Myers-Briggs Intp Profile 1 Descriptive Essay

There is more to personality type than just T&F, P&J, N&S, I&E. There are what some call cognitive functions (some find the name problematic and misleading). Here are the functions:

Ni, Ne- introverted intuition and extroverted intuition

Si, Se- introverted sensing and extroverted sensing

Ti, Te- introverted thinking and extroverted thinking 

Fi, Fe- introverted feeling and extroverted feeling

For INTPs we have Ti, Ne, Si, Fe with introverted thinking as our dominant function. Ti is what makes us philosophers and theorists and Ne, our second function in the stack, is what makes us so much like ENTPs who are known to be bags full of ideas. Si is that part of us that places emotional attachments onto things so that when we revisit things we also revisit the emotions as well. And lastly, Fe is the function that separates us from INTJs. Where an INTJ  may say that they hate emotions and see emotions as useless an INTP may hold some disdain for emotions because they don't hold much value in logic. Nevertheless we INTPs tend to be more thoughtful of what we say and are also largely unassertive by comparison to our INTJ counterparts. 

With all of that being said one can now see how we aren't exclusively intuitive or thinking. INTPs can also use sensing and feeling (albeit to a lesser degree) though it is not mentioned in the title, INTP. Furthermore, none of what I said was meant to similarly exclude any of the other introverted or extroverted functions either, namely, Te, Ni, Se, or Fi. Some refer to these as shadow functions (this is also a name of contention within Jungian typology) and they too can be utilized though, as with your main functions, it depends on how much you develop them.

To conclude I would like to mention my purpose in writing this. In response to, The INTP/J's, comments on the spectrum between (in his comment) perceiving and judging I wanted open up the scope of what Jugian typology is. Jung created a branch of typology and in his branch there are sub-branches and in some of these branches there exists a concept that may be refered to as the cognitive function model. Some memtion it and some don't. And since I've already written about it I won't talk about it anymore, but on e last thing I want to touch upon is The INTP/J's mentioning that he thinks of himself as having two types that are referenced by his name. That of INTP and INTJ. As there exist subtypes of INTP and other types as well, I would like to suggest to you as well as any other confused INTP some possible subtypes.

There are according to Sociotype-a socionics website that is less than respectable but has nevertheless some interesting ideas including those on subtypes as well as their type comparison tool-two subtypes for INTPs, one being INTP-(Te) and the other INTP-(Ni). When The INTP/J says  that he swithes from perceiving to judging I think he might be refering to his switch from Ti to Te at times. If this switch is constant, meaning it happens often, then you might be quite similar to INTJs, but this doesn't negate the fact that you might still be mostly INTP. Now on Erik Thor's website he proclaims four subtypes, the one we are concerned with, however, is called the Code Breaker. The Code Breaker represents the INTP that knows that Ti cannot be as purposeful as it should if it doesn't utilize Te (a function that seeks to get things done). So with Te you can not only create the blueprint but also become the builder. 

So I hope this has helped some of you become aware of the many underlying frameworks of Jungian typology but also showed you how there isn't any need for the "No true Scotsman" fallacy that we so often see in the comments section. Because ultimately typology can tell you only something about you not everything about you; it's a descriptor not an x-ray on your broken vertebrae. 

For further information you can look at some discussion on the youtube channel Talking with Famous People (they're not famous) as well as some of the free articles on Celebrity Types (it's not as shallow as it sounds).

This article is about the Myers-Briggs personality type. For the Socionics INTj (INTP equivalent), see Logical Intuitive Introvert.

INTP (introversion, intuition, thinking, perceiving) is an abbreviation used in the publications of the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to refer to one of the MBTI's 16 personality types.[1] The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in his book Psychological Types. Jung proposed a psychologicaltypology based on the theories of cognitive functions that he developed through his clinical observations. From Jung's work, others developed psychological typologies. Jungian personality assessments include the MBTI assessment, developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS), developed by David Keirsey.

INTPs are marked by a quiet, stoic, modest, and aloof exterior that masks strong creativity and enthusiasm for novel possibilities. Because their dominant function is introverted thinking, and because they are perceivers rather than judgers, their weaknesses include insensitivity to social niceties and poor organizational skills. Keirsey referred to INTPs as Architects, one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Rationals. INTPs are relatively rare, accounting for 2–5% of the U.S. population.[2][3][4]

MBTI instrument[edit]

The MBTI preferences indicate the differences in people based on the following:[5]

By using their preference in each of these areas, people develop what Jung and Myers called psychological type. This underlying personality pattern results from the dynamic interaction of their four preferences, in conjunction with environmental influences and their own individual tendencies. People are likely to develop behaviors, skills, and attitudes based on their particular type. Each personality type has its own potential strengths as well as areas that offer opportunities for growth.

