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What is an INTJ?

INTJ is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging. INTJ indicates a person who is energized by time alone (Introverted), who focuses on ideas and concepts rather than facts and details (iNtuitive), who makes decisions based on logic and reason (Thinking) and who prefers to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible (Judging). INTJs are sometimes referred to as Mastermind personalities because of their strategic, logical way of thinking.

What are INTJs like?

INTJs are analytical problem-solvers, eager to improve systems and processes with their innovative ideas. They have a talent for seeing possibilities for improvement, whether at work, at home, or in themselves.

Often intellectual, INTJs enjoy logical reasoning and complex problem-solving. They approach life by analyzing the theory behind what they see, and are typically focused inward, on their own thoughtful study of the world around them. INTJs are drawn to logical systems and are much less comfortable with the unpredictable nature of other people and their emotions. They are typically independent and selective about their relationships, preferring to associate with people who they find intellectually stimulating.

What are the core values of the INTJ?

INTJs are perceptive about systems and strategy, and often understand the world as a chess board to be navigated. They want to understand how systems work, and how events proceed: the INTJ often has a unique ability to foresee logical outcomes. They enjoy applying themselves to a project or idea in depth, and putting in concentrated effort to achieve their goals.

INTJs have a hunger for knowledge and strive to constantly increase their competence; they are often perfectionists with extremely high standards of performance for themselves and others. They tend to have a keen interest in self-improvement and are lifelong learners, always looking to add to their base of information and awareness.

How can I recognize an INTJ?

INTJs are typically reserved and serious, and seem to spend a lot of time thinking. They are curious about the world around them and often want to know the principle behind what they see. They thoroughly examine the information they receive, and if asked a question, will typically consider it at length before presenting a careful, complex answer. INTJs think critically and clearly, and often have an idea about how to do something more efficiently. They can be blunt in their presentation, and often communicate in terms of the larger strategy, leaving out the details.

Although INTJs aren’t usually warm or particularly gregarious, they tend to have a self-assured manner with people based on their own security in their intelligence. They relate their ideas with confidence, and once they have arrived at a conclusion they fully expect others to see the wisdom in their perceptions. They are typically perfectionists and appreciate an environment of intellectual challenge. They enjoy discussing interesting ideas, and may get themselves into trouble because of their take-no-prisoners attitude: if someone’s beliefs don’t make logical sense, the Mastermind typically has no qualms about pointing that out.

Who are some famous INTJs?

Famous INTJs include Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates, Dwight Eisenhower, Alan Greenspan, Ulysses S. Grant, Stephen Hawking, John Maynard Keynes, Ayn Rand, Isaac Asimov, Lewis Carroll, Cormac McCarthy, and Sir Isaac Newton.

How common is the INTJ personality type?

INTJ is the third rarest type in the population, and the rarest type among women (with ENTJ). INTJs make up:

  • 2% of the general population
  • 3% of men
  • 1% of women

What do INTJs like to do?

Popular hobbies for the INTJ include reading, cultural events, taking classes, appreciating art, computers and video games, and independent sports such as swimming, backpacking, or running marathons.

What the experts say

"INTJs are the most independent of all the sixteen types and take more or less conscious pride in that independence."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"Difficulties are highly stimulating to INTJs, who love responding to a problem that requires a creative solution."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"Their capacity for intellectual and conceptual clarity gives INTJs both vision and the will to see it through to completion—leadership qualities that are prized in our society."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

Facts about INTJs

Interesting facts about the INTJ:

  • On personality trait measures, score as Discreet, Industrious, Logical, Deliberate, Self-Confident, and Methodical
  • Among types least likely to suffer heart disease and cardiac problems
  • Least likely of all the types to believe in a higher spiritual power
  • One of two types with highest college GPA
  • Among types with highest income
  • Personal values include Achievement
  • Of all types, least likely to state that they value Home/family, Financial security, Relationships & friendships, and Community service
  • Overrepresented among MBA students and female small business owners
  • Commonly found in scientific or technical fields, computer occupations, and legal professions

Source: MBTI Manual

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Comments

Guest (not verified) says...

Me neither, since they want to understand what's behind the curtain.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am a female INTJ. I've seen behind the curtain. The news is good.

PaulNog (not verified) says...

One's first response to that white lie totally reveals whether or not you are wont to believe.

Guest (not verified) says...

I agree with your last statement about religion, and I think the reason that most of us "don't" believe in it is just because it seems silly in a way, to someone who is so reliant on what they have experienced. I also think that anyone who just sits down and thinks about it seriously, it will become obvious to them that there is a God. One of the easiest ways for me to do this is by first arguing for it, assuming that it is true, and then arguing against it, assuming it is false, when I do this I feel like I understand the topic allot better than if I just debate it with another person.

bleaneg says...

Guest (not verified) says...

I love that you debate with yourself in your head. I do too. I also play chess in my head - both sides.

Guest (not verified) says...

Well said. As INTJs we are prone to consecrating the patterns we pick up on. As deep as we look into the inner workings of human behavior, we can still be embarrassingly wrong. Taking the measure of a man, evaluating the merit of a project or sizing up a situation is our stock and trade. However, communicating our beliefs is a fundamental shortcoming of our Type. We're introverted people. Others are alien to us. Or we're alien to them. The impressions we collect at first glance, can slowly take on a different form as we mature. It should be easy for an INTJ to comprehend and respect that the universe didn't evolve everything from a point the size of a period.

Guest (not verified) says...

I think it is true that an INTJ wouldn't outlaw the possibility of a higher power, but as people who question established systems- like religion- and value independence I can't really see an INTJ following blindly either. I think an INTJ would have to come to their own understanding and rationale of the concept of a higher power, and perhaps that rejects traditional understanding. I personally don't believe in a higher power, but I like to think I'm relatively open minded to the fact that one could exist outside of my understanding. I guess I just think that we're never really going to know, and for me that's okay.

Another INTJ (not verified) says...

I'm an INTJ and I neither believe nor disbelieve - I'm agnostic, can't make up my mind.

Not sure if it's classic INTJ or not, but I find I have issues believing anything definitively - sometimes I feel I am TOO open minded and TOO analytical, TOO logical. I also have a real problem with people saying things like they're for sure when they don't know that.

Guest (not verified) says...

An agnostic is an atheist without balls.

Guest (not verified) says...

Testicles don't really have anything to do with it, it's a super positional belief that simply says the evidence is lacking to conclusively declare a belief or disbelief in the supernatural. I'm perfectly content realizing there are some questions which we may never know the answers to. I'd rather not dwell on it and move on to the next question that actually has relevance to me.

Emerald INTJ (not verified) says...

Nearly everyone, regardless of their chosen spiritual label (Christian, atheist, agnostic, etc.), does have a working hypothesis on this issue. Are you living your life as if a wrathful sky daddy is constantly scoring your actions and thoughts to determine your eternal postmortem destination? If not, you are not a believer, are you? If you thought there was even a 10% chance that you have a soul that will be judged and possibly condemned, nothing would be more "relevant" than knowing you're on the good list. Admit it, you have decided. We should always be alert & open to evidence contradicting any of our beliefs, but I think we should be honest, and brave, enough to own where we are now.

Guest (not verified) says...

And if that spot where you are is undecided, then that is where you shall claim to be. If I do not have decent evidence going one way or the other, then I refrain from making my decision. Doing otherwise accomplishes nothing and is untrue.

Also, while many religions do use a form of scoring for good and bad deeds, the one who's god is typically thought of as a "sky daddy" does not. While believers of that religion would still strive to be good, it's simply for the belief that it's the right way to live. The matter of Heaven and Hell would already be considered a done deal.

MetaKnight (not verified) says...

There is no wrathful sky daddy constantly scoring our actions and thoughts to determine our eternal postmortem destruction, you made all that up to feed your ego. You should also know not everyone thinks like you, deal with it.

somebody (not verified) says...

One who does not fully understand the spiritual aspect of religion should not pose definitive and boastful loaded questions insinuating otherwise, flaunting their atheistic bias, as it reveals a true ignorance of the topic to those in the know. Your confidence in non-existance is displayed across your shallow cutting words, and your attempts towards humourous catch-phrasing, mundane and screaming for attention. Read, learn, experience, analyze, and understand before you blanket-summarize a subject of the depth of religion through disrespectfully formed words, or perhaps retake the type test as you're probably not an INTJ....and your flagrant, loose hypothesis-laiden verbiage of non-existance is base and antagonistic.

Guest (not verified) says...

I feel the same.

MetaKnight (not verified) says...

Your elitism/bias is showing.

guest9090 (not verified) says...

I have not decided on the issue of God's existence still researching but I do agree you can be spiritual and a INTJ. My main issue with the idea of God is that he would create a complex universe yet seems to focus onlt humans and has temper tantrums when we do not recolonize his might according to bible. So if there is God I am not sure it would be like any god that any current religions depict of course I could be wrong hence the reason I am still researching the topic.

Guest (not verified) says...

You should look into the book called "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. He is an intelligent man and originally was atheist. In his mission to disprove religion he became religious and has written numerous books. The content of the book is worth while and cleared the questions I had.

Guest (not verified) says...

Your experience exactly mirrors mine! C.S. Lewis was enormously helpful to me I. My spiritual quest.

Guest (not verified) says...

It's great to see some C.S. Lewis inspiration here in the INTJ corner. I suspect he was an INTJ, or close to it, as his reasoning behind religion appeals to our logic especially. 'Mere Christianity' is definitely a must-read for anyone who wants to see the bigger picture.

Guest (not verified) says...

If you read mere christianity carefully, you have to start with an assumtion to follow any of his logic.
it would of been more convincing if he were more t and less f.

JANIS GABBERT (not verified) says...

Not sure who you are referring to, God or Jesus or both? Of course, God and Jesus both have perfect T and also perfect F. I am a female INTJ age 66. My spiritual search was intense in the 1970s. I was raised Methodist but in 1970 I had a spiritual experience that left me desperate to learn the Truth. In 1981 I became a lawyer and also found a true Guru who taught me the Science of Religion. I have been loyal to my guru ever since, and blessed to be able to help other Truth seekers. For those who seek a deeper understanding of Jesus Christ, I recommend the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda and Self Realization Fellowship. THE YOGA OF JESUS is a good introduction to the "logic" of the Bible. The Bible cannot be understood with logic alone. Intuition born of meditation is also needed. For more information browse www.yogananda-srf.org or visit Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, CA.

Twiggy (not verified) says...

The bible contains a logic that is satisfying and factual, in fact when we use the bible to interpret itself it produces the truth with the most clarity. Some might conclude and make a statement that God throws temper tantrums.. but wouldn't this be a statement based on putting him in a category of a temperamental human who lacks control rather than a person who has the ultimate right to decide? He always clearly outlines his expectations of people's behaviors give ample warning or blessing and even lovingly pleads at times with people that by following his way it would ultimately work out for the best. I read a lot of things on INTJ where people similarly categorize us into a stereotype of friendless loners who think everyone is inferior couldn't care less and ultimately unfashionable. .oh unless it a well thought out classic. . But in reality we are not all that way..I'm just saying that before blanket steroleotype is made..even while on search for truth, isn't an open mind without bias the test that produces the best results..especially with ultimate truths which end up being super fact based in the end. (:

RNAV (not verified) says...

A better way to look at it as God as the parent, and we are the temperamental children trying to get our way and test limits, and on occasion, get spanked.

A couple of things to consider, the bible is not a scientific paper, but a spiritual guide for you to come to know God, and develop a relationship. The bible has never been refuted by archeological evidence, only supported.

In any man derived system to explain creation, you are always left with the creation of the device. The evidence supports a big bang. What was before that and what caused that? One answer is God, another is an oscillating system of expansion and contraction, but then who or what set up that system. Multi-verse, a system generating new universes (creation), but who created that system.

Some atheist proposition claim it was aliens that seeded the Earth, which is easier to believe, aliens seeded planets, (which raises the question of who created them) or a deity that created everything.

Another proposition, the estimated time it would take to randomly code the human genome to produce a functioning human is longer than the known existence of the universe. So a process other than random chance took place. Doesn't leave just a God answer, but tends to support one. Intelligent design, now for the matter of the process of design.....

Guest (not verified) says...

I am an INTJ female and I would consider myself spiritual. Like many INTJ's who went to church growing up, I started questioning it at a young age and picking apart all the aspects that didn't make sense to me (I remember doing this when I was 10 or so). However I never stopped going as a teenager as some probably did, mainly because I had a strong group of friends there and in a way it was my 'escape' from the more drama-ridden "friendships" I experienced at school or in other extra-curricular settings. Everyone needs a place to wind down right? Anyway, as an adult I am not a regular church-goer, but I justify my continuing spirituality on the basis that the atheist system of thought has never wholly made logical sense to me either. I feel more intuitively attached to spirituality, and I don't find it "less" logical than atheism from what I've seen. I never went in the direction of formally studying sciences, but science has always fascinated me and really, the more I learn about science the more it seems to "prove" the truth in religion to me rather than disprove it. However I also believe it's not something that can be entirely proven either way.

One argument I have heard from atheists is that if religion were "real", every society would have come up with the same one. My answer to this is that the divine exists beyond human understanding--we feel something intuitively that we can't really understand. The existence of many different religions isn't proof that they're all nonsense; rather it is proof that every society is trying, in its own way, to understand the same basic underlying truths that in fact can't be fully understood. Perhaps if these truth were simple and easily understood, all religions in all cultures would be the same. However because these truths are complex, each religion is able to capture only a small part of them, and of course each religion ends up corrupting and perverting them in its own way due to human folly.

Reply (not verified) says...

I found an interesting youtube video in which the presenter stated that the INTJ sets such a high ideal in their concept of relationship that they are likely to seek a connection with a mystical force or cosmic power, to paraphrase a little. I believe that to be true, and I believe that it is likely also to be true of the EN as well, from what I have read of them. The video was on the subject of INTJ functions which are hidden from the INTJ, not the primary or secondary functions..

Guest (not verified) says...

I've been looking for some credible statistics to back up your statement, "the estimated time it would take to randomly code the human genome to produce a functioning human is longer than the known existence of the universe. So a process other than random chance took place. " I know I have read or heard a similar statemtn somewhere, but hesitate to repeat such a bold statement without an article or two to site as reference. Any chance you could spot me one?!

Emerald INTJ (not verified) says...

Whoa! The bible is logical & factual?? Seriously? Start with the 2 different creation stories in the first book where god makes the earth, complete with grass and living creatures, before he makes the sun, and zoom on through to the Noah's ark story in which god commits the largest act of genocide ever then repopulates the earth via incest. Are you satisfied yet? My father was a minister so I grew up believing this crap - reasoned my way out of that then went through a new age Chopra phase still in search of something hopeful and credible. But if you do what we're really good at it, which is THINKING in a ruthlessly logical way, you cannot reconcile the concept of a soul or an afterlife with known science.

Guest (not verified) says...

I agree, INTJs can definitely be very spiritual. I am very strong in my own religious beliefs. I think what turns a lot of INTJs off is hypocrisy among religious people, but I remind myself that imperfect people are not representations of any particular religion's ideals, and there are hypocrites among all kinds of people (religious, atheist, agnostic, what-have-you). I think INTJs can actually be very strongly religious once we have made up our minds about it. Speaking for myself, I test each and every religious tenet of my church before I choose to accept it, and that actually ends up strengthening my faith (a sort of trial by fire) much more than blind belief would. So just because INTJs don't accept anything at face value, it should not be assumed that we are never religious or spiritual.

Guest (not verified) says...

That is so true. Now I understand why I've always had trouble in churches, because I can't stand hypocrisy, and I usually speak up when I see it. That is probably the reason why I am not going to any at the moment. My religious beliefs have never been stronger, though.

Sunrise (not verified) says...

I have an extremely hard time to understand how any real INTJ person could have any religious belief. The following are some possible causes that I can think of:

- You might have been influenced or even brain-washed by your parents/guardians since early childhood
- You are a borderline INTJ instead of a real INTJ
- You cheated on your personality tests

Guest_AJ (not verified) says...

I'm surprised that no one has pointed this out, so far that I've read at least, but they stated "least likely of all the types to believe in a higher spiritual power"...key words being: least likely of all the (16) types. They never said that INTJ's will question or not believe in the existence of a higher power.

So if I have a young puppy and a couple of adult dogs, my dogs of all three pets are least likely to pee/poop on the floor...doesn't mean they won't. Say you have a 90% likelihood of winning a game...doesn't mean you will. People who don't study aren't likely to pass the exam with an A...but they could. Regardless of the ridiculous examples I just used, the point is that probabilities aren't absolute...just like correlation isn't causation. Don't mind me, just a personal pet peeve.

Guest (not verified) says...

Thank you, finally someone else realized this! I think actual INTJ's would have been able to spot this, instead of misinterpreting it and getting into a tizzy about what they feel it says.

Guest (not verified) says...

I agree, the excerpt says INTJ's are least likely to adhere to a religion. This is because our extreme sense of individuality does not allow acceptance of a belief without first tearing it apart and discovering the logic behind it. For me it was quite the opposite of many of the commenters. I grew up very religious and slowly and painfully picked apart that belief and all of its inconsistencies. I came to the conclusion that there is no evidence for a God, and much more evidence that humans created this belief as a necessity. I'm much more interested in physics now. It was an excruciating process to objectively dissect a belief that is so engained and provides so much comfort. When I set out to explore this belief I went about it with extreme confirmation bias. This is to say that, instead of objectively analyzing, I would set out to unify conflicting beliefs in my head. Primarily, science and religion. This is an illusion. Religion is based on faith and has no foundation in logic. In other words, a leap must be made to get to the underlying premise and then people use logic to try to reconcile the premise with reality. Science is purely logical and has no association with faith of any kind. A premise cannot be reached without a logical path to it. No leaping allowed.

Uslu Muad'Dib (not verified) says...

I went through a similar process, but I came to conclude that the existence of a God is more likely than the absence of one. This is not rooted in a need for comfort if anything I find the idea of a God discomforting but I still. What is definite however is the reality that science and religion have no association they are based in completely different principles, but divinity and the finite order of things in the universe are very much in relation with one another. If God is real he also thinks like a physicist; Isaac Newton thought so too.

INTJ Male (not verified) says...

I personally questioned whether there's a higher power when I was at the age of 8. My mother was highly christian and took us to church on Sundays. I stopped going after that as I realized either god didn't exist, or it's rather sociopathic.

There may be complexities to religion, but there's also equally as many paradoxes. And a system with so many holes in it, I couldn't help but scrap and make my own. I chose not to adopt someone else's system, which is interesting because said system had thousands of years to perfect itself.

So that being said, I suppose I very much so apply to that statement. The article was entirely accurate for me.

MetaKnight (not verified) says...

What's sociopathic? Can you explain? I hope it's not an excuse to be an elitist jerk to those that do believe, not to mention not caring about your feelings or opinions isn't sociopathic.

Guest (not verified) says...

I also had a problem with the assertion that INTJ's are atheists or apathetic to religious systems.

