to this professor. I have taken him twice and although my grade for the 2nd class was lower, it was still a deserving grade. He does sometimes ramble on and on, but under all if you do the readings and pay attention in class you will find how his ideas truly make sense. This isn't the class were you just receive information and learn it, rather you have to think about it and read to make it understandable. I think that in the poli sci/psych class he was a bit tough, but he is really a great teacher. if you are interested in the poli sci/pscyh mix, then it is recomended. this is not the class to just take for credit but for true interest in the subject.
I petitioned to get into this class and I regret it soooo much. I didn't realize that the class hadn't been taught at UCLA for ten years. Professor Sears is a really nice guy..You can tell that he cares a lot about us, but the class is horrible. Not only was it boring but the midterm/final were crazy. Both were short-answer, which I'm not used to at all...but specific details from specific articles in the reader were asked...
Only good thing was that there was a grad student taking lecture notes...
I hardly went to class, but I got a C+...go figure
The worst learning experience of my life. Avoid him at all costs, OR YOUR GPA WILL SUFFER!!! I promise you!
I think only the positive comments have been posted because the negative comments were quite extreme. Being a nice man does not help students get into graduate, med, and law schools. I think my comment is quite clear- do not take this class
Recommend...ha! yeah right! The reader was a disgrace. She did not care for your concerns and she did not help out at all. She held a review about the midterm -after the midterm. The professor was severely boring just kept going on and on and all he would do was mention a billion names: freud, zaller, bla, bla, and bla. A student was never once engaged in his lectures. His tests are absolutely ridiculous. I have never studied in my life that hard for a test. I have an A- average and I got a B- in this class after studying sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much. O yeah and some may make the argument that the reading is exciting..well let me ask my fellow peers a question...would you like to pay your quarter fees (which are not cheap) just to learn from books- which are not even included in your enrollment fees? There is a borders right on westwood...I can go there and get a better education. Enough said
xtremellyyyyy hard and unreasonable midterm
xtremely hard final
-she does not help much and if she does it is more like on the basis of a yes/no answer
-the reason the tests were so unreasonable is that they would test us not on the core principles- but on the stupid side knowledge. at first i thought this class would be interesting and exciting, but after 10 weeks i became so unbelievably frustrated. I am telling everyone this so they do not bother to take this class. DO NOT TAKE!
THIS GUY IS THE WORST! Please, for your sake, DO NOT TAKE ANY OF CLASSES!!! I am a psychobiology student in my senior year and this was the most horrible class I have ever taken. He gives you a ton of work, all of which is useless and uninteresting. The average was an F for the midterm and I know many people who dropped the class. It would be a BIG mistake if you don't listen to me, I promise you.
David is a pretty cool guy. He may get boring or ramble off about stuff that seems pointless, but he really does care about his students learning. His style is straightforward, using hands on and examples for support. He never appeared to be in a bad mood and tollerated a little fun in his class.
The class I had was small, and we all became friends.
I came out of the class with much increased knowledge of the suvey, and the processes of analyzing and creating.
I would definately suggest him.
I think professor sears is a great guy. He is a little up in the clouds sometimes, but he is worth taking. He had a great TA the quarter I took him so it helped a lot, but overall I think this is a great lab, fun and interesting. It gives you hands on experience on what it is you are going. Lectures are kind of disorganized, but he tries hard to set everything clear. Grading is straighforward: study, read, attend class=A