Personality – The Enneagram

While “The Big Five” is a widely used method of defining traits of individuals another method of assessment has also entered commercial mainstream. The Enneagram of Personality, derived from the Greek words ennea meaning nine and gramma meaning written. Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo originally defined nine personalities, sometimes referred to as enneatypes. The purpose of the enneagram revealed patterns by which we organise, interpret and give meaning to all of our experiences (Riso, 2000, p. 11). The structure of the enneagram also indicates potential connections between the nine personality types. With the use of the RHETI (Riso–Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator), the test aims to reveal an individuals type based on 144 paired statements (“Enneagram Test – Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator,” n.d.).

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The nine Enneagram types as outlined by Riso (2000, pp. 18–19)

  1. Type one: Reformer: principle, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionist.
  2. Type two: Helper: generous, demonstrative, people pleasing, and possessive.
  3. Type three: Achiever: adaptable, ambitious, image-conscious, and arrogant.
  4. Type four: Individualist: expressive, romantic, withholding, and temperamental.
  5. Type five: Investigator: innovative, cerebral, dethatched, and provocative.
  6. Type six: Loyalist: reliable, committed, defensive, and suspicious.
  7. Type seven: Enthusiast: spontaneous, versatile, distractible, and excessive.
  8. Type eight: Challenger: self-confident, decisive, dominating, and confrontational.
  9. Type nine: Peacemaker: reassuring, agreeable, disengaged, and stubborn.


Enneagram Test – Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2013, from

Riso, D. R. (2000). Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

One thought on “Personality – The Enneagram”

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