Thoughts and feelings 1

September 11, 2008

In his work on Jungian individual difference, the psychologist David Keirsey posited two kinds of "ideas" people: intuitive thinking types, who value logic-based ideas, and intuitive feeling types, who value ideas applied to developing human potential. One might see the debate about the alternative medicine degrees as a conflict between these two ways of thinking.

The trouble is, while these two groups argue over ideas, and score points off each other, articles such as Tom Palaima's on the "educational shopping mall" ("The spark that tingled to my bones", 4 September) suggest that it's the sensing judging types, who value facts, figures and procedures, who are increasingly making the decisions in higher education. And, as is pointed out in the Leader of the same issue, in the UK degrees are now evaluated in terms of return on investment, following the US model of employment credentialism. This makes the alternative health debate appear somewhat peripheral - unless alternative therapy continues to grow as a graduate career option.

Mary Brown, Human resource management department Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University.

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