Misidentifying Fives and Sixes

Fives and Sixes are both Thinking types and, when educated, can both be quite intellectual. It is far more common for Sixes to mistype as Fives, but for some easily understood reasons. Of the two types, Sixes tend to be more linear and analytical in their thinking because they are interested in troubleshooting, in prediction, and in establishing methods that can be repeated. Thus, contrary to popular belief, the world of academia and higher education is more the realm of Sixes than of Fives. Academia teaches students to work with advisors and mentors, to cite sources and back up arguments with quotes from authorities, to follow proper procedures in papers and theses, and so forth–all type Six values.

Fives are much more non-linear in their thinking. They are interested in finding out where established theories break down and in developing iconoclastic ideas that shake up structures and established methods. Fives are, generally speaking, bolder than Sixes in their positions and creativity, but also far less practical. Fives feel that they can only trust their own minds to come to conclusions–they believe that everyone else is likely to be less well-informed. Sixes get frantic trying to find something to trust precisely because they do not trust their own minds to come to meaningful conclusions. The difference between them can be seen in the difference between Umberto Eco ( a Five) and Tom Clancy (a Six), or Peter Gabriel (a Five) and Bruce Springsteen (a Six).