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, exhibit a number of noteworthy correlations. In this post, we will take a quick peek at some of these telling connections.
Enneagram 1 Correlations
Judging (J) types.
Ones can be found among any of the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) Judging types. The strength of Judging also tends to be quite pronounced among Ones. As more open-minded Intuitive (N) types, INFJs and INTJs would seem the least likely of the Judging types to test as Ones (at least not as their primary type).
Enneagram 2 Correlations
ESFP, ESFJ, ISFP, ISFJ.
While ENFJs and INFJs may also exhibit certain Two characteristics, their preference for Intuition (N) makes them stronger candidates for other Enneagram zones.
Enneagram 3 Correlations
Most likely representative: ENTP.
Type 3 is a bit trickier. A 2008 study in the Journal of Psychological Type showed that, to the surprise of many, Myers-Briggs Intuition (N) was the preference most strongly correlated with the Three. This makes sense considering that both Threes and Intuitives tend to be future and goal-oriented. The same study also found that 28% of Introverted Threes were misreported as Extraverts on the MBTI. So while Threes are more likely to be Extraverts (E), there are actually more Introverted Threes than is commonly believed. We might also associate Threes’ knack for adaptation with MBTI Perceiving (P). Finally, Enneagram authors Don Riso and Russ Hudson suggest that Threes, especially those who are unhealthy, tend to be estranged from their true feelings, which is more likely among Myers-Briggs Thinkers (T). Taken together, the ENTP would appear the most likely representative of this type. Related types such as ENFP, ENTJ, ESTP, and INTP may also exhibit Three tendencies.
Enneagram 4 Correlations
See our post, Enneagram Type 4 (4w5 & 4w3), for an in-depth look at this type.
Enneagram 5 Correlations
See our post, Enneagram Type 5 (5w4 & 5w6), for an exploration of the Enneagram 5.
Enneagram 6 Correlations
Sensing (S) types.
Sixes’ tendency toward conformity rather than autonomy in the formulation of their beliefs and worldview speaks to a preference for Sensing over Intuition. Research generally bears this out, indicating that Sensors are far more likely to test as Sixes than Intuitives (although Intuitives may have a Six wing).
Enneagram 7 Correlations
ENFP, ENTP, ESFP, ESTP.
Sevens are marked by a preference for Extraversion, as well as by their use of either Extraverted Intuition (Ne) or Extraverted Sensing (S), both of which are explorative, novelty-seeking functions. You can learn more about Sevens in our post: Enneagram Type 7 (7w6 & 7w8).
Enneagram 8 Correlations
I tend to disagree with Riso and Hudson on this one, who associate of the Eight with Ne. It seems more appropriate to link the Eight with Extraverted Thinking (Te), with ESTJs, and especially ENTJs, being the clearest representatives of this type. 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. ESFJ and ENFJ types may also exhibit substantial Eight characteristics.
Enneagram 9 Correlations
The Enneagram Type 9 is slow to engage with the outside world, making this type more likely to be introverted. Moreover, as “Peacemakers,” they are more apt to be P types, preferring to adapt and avoid conflict whenever possible. While ITPs may exhibit certain Nine tendencies, their identity is usually better formed and less amorphous than is characteristic of true Nines. Thus, Nines are most likely to be INFPs or ISFPs.
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