Myers-Briggs Type Indicator/INTP

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Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Introduction | Four polar dimensions: E/I, S/N, T/F, J/P | Four basic temperaments: SJ, SP, NT, NF | The sixteen types
QuickTyping | At work | Criticisms | Further reading


INTPs are introverts, meaning they tend to prefer relatively solitary lives. They are often uncomfortable in social gatherings, particularly large ones, which can leave them feeling somewhat drained. Although some may have many acquaintances, INTPs usually have only a few close friends, if any at all. However, this also means they tend to be nonchalant about their public image.

INTPs favor iNtuition over Sensing. As such, they tend to be more introspective than attentive to their surroundings. It is common for an INTP to daydream, or simply become lost in his or her thoughts. INTPs often enjoy contemplating interesting ideas, concepts, and possibilities due to iNtuition—their curiosity drives them. However, their senses are somewhat less refined than in other types. They may overlook details (INTPs are prone to "careless errors" in math), and are not often completely attuned to what is going on around them. An INTP deep in thought can be oblivious to all sorts of things, ranging from a missed meal to a cap being stolen from his or her head.

An INTP prefers Thinking over Feeling, meaning he or she tends to value logic over feelings. Although INTPs experience emotions as powerfully as other types, they almost always must see the logic behind them before acting on them. All decisions must have good reasons behind them, and INTPs rarely make good decisions without considerable thought. It is usually very important to an INTP to be as logically and grammatically accurate as possible. However, INTPs are somewhat inept at expressing feelings outwardly, sometimes causing misunderstandings. Sarcasm and cynicism are occasionally observed in INTPs.

Since INTPs have a Perceiving preference, they don't enjoy being limited by schedules or decisions. They tend to have bursts of creative energy, which can lead to extraordinary efforts, but the energy can also be short-lived. After the energy is expired, attention may be directed elsewhere, where energy may be regenerated. In other words, INTPs may have many interests due to their preference for perceiving, and these interests may come and go, or change altogether.

Being introverts, INTPs are usually very reserved. Their iNtuition allows them to rapidly understand new concepts and to pursue a wide variety of interests. Their Thinking helps them to find the logic in a situation from an objective point of view. INTPs' Perceiving causes them to be open-ended; often thinking about a task is more rewarding than executing the task.

INTPs often feel like misfits and are not necessarily always appreciated. Many INTPs complain of boredom, as the real world fails to measure up to the vivid experiences of their imaginations.

INTPs at work[edit]

Make good teachers, computer programmers, analysts, architects and scientists.

INTPs in relationships[edit]

INTPs face many tough hurdles in their relationships. Many INTPs do not focus on developing strong social skills, but even those who do will divert much of their energy into their solitary pursuits. Characterized best by the lonely adventurer, their adventures are rarely literal trips to the end of the earth (the territory of the SPs), but instead fantastic intellectual journeys.

One study found that INTPs tend to marry other INTPs.

How to Interact with an INTP[edit]

  • Allow him or her time to make a decision.
  • Realize that small talk is not very interesting to the INTP. However, a topic which ignites the INTP's imagination can spark a good discussion.
  • Try not to be easily offended. Unless you have made an enemy of the INTP, chances are the comment was not meant to hurt you.
  • Be prepared to encounter a strange sense of humor, a great curiosity, and an unusual train of thought.
  • Use logic as persuasion; the INTP is likely to ignore emotional appeals.
  • Hear him or her out. Most INTPs don't speak up often, and may get annoyed if ignored when they do.
  • Know that the INTP's energy comes in bursts, so he or she may put off chores in favor of more interesting material and then accomplish the postponed work in an extraordinarily short amount of time.
  • Be aware that the INTP is highly self-critical.

Famous INTPs[edit]

  • Thomas Jefferson
  • James Madison
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Albert Einstein
  • Charles Darwin
  • Rene Descartes
  • Blaise Pascal
  • William Harvey
  • Socrates
  • Carl Jung
  • William James

Fictional[edit]

  • Dr. Susan Lewis
  • Avon
  • Seven of Nine
  • Peter Parker
  • Linus
  • Ash
  • Brian Griffin
  • The Doctor
  • Data
  • Filburt

Web links[edit]