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The ISTJ Personality Type

ISTJs are responsible organizers, driven to create and enforce order within systems and institutions. They are neat and orderly, inside and out, and tend to have a procedure for everything they do. Reliable and dutiful, ISTJs want to uphold tradition and follow regulations.

ISTJs are steady, productive contributors. Although they are Introverted, ISTJs are rarely isolated; typical ISTJs know just where they belong in life, and want to understand how they can participate in established organizations and systems. They concern themselves with maintaining the social order and making sure that standards are met.

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What does ISTJ stand for?

ISTJ is an acronym used to describe one of the sixteen personality types created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers. It stands for Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging. ISTJ indicates a person who is energized by time spent alone (Introverted), who focuses on facts and details rather than ideas and concepts (Sensing), who makes decisions based on logic and reason (Thinking) and who prefers to be planned and organized rather than spontaneous and flexible (Judging). ISTJs are sometimes referred to as Inspector personalities because of their focus on details and interest in doing things correctly.

How common is the ISTJ personality type?

ISTJ is the third most common type in the population and the most common type among men. ISTJs make up:

  • 12% of the general population
  • 16% of men
  • 7% of women

Famous ISTJs

Famous ISTJs include Queen Elizabeth II, Harry Truman, Warren Buffett, Queen Victoria, George H.W. Bush, and J.D. Rockefeller.

ISTJ Values and Motivations

ISTJs like to know what the rules of the game are, valuing predictability more than imagination. They rely on their past experience to guide them, and are most comfortable in familiar surroundings. ISTJs trust the proven method, and appreciate the value of dedicated practice to build confidence in their skills.

ISTJs are hardworking and will persist until a task is done. They are logical and methodical, and often enjoy tasks that require them to use step-by-step reasoning to solve a problem. They are meticulous in their attention to details, and examine things closely to be sure they are correct. With their straightforward logic and orientation to detail, ISTJs work systematically to bring order to their own small parts of the world.

How Others See the ISTJ

ISTJs have a serious, conservative air about them. They want to know and follow the rules of the game, and typically seek out predictable surroundings where they understand their role. You may find the ISTJ doing something useful even in social situations (for instance, organizing coats and hats at a party) as they’re often more comfortable taking charge of a task than they are chatting up strangers. When given something to do, they are highly dependable, and follow it through to the end.

ISTJs are practical and no-nonsense, and rarely call attention to themselves. Their clothes and possessions tend to be chosen based on utility rather than fashion, and they have an affection for the classics. ISTJs typically speak in a straightforward manner and have a good head for details. They are usually more enthusiastic about sharing factual information than exploring abstract concepts or unproven ideas.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

ISTJ Hobbies and Interests

Popular hobbies for the ISTJ include concentration games like chess and Trivial Pursuit, playing computer games, watching sporting events, pursuing physical fitness, and playing solitary sports such as golf.

Facts about ISTJs

Interesting facts about the ISTJ:

  • On personality trait measures, score as Calm, Stable, Steady, Cautious, and Conventional
  • More likely than other types to experience cardiac problems and hypertension
  • More likely than other types to experience chronic pain
  • Among four highest types in college GPA
  • More frequent among African Americans
  • Personal values include Financial Security
  • Most likely of all types to enjoy a work environment where “everything is done by the book”
  • Overrepresented among bank officers, financial managers, MBA students, and small business owners
  • Often found in careers in management, administration, law enforcement, and accounting

Source: MBTI Manual

Quotes About ISTJs

"All contracts should be cleared by ISTJs; they will overlook nothing that is in it and assume nothing that is not."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"Whether at home or at work, ISTJs are nothing if not reliable, particularly when it comes to inspecting the people and things in their jurisdiction—quietly seeing to it that uniform quality of product is maintained, and that those around them uphold certain standards of attitude and conduct."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"ISTJ is a no-frills, work-hard, play-hard type. They are seen as compulsive, hard-charging, capable, and true to their word."

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

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Suppeeps (not verified) says...

Ok, so im curious if anyof you are geminis bc im wondering if its just more likely for geminis to be ISTJ

Ives (not verified) says...

No. I’m a Virgo. Seems to me like more virgos would be istj than Gemini. A lot of my Gemini friends are very social and bubbly. 

POOLIE (not verified) says...

Agree, Virgo here too.

Ives (not verified) says...

I’ve been taking this test every few months for about 8 years since I discovered it. Thinking it would help me define who I was and make it simple to plan my future career. I always hated getting ISTJ and would often subconsciously answer with wishful thinking to receive e.g. INFP. I just really didn’t like the idea of being reserved and cold (negatively connotated descriptions). I guess I just wasn’t ready to accept myself. 8 years of trying to be something I’m not kind of seems like a waste, but I guess now that I’ve finally accepted ISTJ I’ll just keep progressing as my true authentic self in my personal life and in a few years a perfectly suited career. Too bad society frowns upon a lot of our characteristics. Maybe I would have accepted myself sooner if it wasn’t this way. 

POOLIE (not verified) says...

Are you female? Cause I can see your point completely. Just because the world expects females to be bubbly smile and have a face full of expression. 

If I get told one more time to smile more... 

I've never rejected my type, I'm well going on 36 and just recently discovered my personality type and I feel if I had known this sooner maybe I would have let some of the comments slide... No, no I wouldn't have, I'd have thrown so much damn ISTJ information in their face and said it's just the way I am! 

The older I get the easier it gets, you just get more comfortable with yourself. I am happy the way I am, I love all the things about me, I am the most loyal person you'll ever meet and most trustworthy. I Don't beat around the bush. I'm creative and I get stuff done. I have a stunning sense of humor to boot. The feelings thing tho, being reserved in communication and emotion and intimacy, now that, that I would love to change. To be a feeler when I need to be, in those situations, I'd kill for that. But now I realize that's just not possible, not how were built. We need to work on our other strengths to mitigate our weakness. I'm realizing at 36, I hope you get an earlier jump on the game. Cause it really is quite beneficial to be ISTJ! 

keegan7567452850906747635 (not verified) says...

how tf does it know what im going for in college thats crazy i wanted to be an accountant and go in at a commisioned officer and it calls all those things out I love chess and golf and it still calls me out im kinda weirded out by this tbh.

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