The MBTI tool consists of multiple choice questions that sort respondents on the basis of the four "dichotomies" (pairs of psychological opposites). Sixteen different outcomes are possible, each identified by its own four-letter code, referred to by initial letters. (N is used for iNtuition, since I is used for Introversion). The MBTI is approximately 75% accurate according to its own manual.[6]

  • I – Introversion preferred to extraversion: INTPs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extraverts gain energy).[7]
  • N – Intuition preferred to sensing: INTPs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.[8]
  • T – Thinking preferred to feeling: INTPs tend to value objective criteria above personal preference. When making decisions, they generally give more weight to logic than to social considerations.[9]
  • P – Perception preferred to judgement: INTPs tend to withhold judgment and delay important decisions, preferring to "keep their options open" should circumstances change.[10]

INTP characteristics[edit]

INTPs are quiet, thoughtful, analytical individuals who tend to spend long periods of time on their own, working through problems and forming solutions. They are curious about systems and how things work. Consequently, they are frequently found in careers such as science, philosophy, law, psychology, and architecture. INTPs tend to be less at ease in social situations or in the "caring professions." They prize autonomy in themselves and others. They generally balk at attempts by others to convince them to change, at which they respond by being even less conformist than they otherwise would be. They also tend to be impatient with the bureaucracy, rigid hierarchies, and the politics prevalent in many professions. INTPs have little regard for titles and badges, which they often consider to be unnecessary or unjustified. INTPs usually come to distrust authority as hindering the uptake of novel ideas and the search for knowledge. INTPs accept ideas based on merit, rather than tradition or authority. They have little patience for social customs that seem illogical or that obstruct the pursuit of ideas and knowledge. This may place them at odds with people in the SJ (Sensing/Judging) types, since SJs tend to defer to authority, tradition, and what the rest of the group is doing.[2] INTPs prefer to work informally with others as equals.[12]

INTPs organize their understanding of any topic by articulating principles, and they are especially drawn to theoretical constructs. Having articulated these principles for themselves, they can demonstrate remarkable skill in explaining complex ideas to others in very simple terms, especially in writing. On the other hand, their ability to grasp complexity may also lead them to provide overly detailed explanations of simple ideas, and listeners may judge that the INTP makes things more difficult than they need to be. To the INTPs' mind, they are presenting all the relevant information or trying to crystallize the concept as clearly as possible.[13]

Given their independent nature, INTPs may prefer working alone rather than leading or following in a group. During interactions with others, if INTPs are focused on gathering information, they may seem oblivious, aloof, or even rebellious—when in fact they are concentrating on listening and understanding. However, INTPs' intuition often gives them a quick wit, especially with language. They may defuse tension through comical observations and references. They can be charming, even in their quiet reserve, and are sometimes surprised by the high esteem in which their friends and colleagues hold them.[13]

INTPs are driven to understand a discussion from all relevant angles. Their impatience with seemingly indefensible ideas can make them particularly devastating at debate.[2]

INTPs are often haunted by a fear of failure, causing them to rethink solutions many times and second-guess themselves. In their mind, they may have overlooked a bit of crucial data, and there may very well be another equally plausible solution.

According to Keirsey, based on behavioral characteristics, notable architects might include Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, and Thomas Jefferson.[3] For more examples, see Notable Architects.


In his 1990 PhD dissertation, C.F. Gibbons of the University of Arkansas found that the INTP type was one of the four most common among musicians, with INFP being the most common. Further divisions were observed when comparing the results of instrumentalists to vocalists. A greater number of choral students were found to exhibit extroversion, contrasting introversion among band and orchestra students.[14]

Statistical correlations with the Enneagram of Personality[edit]

According to Baron and Wagele, the most common Enneagram of Personality enneatypes that statistically correlate to INTP are the Five and Six enneatypes.[15]

Notable INTPs[edit]

  • Bill Gates, co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation and is an American business magnate.
  • Albert Einstein, a German-born theoretical physicist.
  • René Descartes, a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist.
  • Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian.
  • Isaac Newton, an English mathematician, astronomer, and physicist.
  • Stanley Crouch, an American poet, music and cultural critic, syndicated columnist, novelist and biographer.
  • Marie Curie, a Polish and naturalized-French physicist, winner of Nobel Prizes in Chemistry and Physics.

