Discovering Your Basic Enneagram Personality Type

Finding your type is traditionally considered important for working with the Enneagram and best served through personal discovery.

First stage is Self Observation. This is an ongoing practice for Inner Work, and requires non-judgemental observance of your own habits, behaviours and thought processes. But without trying to change anything- just see how you do what you do – where your attention goes normally, and what kinds of reactivity you experience, and to what.

Then compare what you find to the teachings as expressed in the Riso-Hudson books and the descriptions of the types.

The Super Ego

It is vital not to judge yourself – in fact – notice the dynamics and messages of your “Inner Critic” – we all have one, and it usually sounds like an authority we should  obey. This is what is called the Super Ego, and it can be very vicious sometimes and make us feel diminished. In fact, that Diminished Feeling  of an inner voice, is a tell-tale sign that we are under attack from the Super-Ego, and it will not serve your personal-spiritual growth.

Caution Against Being Told Your Type

Being told your type by an “expert” is like going to a Tennis tournament that only has one serve and you are told who is going to win anyway.
There would be now learning, no curiosity, no surprises and certainly no personal development for you or anyone else.

Online Tests

There are two versions of the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI) The short RHETI is free, consisting of 35 questions.

The full length, scientifically validated 144 questionnaire RHETI is more accurate and costs around $10 online at

This will provide a score for each type, and it is for you to reflect on and consider which is closer to your experience of yourself. It can help to share the search with a close relative or friend who has known you for a long time.
It can be like seeing ourselves on video or hearing a recording of our voice for the first time.
Remember, we are shining a light on parts of ourselves we would rather ignore and therefore we invite you to undertake this journey with openness, objectivity and compassion.

The Quest
We also recommend the QUEST  test which is included in the Wisdom of The Enneagram book, or can also be taken online at This test can be surprisingly accurate.

The RHETI (Version 2.5) has been Scientifically Validated

Most Recent Independent Validation Study, 2009

A PhD Dissertation has been completed by Mary Ann Giordano and awarded by Loyola University of Chicago. This is the third independently-conducted study on the RHETI (the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator, Version 2.5). It corroborates the validation work of Rebecca Newgent, PhD, and confirms very high reliability coefficients when the RHETI is correlated with the NEO PI-R.

Report on First Validation, March 2001

In March, 2001, the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (RHETI, Version 2.5) was officially validated by independent research. The research, a doctoral dissertation conducted by Rebecca Newgent, Ph.D. at the University of Akron entitled "An Investigation of the Reliability and Validity of the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator" is available from UMI Dissertation Services at 1-800-521-0600. Dr. Newgent concluded that the RHETI is scientifically "valid and reliable" as a test instrument with "solid psychometrics."

You can read more online from the archive of the old Enneagram Institute Website at: