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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 in their own heads: exploring concepts, making connections, and seeking understanding of how things work. 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 one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers, creators of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®). INTP stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving, which are four core personality traits based on the work of psychologist C.G. Jung.

The INTP type describes 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. Other nicknames for the INTP include:

  • The Objective Analyst (MBTI)
  • The Logician (16Personalities)

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.

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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.

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

Alberto428 (not verified) says...

I don't know how accurate this test is. I know many people who have taken it and always get INTP as their type, but they are some of the least logical and lowest IQ people I've ever met lol. Maybe INTPs think they're smarter than they really are... 

James P (not verified) says...

As an old bachelor and seeing ladies put this info on their pages, I took this test even though I don't really prescribe to boxing folks into brackets as such. That said it fits me to a tee on all accounts... except perhaps the IQ bit, to be frank, I believe there are numerous types of IQ from logic base to emotional, Leading to often a high one in one area is complimented with a low one in another. Insomuch maybe the full evaluation for you would start with determining your own type and seeing how well you mesh with INTP. I do enjoy lifes ironies, so I ask, have you ever pondered the dilemma of those poor folks like in the whos-who list of this type? How much they must have SOMETIMES yearned to be better understood and not be such an enigma. 

jpromeo (not verified) says...

INTPs may also just appear dumb when they try to communicate their thoughts...I know that I often have difficulty stringing together a coherent sentance that doesn't jump all over the place.

DJBD (not verified) says...

 

A) how TF do you know if they are low IQ ..B) it's quite possible they are communicing above your IQ and you therefore you label them as low IQ so you don't feel dumb! 

MEGA RETARD (not verified) says...

I am an INTP and I am absolute moron. Conclusion me find easy - all INTP are moron

Katie M (not verified) says...

I'm 35, and I've worked in a lot of different fields and the definitive conclusions I've come to about work is that I like helping people, I like creating things, and I REALLY hate office politics.

Part of me feels like I would be best in some sort of consulting role, but I'm not sure that I'm self-motivated enough to be a freelancer/independent contractor. I worked as a freelance writer for a very short-time only because I was spoon-fed articles by editors who wanted to help me after I worked there as an unpaid intern for a long time, but that wasn't sustainable. It is also extremely difficult to make a career out of that even for someone with a strong work ethic.

I feel like I'm running out of time to find something. I'm currently in a pretty dead-end manual labor job that bores me at best, and is abusive and physically dangerous at worse (one of my coworkers was killed at the job a little over a yr ago), but it pays the bills for now.

Sean W (not verified) says...

I'm 42 and I've bounced around to multiple jobs a lot myself. I'm going to give truck driving a shot now. I know self driving cars are coming, but I figure I'm old enough to finish my work life doing that. I guess my point is, you may not ever find your perfect job. Just find something you don't mind doing and find your fufullment outside of work. 

Sahar (not verified) says...

Wow! You guys are so argumentative , what a waste of time , typology isn't 100% true just like anything else , it just shows patterns and no one is identical to the other . 

I can't believe I'm so bored to the level of reading such nonscence 

antriksh (not verified) says...

nonsense nonsense

marit (not verified) says...

what? this is mbti. nobody said that everybody is identical, there's enneagram, tritypes, instictual variants, and so more to personality typology that adds to one and creates your whole personality. of course, noone is identical. that is because we all grow up in different houshoulds, enviroments and have different experiences and traumas that add to one's personality.

Mason (not verified) says...

This comment section is just about weather the quiz attached to this article is "real" or not. Many people have made some valid points. But to save you some time: Basically don't believe it 100%, just remember you have your own personality and not just what an article or test said you were; and also most of the writing makes it easy for anyone to relate, so be careful with that. I got the result: INFP the first couple times, and related quite easily, But after retaking it again and again, to make sure I was indeed an INFP I sat down and thought long and hard about each question, I even asked for my friends opinions for more accurate results, and ended up with INTP. 

If your skeptical it can easily be interpreted like horoscopes. If you absolutely believe this theory, then by all means have fun with it!

im 14 if that matters.

