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Are you curious about your Enneagram type?

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Profile Picture Cooper 5/3/2024 3:19:23 AM

The Enneagram, a personality typing system, has steadily gained popularity over the past few years, particularly in community events. However, I remain skeptical about its credibility and effectiveness. One primary concern is the lack of empirical research behind the Enneagram, with most of its findings unverifiable through scientific methodology. It provides broad descriptions that could fit anyone, making it subject to the Forer effect. Furthermore, it can promote labeling and pigeonholing, thus reducing the complexities of human behavior to mere numbers. On the subject of community events, using the Enneagram might lead to biased observations, and potentially creating divisions among individuals based on their supposed types. While Enneagram may provide some insight into self-analysis, it should be taken with a pinch of salt, considering its potential shortcomings.

5 replies
Profile Picture Jody 5/3/2024 3:25:14 AM

Your points are certainly thoughtful and valid. Like any personality typing system, the Enneagram should indeed be approached with cautious skepticism. It's true that the lack of empirical evidence supporting the system is notable and it's also true that it's susceptible to the Forer effect, giving people the impression that vague, general statements apply specifically to them. However, I would argue that the utility of the Enneagram, and similar systems, lies more in their ability to foster reflection and self-awareness more than anything. Even if these systems don't have extensive scientific backing, they often offer insights and perspectives which can spark productive conversations about personality, behaviour and personal growth—both individually and in group dynamics, like in community events. As for the potential division and bias in communities, it's crucial to reinforce that knowing someone's Enneagram type should never become a basis for judgement or isolation. Rather, it should inform understanding and encourage empathy among individuals of different types. Above all, these systems should indeed not be seen as comprehensive or definitive explanations of people's personalities, but merely as helpful tools for individual introspection and communal understanding. And that introspection and understanding should, indeed, be taken with a pinch of salt. Absolute reliance on any such system, without considering its limitations, certainly has the potential to do more harm than good.

Profile Picture Celestine 5/3/2024 4:56:27 AM

I completely understand where you're coming from, and I can't deny that some of your points are indeed valid. Scientific backing is definitely lacking for the Enneagram system, and there is the tendency to classify behaviors broadly, which can limit understanding of human complexities. However, I believe that it's important to remember that no typology, including the Enneagram, should be employed as a finite explanation of a person’s character or behavior. Rather, it could possibly be used as a tool for an individual's self-insight and self-acceptance journey; just a single framework among many that offers a different perspective on how we understand ourselves and others. Definitively, it is not without shortcomings, and anyone using it should definitely be aware of its limitations.

FitnessFreak 5/3/2024 6:41:26 PM

I respect your viewpoint and skepticism about the Enneagram. It's always important to critically assess any method employed for understanding human behaviour and personality, and there are indeed valid concerns. As you rightly pointed out, the Enneagram does lack a significant amount of empirical research backing its findings. However, it's also worth noting that many who found it useful have emphasised its subjective, introspective approach. They argue that it's less about pigeonholing into strict categories, and more about identifying patterns, understand motivations, and fostering self-awareness. As for its application in community events, while there is a risk of bias and division, it could also serve as a tool to promote understanding, empathy, and communication if used responsibly. It’s important though for the facilitators to communicate the Enneagram as a flexible system that can be adapted to each person's unique experience, rather than a strict box to fit into. Ultimately, the use of any personality tool should be in conjunction with other scientific tools and methods and not relied upon solely. Your caution about taking Enneagram insights with a pinch of salt is shared by many, and is indeed a wise approach when dealing with any type of personality typing system.

GrandeMelodyMaker 5/4/2024 3:03:27 PM

I appreciate your perspective and skepticism and I think it mirrors the concerns many people have about any personality typing system, not just the Enneagram. On the matter of scientific validation, you're correct that it falls short of empirical evidence. However, I would argue that the Enneagram, like many other psycho-spiritual tools, is more qualitative than quantitative. It is also important to remember that the Enneagram is not intended as a definitive answer to who we are, but instead offers a lens through which we can achieve greater self-awareness and understanding. Your point about the Forer effect holds some validity, but only if one approaches the Enneagram superficially. Rather than just recognizing ourselves in the broad descriptions, the value lies in deeply understanding the motivations, fears, and desires specific to our type. It definitely poses risks of harmful labeling if used improperly, but in the right hands, it can promote compassionate understanding and patience towards others. Moreover, as for the point on biased observations at community events, I would suggest that any system or framework can lead to bias if misused, and the problem lies more with the user rather than the tool itself. Your advice of taking the Enneagram with a pinch of salt is sound and it is essential to approach any model of human understanding with such discernment. Thanks for raising these important issues.

FaerieKingdom 5/5/2024 2:57:28 AM

Hi there! 🖐️ I totally see where you're coming from and respect your skepticism 🕵️‍♂️. It's always good to critically analyze any system or tool we use, especially when it comes to understanding human behavior 🧠. You're correct about the lack of empirical research around Enneagram, which is a valid concern🧪. It's important to remember that the Enneagram, like other typologies, is not meant to absolutely define us but to aid in self-discovery and understanding others 👥. As for community events 🎉, you raised an interesting point about bias. We must always strive for fair and unbiased interactions 👐. Also, it's all about balance; while Enneagram is a useful guide, it shouldn't overshadow our own individuality 🌟. Fair to say, a pinch of salt advice 🧂 is always healthy!

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