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Although the origins and history of ideas associated with the Enneagram of Personality are disputed, contemporary approaches are principally derived from the teachings of the Bolivian psycho-spiritual teacher Oscar Ichazo from the 1950s and the Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo from the 1970s. Naranjo's theories were also influenced by earlier teachings about personality by George Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way tradition in the first half of the 20th century.
As a typology, the Enneagram defines nine personality types (sometimes called "enneatypes"), which are represented by the points of a geometric figure called an enneagram, which indicate some of the principal connections between the types. There have been different schools of thought among Enneagram teachers and their understandings are not always in agreement.
The Enneagram of Personality is promoted in both business management and spirituality contexts through seminars, conferences, books, magazines, and DVDs. In business contexts, it is often promoted as a means to gain insights into workplace interpersonal dynamics; in spirituality it is commonly presented as a path to states of enlightenment and essence. Proponents in both contexts say it has aided in self-awareness, self-understanding, and self-development.
There has been limited formal psychometric analysis of the Enneagram, and the peer-reviewed research that has been done is not accepted within the relevant academic communities. Though the Enneagram integrates some concepts that parallel other theories of personality, it has been dismissed by personality assessment experts as pseudoscience.
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