 

 

scammed lol (not verified) says...

this shit's fake, it's like horoscopes for "intellectuals" who don't feel as if they have meaning in their life. out of 50 ppl I sent this to, I got 37 INTPs, yet we all have different personalities. You aren't a real "INTP" if you simply accepted your results and went on with it lmao

Maren says...

do you have any proof its fake? if 37 out of 50 people got INTP, thats not a huge deal. especially if you took the time to send it to them, like is drawn to like, especially in cases like this. you are the one who decided to send it to those people, whom you have enough connection with to have their contact info. if you dont know them that well, its likely a job. certain types are drawn to certain jobs. i KNOW i am an INTP, however, that does not place me in a box. everyone is different, no one is going to act the same. this personality type buisness doesnt have to be so serious, its all for fun and because its interesting. its not like horoscope at all, that is based off the space bodies positions at your time of birth. this is purely your own personality, its more scientific than horoscope. no scientific discovery is made without criticism. mbti may be real. it may not be real. you are the one whos trying to gain attention by being "different." you want people to comment on here and try to prove you wrong. you smug little bitch. im not here to prove you wrong, but you should keep your mind open. closed minded people like you slow down the world for the rest of us. 

kumiko (not verified) says...

I agree completely Maren :) 

Intp goddess (not verified) says...

Well got damn. It makes so much sense. I have the hardest time making friends. I've been home since Covid started and I've not been all the happier. I've not hung out with anyone in over a year. I don't miss anything. I think I'll continue the rest of my life with this. Everything the intp description says fits me to a T. I fell to the floor ROLLING when a sentence read "Dont discuss celebrities with this type. Nothing tests their patience more" or something like it. Omg. I can't even explain. That is so true. The minute someone brings up celebrities and I actually had a "friend" well an ex actually who liked to talk about celebrities. Oh how it made me sweat. I had to meditate through these conversations I could not wait for it to end, I thought it was so horribly stupid. And also how it says these persononality types are not common. I always thought that of myself. I always felt inside there are very very few like me. I'm like.... rare in this world. Very few people understands me. It infuriates me that people have no imagination. Well. I certainly feel better after getting this result! I am a woman also. Goodbye and I don't like to hug thanks. 

Kami (not verified) says...

Same!

The test doesn't work (not verified) says...

The fact that all you just blindly belives this test means your not really "INTP like".

Created in 1962 by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers this test has no scientific or pychological backing whatsoever. The lack of a middle group proves my point exactly no one is 100% and introvert and no one is 100% an extrovert and the same goes for all the other traits.

This quiz however slots you into the one you get the highest score in, however this score can change daily based on ones mood and flucuates widily. Any "logitican" would have noticed this but this entire comment section has bought into it believing they are smarter than the average person based on a stupid quiz.

You're not special and neither am I. Have fun with this quiz but don't take it into any real consideration.

Growlovesomebody (not verified) says...

Once upon a time people thought the person who hypothesized and insisted that pathogenic cross contamination was the cause of frequent death and disease in hospitals and that doctors needed to sterilize their hands and tools was seen as a fool and sentenced to a mental institution. 

What I enjoy about cognitive exploration such as mbti is that its development is aided by the millions of people who co-explore what they observe internally as well as externally. It's incredibly difficult to prove anything that goes on in the mind and will be for a long time. 

Me myself, when I was 18/19 I would type as istp/intp. I say that I am a soft intp, testing 53%t and 47% f. The result I observe: I mostly oriented towards soft sciences and designing systems that increase the quality of life for all humans and minimize harm. 

People who want to see themselves as better or smarter than other people don't need in MBTI to do so, and I'd bet they already felt that way before they took the test. I hope this is useful to those who might want to recognize the imbalance of being dismissive of theories out of a dependency on scientific proof. I Iope it helps people who find mbti test enriching of their understanding of themselves and others solidify their arguments against "no scientific backing". Proven science is occasionally proven wrong. Exploration of what can be observed in cognitive world is invaluable. 

I see you are exploring this from a position of doubt and you value evidence. Me, I love science and also very much value intuition. Scientists have only recently begun to delve into its essenceband many of them are dismissed by their colleagues.

