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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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Check out the INTJ Discussion Forum

Want to have a more in-depth conversation about being an INTJ? Head on over to our discussion forum and post your questions, comments, and/or general musings!


G. (not verified) says...

This definently applies to me, giving greater comprehension of why certain qualities apply in response to events. Also with interests and the reason for constanting having allmost an itch for wanting to learn in general and complex ideas (relatively to what is currently known such as from a year or two ago to now, Fractals and its application to communication and computer graphics genoration of shapes and structures with polonomials, modular quantum computing for interpeting large quantities of variables for efficency [such as calculateing multiple effecting variables in a company production to cost ratio], and random mathmatical/physics theories). The constant question of "why" when younger makes more sense now.  

Xinyu (not verified) says...

What a well written article with all the revealing information! 

It has always been a myth why I am such a cold, deep, investigative, rational, proud, superiorly judging female growing up since childhood, who seem to always immersed in her thinking and  ideas and only interested in self-improvement and achieving the high goals that I set for myself and myself only. All other things, emotions including, are so BORING and USELESS

Guess I now know I'm the 1% of the population XD

Well, gotta learn (like we LOVE to do) and make up for the areas that we have always missed before xD

Natasha K (not verified) says...

I thought I was the only female INTJ. Looks like there’s more of me out there lol. I am currently deciding whether or not I want to go into Law, be a history professor, or a museum curator. I love history and archeology. The personality trait for an INTJ is me for the most part. So are the career choices. I’m not great in math which steered me from any kind of medical or engineering degrees. Are women INTJs really that rare? 

LindaK (not verified) says...


I have so enjoyed all the responses to this site! Even our very verbose male counterpart. To my knowledge I have not personally met or encountered other female INTJs.  I realized how different I processed my thoughts at a young age making me feel very different from other people.

So wonderful to meet all of you and to read how you have worked out your life directions. I am in now the latter part of my life. I do not know if my knowing my personality traits earlier in life would have made a difference in my life choices or not. I have a strong Christian world view, having faith and trust that God is in control and that the gift of life has meaning and purpose when you seek to know Him with your whole heart.

I have had a variety of occupations with a BA degree in graphic arts. First with a circuit breaker manufacture, I did not know what a circuit breaker was! But I learned. I was involved with creating the instruction manuals for the circuit breaker. Did this for 5 years then moved on to an engineering construction company in their graphics department. It was at this time "hands on" graphics transitioned to computer graphics (so loved the Apple) had to make new groves in my brain!!! Was there for 14 years, quit because you can only play beat the clock for so long! Traveled for a year then went to work for a Christian music company for 10 years, working in all the departments, as a receptionist handling all incoming calls, art department, even 2 weeks as the executive secretary, then finally as the building manager. This time was interrupted for a year working for a mom and pop video studio. Retired for a short while, husband then asked if I would go back to work, married late in life age 45, so no children. My passion was teaching Sunday school enjoying other peoples' children (Jr. high, 3rd and 4th, and 1st and 2nd grades) good way to learn the bible! Wanted to persue teaching, I had a secondary school credential from Cal State, achieved with night classes while working at the circuit breaker company. Ended up working for a junior college in the Military Programs department online classes. Best job ever!!! So emotionally gratifying helping our military. I was very comfortable being raised on a military base overseas, dealing with the various students and their problems and questions. Father was civil service.

Retired after 8 years, also was divorced after 22 years.

Moved to be close to my siblings and their families. Love retirement.

Just wanted to join in and add my 2 cents to the blog.

Guest2 (not verified) says...

Hillary Clinton is not an INTJ and never will be - she loves the limelight and attention way too much.

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