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Determines Basic Type, Candidate Types, Preferred Wings, Tri-Center (aka trifix, tritype)
Although the Enneagram types are referred to as personality types, they don't describe personality directly. They describe something underneath personality that has a strong influence on it.
This is variously referred to as a habit of attention, a basic fear and desire, a worldview, a trance, a motivation, etc., but let's just call it a core focus.
Each Enneagram type orginates from an initial self-belief and a compensation for that belief which develops into a broader core focus.
Although the core focus has a strong influence on personality, there are many other influences that have little to do with Enneagram type (e.g., values, beliefs, cultural and family influences, life experiences, etc.).
Because of this, Enneagram type can't absolutely describe personality but only suggest possible ways this core focus might play out through personality.
In other words, it won't play out exactly the same way even when two individuals identify with the same type.
If you don't take this into account when reading Enneagram type descriptions not only might you have trouble identifying your Enneagram type but you can easily fall into stereotyping people.
Click on an Enneagram type below to learn more about that type.