Comparing the Enneagram system vs the Big Five system can be complicated. Most people see these two tests as extremely similar, and thus do not feel the need to take both of them.
Yet, these two assessments offer different feedback. By learning about them, taking both of them, and properly interpreting your results, you will get a better understanding of your overall personality.
This can benefit your life in a matter of different ways, such as by giving you more confidence, a feeling of control over your career, and much more. In this article, we will discuss the differences between the Enneagram and Big Five assessments as well as why both of them are important.
Systems Compared: The 9 vs The 5 Type
The Enneagram and the Big Five are among some of the most popular personality assessments available on the internet. Both of them offer numerous benefits to those who take them. However, one of the starkest differences between them is the way they categorize their results.
The Enneagram groups individuals into 9 potential categories. There are also subtypes for each of the 9 Enneagram groups. On the other hand, the Big Five does not place you in a group.
This assessment will quantify your levels of certain personality traits (the Big Five personality traits – agreeableness, openness, extraversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness). You will understand your unique combination of these personality traits after taking the Big Five assessment.
Another key difference between these two tests is the level of detail in the results. Since the Enneagram places you into groups by evaluating a wide variety of your personality traits and decision-making skills, you will more likely get an in-depth personality assessment from taking the Enneagram when compared to the Big Five.
When taking the Big Five, you will get very specific results centered around just 5 personality traits. However, you may not get quite as broad an overview of your personality when compared to those who take the Enneagram.
Compared with HIGH5
High5 is an online strengths assessment. It evaluates your level of certain strengths based on a series of short questions and creates a strength profile as a result. The Enneagram and Big Five both do not offer strengths assessments. Rather, they are personality tests.
While personality assessments and strengths tests are related, they are not exactly the same. For example, High5 does not include your weaknesses but will give you a great overview of your strengths profile. You can then use this knowledge to leverage your strengths at work and beyond.
On the other hand, the Big Five includes a negative quality (neuroticism) in their test results. Similarly, the Enneagram exam will give you an overview of your entire personality, including both your flaws, motivations, skills and some strengths. Neither the Enneagram nor the Big Five test performs an in-depth analysis of your key skills, while the High5 assessment focuses solely on strengths.
Categories and Structure: 4 Domains vs Range
The structure of the Enneagram and Big Five tests differ significantly. Both give you a series of questions to try to determine your top personality characteristics. The types of questions asked in the assessments may be similar. However, the results could be extremely different.
For instance, the Big Five test is limited to only testing for five traits. When you acquire your results, you will see how much you possess a certain quality (for instance, agreeableness of neuroticism) on a scale.
If you rank highly on this scale, this means that the trait dominates your personality (for example, someone scoring 92% on agreeableness means that an individual is extremely agreeable. This has impacts on their career and can give you insights on your overall personality, too).
The structure of the Enneagram test is quite different. There will still be scales to determine how much of a fit you are to a certain personality type. However, your answers to the test are not aligned with traits. Rather, they are aligned with distinct personalities. The Enneagram searches for trait clusters that are associated with a certain personality, as opposed to the traits themselves (like the Big Five does).
Compared to HIGH5
The High5 assessment is one of the most comprehensive strengths tests on the web. When taking High5, you will be asked a series of questions relating to your goals, personality, decision-making, and more. The test will categorize you into one of numerous strengths profiles depending on your responses. Along with your result, you can see a few of the unique abilities your strengths profile has.
You will not see the strengths you are not proficient in using. High5 focuses on helping you use a strength-based approach to personal development as opposed to a weakness-oriented one. This is different from the way other personality tests function.
Tests like the Enneagram and Big Five will give you a general overview of your weaknesses as well. There can be issues with these results, though, as they encourage test-takers to think negatively, lose confidence, dwell on their flaws, and as a result, not improve their abilities.
What Do Results Tell You? Personality Types vs Personal Characteristics
Taking personality assessments can be fun and engaging, but they also serve a much deeper meaning. These tests can help you grow as a person and reach your career goals. To truly get the most out of any personality test, you need to know how to interpret your results. And, the way you approach doing so is different depending on the test you take.
If you decide to take the Enneagram test, your results will be shown through the style of personality types. This means your personality will be associated with a certain ‘character’ such as Enneagram type 8, 2, 5, and so on. With each of these numerical assignments come a wide variety of traits.
However, if you decide to take the Big Five assessment, then you will not be given personality characters with a wide range of traits associated with them. Instead, you will be revealed the extent to which you possess certain traits. Therefore, your results will be highly specific (only being centered around a few different personality traits rather than covering your entire personality).
Compared to HIGH5
High5 is unique in that this assessment combines both highly specific trait testing with testing your overall strengths and assigning you a strength type based on those results. After you take the High5 test, you will be assigned a strength type.
For example, someone who prioritizes being gentle, thoughtful, and cares for others could be assigned the Empathizer role as their primary strengths match.
In addition to this result, you will also be given a few other strength profiles that match your abilities but to a lesser degree. You will be given a list of your top 5 strength profile matches. With each of these profiles comes numerous
What Do Tests Highlight? Extremes vs Differences
As we previously noted, there are previous key differences between the Big Five assessment and the Enneagram test. Another significant difference between these two tests is the way they describe extremes vs differences between them.
The Enneagram system describes some of the more extreme personality elements you have. The test will show you your top and most significant traits. These abilities will include your top worries, greatest goals, some of your strengths, and so on. On the other hand, you can see that the Big Five test compares you on a scale of all other individuals who took the test.
The Big Five was built on information gathered from previous test-takers. These test-takers informed the developers about what ‘extreme neuroticism’ or ‘extreme agreeableness’ looks like. By taking this test, it will help you see how you compare to others and how strong certain personality tests you have.
Compared to HIGH5
The HIGH5 assessment can highlight your more extreme qualities but focuses less on the way you compare to your peers. For instance, when you get your results for the test, you can see a few of your greatest qualities. You will be assigned a few top personality characters and the qualities assigned to these personality characters.
However, you will see less of the way you compare to others. You will not be shown how much of a certain strength you possess as compared to others, but you can compare your personality characteristics with coworkers, friends, and others. This allows you to see what truly matters most to you: your unique qualities, as opposed to seeing how you compare to other test-takers.
Why is the Big Five better than the MBTI?
Whether you take the MBTI, HIGH5, Big 5, or Ennegaram depends on what you are looking for in a personality or strengths assessment. Therefore, it is difficult to say which test you should take or which test is better. However, there are some key benefits to taking the Big Five assessment over the MBTI.
The MBTI is one of the most popular personality assessments of all time. In fact, it is the most popular personality test available on the web. Nonetheless, the Big Five can give you highly detailed information on 5 key traits. Getting highly specific and detailed information on these traits can give you an immense amount of knowledge on your personality.
In addition to this, the Big Five has been shown to be particularly helpful in assisting you with your career goals. These 5 qualities are perhaps some of the most important in determining your career success. Thus, if you want some of the greatest career advice, consider taking the Big Five. This test is also far better than the MBTI if you want highly straightforward results.
Is Enneagram more accurate than MBTI?
Both the Enneagram and the MBTI are excellent assessments you can take to learn about your personality. However, some believe that the Enneagram is more accurate than the MBTI. The accuracy of the assessments depends on what you want to know about yourself.
If you are looking to find out more about the way you react, your decision-making, and your overall personality, then the Enneagram would be a more accurate and useful test for you to take. However, if you want to understand more about your emotions, you should consider taking the MBTI. Both of these tests are similar in their questions, and their results are also relatively similar, though.
Is Big 5 More Accurate than Myers-Briggs?
The accuracy of both your Big 5 and Myers-Briggs test results depends on a wide variety of factors. The helpfulness of these results also depends on what specifically you seek to gain from taking these assessments.
One reason to believe the Big Five test is more accurate than the MBTI is its origins. The Big Five had major scientific backing, while the MBTI has become less scientific and more sensationalized over the years.
While the MBTI has been developed with some research from psychologist Carl Jung and numerous other individuals, many modern psychologists reject the accuracy of this test while supporting the use of the Big Five as a legitimate assessment.
The Big Five gives you a few specific data points related to five personality traits, making them highly accurate. The MBTI attempts to give you information on a broad range of personality traits, and this may make each of the results less detailed and less accurate than you would like. Thus, most people believe the Big Five is the more accurate assessment of the two.
Is Big 5 Scientifically Accurate?
There is a hot debate in the scientific community regarding the accuracy of the Big Five test and many other personality assessments. Some psychologists and researchers believe that these tests are unreliable and unscientific. However, there has been some scientific research that went into the development of the Big Five personality tests, and many researchers still believe it is accurate.
The Big Five personality test is acknowledged by most scientists to be on the more accurate side, although it certainly has key flaws. Some of these flaws were articulated in a study published by Dr. Rachid Laajaj and colleagues in the ScienceAdvances Journal (1).
There, they articulated that the Big Five is not as accurate as many people make it out to be. In fact, many individuals misinterpret their results, and this could lead to unintentional long-term negative consequences.
In the end, many scientists differ in their opinions in relation to this assessment. Some call it one of the most scientifically accurate tests you could take online. Others criticize it and warn of its inaccuracies. The wide range of opinions shows that the Big Five is not widely accepted in the scientific community, but it may offer benefits to some individuals who want specific personality information.
Final Word on These Two Personality Systems
The MBTI, Big Five, and Enneagram personality tests are some of the most popular assessments online for a reason. Not only are they entertaining to take, but you can gain incredible information on your personality by answering just a few questions. These results can then be used to benefit your relationships and career as well as help you achieve your goals and gain clarity.
There are numerous similarities between both of these tests. For example, their methodology is relatively similar, and the questions are typically quite similar as well. However, there are some major differences in their results. The Big Five focuses solely on ranking five specific traits you have. They give you highly specific information on these traits.
On the other hand, the Enneagram gives you a more general overview of your traits and personality. They place attention on your extreme strengths and weaknesses. Both of these tests can be useful in helping you create a better career or start the self-improvement journey. It is ultimately up to you to determine which fits in more with your goals and needs. Or, you could take both!