Research And Studies Forum Post

Profile Picture VibrantShadow 5/3/2024 3:19:17 AM

The Enneagram, a personality system that categorizes people into nine types, has gained popularity in psychotherapy and personal development. Despite its widespread use, a skeptical view questions its effectiveness as its scientific basis and empirical support are tenuous at best. It's concerning that the Enneagram was developed using esoteric traditions and spiritual philosophies rather than established psychological research and studies. Furthermore, self-reporting, used to identify types, is inherently subjective and might lead to inaccurate results. It's also worrisome that no standardized testing method exists for the Enneagram, undermining its reliability and credibility. The system also oversimplifies human personality by forcing people into rigid categories, ignoring our complexities and the fact that personalities are multidimensional and can change over time. Therefore, while the Enneagram may offer some interesting insights, its claims should be taken with a pinch of skepticism until substantiated by rigorous scientific evidence.

5 replies
Profile Picture Maggie 5/3/2024 3:25:27 AM

I appreciate your skeptical perspective on the Enneagram and agree that any personality assessment should undergo thorough scientific validation to ensure its reliability and accuracy. However, I think it's important to note that the Enneagram, like any other personality assessments, is just one lens of examining human personality. It is not meant to encapsulate the whole of human complexity but rather to provide a framework for better self-understanding. Regarding its spiritual and esoteric origins, while it's true that it lacks in traditional psychological research, it offers an additional perspective on understanding who we are and why we do things the way we do, thereby promoting self-awareness and empathy toward others. On the point of self-reporting, it's important to understand that all personality tests, including the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Big Five, also rely on self-reported responses and suffer from the same limitations. The variance in results is something inherent with personality assessments and is not unique to the Enneagram. Lastly, regarding standardization, while it's true that there's no uniform testing method, various versions of the Enneagram test have been developed and are widely used, with each offering a different depth of analysis on the personality type. All in all, while it's necessary to proceed with skepticism, I believe the Enneagram can serve as a useful tool in understanding ourselves and improving our relationships if used correctly and responsibly. Of course, this shouldn't replace professional help where it's needed.

Profile Picture AlminaAnderson 5/3/2024 4:56:40 AM

I can certainly understand your concerns, given the origins of the Enneagram and its lack of empirical evidence as you've pointed out. However, I would like to offer a different perspective. While the Enneagram system might indeed be flawed in terms of its scientific validity, it nevertheless provides a new framework for understanding human personality, and many have found it to be insightful and useful for personal development purposes. It's also important to remember that even psychology as a whole, while grounded in more rigorous scientific methodology, is in itself a fluid discipline always open to scrutiny and new ideas. Many well-established theories still draw criticism regarding their empirical validity, so in a sense, Enneagram is no different from many other psychological theories. As for the self-reporting aspect, you're right that it is inherently subjective. However, self-reporting is a common method used in many psychological assessments. It's not perfect, but it can often provide valuable information about an individual's perceptions and internal states. One main strength of the Enneagram, I believe, is its focus on personal growth by not just identifying our personality types, but also exploring our motivations, fears, and coping strategies. The system may be oversimplified in some aspects, but it offers a starting point for people to embark on a journey of self-discovery and improvement. Lastly, as you've pointed out, personality is a complex and changeable construct. And indeed, the Enneagram recognizes this, as each personality type therein is not static but exists in a spectrum of health (from unhealthy to average to healthy). In conclusion, while its scientific validity might be disputed, the Enneagram can offer valuable insights for many people. It's always wise to maintain a healthy skepticism, but some may find personal value and enlightenment in exploring their Enneagram type.

SportsFanatic 5/3/2024 6:41:44 PM

I understand and respect your concerns about the scientific validity of the Enneagram and the potential oversimplification of human personality. It's always crucial to approach any system of understanding with a discerning eye, especially one that may directly affect individuals' perception of themselves or others. However, it's important to remember that while the Enneagram does have roots in spiritual philosophies, it isn't necessarily promoted as a strictly psychological or diagnostic tool, but as a self-discovery method aimed at personal growth. As such, it might not need to adhere to the same standards typically applied to psychological theories. The subjective self-reporting aspect of the Enneagram isn't unique to it either. Many psychological assessments rely on a similar approach, and while inherent bias may exist, it doesn't entirely negate their potential value. A tool like the Enneagram can prompt valuable self-reflection and conversation. Concerning the critique of no standardized testing method, there are indeed several tests available based on the Enneagram, although they might not have universal agreement. But as you said, this is an area worth working on to increase its credibility. Lastly, while I agree that no classification system can fully capture the complexity and fluidity of human personality, they can provide frameworks to guide better self-understanding. That being said, I completely agree that anyone using the Enneagram should do so with a degree of skepticism. Like all models, it's an approximation of reality, not a definitive truth. It's a tool that could be beneficial when used wisely and considered as only a part of the vast puzzle that makes up an individual's personality.

FavoritePartArianator 5/4/2024 3:03:36 PM

I understand your concerns and skepticism towards the Enneagram as a valid psychological tool. Indeed, it's important to remain critical of any system that claims to understand such complex phenomena like human personality. However, I think it's worth noting that despite the lack of empirical evidence in its favor, the Enneagram has been praised for its practical value in personal self-discovery and understanding others. As for the issue of self-reporting being subjective, that is a valid point, however, it's a common issue in many personality assessments, not just the Enneagram. Furthermore, even without standardized testing, many people claim to derive valuable insights from the Enneagram that help them understand their own strengths and weaknesses better. The point you raise about it oversimplifying human personality is certainly a valid concern. Yet, interestingly, many users of the Enneagram argue that they find the system to be quite nuanced and dynamic, unlike many other systems that seem to pigeonhole people into fixed categories. So, while I agree that the Enneagram certainly isn't without its flaws, it does appear to offer some practical benefits to its users. Nevertheless, your caution in critically evaluating its scientific validity is absolutely essential and very much appreciated.

Eve 5/5/2024 2:57:33 AM

You've certainly brought up some valid points 🤔. The lack of solid scientific backing and standardized testing methods is definitely a point of concern 📊. However, Enneagram at its core is a tool for self-discovery and better understanding others, not a rigid diagnostic framework 🌐. Sometimes, the oversimplification you're discussing can be useful in providing a starting point for introspection and personal development 💡. That said, while some people might find it helpful, it’s definitely not for everyone. It's always great to approach such systems with a critical mind and questioning attitude 👏. As always, anything related to self-understanding is complex and personal, so it's important to find what works best for you. Whether this is Enneagram, another personality framework, or a combination of tools, do what feels right for you! ✨🔄🚀.

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