INTP personality

“Philosophers,” “architects,” “dreamy professors”… These epithets are most often used to describe the INTP personality type. Forming around 3% of the population, INTPs love theories and believe that everything can be analyzed and improved. They are not that concerned with the real world and practical things; from the INTP’s perspective, it is often less exciting than ideas and intellectual pursuits. People with this personality type have no difficulties noticing patterns where others cannot, which makes them brilliant theorists and analysts.

Accumulated knowledge is the most valued asset of any INTP. Imagine an immensely complicated clockwork that is constantly absorbing, processing and generating all kinds of theories—this is how the INTP mind works. People with the INTP personality type possess the most logically precise mind of all personality types. They can easily notice even the tiniest discrepancies between two statements, no matter how much time has passed in between. It is a bad idea to lie to an INTP. They may appear dreamy sometimes, but this is not because their mind is resting—quite the opposite.

INTP_1INTPs are enthusiastic and impartial when it comes to dealing with problems; they drill through the details and then develop a unique approach and ultimately a viable solution. INTPs are usually very intelligent and insightful people, able to remain unbiased in any situation. They absolutely love new ideas and theories and would never miss an opportunity to discuss them with other people. However, this never-ending thinking process also makes them look somewhat pensive and detached as INTPs are perfectly able to conduct full-fledged debates in their own heads.

People with this personality type may also find it quite difficult to explain their thoughts to others, even when it becomes obvious that their theories are not easily graspable. INTPs may also move on to another topic before their coworkers or partners have figured out what the INTP wanted to say.

INTPs cannot stand routine work; they would much rather tackle a difficult theoretical problem. INTP personalities really have no limits when it comes to theoretical riddles. If there is no easy solution and the topic is interesting enough, an INTP can spend ages trying to come up with a solution.

INTP personalities are usually very shy and reluctant when it comes to meeting other people. However, INTPs can also be very friendly and confident when they interact with people they know well or talk about things that interest them. INTPs are flexible and relaxed in nearly all situations, except when their beliefs or logical conclusions are being criticized. In those cases, the INTP is likely to become very defensive and argue tirelessly.

Sharing many personality traits with other Thinking (T) types, INTPs do not really understand or value decisions based on feelings or subjective opinions. In their opinion, the only good solution is the logical solution—INTPs do not see a point in using emotional arguments. Such an approach preserves the “sanctity” of their intellectual method; however, this also makes it difficult for INTP personalities to understand other people’s feelings or satisfy their emotional needs.

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

Albert Einstein

Individuals with the INTP personality type are likely to be very open-minded and even eccentric. These traits, combined with their capacity for inventiveness and original thought, make up a very powerful mix. It is not surprising that INTPs are responsible for many scientific discoveries. An INTP is unlikely to care much about social expectations and the “usual” goals such as job security; however, they will do their best to find an environment where their creative genius and potential can be expressed.

One of the few bottlenecks that INTPs impose upon themselves is their restless fear of possible failure. No other personality type worries that much about missing a piece of the mental puzzle or overlooking some crucial fact that might lead to a better solution. Unlike their more confident INTJ or ENTJ cousins, INTPs could spend ages reflecting on their actions. Even when an INTP is arguing with someone, this should be taken with a grain of salt—they might as well be arguing with their own mind.

If you would like to learn more about the INTP personality type and its traits, download the INTP In-Depth Profile – a 60+ page guide covering a number of diverse topics. Otherwise, please keep reading:

Some famous INTPs:

Socrates, philosopher
Rene Descartes, philosopher
Blaise Pascal, mathematician and philosopher
Isaac Newton, physicist
Carl Jung, psychologist
Albert Einstein, physicist
James Madison, former U.S. president
Dwight D. Eisenhower, former U.S. president
Gerald Ford, former U.S. president
Tiger Woods, professional golfer

