INTP Personality (“The Logician”)

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

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.

The Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

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. This makes it ironic that INTPs' word should always be taken with a grain of salt – it's not that they are dishonest, but people with the INTP personality type 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.

Wisdom Begins in Wonder

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 INTP personalities 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.

Let Those Who Would Move the World First Move Themselves

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. People with the INTP personality type 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 is their restless and pervasive fear of failure. INTP personalities 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


Your name:
Aug 28, 2015 23:52:43
I'm a INTP-A in a junior high school now, and it's so hard for me to explain my question, my idea, or my thoughts clearly to people. It seems that I've always led them to confusion or wrong understanding of what I'm saying.
I hope in the future I can improve my communication skills.
Aug 27, 2015 06:43:05
Wow, this explains me perfectly.
Aug 26, 2015 19:59:29
I don't think that I study enough scholarly things to be considered INTP.. I have never been one for math. I just don't get it probably because it seemed like rogue memorization to me and I have trouble understanding the relationships between numbers. It just doesn't stick. But language I've always had an affinity for. I have always been good with writing and philosophy, psychology, and science really interest me, but I haven't studied as much as I would like. So I don't feel like I have enough understanding to really know what I should. But I do actually know a good bit about religion and that's my main focus which is not typical for an INTP, but because of my experience I don't question as much as someone who has had little to no religious influence would. But I am just rambling. I'm still not sure that I fit into the INTP type. If anyone read all this please give me some feedback. :)
Aug 21, 2015 10:35:58
about the over thinking, I used to do that. now, I'm trying not to.
I'm an INTP, but now I'm trying to be an ENTP, because I sort of am an extrovert AND an Introvert.
extrovert people feel more happy, and feel happiness. please search it.
anyway, I'm doing that, and now it feels like I don't know where I am, but still, I totally know and experience every single INTP thing.
anyway, I don't know what I'm doing.
Aug 28, 2015 13:17:11
Why on earth would Extroverted types feel more happines? No matter what your personality type, every human is always capable of feeling an incredible amount of happiness anywhere at any moment, whether you're around people or not.
A random INTP
Aug 14, 2015 01:54:31
Do any of you have social anxiety? Mine is more performance related due to me over thinking every single thing I do. It drives me mad.
I do love being an INTP though
Aug 18, 2015 20:53:37
Same I always over think everything like if I go to hand in a paper to the teacher I look it over and over until the final second when I'm forced to hand it in.
Aug 20, 2015 00:47:25
Playing the piano for an audience is very hard for me. I wouldn't think too much about turning in tests papers, though.

I guess society in general makes me more nervous than I would be otherwise.
Aug 22, 2015 03:52:50
I have a severe social anxiety and I'm really exhausted by this. I cannot play cello in front of anyone except my teacher. I cannot do public speaking without shivering and becoming paralyzed... but I think, it is worthy being an INTP even with these kind of difficulties...