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The Enneagram personality typing system defines set of motivations and basic fears for its nine personality types among people.

The system seems to be aimed at personal development of a person, and uses various approaches for the same (like one type integrating into other - which is essentially the person overcoming their basic fears using their motivations in a different manner etc.). For more info regarding the system, look here.

A large part of this system seems spiritual and based on very strange assumptions, but equally strangely - I don't know why or how - many people identify themselves with these basic motivations and fears in a way that doesn't seem like Forer effect - at least to me. The system is flexible enough that a person can identify his/her motivations towards one type and to some extent towards another type.


  • Are the motivations and fears for people listed in Enneagram typing system discussed in any other scientific theory about motivations among people?

  • There doesn't seem to be much of Forer effect taking place because people seem to identify themselves and "grow into other types". If we assume people are basically overcoming their fears doing so, what is the scientific term/explanation for such a process?

  • Provided we have a flexible system here, people may develop in a more complex manner than by just overcoming their basic fears while integrating/dis-integrating into other type. What are people doing to themselves doing so?

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To be clear, integration and disintegration is not "overcoming fears and using motivations in different ways", or "growing into other types". Rather, it's a specific behavioral response to points of low and high "mental/emotional health" and intimacy. A One disintegrating to a Four isn't adopting the Four's motivation or fear, but simply a set of behaviors tied to the complexities underlying Four behavior and affect. Similarly, a One integrating to a Seven is not "growing into it" but accepting some of the natural behaviors of the Seven that were otherwise repressed by the One's fear –  Attackfarm Jul 23 '14 at 2:06

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