Scientific validity

*sighs* Once again, QUT is advertising courses in the extraordinarily fashionable management tool, the Enneagram.

There are thousands of sites online talking about the value of this tool and you hear people tell you what personality type they are all the time. Businesses use this “psychological testing” as a means of determining whether potential employees are going to become a problem in certain crises due to their personality type indicator according to this system.


It has no scientific validity. Stop arguing. It doesn’t. One PhD from one loony student based on one other study of less than 300 people DOES NOT REPRESENT SCIENTIFIC VALIDITY.

Now I am the first person to say that there are scientists out there who radically get things wrong in the way they deal with alternative therapies and belief systems. The way some doctors belittle naturopathy by labelling it a “placebo effect” is evidence that they are incapable of opening their minds to alternative theories. But that argument just doesn’t wash for the Enneagram, because the latter is being applied as a rationale to employ, promote and defer to the business “acumen” of people who have been identified with particular personality types under the Myers-Briggs and Enneagram personality systems. And they are all bunk. Further, anyone with half a capacity to understand testing systems can fake any personality type they choose. Much like an IQ test – which, in spite of the fact that your 2nd grade school teacher told you that you can’t fake an IQ test, you can actually ‘fake’ by learning how to answer questions – the Enneagram is as scammable and as stupid a device as any other in the history of modern management techniques.

Perhaps one day someone important will work out that you might as well have your palm read or get your astrological star chart as get an Enneagram test. And perhaps then everyone else will listen.

But perhaps I’m also being rather naive.

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