Cognitive functions[edit]

Drawing upon Jungian theory, Isabel Myers proposed that for each personality type, the cognitive functions (sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling) form a hierarchy. This hierarchy represents the person's default pattern of behavior.

The Dominant function is the personality type's preferred role, the one they feel most comfortable with. The secondary Auxiliary function serves to support and expand on the Dominant function. If the Dominant is an information gathering function (sensing or intuition), the Auxiliary is a decision making function (thinking or feeling), and vice versa. The Tertiary function is less developed than the Dominant and Auxiliary, but it matures over time, rounding out the person's abilities. The Inferior function is the personality type's fatal weakness. This is the function they are least comfortable with. Like the Tertiary, the Inferior function strengthens with maturity.[13][page needed]

Jung and Myers considered the attitude of the Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior functions to be the opposite of the Dominant. In this interpretation, if the Dominant function is extraverted, then the other three are introverted, and vice versa. However, many modern practitioners hold that the attitude of the Tertiary function is the same as the Dominant.[16] Using the more modern interpretation, the cognitive functions of the INTP are as follows:

Dominant: Introverted thinking (Ti)[edit]

Ti seeks precision, such as the exact word to express an idea. Ti is calm, articulate, and aware of the forces that bind reality together. Introverted thinkers notice the minute distinctions that define the essence of things, then analyze and classify them. They examine all sides of an issue, looking to solve problems while minimizing effort and risk, and use models to root out logical inconsistency.[17] As introverted thinkers, INTPs spend the majority of their time and energy ordering the interior, logical world of principles and generalizations in an effort to understand. Someone with Introverted Thinking may take a while to fully understand a concept. This is because they want to know all the components and how everything works together. A Ti user would not be satisfied with someone saying, “this is the gas pedal, you press it to go.” A Ti user would want to know: what happens when you push it, what is the pedal connected to, how does it interact with the engine, etc.[18]


Ne finds and interprets hidden meanings, using “what if” questions to explore alternatives, allowing multiple possibilities to coexist. This imaginative play weaves together insights and experiences from various sources to form a new whole, which can then become a catalyst to action.[19] Ne gives INTPs a grasp of the patterns of the world around them. They use their intuition to amalgamate empirical data into coherent pictures, from which they can derive universal principles. INTPs frequently puzzle over a problem for hours on end, until the answer suddenly crystallizes in a flash of insight. Extraverted Intuitives also have a very entrepreneurial mindset. Ne users see possibilities of what could be all around them. They have a desire to make things happen and “put a dent in the world.” Extraverted Intuitives can get very excited about these possibilities, making them naturally charismatic. Ne users can be inspiring leaders that are catalysts for change.

Tertiary: Introverted sensing (Si)[edit]

Si collects data in the present moment and compares it with past experiences, a process that sometimes evokes the feelings associated with memory, as if the subject were reliving it. Seeking to protect what is familiar, Si draws upon history to form goals and expectations about what will happen in the future.[21] Si gives INTPs the potential for keen observation. They use this function to gather empirical data, use physical tools, perceive physical relationships, and support their internal logic with a rich sense of space.


Fe seeks social connections and creates harmonious interactions through polite, considerate, and appropriate behavior. Fe responds to the explicit (and implicit) wants of others, and may even create an internal conflict between the subject’s own needs and the desire to meet the needs of others.[22] Fe drives the INTP to desire harmony in community. At their most relaxed, INTPs can be charming and outgoing among friends, or when they have a clearly defined role in the group. When under stress, however, INTPs can feel disconnected from the people around them, unable to use their extraverted Feeling to reach out to others. As their inferior function, Feeling can be a weak point; when threatened they will hide behind a wall of stoic logic. This can lead them to bottle up their emotions to preserve reason and harmony; but a failure to deal with these concealed emotions can lead to inappropriate outbursts.

Shadow functions[edit]

Later personality researchers (notably Linda V. Berens)[23] added four additional functions to the descending hierarchy, the so-called "shadow" functions to which the individual is not naturally inclined but which can emerge when the person is under stress. For the INTP these shadow functions are (in order):

  • Extraverted thinking (Te): Te organizes and schedules ideas and the environment to ensure the efficient, productive pursuit of objectives. Te seeks logical explanations for actions, events, and conclusions, looking for faulty reasoning and lapses in sequence.[24]
  • Introverted Intuition (Ni): Attracted to symbolic actions or devices, Ni synthesizes seeming paradoxes to create the previously unimagined. These realizations come with a certainty that demands action to fulfill a new vision of the future, solutions that may include complex systems or universal truths.[25]
  • Extraverted sensing (Se): Se focuses on the experiences and sensations of the immediate, physical world. With an acute awareness of the present surroundings, it brings relevant facts and details to the forefront and may lead to spontaneous action.[26]
  • Introverted feeling (Fi): Fi filters information based on interpretations of worth, forming judgments according to criteria that are often intangible. Fi constantly balances an internal set of values such as harmony and authenticity. Attuned to subtle distinctions, Fi innately senses what is true and what is false in a situation.[27]

