Saturday, September 1, 2007

Scientific Proof for the Enneagram

The Enneagram is currently in the stages of scientific accredidation. It has passed its first stage with flying colors. [link] One of the scientific explanations for the Enneagram personality theory is that personalities and healthiness are based on the ratio of three different mood-altering chemicals in the body: Dopamine, Serotonin, and Norepinepherine. (See article. [link])

Dopamine increases physical endurance or drive. Serotonin increases psychological well being. Norepinepherine increases mental drive and focused thinking, although it also increases stress (you think about it even when you're trying not to).

TYPE

Serotonin
(Mood)

Norepinephrin
(Stress)

Dopamine
(Drive)

Eight


Low

Reactive

Low

Gut Triad



High

Assertive

Nine


High

Positive Outlook

Low

Gut Triad

Low

Withdrawn

One


Neutral

Competency

Low

Gut Triad

Neutral

Compliant

Two


High

Positive Outlook

Neutral

Heart Triad

Neutral

Compliant

Three


Neutral

Competency

Neutral

Heart Triad

High

Assertive

Four


Low

Reactive

Neutral

Heart Triad

Low

Withdrawn

Five


Neutral

Competency

High


Head Triad


Low

Withdrawn

Six


Low

Reactive

High

Head Triad

Neutral

Compliant

Seven


High

Positive Outlook

High

Head Triad

High

Assertive


Norepinephrine corresponds to the basic triad groups (Head, Heart, and Gut, a.k.a. Thinking, Feeling, and Instinctual).
  • High Norepinepherin = Head Triad (5, 6, and 7). High anxiety, a restless mind, high-strung and over-stimulated.
  • Med Norepinepherin = Heart Triad (2, 3, and 4). Some anxiety, good arousal level, stimulated but not restless.
  • Low Norepinepherin = Instinctual Triad (8, 9, and 1). Low anxiety, deliberate thinking.
Dopamine corresponds to the Hornevian Triads (Assertive, Compliant, and Passive [a.k.a. Withdrawn]; more on these triads can be found here.)
  • High Dopamine = Assertive group (3, 7, & 8). Have a lot of energy and drive. High confidence, energy, drive, and endurance.
  • Med Dopamine = Compliant group (1, 2 & 6). Medium confidence, adequate drive, energy, & endurance.
  • Low Dopamine = Passive group (4, 5, & 9). Low confidence, drive, energy, & endurance.
Serotonin corresponds to the Harmonic System (Positive Outlook, Competency, and Reactive [a.k.a. Frustration]).
  • High Serotonin = Positive outlook group (7, 9, & 2). Generally has an upbeat outlook on life. High sense of well-being. Content calm & happy.
  • Med Serotonin = Competency group (1, 3, & 5). Have a stable mood and a neutral sense of well-being.
  • Low Serotonin = Reactive group (4, 6, & 8). Have a low sense of well-being, being reactive, moody, and aggressive.
Healthiness can be determined by changes in the ratio of one chemical to another. Ideally, you want to have a ratio of high Serotonin to low Norepinepherin to high Dopamine.
  • High levels of Serotonin = high sense of well-being, being content, calm, and happy.
  • Low levels of Norepinephrin = low anxiety, having deliberate, rather than automatic, thinking processes.
  • High levels of Dopamine = high confidence, energy drive, and endurance.
Things like wings and disintegrating are a result of changes in the usual balance of these chemicals as well. Integration may well be a result of manipulating the chemicals. Medication, food, music, exercise, meditation, and other activities that naturally increase Serotonin and Dopamine levels may help establish a more balanced ratio, eventually helping people move towards psychological balance and integration, with healthier thinking patterns and views about their lives.

4 comments:

buoyant said...

this makes sense. I had been noticing the energy levels of triads and this may explain how the chemicals establish how the energy flows.

yosef said...

If the Enneagram types were decided biologically, as this article suggests, then natural selection would have discontinued existence for the physically weaker and less security-oriented personality types long ago.

ENXJ said...

A+ for effort, but don't entitle the page "Scientific Proof for the Enneagram;" that title is highly misleading and I suspect that that is the intended effect.

LongeBane said...

Wow, being a pure type 4 kinda SUCKS.