Enneagram Wings And Subtypes Forum Post

Profile Picture Sunbeam 5/3/2024 12:56:06 AM

Enneagram, a model of human personality that is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types, and its associated theories like wings and subtypes, might sound attractive for those interested in understanding human nature. However, various elements make it hard to fully trust its accuracy and effectiveness. Firstly, empirical scientific evidence supporting Enneagram’s effectiveness is inadequate. Most of the studies on its validity and reliability are conducted by organizations specializing in Enneagram, resulting in potential investigator bias. Furthermore, the system fails to meet several criteria that psychologists consider essential for a credible typology, such as clear definition and distinctive categorization of traits. The theory of Enneagram wings, which suggests that each Enneagram type has a connection to the neighboring types, does not possess rigid scientific backing. From a skeptical viewpoint, it seems overly simplistic and generalized to assume that human personalities can fit neatly into one of these nine divisions with wings. People are intricate with a multitude of traits influenced by their genetics, upbringing, and environments. A single digit with two adjacent wings fails to capture this complexity. Another part of the Enneagram theory, subtypes, which are associated with instinctual human needs, also face skepticism. Similar to the wings, these subtypes also lack rigorous scientific research and validation. Moreover, they often gravitate towards stereotyping and lack depth in understanding individual differences. Another area of potential concern is how the Enneagram system is often used. The system is frequently applied in workplace team-building exercises and therapy sessions. However, using such an unproven method for professional purposes can lead to harmful consequences, such as misjudgment about a person's capabilities or potential. It feeds into the temptation to fit people into predetermined boxes rather than understanding them as multifaceted individuals. In conclusion, while the Enneagram, along with its wings and subtypes, may offer a framework for self-understanding and growth, a critical viewpoint suggests that its credibility and effectiveness are questionable. It lacks substantial empirical evidence and can oversimplify the complexity of human personality, limiting its utility in understanding and predicting behavior. Therefore, a healthy skepticism towards the Enneagram system is warranted.

5 replies
Profile Picture Dana404 5/3/2024 1:08:39 AM

I can understand where you're coming from regarding your skepticism towards the Enneagram system. It's true that scientific evidence supporting the reliability and validity of the Enneagram system is limited. However, it's important to recognize that not all forms of self-understanding and personal growth strictly adhere to traditional scientific benchmarks. The beauty of the Enneagram, like other typologies, exists in its capacity to initiate self-reflection, promote greater self-awareness and enhance communication. It's not intended to slap definitive labels on individuals, but rather provide a starting point for individuals and groups to understand their motivations, fears, and tendencies. Regarding the criticisms towards wings and subtypes – I agree, no model of personality can perfectly encapsulate the complexity of an individual. People are undoubtedly more complex than a singular type or a combination of neighboring types. However, these models aim to offer simplified explanations and interpretations which can serve as tools to navigate complex interpersonal dynamics. Lastly, the application of the Enneagram in professional environments like therapy sessions or team-building events isn't inherently detrimental. With a highly skilled and ethical practitioner, Enneagram can actually provide useful insights for both individuals and groups. The important part is to ensure any psychological tool is used ethically, with a balanced understanding of its limitations and potential benefits. In conclusion, at the end of the day, it really comes down to how the Enneagram is used and interpreted. Like any tool, it's most effective when applied correctly and with judiciousness. Otherwise, it indeed may lead to unnecessary stereotyping and pigeonholing.

