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The INTP Personality Type

INTPs are philosophical innovators, fascinated by logical analysis, systems, and design. They are preoccupied with theory, and search for the universal law behind everything they see. They want to understand the unifying themes of life, in all their complexity.

INTPs are detached, analytical observers who can seem oblivious to the world around them because they are so deeply absorbed in thought. They spend much of their time focused internally: exploring concepts, making connections, and seeking understanding. To the Architect, life is an ongoing inquiry into the mysteries of the universe.

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What does INTP stand for?

INTP 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, Perceiving. INTP 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 spontaneous and flexible rather than planned and organized (Perceiving). INTPs are sometimes referred to as Architect personalities because of their intuitive understanding of complex systems.

INTP Values and Motivations

INTPs present a cool exterior but are privately passionate about reason, analysis, and innovation. They seek to create complex systems of understanding to unify the principles they've observed in their environments. Their minds are complicated and active, and they will go to great mental lengths trying to devise ingenious solutions to interesting problems.

The INTP is typically non-traditional, and more likely to reason out their own individual way of doing things than to follow the crowd. The INTP is suspicious of assumptions and conventions, and eager to break apart ideas that others take for granted. INTPs are merciless when analyzing concepts and beliefs, and hold little sacred. They are often baffled by other people who remain loyal to ideology that doesn't make logical sense.

How Others See the INTP

INTPs are often thoroughly engaged in their own thoughts, and usually appear to others to be offbeat and unconventional. The INTP’s mind is a most active place, and their inward orientation can mean that they neglect superficial things like home décor or appropriate clothing. They don’t tend to bother with small talk but can become downright passionate when talking about science, mathematics, computers, or the larger theoretical problems of the universe. Reality is often of only passing interest to the Architect, as they are more interested in the theory behind it all.

INTPs are typically precise in their speech, and communicate complex ideas with carefully chosen words. They insist on intellectual rigor in even the most casual of conversations, and will readily point out inconsistencies of thought or reasoning. Social niceties may fall by the wayside for an INTP who is more interested in analyzing logic, and they may offend others by submitting their dearly held values and beliefs to logical scrutiny.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

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How rare is the INTP personality type?

INTP is one of the less common types in the population, especially for women. Among women, INTP is the fourth rarest type (after INTJ, ENTJ, and INFJ). INTPs make up:

  • 3% of the general population
  • 5% of men
  • 2% of women

Famous INTPs

Famous INTPs include Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Rene Descartes, Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, Socrates, and Abraham Lincoln.

For more information: Famous INTPs

INTP Quotes

"INTPs are perhaps the most intellectually profound of all the types."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"What is important is that the underlying structures of the universe be uncovered and articulated, and that whatever is stated about the universe be stated correctly, with coherence and without redundancy."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"INTPs are free-spirited idea mills and absentminded professors, which makes them fun to be around, easily diverted, and a plethora of unending creativity."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

Facts about INTPs

Interesting facts about the INTP:

  • On personality trait measures, score as Candid, Ingenious, Complicated, Independent, and Rebellious
  • More likely than other types to study a foreign language
  • Most frequent type among college students committing alcohol and drug policy violations
  • Have lowest level of coping resources of all the types (with ISTPs)
  • One of types least likely to believe in a higher spiritual power
  • Highest of all types in career dissatisfaction (with INFPs)
  • In school, have lower grades than would be predicted from aptitude scores
  • More likely than average to complete engineering programs
  • Personal values include Autonomy, Freedom, and Independence
  • Overrepresented among working MBA students
  • Commonly found in science and technical occupations

Source: MBTI Manual

INTP Hobbies and Interests

Popular leisure activities for an INTP include reading, art and cultural events, chess and other strategy games, writing, taking classes, working with computers, backpacking, hiking, and meditation.

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Comments

mattkong7507 (not verified) says...

lol

mehdi (not verified) says...

I'm an INTP and I do not know why I see most people in society below my IQ level. They can't understand me. I respect them, but I can't have a good relationship with them.

Grant F (not verified) says...

That sounds very INTJ of you.

Flora (not verified) says...

I was thinking the same thing too..

Levi Eby (not verified) says...

INTP

Levi Eby (not verified) says...

oops i meant to say me to, but i absentmindedly clicked the save button

HK says...

I got INFP from other MBTI test sites several time, but I got INTP here, which is an interesting finding.

Rainia (not verified) says...

