The Essential Enneagram

The NEW Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide (Set of 12)

$120.00 $100.00

This 116-page, comprehensive guide to the Enneagram features an updated and improved typing process to determine your personality type, plus specific self-development practices for each type. This is a “must-read” for anyone interested in the Enneagram.

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Product Description

by David Daniels, MD, and Virginia Price, PhD
HarperOne, 2009

This 116-page, comprehensive guide to the Enneagram features an updated and improved typing process to determine your personality type, plus specific self-development practices for each type. This is a “must-read” for anyone interested in the Enneagram.


  • User friendly, accurate, validated, and reliable paragraph test and process of self-discovery of your Enneagram type with precise probabilities for each type
  • Key type discriminators for each type from every other type
  • Type description pages for each type that show the basic propositions, principal characteristics, stress, anger, and defensiveness of type, and path of personal development including the ultimate goal, steps for self, hindrances to development, and how others can support the type
  • A complete section on general practices plus specific practices for each type

New to the 2009 edition

  • Updated and improved typing process that includes the Key Adjectives for each type and the Myths about Type
  • Additions to the Type Description pages:
    • Communication Styles
    • The Blind Spots for each type
    • The Core Belief or ultimate trap
    • The Deepest Fear or ultimate avoidance
  • Additions to Path of Development
    • Additions to “What to Do When You Have Discovered Your Type” section:
    • The Guidelines for Optimal Learning
    • The Universal Growth Process of Self-Mastery 
    • Expanded type specific practices including a practice for receptive awareness, for taking action, for previewing and reviewing progress, for the “4As”of awareness, acceptance, action and adherence, and for reclaiming your higher qualities

From the back cover

“The most fundamental guide to the Enneagram ever offered, this book features effective self-testing to determine simply and accurately what your personality type is. Daniels and Price provide step-by-step instructions for taking inventory of how you think, what you feel, and what you experience. They then guide you to your discovery of what your type means for your personal well-being and your relationships with others, and they show you how to maximize your inherent strengths. Brimming with empowering information for each of the nine types, this one-of-a-kind book equips you with all the tools you need to dramatically enhance your quality of life.”

From the Forward by Helen Palmer, renowned author and teacher of the Enneagram

The Essential Enneagram offers a groundbreaking and original approach to a key problem in personality study. How do you correctly find your place within a rich and complex system, when the choice itself requires knowing yourself beforehand?

The authors’ innovative method looks like a guided tour to discovering, confirming, and verifying your personality type. You are provided with key checkpoints along the way to make sure you stay on track, and a set of sensitive, practical exercises to aid your personal development once you’ve discovered your type. David and Virginia are the first authors to bring both scientific validity and reliability studies to the Enneagram.

This book guides you in exploring how your placement of attention and use of energy focuses your worldview, how you deal with stress and anger, and what you can do to develop yourself and receive support from others.

This book is rooted in David’s and Virginia’s extensive clinical experience and their understanding of people from the inside out. Their presentation of general methods for personal change and their type-specific practices are exceptionally valuable.

This long-awaited work is a must for anyone interested in effective communication, compassionate relationships, freedom from confinement of repetitive behavior, and, ultimately, the freedom to be a complete human being.

Helen Palmer

Review by Arthur Hastings, Ph.D., professor, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA

This is a great compact book on Enneagram types, based on an innovative new test, describing how people experience themselves within the types, identifying deeper issues of the points, and presenting exercises and practices for personal development. Much therapeutic insight is compressed into these descriptions, which will be useful for counselors and those interested in inner work. The book is intentionally brief, so it does not exhaust the nuances and implications for the system. However, it gets to core issues, structures and dynamics, and offers ways to work with the qualities personally or as a therapist.

Arthur Hastings, Ph.D.