Gravity once had no scientific backing. Finally, how many years later, it has been measured and someone's exploration has taught us that it exists in waves. It is one thing to refute a theory, when one can present scientific proof of inaccuracies. However, much that is scientifically backed or proven was first sensed in the body, the intuition, or the mind, etc. hundreds and even thousands of years before proof is derived -- and we find out the theorists were treated terribly if not tortured for there inklings. We are served and serve to be compassionate in one another's theoretical explorations.

s (not verified) says...

yeah u can say all this and that but u are still here after consciously research the topic, read all the comments and even endeavoring to create one.

u look very interested :)

but well, if u want scientific based content, i recommend u to research about the big-5 method instead. :p

Teapot (not verified) says...

Congratulations, you've leveled critical thinking from level 1 to level 2.

Guest (not verified) says...

Who hurt you

Right on (not verified) says...

yoooo, this comment is really similar to what I think about all these tests. They seem like a kind of gratification for the people taking them, not a real analysis. 

Dr. Demento (not verified) says...

You people are nuts!  :)

Marsinthesky (not verified) says...

Getting the wrong type is extremely common.

Let me first say that INTPs and INFJs are the rarest types. So quite uncommon. To avoid confusion, first ensure you have at least some of the stereotype of "head in the clouds" of introvert intuitives. Otherwise go search in the more practical oriented IS types. And also check the ENF types. Intuitive types live with thinking about possibilities rather than the present moment reality.

Second, it's easy to confuse Ti, Ni and Fi. Do you find yourself lost in your thoughts? Do you feel void of emotions when you are alone and without external stimulus? If yes to both questions then you might be an INTP. B) If when you are utterly alone you fantasise a lot with vivid imagination and strong emotions, then you might be an INFP. Check this across the majority of your life for an underlying pattern.

INFJ would be rarer, and they will be more less appreciate of a wide range of options to discover (due to Ni). They also focus a lot like Ti and Fi types, but their listening quality is pronounced (curious about inquiring others, keep quiet about themselves). As J types they tend towards perfectionism and enjoy tidyness to think clearly. INTP and INFP can bother less with cleaningness and order.

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.

S.Kh (not verified) says...

as an INTP I do understand being somewhat weird compared to others but if you think just because you got this type you are more intelligent than others, you are being an a.hole and just so that you know 16 personality test is not a scientific test and it just determines ones overall preferences

NS (not verified) says...

I am an INTP personality.  I work with a fellow INTP. Asked him what happened when he started kindergarten. Because I started kindergarten... and sincerely felt sad that the children were all handicapped. Wondered why I was put in a class of handicapped children.

Then, later on, my teachers told me my IQ was immeasurably high.

My INTP friend said he thought the other children in his class were mentally handicapped also.

I wasn't condescending in kindergarten. I just didn't understand why the other children were so slow. I literally thought they were handicapped. 

And I don't like to develop relationships with people generally speaking. I don't think about their IQ. I just think their interests aren't compatible with mine.

The older I get, the more aware I am that I just don't like relationships. Acquaintances I enjoy. I am nice to people. Friendly when out and about.

I just don't see a great reward in relationships. 

The commenter wasn't automatically being condescending rather than honest in my opinion.

What (not verified) says...

Dude get your head out of your ass and stop looking down on people you just seem like an idiotic asshole.

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.

BANTER (not verified) says...

So,HK you are a INFP not an INTP. As you got INFP in majority of tests.You got an INTP once, is Interesting but I think you should not live in delusions and focus more on your INFP reality.

Sindri (not verified) says...

I think it's a matter of taking the test multiple times over the course of a couple of years to see on average what your results are and go with the highest.

It is also important to note that mood may affect your answers. I speak from first hand experience from when I had severe depression for a couple of years,

my results surprisingly started giving me ENFP. Comming out of my depression with professional help my mood stabilized and ever since then my results

have gone back to being INTP.

catchemall (not verified) says...

Wow, I had almost this exact same experience. When I first took this test about 8-9 years ago I got INTP, took it about twice after that ~4 years later and got ENFP both times. I was in a pretty chaotic period in my life. Alot of uncertainty and unstable relastionships, was relying on alcohol as a coping mechanism. And now being in a much better place in my life my results seem to have gone back to INTP. Guess 9 years younger me had it right all along. I'll admit I do enjoy poking holes into why I'm neither one of those types though haha. 

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.

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