Are You an INTP? Find out More About the INTP Personality Type (2024)

INTP—introverted, intuitive, thinking, and perceiving—is one of the 16 personality types described by theMyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).People who score as an INTP personality type are often described as quiet and analytical. They enjoy spending time alone, thinking about how things work, and coming up with solutions to problems.

INTPs have a rich inner world and would rather focus their attention on their internal thoughts rather than the external world. They typically do not have a wide social circle, but they do tend to be close to a select group of people.

Are You an INTP? Find out More About the INTP Personality Type (1)

The INTP personality type is known as the logician because their thoughts and behaviors are based on logic. There are two INTP subtypes:

  • INTP-A: The "assertive logician" tends to be more comfortable with themselves and more confident than an INTP-T. They are also more satisfied with their circ*mstances.
  • INTP-T: The "turbulent logician" feels less confidence, comfort with themselves, and satisfaction than an INTP-A.

Is INTP a Rare Personality Type?

According to psychologist David Keirsey, creator of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, approximately 1% to 5% of people have an INTP personality type.

Key INTP Characteristics

What is someone with an INTP personality type like? Here are a few key characteristics:

  • INTPs are quiet, reserved, and thoughtful. As introverts, they prefer to socialize with a small group of close friends with whom they share common interests and connections.
  • An INTP enjoys thinking about theoretical concepts and tends to value intellect over emotion. They are logical and base decisions on objective information rather than subjective feelings.
  • When analyzing data and making decisions, an INTP is highly logical and objective.
  • INTPs tend to be flexible and good at thinking "outside of the box."
  • People with the INTP personality type think about the big picture rather than focusing on every tiny detail.
  • INTPs like to keep their options open and feel limited by structure and planning.

Weaknesses

  • Difficult to get to know

  • Can be insensitive

  • Prone to self-doubt

  • Struggles to follow rules

  • Has trouble expressing feelings

INTP Cognitive Functions

The MBTI is based on psychoanalyst Carl Jung's theory, which suggests that personality comprises several cognitive functions. The hierarchy of these functions establishes personality and behavioral patterns.

Some researchers suggest that this personality test contradicts both itself and known data while lacking testability. The information it supplies may be interesting but not necessarily accurate.

The dominant function is the one that plays the largest role in personality, although it is also supported by the auxiliary. The tertiary function is less developed, but still exerts some influence and becomes more pronounced as a person strengthens this area. The inferior function is largely unconscious and represents an area of weakness.

Here are the four levels of cognitive functions for an INTP.

Dominant: Introverted Thinking

This function focuses on how people take in information about the world. INTPs try to understand how things work. typically deconstructing things or ideas to see how things fit and function together.

INTPs tend to be highly logical and efficient thinkers. They like to have a complete understanding of something before they share an opinion or take action.

Auxiliary: Extraverted Intuition

INTPs explore what-ifs and possibilities, using insight, imagination, and experiences to form ideas. INTPs often go over what they know, seeking patterns until they can achieve a flash of inspiration or insight into a problem. They tend to spend a great deal of time thinking about the future and imagining all the possibilities.

Tertiary: Introverted Sensing

INTPs tend to be very detail-oriented, carefully categorizing all of the many facts and experiences they take in. As they collect new information, INTPs compare and contrast it with what they already know in order to make predictions about what they believe will happen next.

Inferior: Extraverted Feeling

INTPs tend to seek harmony in groups. While they are introverted, INTPs can be quite outgoing when they are around people with whom they are familiar and comfortable. In situations where they feel stress, however, INTPs shut down their feelings and struggle to connect with others. Under stress, they tend to rely on logic rather than feelings.

INTPs You Might Know

A few famous INTPs include:

  • Albert Einstein, scientist
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. President
  • Carl Jung, psychoanalyst
  • Tiger Woods, golfer
  • Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

Personal Relationships With INTPs

As introverts, INTPs prefer spending time alone for the most part. Unlikeextroverts, who gain energy from interacting with a wide group of people, introverts must expend energy in social situations.

After being around a lot of people, INTPs might feel like they need to be by themselves to recharge and find balance. While they may be shy around people they do not know well, INTPs tend to be warm and friendly with their close group of family and friends.

Because INTPs enjoy solitude and deep thinking, they sometimes strike others as aloof and detached. At times, people with this personality type can get lost in their own thoughts and lose track of the outside world. INTPs love ideas and place a high value on intelligence and knowledge.

In social situations, INTPs tend to be quite easy-going and tolerant. However, they can become unyielding when their beliefs or convictions are challenged. Their high emphasis on logic can make it difficult for INTPs to not correct others when their arguments aren't rational or logical. Because they rely on their own minds, INTPs can also be very difficult to persuade.

INTP Relationship Compatibility

Who is an INTP compatible with? People with an INTP personality type tend to be more compatible with an ENTJ, ESTJ, or ENTP, potentially making them good marriage partners. Conversely, an INTP may clash with an ISFJ or ESFJ.

Career Paths for the INTP

Because they enjoy theoretical and abstract concepts, INTPs often do particularly well in science-related careers. They are logical and have strong reasoning skills, but are also excellent at thinking creatively.

INTPs can be very independent and place a great deal of emphasis on personal freedom and autonomy. In some cases, they can be aggravated by authority figures, particularly those that they feel are trying to suppress their ability to think and act for themselves. Because of this, INTPs typically do best in careers that have a great deal of flexibility and independence.

Popular INTP Careers

If you are an INTP, you may enjoy a career as a:

  • Chemist
  • Physicist
  • Computer programmer
  • Forensic scientist
  • Engineer
  • Mathematician
  • Pharmacist
  • Software developer
  • Geologist

Tips for Interacting With INTPs

If you have an INTP in your life, here are a few tips for interacting with them based on the nature of your relationship.

Friendships With INTPs

Shared interests are one of the best paths to forming a friendship with an INTP. They tend to value intellect over all else and can be very slow to form friendships. While this often leads to fewer friendships, the ones that an INTP does gain tend to be very close. Remember that your INTP friends may not be the best at dealing with excess emotions, but they love to bond over deep conversations and shared passions.

Parenting INTPs

If your child is an INTP, remember that they may respond better to reason and logic rather than emotion. Encourage your child to develop their intellectual interests and look for situations that may help them foster friendships. This can be an area where a child struggles, but putting them in contact with other kids with the same interests can be helpful.

Relationships

INTPs tend to live inside their minds, so they can be quite difficult to get to know. Even in romance, they often hold back until they feel that the other person has proven themselves worthy of hearing their innermost thoughts and feelings.

Although INTPs enjoy romance in the context of deeply committed relationships, they do not play games. So, if you are in a romantic relationship with an INTP, be honest and forthright.

Because INTPs are not good at understanding the emotional needs of others, you may need to be very direct about what you need and expect in that regard. INTPs also struggle to share their feelings, so you may need to pay attention to subtle signals that your partner is sending.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an INTP weakness?

    Because the INTP personality type is reserved, others may find it difficult to get to know them. They also tend to doubt themselves and have a hard time expressing how they feel. While they are loyal and affectionate, they can also be insensitive at times.

  • Is INTP the most introverted?

    Of all of the introvert personality types on the MBTI, the INTP tends to be the most introverted. They tend to be thoughtful, quiet, and very reserved around others.

Are You an INTP? Find out More About the INTP Personality Type (2024)
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