They get miss typed all the time, it has something to do with Ti and Fi, both of them likes to analyze and indulge deeply alone. 

but the difference is Fi finding meaning through emotions and intuition but Ti finding the truth with their mind. Occupied mind vs occupied heart.

now think back, most of time INTP don’t have a feeling, they don’t feel sad nor happy but most of time their mind is very active, when you walk, when you eat, everything you do your mind do the talks. 

Also at night do you often be like busy with your mind thinking about topic of interests? That you start to forget everything including your feeling and your surroundings? And you can’t fall asleep because your brain is so bright. your hands are cold due to your passion explode in your mind brainstorming ideas of your interests without feeling involved? Then you are a Ti. I do this Often, usually at night. i am too focused on my mind thinking about almost anything that often sleep late at night.. 

 

while INFPs on the other hands, the Fi users, they have many emotions. don’t miss understand them that they don’t like to analyze tho, in facts they do!! They like to search meaning, analyze life But with feeling involved and with emotion and with themselves as a subject. Also usually they don’t necessarily need reasons to feel assured in believing something, it’s their gut feeling that’s strong. If it feels right to them (without the urge to prove with data or words) like they find meaning over something that feel soothing or feels right to them, then they will believe. That is indication Fi users. I have INFP friend, i noticed the behaviors. 

But don’t forget, human comes in packs of complete system. Just because INTP is Ti users that doesn’t mean they don’t have feeling. In fact they have Fe, even it’s the last function it can be strong too, they just don’t know how to handle it well.

 

So at some moments when needed to judge with feeling, INTP deal it with Fe. They can be overwhelmed to people expectation, absorb people emotions as their own. Most likely to feel suddenly emotional when close one is sad especially when their brain can prove reasons of that situation is indeed unfair. INTP can put themselves on other shoes, BUT they can’t show caring attitude very well, if they force it they will be awkward or uncomfortable. Also it is the last functions so in the end they always rationalize this feeling with their thinking back again.

This is how you can differentiate INFP and INTP, INFP is Fi users and is the superior function which is very strong. they know themselves very much as well as they know others feeling, i even feel like they can know my feeling when i didn’t realize. But they can understand how someone is sad without leaving their own feeling. If you feel sad, They feel you but they don’t lose themselves in you.

Another example is look at them in uncomfortable social gathering although both of them are not fond of social gathering but INFP never lose their sense of identity even when they’re nervous. 

unlike INTP (if they force to use Fe function) they will be someone who try to fit in by acting like what usually someone does in social gathering awkwardly because they just don’t know, they’re not harmonize with themselves but their brain. (especially for INTP who is strong in Thinking). they will try to cheerful and warm with a common style of what usual people do. trying so hard to fit in to the point of leaving their own identity. 

 

 

INFP even they are a feeler, they can think too and they use Te. we’re human have both Thinking and Feeling functions. MBTI is about preference not absolute quantity.

When needed, they can think effectively to be later processed back with their Introverted feeling again.

 

they can be very well thinking too, but again the same like INTP who can use Fe but can’t act it out, this is happening to INFP too, they have it on their mind of their understanding and their thinking but to unleash it out, it’s uncomfortable for them, or difficult for them. Even so they still can. They just don’t necessarily to do it all the time though. And they are Te is that’s how to differentiate it with INTP who has Ti. Ti has a logic that can be accepted to themselves, Te need some kind of logic that’s acceptable to the world. They will brainstorm their thinking as many as possible and then later evaluate them with Fi again.

 

So choose, are you Fi Te act based on personal value, personal harmony, and think effectively to support your intuition.

 

Or are you Ti Fe act based on logic, try to neglect feeling (even when you have) and absorb feeling from others and then rationalize with thinking.

Daybreak (not verified) says...

Wow. That's quite well.

Goes for ISTP too. They are Ti dom, Fe weakest.

I can understand feelings well. But my execution of expression of care to the individual is not good enough.

And when i am done understanding feelings from Fe, I gracefully switch to Ti right away. Starts looking for solutions.

 

Levi Eby (not verified) says...

And when an INTP get's annoyed or frusturated, they try to hold it in. When it gets too much for an INTP (maybe an ISTP also) it can come out in a burning anger (but this is are for most of us).

Confused about mbti type (not verified) says...

It says rare but look at this, I guess the universe is growing (sarcasm not saying you don't know that just making sure.), if only I could have more insight about myself and this page it's very troubling, especially when your a freaking teenager and have complex emotions and complex change, sorry going on a bit of rage.

Marianne04 says...

