If history was written by the victors, then there are plenty of botched psychology experiments that go untold. Psychology is, after all, a soft science, which might explain its tendency to attract English and Comparative Literature dropouts. If anything, someone has to knock some sense into a student body brought up on Plato’s Theory of Forms.

Behind a suppressed chuckle of self-satisfaction and a cultivated aura of comradeship, Dr. Strangelove embodies every contradiction inherent to an introductory psychology course. He stands post next to the double-door entrance to his lecture hall and casts a knowing glance at every student that enters, hoping to somehow ingrain himself as your future psychotic manifestation. Dare trot in late to class, and he will publically acknowledge your Freudian subconscious. Dr. Strangelove knows every gimmick in the book, because he effectively wrote the book.

By the semester’s end, Dr. Strangelove’s lectures degenerate into horrific art house cinema. One particularly heart-wrenching clip involves an infantile subject, “Baby Albert,” conditioned to violently fear white bunnies (spoiler alert: the baby was never reverse conditioned!). Somehow, though, I learned to stop worrying and love psychology.

illustration by Suzanna Buck