Type dynamics of the INTP[edit]

Type Dynamics refers to the interrelationship among the four cognitive functions in a psychological type. Far from being a simple combination of initials, the full type creates a rich, interwoven system of perceiving and judging that explains much of the similarity and difference among the types. Type Dynamics has garnered little to no empirical support to substantiate its viability as a scientific theory.[28] Nonetheless, it currently[when?] remains deeply entrenched in the Myers-Briggs community.

As a practical example of Type Dynamics, consider the two types known as the introverted thinkers (ISTP and INTP). They share dominant introverted thinking, which gives them a solid interior grasp of underlying principles. The ISTPs, with their preference for extraverted sensing, love understanding physical, mechanical systems. The INTPs, with their extraverted intuition, love understanding theoretical systems. ISTPs are often quite skilled in using whatever materials are at hand in their building projects, using available tools to their full capabilities to serve their goals, through their extraverted sensing. INTPs, like their Sensing cousins, love using the right tool for the right job, but they also consult their intuition to solve problems. They are particularly comfortable with "virtual" tools, reflecting their love of technology.[29]

With a knack for improvisation, the INTP can cause no end of frustration to ESTJs. These latter types generally cannot make the same intuitive leaps that come naturally to the INTP. On the other hand, ESTJs and ISTJs are quick to note when the INTP must stop in the middle of a project to puzzle over the previously discarded instructions, which the STJs read at the start.[13]


  1. ^"Myers-Briggs Foundation: The 16 MBTI Types". Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  2. ^ abcKeirsey, David (1998). Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence. Del Mar, CA: Prometheus Nemesis Book Company. p. 205. ISBN 1-885705-02-6. 
  3. ^ ab"Portrait of the Architect". Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  4. ^"CAPT". Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  5. ^Myers, Isabel Briggs (1998). Introduction to Type: A Guide to Understanding your Results on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Mountain View, CA: CPP, Inc. 
  6. ^Myers, Isabel Briggs; Mary H. McCaulley (1985). Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (2nd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologist Press. p. 52. ISBN 0-89106-027-8. 
  7. ^"Changing Minds: Extraversion vs. Introversion". Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  8. ^"Changing Minds: Sensing vs. Intuiting". Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  9. ^"Changing Minds: Thinking vs. Feeling". Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  10. ^"Changing Minds: Judging vs. Perceiving". Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  11. ^"Rational Architect portrait of Albert Einstein". Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  12. ^Barron-Tieger, Barbaras; Tieger, Paul D. (1995). Do What You Are. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-84522-1. 
  13. ^ abcdBarron-Tieger, Barbara; Tieger, Paul D. (1995). Do what you are: discover the perfect career for you through the secrets of personality type. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-84522-1. 
  14. ^Reardon, Christin M. (June 2009). "DIFFERENCES IN MYERS-BRIGGS PERSONALITY TYPES AMONG HIGH SCHOOL BAND, ORCHESTRA, AND CHOIR MEMBERS"(PDF). Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  15. ^Wagele/Baron, p.155
  16. ^Myers, Isabel Briggs; Mary H. McCaulley (1985). Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (2nd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press. ISBN 0-89106-027-8. 
  17. ^"Cognitive Processes: Introverted thinking". Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  18. ^"Introverted Thinking (Ti)". Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  19. ^"Cognitive Processes: Extraverted intuition". Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  20. ^"Cognitive Processes: Introverted sensing". Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  21. ^"Cognitive Processes: Extraverted Feeling". Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  22. ^"". Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  23. ^"Cognitive Processes: Extraverted thinking". Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  24. ^"Cognitive Processes: Introverted intuition". Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  25. ^"Cognitive Processes: Extraverted Sensing". Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  26. ^"Cognitive Processes: Introverted feeling". Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  27. ^"The Personality Junkie: The Functional Stack (Typology 301)". Retrieved 2016-11-12. 
  28. ^"INTP at Work". Truity Psychometrics. Retrieved 11 April 2016. 

External links[edit]

According to Keirsey, Albert Einstein may have been an INTP.[11]
A diagram of the cognitive functions of each type. A type's background color represents its Dominant function, and its text color represents its Auxiliary function.

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