175 Responses to “INTP personality”

  1. Sushanth Reply

    I hate being INTP. It doesn’t matter if i have to be stupid, i just want to get out of this zone. I believe below things will get me there,
    1. Start conversation or Talk with stangers, just a Hi or Hello
    2. Practice being center of attention
    3. Start talking even if you do not have clear idea in mind. Focus on having conversation and build it as you go
    4. Attempt the untested ones
    5. Real things should be more important
    6. Talk to people and know their feelings, emotions and try to show yours also.
    7. Keep a cool head
    8. Politics and Cinema are not important don’t spend too much time thinking about them.
    9. Involve in social activities in workplace or somewhere else
    10. Notice the individuals the dress, ornaments and things like that.
    11. Do what your mind tells(even if you get beat-up, as long as you don’t lose your job)
    12. Prepare personal timetable and stick to it
    13. dont isolate yourself
    14. if in a room possibly avoid the walls

    • Panda Reply

      Why? What’s the point in forcing yourself to be someone you aren’t? You’d get a lot more satisfaction from life if you just accepted yourself and played to your strengths instead of giving into self-loathing because of your weaknesses. Life is too short to force yourself into situations you know will only make you uncomfortable.

      1. We can just leave this to the extroverts. We’ll only suffer in silence because we’ll wonder if we came across as strange. Was that the right tone of voice? What if I seemed TOO friendly… Was my smile too forced?

      2. Again there are extroverts that are perfectly happy being the center of attention. Let them. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t contribute to conversations but let them lead. It’s what they’re good at.

      3. Or wait to chime in until you have a fully formed opinion about the topic at hand. You should practice being an active listener though. Communication is about more than just talking.

      4. If your methods aren’t giving you the results you want this is sound advice. If your satisfied with your work leave it be. There’s no sense in fixing something that isn’t broken.

      5. Reality is overrated. Use your abstract thinking to your advantage. Write a blog chronicling all the things you spend way too much time thinking about. There are people who will appreciate your perspective.

      6. This is actually important. You might prefer solitude but social interaction is important. Even if you only have a few people in your life you should make sure they know you care.

      7. Situational. Sometimes emotional outbursts are expected. You can come across as cold if you’re never openly passionate.

      8. Never begrudge yourself your passions! Just remember to communicate. Start a blog. There is an audience for a well formed opinion. Plus you’ll find people who are just as interested and thoughtful as you are.

      9. If you want to. I said social interaction is important but small gatherings with close friends are just as beneficial as big parties. Probably more so for an introvert. Introverts are weary after extended social interaction, especially with strangers and acquaintances. Leave the partying to the extroverts unless you have a reason to go. Forcing yourself will only make the experience miserable.

      10. This is a bad idea. If your focused on their clothes you can get stuck in your head trying to figure out what it says about them. You’d be better off starting a conversation if your looking to be more social.

      11. This is dangerous advice. Some of us have minds that encourage self harm or other potentially fatal behavior. A better way to word this would be, stop over thinking things. Just do what you want instead of spending time calculating all the possible outcomes. You’ll never get anything done otherwise.

      12. More good advice. You might not like it but it’s a good skill to have.

      13. Isolate yourself when you need to but strive to have one solid conversation a day. Something beyond the preprogrammed responses you have to satiate people.

      14. In a room stay where you feel most comfortable. Try conversing with another wallflower. They might just appreciate it. You could even bloom together.

    • Mark Reply

      Dear Sushanth,
      Please value who you are. Being stupid is not fun. I haven’t been able to use my books for several months now. Something weird has happened to my memory. I miss the intellect. I really miss it. It is coming back, I hope. I am also now challenged to solve complex social and political problems that I am not well suited for, nor ever have been. I want to get back to understanding Euler’s totient. How does it connect in with the golden ratio? How does this effect feedback in electronic circuits?

      Look at your sollution to not being INTP. Isn’t it INTP? Don’t waste the energy. All people have interesting lives. Yours will be. But as an INTP you can do things others can’t. As an INTP you have opportunity to see how the world is built, from the smallest quirks and bisons to the largest expanses of time-space.

      Do you like politics? More common with NFJs? I don’t understand.

      Do you like the cinema? The world of people explained in stories? Write a story. Write a script. But from your INTP perspective it will rare and interesting. i.e. “Big Bang” tv series. INTP, ENTP, and Aspergers all the way.

      Also, please remember, that humanity is larger than four squared. And you are more complex than 4 bits. (Perhaps 7 bits or 9.)

    • Josh Reply

      Most of your “fixes” are focused on addressing your introversion and I’m guessing the others are topics that you feel pushed people away.