The reality is that INTJ also has a component which indicates a value system, morality, fairness in their actions. Some of it is shown in objectivity with a humanistic bent in solutions. Perhaps those INTJ's with a religious value system or faith/spiritual base will come up a little lower on the "T" aspect. I am extremely high on the IN and J. Whereas the "T" aspect I am only 50% more T than F. Generally I find that on MBTI evaluations the questions regarding "feel" tendencies, I tend to fall back on how does it affect overall human landscape, is it right or wrong - and which is the best solutions for humans, not which is the best solution period. In cases of work, as I am in IT project management, I perform purely on what is the right solution, excluding all human factors - with exception to does it work and will people adopt it without swearing at me afterwards. :)

I also strongly suspect those who are INJ and are strongly humanistic perhaps extremely spiritual, with a "ruthless logic be damned" attitude will end up in INFJ. They want to fix peoples souls/hearts, INTJ's want to fix the underlying problem that makes people sad. INFJ's are a little too much to endure. I just cant take the tendency to overshare on the emoting. (I tend to feel like Cher's character in Moonstruck and want to yell "Snap out of it!" when this occurs) I'm not opposed to being emotionally vibrant, but we need not have an emotion pride parade 24/7.

Darah (not verified) says...

They're going off of the scientific method which does NOT include only your personal experience. It involves actual testing to come to the conclusion of "least likely." That said, the description also doesn't say "ALL INTJs are non-religious."

MetaKnight (not verified) says...

Personal experience is the 1 thing that equals (if not trumps) the scientific method.

Mercury (not verified) says...

You realize that their assertion that INTJ's are the least likely to believe in a higher spiritual power is based on some sort of actual research, not just stuff they made up, regardless of whether you find it accurate or not. Also, it states "least likely of all the types", meaning it is comparing this value against the other 15 types. Since we have no actual data to go along with it, this could mean that 70% of INTJ's believe in a "higher spiritual power", it just happens that all the other types are higher than 70%. This is still quite a high number. (I made these numbers up as an example, because we don't know the actual numbers.) So of course there are going to be INTJ types that question and/or do believe in a higher spiritual power, they are merely stating that INTJ's are the least likely of all the types to believe, and I don't find that unusual at all.

Guest (not verified) says...

"Least likely of all the types to believe in a higher spiritual power"

True, this isn't a definitive statement about what an INTJ does believe, but it might be more accurate to say that an INTJ tends to be open to possibilities in the absence of proof.

This is a philosophical rabbit hole for the debate of all "definitive truths". At some point it's not efficient to question certain assumptions, while staying open to new information that may change a conclusions.

ezekial (not verified) says...

It correct 100% for me and I am type A personality all so. Replay me

H. Lector (not verified) says...

INTJ is the personality trait of most serial killers.

Guest (not verified) says...

Very funny Hannibal Lector but totally false.

RIMA (not verified) says...

"I AM WILLING TO LEARN SOMETHING EVERY MOMENT"
-----------PERFECT MATCH FOR OUR PERSONALITY TYPES & GLAD TO BE ABLE TO LEARN THE TRUTH OF OURSELVES WITH ANALYTICAL LOGICAL MENTIONS AND NOTIONS.....

Arizona (not verified) says...

Judging by my own life.........which I wont go into.............right on many many points.
Mastermind...been called that
Intuitive been past life regression on people for years into ancient ways always learning
Thinker I have a great quest for all knowledge

guest (not verified) says...

wow... i took the test on 16personalities a little while ago and i showed positive to INTJ, its kind of scary how well it reflects me...

skeptical (not verified) says...

I don't think an INTJ would make such a sweep statement about themselves. Given, two particulars are hardly ever fully alike, it is unlikely that the careful INTJ would suggest that he/ she is 100% like the description since their approach to themselves, like their approach to problem-solving, will be more nuanced and careful. So, if this description matches you 100%, then that might be the best sign that you are not an INTJ :) However, it could be the case that this description is more general than particular in its description of a personality type; in which case, it is not a surprise that you see yourself in it since it is likely that you would see yourself in many general but different descriptions. 

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