What is the Enneagram Test?

enneagram test

Anyone who is into personality tests like the Meyers-Briggs may be interested to learn about the Enneagram Test. This inventory goes further than some of the others and provides insight into more aspects of personality. It’s becoming quite popular as more and more people learn about its benefits and share it with their friends. Along with telling individuals about their preferences, this quiz provides information on the ways in which they form relationships and how they work. Keep reading to discover:

  • more details about the Enneagram
  • the personality types it tests for
  • the kind of information it provides

What is the Enneagram Test and How Does it Work?

The Enneagram of Personality, or Enneagram for short, began as a model of the human psyche. Its nine interconnected personality types are believed to be attributed to Oscar Ichazo in the 1950s and Claudio Naranjo in the 1970s. The nine types, enneatypes, are represented by the nine points of a specific geometric figure called an enneagram, hence the name. The enneagram system is used in wide circles such as:

  • business
  • spirituality
  • personal development

It is believed to provide insight into the workings of people’s personalities. The goal is often to improve interpersonal dynamics, reach a higher state of enlightenment or aid in self-awareness.  Enneagrams can also be helpful for spiritual growth.

Popular Enneagram Tests

The most popular enneagram test is the Riso Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator or RHETI.  Russ Hudson and Don Richard Riso created the Enneagram Institute in 1997 to research and refine the development of the enneagram.  They developed a scientifically validated enneagram test.  The Riso Hudson enneagram test contains 144 paired statements.  Test takers must make an honest choice between each paired statement. The results of the enneagram RHETI test yield a full personality profile.

Another popular enneagram psychology test is the Integrative Enneagram Questionnaire.  The iEQ9 is also a scientifically validated test.  Test takers spend about 30 minutes completing a series of 175 questions.  The test is consistently updated with the latest insights from areas like psychology and neuroscience.

What Are the Nine Main Enneagram Types?

enneagram figure

As noted, the Enneagram Test offers nine personality types. According to Forbes, the test explains why each personality type might behave in certain ways, giving insight into fears and motivations.  While you will likely see a bit of yourself in all nine types, a basic personality type should stand out as the one being closest to your true self.

The nine enneagram types are as follows:

  • The Reformer: rational, idealistic
  • The Helper: caring, interpersonal
  • The Achiever: success-oriented and pragmatic
  • The Individualist: sensitive, withdrawn
  • The Investigator: intense, cerebral
  • The Loyalist: committed, security-oriented
  • The Enthusiast: extraverted, spontaneous
  • The Challenger: powerful, dominating
  • The Peacemaker: easygoing, self-effacing

Type 1- The Reformer

Type 1 individuals have a strong sense of what’s right and wrong.  They have high standards, but they can be critical.  They want to improve everything.  Examples of Type 1 individuals include Michelle Obama and Martha Stewart.

Type 2- The Helper

Helpers are warm-hearted and empathetic individuals.  They need to be close to others and feel needed.  They have a basic fear of being unwanted or unloved.   They are at their best when they are being generous and doing for others.  Twos need to repress their negative feelings in order to focus on the positive.  Famous Type 2 individuals include Richard Simmons and Elizabeth Taylor.

Type 3- The Achiever

Achievers are ambitious and highly driven.  They are self-assured but can be too concerned with their image and how others perceive them.  Some may have trouble being overly competitive.  Their basic fear is of being seen as worthless.  Famous Type 3 individuals include Tom Cruise and Muhammed Ali.

Type 4- The Individualist

Individualists are self-aware and reserved.  While honest and creative, they can also be quite moody.  Some have issues with self-indulgence and/or self-pity.  It is important to them that they have their own identify.  Famous fours include Johnny Depp and Magician Criss Angel.

Type 5- The Investigator

The Investigator is curious.  They have the ability to concentrate and appear inventive or innovative.  Some may have issues with isolation or eccentricity.  They fear being useless or incompetent.  Some renown fives include Bobby Fischer and Tim Burton.

Type 6- The Loyalist

Hardworking and trustworthy are words that describe The Loyalist.  The Loyalist basic type has the ability to foresee problems.  They want to feel secure and supported by others.  Famous sixes include Tom Hanks and Jay Leno.

Type 7- The Enthusiast

Enthusiasts are outgoing and extroverted.  They are high-spirited and seek new experiences.  They can be easily distracted and can find themselves over-extended if not careful.  Their basic fear is of being deprived.  Well known sevens include Paris Hilton and Simon Cowell.

Type 8- The Challenger

Enneagram Type Eight is The Challenger.  Challengers are strong and assertive.  They are straight-talkers and decisive.  Sometimes they can come across as confrontational or intimidating.  Their basic fear is of being harmed by others.  Renown eights include Donald Trump and Winston Churchill.

Type 9- Peacemaker

The Peacemaker is the ninth type.  Peacemakers are trusting and stable.  They are supportive but may go too extreme lengths to keep the peace.  They avoid conflict and can minimize things that could be upsetting.  Famous nines include Norman Rockwell and John F. Kennedy Jr.

The above list is merely an overview of the enneatypes. The Enneagram Institute offers more detailed information on each type, along with a test, the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI), that users can take to discover their own Enneagram type.

Related Resource: What are Psychomotor Skills?

Information Provided by the Test

Along with providing information on thoughts and behavior, the Enneagram Test can also tell quite a bit about relationships. There are 81 combinations of possible relationship interactions among the nine categories, which offers a number of insights. This kind of information can be useful in sharing with partners or friends in order to increase understanding.

When businesses incorporate Enneagram use with their employees, a great deal of information can be gleaned to increase productivity and improve workplace dynamics. It can show individuals the ways in which they will be most productive on the job, letting them shine in their areas of strength and defer difficult tasks to others on the team.

This inventory isn’t a tell-all type of test. No one individual can learn everything about themselves through a simple personality test. However, when used with critical thinking, it truly can help to improve relationships and self-discovery across a variety of contexts. The Enneagram Test has proven itself to be a worthy and valuable assessment tool that is accepted by a number of different professional circles.

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