I was trying to relay this idea to Joe at the meet up as he seems very interested in the variants, but it was difficult to do so. I thought I would make a thread.
I believe that in psychology the variants are possibly more important than people would assume, however the theory is wrong.
As I see it there is no one variant that people will act from all the time. They are circumstantial, yet no less important.
My theory is that there are thee main instinctual variants that govern the actions of all people, at all times. Whenever someone acts, their action can be traced to one of the following three motivations: self preservation, reproduction, or status.
Self preservation is the ability to govern ones self outside of external circumstance. Its motivations are to protect the self, represent the self, and independence.
Reproduction, is as it sounds. To make oneself more fitting to attract or secure a mate.
Status, is a softer variant, as it combines the two previous. Instinctively someone who can climb to the top ensures greater protection and more chances to reproduce. Someone of status, can fear as much as death falling from it, while someone without can crave it.
My theory is that if you look at any act, of any person, at any given time, you will see one of these three factors as the base motivation behind it. In this, people can be quite predictable at times.
There is a way someone will act when trying to achieve any of these three goals. However, not every situation calls for the same motivation, also it is unlikely that someone would operate from one level at all times, unless extremely unhealthy.
In these instinctual variants, we can finally tune into the concepts of value. With the combination or denial of any of the three factors compared to the circumstances, we can get a sense of the value that one person places upon a cause, and how they will react to it (instinctively), causing the effect.
In this, people are pretty simple beings. Also, the projection of ones own instinctual reaction may be compared to another's, and this is where we get disconnection of value so many people argue upon. It is all subjective.
Anyway the point was. The instinctual variants of enneagram were the start of a great theory, but most certainly underdeveloped.