Neojungian Typology Comparisons


People often ask me what Neojungian Typology does differently compared to other systems. And Neojungian Typology is a synthesis that builds a lot on and recognises the strength of other models. There will be a lot of similarities between Neojungian Typology and the MBTI and the Enneagram. I appreciate both systems and I build upon and improve them. Here are some key comparisons:

Neojungian Typology

The MBTI

The Enneagram

Neojungian Typology started out by observing research in neuroscience and modern psychology to gain ideas about personality- and thinking related differences. The MBTI started out by testing if Carl Jung’s theories on cognitive functions could be used to help recruitment firms and HR companies find good fits for the workplace. The Enneagram started out as a spiritual system that explored different archetypes and differences in how people experience emotions.
Neojungian Typology describes the ideal condition or how a person is when in a state of flow as compared to during stress and anxiety. The MBTI is a purely descriptive system that describes normal and positive differences in a person, not traumas or disorders. The Enneagram is a system that describes common problems, traumas and difficulties a person might have, often of an emotional nature.
Neojungian Typology tracks twelve common subtypes and variations in a person based on their energy, emotional development and how they are currently feeling. The MBTI has a limited ability to describe subtypes by tracking small differences in preferences for introversion/extraversion, intuition/sensing, feeling/thinking and judging/perceiving. The Enneagram has a multitude of subtypes and wings and can be used to understand people from a million different angles, but has less extensive information about each individual subtype.
Neojungian Typology advocates that a person should find a way to live a healthy life in tune with their dominant needs and basic preferences, finding ways to live in flow and balance without needing to rely too much on their less adept functions.  There are two different strands of thought in the MBTI:
a) A person should strive to become more balanced and to develop their weaker functions.
b) A person should strive to develop their secondary functions by going outside their comfort zone.
A person should seek to overcome the fixation or the issues associated with a certain Enneagram type and find a more healthy and free way to live their lives. 
Neojungian Typology separates between type and ability, but draws overlaps between skills and the use and development of certain cognitive functions, for example an INFJ-3 will be a naturally talented communicator, and an INFJ-6 a good philosopher. The MBTI often uses type and ability interchangeably, arguing that an INTP will have a set of skills that they will almost always be naturally good at compared to, say, an ESFJ. The Enneagram does not generally address skill or ability, but focuses on lifestyle, emotions, and experiences of a type.
You are typed based on your preferences and what you enjoy and find more motivating, compared to what you find stressful, frustrating, and unpleasant. You are typed based on how you prefer to act and behave in relation to other people, or based on how you tend to act and behave, or what cognitive functions you tend to use the most. Tests will usually ask questions about your values, emotional drives, and how you deal with and manage your emotions.
  • I sought to explain the range within a type that I felt that the MBTI had previously missed.
  • I wanted to clarify the differences between type and intelligence.
  • I hoped to get deeper into the different traumas and experiences of each individual type.
  • I wanted to find a more consistent way to type other people.

What system do you prefer?

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About Erik Thor

I am an INFJ and I want to combat the stereotypes and help promote personality psychology that doesn’t limit or mistype you.