I'm always between the two as well. As a teen I typed as intp a few times, now im 25 I leep typing as infp but still identitfy with a lot of intp traits. I am also very sociable so I have typed as enfp before. We are humans after all and mbti is only a theory with 16 types!! I think it depends of which function you are using more at a specific time in life. If you've developped your other functions as well, you will use the one you "WANT' to use in a.given circumstance! Anyway, that's what I've come to believe/understand

SpaceKid (not verified) says...

I often find myself criticising and mentally improving the NASA and SpaceX rockets on tv, but then I'm like oh yeah, they have a budget...

 

Salem_Saberhagen (not verified) says...

it's all fake, earth is the universe, not a ball

Trash (not verified) says...

I believe this

 

Paul64 (not verified) says...

Any pointers on how to pick a career and stick with it? I get excited about stuff and I'm always left disillusioned!

Shirley64 (not verified) says...

Paul64, I think everything becomes boring to us after a few years or less...

Jeff S (not verified) says...

I struggled with the same thing: I would learn about something and enjoy the complexity but when I got into the job it ended up being just doing the same routine tasks over and over (agricultural pest control, solar panel research and development, radio system repair, nursing) but then I found out that teaching high school science is an awesome fit because there is endless challenge and room to constantly improve what I do as well as tons of room for freedom and creativity and I get to deal with all the cool theoretical stuff instead of just the practical side.  I have had to develop my people skills and empathy which is important also to become well rounded. It also resonates at a deeper level because I think that what you believe and know about the world has a huge impact on how you live and is at the source of many problems in the world so I get to help young people improve their worldview and thinking skills which will improve the world at a systemic level.

So find something with complexity, creativity, freedom, and deep systemic purpose so that you cannot ever get to the end of your motivation or intellectual interest.

Kate (not verified) says...

Ugh, this is me too!! It's so frustrating to be fascinated with a subject, study and train in that field, then get the job and find out it's completely different. Not to mention having so many interests that engaging in one feels like neglecting the rest!

beerlakes (not verified) says...

yes this resonates with me, im in my early 30s and have had three very different careers (plus a bunch of time at uni) already. I've come to realise though that change is normal, even if you get into a very interesting area, that interest will wax and wane and eventually as you master something, become uninteresting. That is totally normal! Although admittedly I think INTPs probably get to the end of this process faster than other types. 

Assuming you have found an area you are interested in,and a company, or other method of commercialising your interest, I think the key is to be adaptable, and learn quickly. Which I think INTPs are generally good at, and luckily so, as being adaptable is becoming an ever more important skill.

Noah97 (not verified) says...

I know what you mean! I have such high points of interest in varying subjects, yet never see them through. I seem to always find a reason not to do what I was previously excited about. I theorize that being so logically minded allows us to appreciate complexity, but that same capability is used by the little voice in our heads to avoid blindly committing. It just doesn't make sense to commit with so much still unknown! If I'm being honest with myself, I want to do most everything. Understand... everything. Us INTP's would probably be happier in a world in which we could just study 24/7 and never have to make a living.

sarowar jamil (not verified) says...

before i was also afraid of my future because i couldn't stick to anything .i m just changing my plan,my doings.now It's cristal clear why i m doing like this way cause i was made to do like this

Ormewood (not verified) says...

It's not that you are made to do this, it's that your personality will make you TEND to do this.  It's not a foregone conclusion, and if it's causing problems you can recognize it and fight it.

The person who said hi (not verified) says...

Lol, when it said we don't usually get good grades I was like, duh because the stuff they teach you in school is bullshit knowledge.

rebel (not verified) says...

it's not all bullshit knowledge though.. i mean, a lot of the stuff is actually interesting but school just sucks the joy out of it. i'm saying this cause, i found almost all subjects boring when i was in school but if there's a video on something related to that subject, i am usually genuinely interested and receive it quite positively. moreover, they just make us vomit whatever is written in the textbooks onto the paper; instead of encouraging us to question stuff and analyse everything which makes everything boring and dull.

no name ideas (not verified) says...

i usually enjoy learning anything but school just sucks the fun out by how they teach us the material 

Marissa (not verified) says...

I took this test years ago.  My result was INFP.  I took it again months ago and turned out to be INTP.  I read both personalities. INTP described me more than INFP.

A kid (not verified) says...

Same, I took the test a few months ago and I got infp, and now I got intp

Observer (not verified) says...

It's hard for me to believe that I'm an INTP, they are considered, "very intelligent" or something like that. But I struggle with math and science, even simple division and multiplication. This has led me to believe I'm quiet the oppisite of intelligent. I know dumb INTPs exist, but it feels like a waste of potential if my IQ was below average. 