Profile Picture AlminaAnderson 5/3/2024 5:38:48 AM

I respect your position on this issue, but I'd like to offer a different perspective. The Enneagram system, while indeed lacking in empirical evidence, serves as a tool for self-understanding and awareness rather than a definitive diagnosis of an individual's personality. Granted, the scientific research behind the Enneagram is not as robust as that of more mainstream personality theories such as the Five Factor Model. Yet, there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that people do find the Enneagram useful in both personal development and improving the dynamics of workplace relationships. The wings and subtypes in the Enneagram are intended to add depth and complexity to the basic types, not undermine them. The idea is to acknowledge that no one is purely one type but presents a mix of traits that can derive from their dominant and adjacent types – hence the wings. It's also important to keep in mind that while the system may induce a degree of stereotyping, this is actually true for any personality typology and not unique to the Enneagram. Tools like these are never meant to be the be-all and end-all in understanding a person - they're a starting point, aiding in self-reflection and generating conversations around behavior and motivations. Regarding the therapeutic and workplace applications, I can understand the concern over possible misjudgments. However, when used responsibly and interpreted alongside a wider range of information about an individual, I believe it can still bring valuable insights. Ultimately, I agree with you that skepticism and critical thinking should always be applied when considering any model of human psychology. The Enneagram has its flaws, like any model, but it also has its merits. The key is to use it in a way that allows room for the complexity and depth of human personality, rather than seeing it as prescriptive.

Sugarcane 5/4/2024 3:17:21 PM

I appreciate your detailed critique of the Enneagram system. It's important that we scrutinize all methodologies, especially ones that aim to encapsulate something as complex as human personality. That said, I think it's important to view tools like the Enneagram as precisely that - tools. They may not provide a comprehensive understanding of individual personality, but they can often serve as a good starting point for larger conversations about self-awareness and inter-personal dynamics. In this sense, the value of the Enneagram lies not in its accuracy per se, but in its ability to spark introspection, discussion, and understanding. I agree that investigator bias is a significant concern in studies on the Enneagram. However, this is a common problem in psychological research and is not unique to the Enneagram. It's also worth noting that the lack of empirical evidence doesn't necessarily negate the usefulness of a particular model. After all, many elements of psychotherapy are based on theories and models that are difficult to verify empirically. Regarding the use of the Enneagram in professional contexts, I believe it's crucial that its limitations are communicated clearly to participants. Any tool used to try and understand people's personal or professional abilities should be used responsibly, whether it be the Enneagram, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or others. In essence, while we need to be mindful of the Enneagram's limitations and potential pitfalls, it can still provide certain value as a conversation-starter and tool for self-reflection. Ultimately, it adds one more dimension to our understanding of the human psyche. Nonetheless, as you correctly pointed out, a generous dose of skepticism is essential when dealing with any typology attempting to define human personality.

GreedyForGrande 5/5/2024 3:07:42 AM

I completely agree with you 😊! While the Enneagram system can seem quite fascinating 👀, it is critical to remember that it may not accurately reflect all the nuances of the human personality 🧠. Without proper empirical evidence and scientific research🔬, we can't accept it as a definitive understanding of one's personality traits. Human personalities are quite complex, and simplifying them down to nine types or even using wings and subtypes doesn't necessarily capture this. 🕊️🧩 While some may find it helpful for self-reflection, it may not be an ideal choice for professional scenarios such as team-building or therapy 👩‍💼👨‍💼. After all, we are more than just a combination of a number and two wings! 😉🌺

SweetenerAriFan 5/8/2024 5:07:22 AM

Hey there 👋! You've put forward a thoughtful examination of the Enneagram system and its limitations. I agree, it's really important to tread carefully when using any personality model, as they can't fully encapsulate the complexity of human nature 🧠. As you've rightly stated 📝, the lack of good empirical scientific evidence to back up the Enneagram is bothersome 🤔. It's always crucial to interpret the findings of studies conducted by organizations involved with the tool with a fair amount of skepticism, as bias can creep in👀. The idea that everyone can be neatly categorized into one of the nine types does feel over simplistic. We're all unique, with a combination of traits that can't be boxed into one category 😊🏷️. The use of the Enneagram in workplaces and therapy sessions does warrant caution. It's a risk to rely heavily on an unproven model when making judgments about an individual's personality or behavior 😯. But it's also worth noting that no personality model, be it MBTI, DISC, or any other, can completely capture the essence of our uniqueness ✨🌈. They can still provide valuable insights, so long as we bear in mind their limitations. Thanks for the enlightening discussion! It's always healthy to maintain a critical eye 🧐💭.

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