INTP personality

Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends on your frame of reference.

Albert Einstein

The INTP personality type is fairly rare, making up only three percent of the population, which is definitely a good thing for them, as there’s nothing they’d be more unhappy about than being “common”. INTPs pride themselves on their inventiveness and creativity, their unique perspective and vigorous intellect. Usually known as the philosopher, the architect, or the dreamy professor, INTPs have been responsible for many scientific discoveries throughout history.

INTPs are known for their brilliant theories and unrelenting logic – in fact, they are considered the most logically precise of all the personality types. They love patterns, and spotting discrepancies between statements could almost be described as a hobby, making it a bad idea to lie to an INTP. Ironically, owing to their Prospecting (P) trait, INTPs’ word should be taken with a grain of salt – it’s not that they are dishonest, but INTPs tend to share thoughts that are not fully developed, using others as a sounding board for ideas and theories in a debate against themselves rather than as actual conversation partners.

INTP personalityThis may make them appear unreliable, but in reality no one is more enthusiastic and capable of spotting a problem, drilling through the endless factors and details that encompass the issue and developing a unique and viable solution than INTPs – just don’t expect punctual progress reports. People who share the INTP personality type aren’t interested in practical, day-to-day activities and maintenance, but when they find an environment where their creative genius and potential can be expressed, there is no limit to the time and energy INTPs will expend in developing an insightful and unbiased solution.

They may appear to drift about in an unending daydream, but INTPs’ thought process is unceasing, and their minds buzz with ideas from the moment they wake up. This constant thinking can have the effect of making them look pensive and detached, as they are often conducting full-fledged debates in their own heads, but really INTPs are quite relaxed and friendly when they are with people they know, or who share their interests. However, this can be replaced by overwhelming shyness when INTPs are among unfamiliar faces, and friendly banter can quickly become combative if they believe their logical conclusions or theories are being criticized.

When INTPs are particularly excited, the conversation can border on incoherence as they try to explain the daisy-chain of logical conclusions that led to the formation of their latest idea. Oftentimes, INTPs will opt to simply move on from a topic before it’s ever understood what they were trying to say, rather than try to lay things out in plain terms.

The reverse can also be true when people explain their thought processes to INTPs in terms of subjectivity and feeling. Imagine an immensely complicated clockwork, taking in every fact and idea possible, processing them with a heavy dose of creative reasoning and returning the most logically sound results available – this is how the INTP mind works, and this type has little tolerance for an emotional monkey-wrench jamming their machines.

Further, with Thinking (T) as one of their governing traits, INTPs are unlikely to understand emotional complaints at all, and their friends won’t find a bedrock of emotional support in them. INTPs would much rather make a series of logical suggestions for how to resolve the underlying issue, a perspective that is not always welcomed by their Feeling (F) companions. This will likely extend to most social conventions and goals as well, like planning dinners and getting married, as INTPs are far more concerned with originality and efficient results.

The one thing that really holds INTPs back their restless and pervasive fear of failure. INTPs are so prone to reassessing their own thoughts and theories, worrying that they’ve missed some critical piece of the puzzle, that they can stagnate, lost in an intangible world where their thoughts are never truly applied. Overcoming this self-doubt stands as the greatest challenge INTPs are likely to face, but the intellectual gifts – big and small – bestowed on the world when they do makes it worth the fight.

Famous INTPs:

Rene Descartes
Blaise Pascal
Isaac Newton
Carl Jung
Albert Einstein
James Madison
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Gerald Ford
Strengths & Weaknesses


Your name:
Aug 29, 2014 21:21:00
It's amazing how perfectly this description fits me. Even I couldn't describe myself that well!
Alexander Lee Sherman
Aug 28, 2014 21:31:43
Hiya, I'm an INTP. I always knew something was different about me, it satisfies my mind to now know that I am not alone. I am a perfectionist, and being a perfectionist to me is like figuring out everything about a subject, or beating everything about a game that seems challenging or mind boggling in which I seek to make sense of. I'm also a bit psychic and can probably guess the lottery numbers, or at least most of them. Due to the fact of being afraid to fail I have not attempted such a height. I need more confirmation and understanding in the ability first. I would spend all the time in the world, to figure out how seeing the future is possible. Also, I asked a friend today to take the personality quiz, because I had high insight that he may be like me. He WAS an INTP, and it's serious, because he even guessed one of the recommended careers on accident, without me telling it to him, this was after I asked him what he wanted to do when he grows up. So I feel it's pretty incredible that I actually found someone within the 3% margin just by speculation, and in only one try.
Hah, Well.. Good luck to all you INTP's I hope to meet more of you all in my future. I already have seen that I will though.
When Da
Aug 27, 2014 20:59:31
Thought I wasn't normal, worrying about ''why I keep overthinking and all'' and ''why am I such a bad person or something'', this test result finally open my eyes. Now, I know I am a NORMAL person, and that overthinking isn't a bad think after all, and that I am not alone. I just hope that people will understand me. I am also very thankful for this test for I learn a lot about my own personality :)
Aug 27, 2014 20:41:46
INTP ^^ fits me really well.
Aug 23, 2014 23:28:59
This is disturbingly accurate. I can't tell if my desire for identity is clouding my perception or if this was written in such a way as to appeal to someone like me, regardless of accuracy. Wouldn't it be more logical for them to create a profile that is highly attractive to certain people over one that was accurate? I don't know. Either way, this is fascinating.