Concrete guy (not verified) says...

Simple math addition, subtraction, multiplication, division was a nightmare for me but when I got to algebra and geometry is was by far my easiest and favorite subject.

A Random Human (not verified) says...

There's more to intelligence than just being good at math or even IQ scores. Intelligence is defined as "The ability to aquire and apply knowledge or skills." By this logic you could be intelligent in other areas, like music or gardening. Or it could be that the learning environment sucks. The current school system wasn't designed for intps since they're such a minority, so doing poorly in school doesn't necessarily mean a person is not intelligent, just that the environment was not conducive to their learning. In conclusion, you might be smarter than you think. 

Bnjy (not verified) says...

To the one who said they are not good at maths, simply because you are not good at a subject does not make you unintelligent. You have strengths in other areas that other people probably don't. Math is one of those things if you dont have a solid foundation, it makes the future math classes far more difficult. Don't put yourself in a box my friend, you are an exceptional person. 

Guest (not verified) says...

man who asked

emilyr (not verified) says...

why are you here if you're going to be rude to people for talking about personality types

American Man (not verified) says...

I've always scored INTP but I hate their career suggestions. I just want to fish all day, read history books, and kill beers at night in a trailer in the great plains. I'm not against art as a hobby, but I don't want to be an artist. I might have to find a monastery.

Touchstone (not verified) says...

American Man...For years, I've been telling my co-workers I should have been a monk. And now all I want to be is a night watchman in a monastery. I hear you, brother! 

Lizziy (not verified) says...

I couldn't agree more with you as an intp woman expect for the drinking part. 

Rockymountainhigherthanu (not verified) says...

I scored INTP and ascetic life has always appealed to me as well. Also, can I come fish and talk about history and drink beer with you? I might ask that we go out on the boat under a starry sky too if you're inclined.

That Girl (not verified) says...

If that's what you want to do, I would say do it. Get an unconventional job that would allow you to do that in the Great Plains. Farmer? Open an indoor mountain climbing store nearby? INTPs aren't meant to keep regular hours. It's part of the personality. 

JayL (not verified) says...

Don't be giving up. The secret sauce to us INTP's to go after anything we want in life is; we must be Passionate, we must be Optimistic, our dream(s) needs to be Practical, and we have to set Goals to achieve our dream(s).  P.O.P.G.

Also an INTP (not verified) says...

American Man, yesss life goals!!🙌

Crystal Moon (not verified) says...

American Man, yesss life goals!!🙌

Kasey May Storay (not verified) says...

American Man, yesss life goals!!🙌

Just a person (not verified) says...

I wish Truity didn't include famous people who supposedly fall under a certain M-B type. The test is a self-assessment, so people who lived well before the test existed obviously couldn't have taken it, and most of those who did take it probably didn't share the results with Truity. It's misleading.

Guest (not verified) says...

true

Guest (not verified) says...

Off course the dead didn't take the test.

They are made through assumptions.

Its not impossible to guess because famous persons almost always have detailed biographies and some of them like da vinci even kept private journals. 

Karen Claire T. (not verified) says...

I took the test, but it shows INTJ. But I am not it. Then I check INTP personality, I then realized I am this. I am happy to know the information about INTP. Because I'd like to know and understand more myself. Also, to understand what I really like doing. You see, I find it hard to know what I really want because the next thing I know, its not really I want. Now, that I know this personality it now make sense why I don't like doing those kind of things. 

BizB (not verified) says...

When I was younger I got INTP as a result and I felt it accurately matched my personality. I've retaken the test several times since then and got INTJ, INFJ respectively. I have been through dramatic environment changes so it makes sense that I would adapt. However, I still feel that INTP is who I am at my core. The other types just show that I developed some of my weaker functions.

Paul Fodor (not verified) says...

Hey Karen. I think a lot of us INTP will understand you. It's normal for INTP to score as INTJ, and actually at times INTP act as INTJ. The reverse is also true, INTJ may score and act as INTP sometimes (although less commonly I think). There's some overlap between the two. But yeah, once an INTx understands the difference, they usually figure out which one they are. So paradoxically the fact that you scored INTJ, didn't feel like it and realized you're INTP confirms you're INTP!

Tony McLeod (not verified) says...

Hi guys. I've done the test twice and came up INTP both times. My P / J was also very close each time, with P just coming out in front. T was off the scale! I'm still a bit iffy about this one. 

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