      Please recognize that you, fundamentally, have a need for alone time.

      It is in our nature to have a few close bonds that are exceptionally intense rather than many bonds that are very weak.

      I can venture guesses about your situation (like maybe you recently moved and don’t have access to the few people who fulfilled your social needs) and offer unsolicited advice (such as stating an interest of yours and asking if someone shares it).

      I can respect your goal for self growth, but caution you to temper it with self respect. You are an amazing creature as you are, and do not need to destroy yourself to find happiness.

      Best of luck to you,

  2. Chloe Reply

    I absolutely love, and agree, with the personality I was said to have. I find this extremely interesting. Consider me satisfied; inspired even.

  3. Cheese Reply

    Just remember that these things are just here to give a general outline of personality and may not be 100% accurate. There are 7 billion people in this world and counting and there’s no way that we would all fit into 16 personality types perfectly. Do not change yourself to fit your “Personality Type” or horoscope.
    Also, every single personality test that I have taken and also my few friends have told me that I am more than a little introverted but I don’t really have too much difficulty interacting with other people. I just don’t really hang out with people if I can avoid it. I’ve actually joined a few study groups in which we discuss philosophy and psychology and theories and I often find myself actively participating.
    Us INTPs have a lot going for us. Just remember that you are smart and capable and original and beautiful. Don’t worry about looks and if someone bothers you about the way you dress, it’s not very hard to talk someone into a state of self doubt especially if you are familiar with a few theories about humanity and sometimes people just need to be taken down a notch.
    I think that this is a fairly good personality type to have and it never hurts to be a dreamer because maybe, one day, our dreams and ideas will help us make a difference in this world.

    • Niku Reply

      Its not hard for me also to comunicate with others (im kinda observating social life) INTPs are flexible, not only once ive been in a different kind groups of people and all of these times I was just like one of them. I can quickly comprehend their thinking, who are they and what they are. After all, I try to cominicate as less as posible. I like living alone ^^

  4. Charlie Reply

    For the record I am a female as everyone loves to think I am a guy due to my name. It is spelled exactly as it is on my birth certificate. Don’t you hate it when people think your name its a pet form of another?

    I am a INTP but I also think I am a little bit INTJ. I have this weird habit to add on my own personal touch to anything and everything , like fanfiction, fanart, and plot holes from fandoms I enjoy. I then add this to my other world inside my head, creating what it seems to me to be a tv show, one that keeps me sane throughout the day. All my pent up feelings get expressed in this other world so I do not do it in real life. I do not ask myself questions, I present it to the people in my other world and see what they would do, analyze the results then see if it fits my train of logical, ad if so execute it.

    I am rather cynical and negative, but ironically I am known in my circle of friends as the bubbly fountain of doom and sex jokes. One of the weirdest things about me is that I dislike the thought of being in a relationship, due to not wanting to deal with their problems and them dealing with mine aka “it’s too troublesome”, yet I am a romantic at heart and would do anything for the object of my affections…if I had one.

    I think I am a person of action but my friends tell me I have a way with words, but I believe that is the result of me reading books since forever. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them my parents had to ground me from reading as a child. It has been my biggest dream however to find that someone who I can just bury myself in and just relax as I listen to their heartbeat free from the worlds problems. I sometimes do this to other things, mostly my cat Schrodinger as he is a conceited piece of crap that knows I love him dearly and couldn’t care less if I died (cat lovers represent). But every time I leave home…

    Also the thought of doing “this and that” with someone is very very weird for me, I could probably only go as far as cuddling which is my favorite thing to do ever (hugs are awesome too!). I think that there is a connection between this and my love of yuri shipping in anime/manga, video games, and movies. I cannot watch any show or play any game unless there is a yuri couple(ambiguous or not) in it for some reason. This has been evident ever since I came out 3 years ago. I honestly feel inadequate when it comes to loving someone else, and watching fictional lesbians just kinda helps me out just like listening to music. Expect any friendship with me to be at least a little gay though. For the lulz.

    Ever since coming out I have become a more outgoing person, and I actually have a ton of friends in my college. They share my interests and a lot of them are probably introverts as well. After all we are The League Of Extraordinary Gamers! No really that’s what we are called, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.