By Dr. A.J. Drenth
One of the most interesting ways of studying personality typology, at least for personality junkies, is comparing different classification systems. Two of the most popular personality taxonomies, the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) and the Enneagram, show numerous consistent and noteworthy correlations. In this post, we will take a quick peek at some of these telling connections.
Enneagram One (1) Correlations
Ones can be found among any of the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) Judging types. The Judging preference also tends to be quite pronounced among Ones. As open-minded, dominant Intuitives, INFJs and INTJs would seem the least likely of the Judging types to test as Ones.
Enneagram Two (2) Correlations
ESFs (ESFP, ESFJ) and ISFs (ISFP, ISFJ).
Enneagram Three (3) Correlations
A tricky one.
A 2008 study in the Journal of Psychological Type showed that Intuition is the Myers-Briggs preference most strongly correlated with the Three. This makes sense considering that both Enneagram Threes and Myers-Briggs Intuitives are future and goal-oriented. The same study also found that 28% of Introverted Threes were misreported as Extraverts by the MBTI. Hence, there are likely to be more Introverts among Threes than is commonly believed. We might also associate Threes’ knack for adaptation MBTI Intuition and/or Perceiving. Finally, we might postulate Threes’ ambition to relate to Myers-Briggs types with a dominant Judging function (e.g., EJs or IPs). Based on the above, I would consider the ENFJ the most likely embodiment of the Three, particularly ENFJ males. NTPs as well as male NFPs may also display notable Three tendencies.
Enneagram Four (4) Correlations
See my post, Enneagram Type Four (4w5 & 4w3): Insights for INFJs, INFPs, INTJs & INTPs, for an in-depth look at Fours.
Enneagram Five (5) Correlations
Enneagram Six (6) Correlations
Sensing (S) types.
Sixes tendency to be conformists rather than autonomous in the formulation of their beliefs and worldview is suggestive of a preference for Sensing rather than Intuition. Research generally bears this out.
Enneagram Seven (7) Correlations
EPs (ENFP, ESFP, ENTP, ESTP).
Sevens are clearly marked by a preference for Extraversion, as well as by their use of either Ne and Se. According to type theory, Ne and Se never occur within the functional stack of the same type. Nonetheless, both can be viewed as novelty-seeking functions and can be associated with the Seven.
Enneagram Eight (8) Correlations
ETJs (ENTJ, ESTJ).
I tend to disagree with Riso & Hudson on this one, who associate of the Eight with Extraverted Intuition (Ne). It seems more appropriate to associate the Eight with Extraverted Thinking (Te), with the ENTJ being its purest embodiment. Granted, some EFPs also display strong Te by way of their tertiary function (e.g., ENFP Steve Jobs) and may thus fit the bill as Eights.
Enneagram Nine (9) Correlations
IFPs (INFP, ISFP).
Since Nines are slow to engage with the outside world, they are more likely to be Introverts. Moreover, as “Peacemakers,” they are more apt to be P types. This is why Ps, especially IPs, are more prone to having communication issues in their relationships. While ITPs may exhibit certain Nine tendencies, their identity is usually better formed than is characteristic of true Nines.
In light of the above, here is a summary of some key Enneagram-Myers-Briggs / MBTI correlations:
- Introverts (4, 5, 9) and extraverts (7, 8 )
- Intuitives (3, 4, 5) and sensors (6)
- Thinkers (5, 8) and feelers (2, 4, 9)
- Perceivers (7, 9) and judgers (1, 8 )