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.

This 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.

INTP personality

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.

Logicians You May Know

Vortok
2 years ago
Kind of like the Vulcan race from Star Trek - we often have very strong emotions, but they're quite raw and trying to use them as our primary basis for interacting with others can lead to some... troublesome... results. Utilizing logic is significantly more productive.
INTP Maddie wants to debate!
2 years ago
(I don't know much about Star Trek) isn't Spock a Vulcan?
Vortok
2 years ago
Yes, Spock can be considered the most well recognized Vulcan from Star Trek. As a broad overview, the Vulcan civilization has realized how problematic their race's extremely strong emotions can be (could go out of control during a fit of rage to the point that they could potentially kill their closest friend) and thus undergo training from a young age to always restrain themselves and use logic and reasoning to direct their actions instead. I know that I punched/kicked half a dozen or so holes into walls/doors when I was a kid (generally over very silly and trivial stuff in the heat of the moment). The emotional side that triggered those actions hasn't really gone away, but my logic based restraints are a bit better developed these days. Slowly working on a filter to let some of the less instantly dangerous emotions through, but will likely always require very careful supervision from the logic side. There's some differences between Vulcans and INTPs of course (I'm sure an INTP Trekkie instantly spotted half a dozen things to correct, heh), but it's fairly common for us INTPs to more or less separate our rational/logic side and our emotional side - some INTPs lock those emotions away more firmly than others. Even for those that don't deny the existence of their emotions, it can still be quite a challenge to actually relate/communicate/connect with other people on an emotional level. I saw a comment someone left on this site about our trademark lack of empathy (more power to the INTPs that have managed to pick up that ability). To rephrase it, we can often notice when a situation calls for it and say to ourselves "Oh, this is an emotionally distraught person. Empathy would be the correct response." However, when we march down the hallway in our brain to where we keep our various tools and open up the door labeled empathy, we just have an empty room to greet us. We know it'd be a useful ability when dealing with large part of the population, we know other people are quite capable of empathy and are appreciated for providing it, but for many of us it just isn't something that we come equipped with.
Rachel
2 years ago
Ah, I finally found my personality. I realize now as to why no one understands me. I do care greatly about others at times, but I often don't understand why they don't like the objective truth. I'd rather have the truth and forgot emotions, as the logical objective truth is what makes me the happiest. I have emotions, but I often don't comprehend them well and misunderstand them. I'm clueless when dating, and I often screw everything up...gah. Well, I guess I get to spend the rest of my school years not fitting in and being that awkward quirky girl who is in her head all the time.
Ziyad
2 years ago
I faced the very same problem which you faced. I wonder why people don't understand how much i value friendship,and why they think i can't be trusted.. I'm a medical student.i hardly go to college because i don't find college interesting.. But i love to get knowledge,new ideas and thoughts from other people.. I like discussing my ideas(incomplete). And while forming ideas i realised one thing that i lack knowledge.. I thrive for knowledge but the greatest obstacle i face is my LAZINESS. I hate it but i can't get off it. Kindly help me with some ideas.
Cat
2 years ago
Tell me about it! My friends get so mad when I am doing problems in my head, and my teacher hates it too!
Cat
2 years ago
I'm just like you, man.
kathi
2 years ago
It feels so good visiting the comments. I mean, I know that I'm not alone as an INTP (I don't think anyone can be alone with anything), but sometimes it feels just this way, because it's so hard to find like-minded people in my surroundings. I'm still quite young and I know that things aren't going to stay the way they are, but right now it feels like a big disadvantage (being an INTP (either the test says I'm an INTP or an INTJ)). Anybody out there that gets depressed by people and things as fast as I do?
Cat
2 years ago
I do. I am a nerd that's in her head all day! Then when I get out of it there is nobody there for me!
Sean
2 years ago
I have been wondering why I struggle with communication for years. I came upon this test today. I have decided to focus on my weaknesses, in view of becoming a highly successful person. has anyone experienced what I am trying to do?
Chloe
2 years ago
Now i have a more efficient understanding of why everybody says i have no emotions
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