Enneagram Type 5 (Investigator)

The Investigator or Type 5 is most definitely the intense, cerebral type of all Enneagram personalities. Therefore, Fives are alert, insightful, and curious. Moreover, these traits are vital in any team as they’ll drive all their efforts into little details others may overlook.

Baron and Wagele (2009) will describe Investigators in particular as: “Those who stand back and take time to view life objectively, when working with Fives, you will get a thorough understanding; perceiving causes and effects.” Also, integrity in Fives is immense: they do what they think is right and aren’t influenced by social pressure. Above all, they understand that value doesn’t come material possessions or status, and they remain calm in a crisis.

Riso and Hudson (1995), however, provide us with a grimmer look on Investigators, sort of speak:

They become detached yet high-strung and intense. Awkward and isolated, they lack interpersonal skills and can be cynical and eccentric”. However, the authors not only have such dark descriptions for Fives.  Also, they’re described as: “Visionary pioneers, ahead of their time, able to see the world in an entirely new way.”

In the Investigators, we find the strange beauty of someone so focused that they may appear chaotic. For example, an extraordinary genius and a madman who is delusional and excentric, could both co-exist in the same personality.

Like people who love finding truth and beauty, Investigators, according to Cron and Stabile (2016), feel motivated to acquire knowledge. Also, they conserve energy, prefer to avoid relying on others, and are excellent at developing complex ideas and skills. Besides, Fives work a lot better if they can concentrate, and their focus is undisturbed.

Riso and Hudson share great insight in “Personality Types Using The Enneagram For Self Discovery” (1987), telling that Type 5:

“Will become a visionary, profoundly comprehending the world, discovering something new, possibly a genius. Able to concentrate and get mentally involved: becomes knowledgeable, an expert. Innovative, produces precious, original ideas.”

Given this description, we can say that Investigators are independent and innovative. Also, they are extremist and intense, interested in science, into proving things as possible, reliable, and real. Certainly, the searches for truth in Investigators are clear. But, overall, people who get to work with this type need to make sure they understand the Investigator’s ideals, which are first, and foremost, derived by finding things realistic, becoming at some points reductionistic, and need to impose ideas on the facts.

Nonetheless, we need to be happy for the exceptional abilities we can find on a Five working on our team. Not so many people will enjoy discovering truth and answers to deliver a well researched and error-free project.

By:  Dr. Graciela González Calderón-Psychologist

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