Cautions in test claims

  • When taking online tests be sure to check for validity and reliability information
  • Sometimes reliability data is presented as validity data, e.g., “construct validity” is actually a form of reliability data 
  • Check to see if any external validity measures are used, i.e., measures other than internal statistical methods and comparisons with other tests

Validity of the Essential Enneagram Test

We designed a simple paragraph test based on logical constructs of the nine Enneagram personality types derived from the theoretical work of Helen Palmer and David Daniels. Each paragraph includes the:

  • Overall worldview of the type 
  • Attentional style 
  • Dominant mental and emotional biases
  • Central preoccupations 
  • Positive attributes of the type

We asked representatives of each personality type to review and revise their respective paragraphs to ensure that the paragraphs were congruent with their actual experience of being that type. We then reviewed their revisions to ensure that the paragraphs were accurate from a theoretical standpoint and were equally socially desirable.

We established the Essential Enneagram Test’s validity by testing 970 individuals throughout the United States who enrolled in Enneagram classes or volunteered for typing interviews. These individuals did not know their Enneagram personality type and were unfamiliar with the Enneagram. Sixty-five percent of the sample were women. Thirty-five percent were men.

We compared each individual’s Essential Enneagram Test self-rating to one of two “gold standard” ratings:

One of the gold standards used was a diagnostic typing interview conducted by certified Enneagram teachers who did not know how the individuals had rated themselves.

The other gold standard was the individual’s own re-evaluation on the Assessment Inventory after taking a 10-week Enneagram course or its equivalent.

The two gold standards produced similar results. These results are used to indicate the validity of the Essential Enneagram Test – the probability that users will accurately select their personality type from among the nine paragraphs.

We analyzed the results for each of the nine paragraphs separately. Each of the nine paragraphs, or personality types, has its own probability of accurately discriminating among the nine Enneagram personality types. The Type Determination pages in the Essential Enneagram show the validity of each paragraph. For example, the Perfectionist paragraph has a 66-percent validity. This means that two-thirds of the people who selected the Perfectionist paragraph as their type were also identified as this type by the gold standard – either by an expert’s rating through a structured interview or by their own re-evaluation of themselves following an Enneagram course.

People sometimes choose a paragraph in the Essential Enneagram Test that is not their correct personality type, but is one of the look-alike or similar types associated with their personality type, or is one of the four personality types connected to their personality type.

Four types are associated with each personality type according to Enneagram personality theory. They are the two wings and the security type and the stress type. For this reason, we also calculated the probability of individuals being each of the other eight types, if their self-rating was not correct when compared to the gold standard. The Type Determination pages in the Essential Enneagram show these other analyses. For example, eight percent of the subjects who chose the Perfectionist paragraph are actually the Romantic type, eight percent are the Loyal Skeptic type, seven percent are the Giver type, and five percent are the Mediator type. The remaining six percent of those who typed themselves as the Perfectionist are distributed among the remaining four types.

In addition to there being a specific probability associated with each personality type chosen and with each of the other eight types, the type Determination pages have specific step-by-step instructions for users to test the accuracy of their choices.

Note on statistical analyses

Each Enneagram paragraph was analyzed with respect to sensitivity (SENS), specificity (SPEC), predictive value of positives (PVP), predictive value of negatives (PVN), test efficiency (EFF), and Cohen’s Kappa test for intra-class correlation. Kappa statistics were computed for the test across all 9 scales as a measure of overall test concordance. Test validity as measured by congruency of respondents’ answers to the gold standard were statistically and clinically significant. The overall Kappa for the entire test was 0.5254 (p<0.0001), considered a significant degree of concordance. All analyses of individual items exhibited concordance or intra-class correlations significant at p<0.0001. Reliability analysis was performed with a small naïve group (n=62) of graduate students. Alternate versions of the test were given four weeks apart without an introduction of the Enneagram or without introducing any other bias. Analysis revealed a significant concordance, Kappa=0.589 (p<0.0001).

Additional Information

Weight 44.1 oz
Dimensions 5.25 x 8.0 x 4 in


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