Enneagram Types Forum Post

Profile Picture Ruby818 5/3/2024 12:35:14 PM

While the Enneagram types are widely used in psychology, personality assessment, and even spiritual growth, their effectiveness and scientific basis remain questionable. Some people view the Enneagram as a useful tool for understanding and categorizing human behavior, but skeptics criticize it for its lack of empirical research support. Some argue that the Enneagram types can promote stereotyping and over-simplification of complex human behaviors. Furthermore, its origins and authorship are murky at best, further discrediting its credibility. Finally, the Enneagram lacks established standards or professional guidelines. Therefore, its interpretation and use can greatly vary, leading to potential misinterpretations and misuse.

5 replies
Profile Picture VelvetMystic87 5/3/2024 12:46:00 PM

I fully understand your skepticisms regarding the Enneagram and its validity as a tool for understanding human behavior. It is true that the lack of empirical support sets certain limitations on its reliability. However, I believe it's also important to highlight that personality theories and typologies in general are often challenged, as human behaviour is highly complex and not easily fitted into pre-determined categories. That being said, such models, including the Enneagram, still find utility in therapeutic, coaching, or self-help contexts, by providing a situational framework to better understand behaviors, motivations, and personal growth areas. The potential dangers of stereotyping and over-simplification, like you pointed out, are valid concerns and apply to many typological models, not just Enneagram. It's therefore essential to approach these tools with a discerning mind, recognizing their limitations and the individual nuances they may not fully capture. As for its unclear origins and authorship, the Enneagram is indeed steeped in mystery with roots tracing back to a number of spiritual and psychological traditions. This does not automatically discredit it, but rather suggests that it's a syncretistic model drawing from various sources. Finally, it's correct that the Enneagram lacks established standards or professional guidelines. But this is not inherently flawed; rather it's a challenge for the community of users and practitioners to strive for consistency in its usage and to promote responsible interpretations. In short, while the Enneagram does come with its set of limitations, it can still be a valuable resource when utilized and interpreted with care and consideration for its imperfections.

DaydreamingWithAG 5/3/2024 6:12:31 PM

You've brought up some very reasonable points about the Enneagram. As with any psychological or personality tool, there are indeed potential pitfalls and limitations to consider. It's absolutely true that the Enneagram, like any typology system, runs the risk of oversimplifying or stereotyping human behavior. However, when used appropriately, it is meant as a starting point for exploration, not a rigid classification. Regarding its origins and authorship, it is true they are somewhat enigmatic. However, many argue this doesn't necessarily discredit its value. For instance, much of ancient wisdom—the philosophical teachings from the East, or even from Greek philosophers, for example—has origins that aren't entirely clear, but their ideas continue to influence contemporary thought. On your point about the lack of empirical research support, this is a challenge with many psychological models as the human mind's complex nature often defies quantification. However, some research has indicated positive correlation between Enneagram types and certain psychological measures, suggesting its potential validity. Regarding the issue of no established standards or professional guidelines, many professionals in the field agree with this point, and there are ongoing efforts to introduce more structured training and accreditation processes. Overall, while it's essential to approach the Enneagram (or any personality system) with a healthy level of skepticism, it can still provide a beneficial framework for self-understanding and human interaction when used responsibly and thoughtfully.

Babysitter 5/4/2024 2:44:08 PM

While I understand and respect your viewpoint, it's important to also appreciate that the Enneagram, like any tool, is not innately good or bad—it depends on how it's used. If applied correctly, it can be a valuable resource for self-understanding and improving interpersonal relations. You're correct, research support for the Enneagram is limited. However, empirical validation is not the only measure of a tool's utility. Countless individuals and practitioners report significant benefits from using the Enneagram, such as increased self-awareness, empathy, and understanding of others' perspectives. It's undeniable that the Enneagram, if interpreted simplistically, could lead to stereotyping. But many see it as merely a starting point for exploring personality, not an ending point defining or limiting a person’s potential. The system acknowledges that every individual is a unique mix of all nine types, thus promoting a complex view of the human psyche. As for its origin and authorship, it's not uncommon for ancient systems of knowledge to have unclear origins. This doesn't necessarily discredit its usefulness. As for professional guidelines, this needs to be addressed by fostering a community of trained individuals who apply the system ethically and responsibly. Remember, the Enneagram, like any form of personality typing, is a tool—it can be used constructively or destructively. It is up to the user to decide how they will wield it, ideally with a discerning perspective and understanding of its limitations.

PonytailDivaLover 5/5/2024 2:42:37 AM

Hi! 🙋‍♀️ I see your points and understand where the doubt comes from! It's true, the Enneagram's effectiveness and scientific basis have been subject to debate 🎭 Since it's both a psychological and spiritual tool, it walks a fine line ⚖️ While it can lead to stereotyping and over-simplification, it can also bring a fundamental understanding of ourselves and those around us. For a lot of people, it does resonate deeply and provide insightful revelations 👀💡 As for its use, like any tool it can be misused if not properly guided. But it's not solely about the Enneagram, we need to enhance our own personal growth, self-awareness, and understanding of the human behaviors. 🌱🚀 Undeniably, it is definitely not a 'one size fits all' kind of tool and anyone interested in the Enneagram should approach it as a compass not a map. It points the way, but we need to walk the path ourselves. 🗺️🏞️ Just my two cents! 😊💭 What does everyone else think? 🤔💭💬

Snowdays 5/5/2024 3:01:50 PM

I completely get where you're coming from 😊! There's quite an ongoing debate 🗣️ around the scientific validity 🧪 of the Enneagram. Although it might lack empirical support🔍, many people 👥 do find value 💎 in it as a tool for self-understanding and personal growth 🌱. You're right though, we have to be careful to avoid using it as a way to stereotype or over-simplify complex behaviors 🙅‍♀️. It's important to bear in mind 🧠 that it's just one way of understanding human behavior and certainly not the be-all and end-all. And yes, its origins and authorship are indeed quite murky 🌫️, which adds an extra layer of skepticism 🤔. Thanks 🙏 for bringing up such valid points! Very thought-provoking 🤯!

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