ISTP
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ISTP in a Nutshell

ISTPs are observant artisans with an understanding of mechanics and an interest in troubleshooting. They approach their environments with a flexible logic, looking for practical solutions to the problems at hand. They are independent and adaptable, and typically interact with the world around them in a self-directed, spontaneous manner.

ISTPs are attentive to details and responsive to the demands of the world around them. Because of their astute sense of their environment, they are good at moving quickly and responding to emergencies. ISTPs are reserved, but not withdrawn: the ISTP enjoys taking action, and approaches the world with a keen appreciation for the physical and sensory experiences it has to offer.

What Makes the ISTP Tick

ISTPs are curious about the mechanics of the world around them and typically have a unique ability to manipulate the tools in their environments. They tend to study how things work and often achieve mastery in the use and operation of machines, instruments, and equipment. They seek understanding, but in a practical sense: they like to be able to put their technical knowledge to immediate use and are quickly bored by theory.

ISTPs tend to be detached and prefer the logic of mechanical things to the complexity of human emotions. Independent and reserved, ISTPs treasure their personal space, and want to be free to be spontaneous and follow their own lead. ISTPs are selective about their relationships, and appreciate others who allow them plenty of freedom to do their own thing.

Recognizing the ISTP

ISTPs are typically reserved and even aloof. Tolerant and nonjudgmental, the ISTP calmly takes in the details and facts of their surroundings, noticing sensory data and observing how things work. They often tune into what needs to be done, taking care of the immediate needs of the moment in a modest, inconspicuous way. They tend to prefer action to conversation, and are often private about their personal lives. ISTPs are unlikely to “open up” to new people in a conventional way, but may connect with others by sharing an activity or working together to solve a practical problem.

ISTPs are good with their hands and often mechanical. They are typically attracted to hands-on hobbies like woodworking or crafts, and may be found tinkering with bicycles, computers, cars, or household appliances. They often have an intuitive understanding of machines and a remarkable ability to fix things. ISTPs have an appreciation for risk and action, and often enjoy thrilling leisure activities like extreme sports, motorcycling, or weaponry.

For more information: The Art of SpeedReading People

Famous ISTPs

Famous ISTPs include Lance Armstrong, Bruce Lee, Miles Davis, Tiger Woods, Chuck Yaeger, Katherine Hepburn, Clint Eastwood, and Amelia Earhart.

ISTP in the Population

The ISTP personality type is much more common among men than women. Among men, it is the third most common type in the population. Among women, it is the fourth rarest. ISTPs make up:

  • 5% of the general population
  • 9% of men
  • 2% of women

Popular Hobbies for the ISTP

Popular hobbies for an ISTP include magic and comedy, archery, weaponry, hunting, scuba diving, rappelling, aviation, skydiving, motorcycles, and other extreme sports. They are often drawn to risky or thrilling activities and those that allow them to work with something mechanical.

What the Experts Say

"ISTPs have a vested interest in practical and applied science, especially in the field of mechanics."

- Isabel Briggs Myers, Gifts Differing

"If a given tool is operated with a precision that defies belief, that operator is likely an ISTP."

- David Keirsey, Please Understand Me II

"Though very effective at most undertakings, [the ISTP's] unorthodox way of accomplishing something, coupled with low visibility, can often lead to co-workers' wondering, to quote the people the Lone Ranger saved, 'Who was that masked man?'"

- Otto Kroeger, Type Talk at Work

Facts About ISTP

Interesting facts about the ISTP:

  • On personality trait measures, score as Critical, Detached, Guarded, Independent, and Resourceful
  • Commonly found in populations of male college scholarship athletes
  • More likely than other types to suffer cardiac problems
  • Lowest ranked of all types in using social coping resources
  • One of four types least satisfied with their marriage or intimate relationship
  • Among types least likely to complete college
  • Personal values include Autonomy; at work, value Stability, Security, Independence, and Achievement
  • Commonly found in skilled trades, technical fields, agriculture, law enforcement, and military occupations

Source: MBTI Manual

Are you an ISTP?

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Check out the ISTP Discussion Forum

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

Comments

Nakita (not verified) says...

This is very accurate!

Pooty (not verified) says...

perfect description of my personality

Guest (not verified) says...

This website totally nailed me down!

Guest (not verified) says...

WOW. This is me!

Guest (not verified) says...

ITS SO TRUE IT'S SCARY

Guest (not verified) says...

I was so lucky to have my boss give me the Myers-Briggs test when I was 53. I am an ISTP, and this answered so many questions I have had in my life that nobody was ever able to answer. I finally realized why I was attracted to computers, and why databases, especially, were my first love. And I mean love. When I began with PCs in 1981, it was a 24/7 occupation. Yup, I'm an ISTP, and found that I can finally accept who I really am.

Butt-faice Mcgillicutty (not verified) says...

Wow. this is me

Guest (not verified) says...

This is exactly who I am. Truly unbelievable how such a simple test can yeild such an accurate description of my personality. I'm a very practical person who likes to get things done rather than to sit around planning and discussing conceptual ideas. While Math theories can be interesting to me, I find it to be a waste of time and effort, unless there is a practical application for it.

x_stubs_x (not verified) says...

holy crap bruce lee is an ISTP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ancorman45763 (not verified) says...

why is it so accurate?

Guest (not verified) says...

i'm glad my current job description is in my predicted roles! Funny thing was, the other style i had to pick from had my role in what i would likely not become.

Guest (not verified) says...

I have to say it's inaccurate that ISTPs "shouldn't" become clergy. Maybe not many do statistically, but I know at least one priest and one deacon who are pretty obvious ISTPs and they are *great* at what they do.

Guest (not verified) says...

so accurate....

Guest (not verified) says...

THIS IS SO LIKE ME!!!

Guest (not verified) says...

HOLY MOTHER OF CHEESE

Gamer (not verified) says...

Jeez man. Don't get that excited dude! Evan if it is exciting. ISTP's are awesome!

Juan Ardila (not verified) says...

I'm only 17 and for the past 3 years I have been trying to find something that truly describes me. I found it hard to explain my personality to others. Then I found this. My first thought was "Finally, now maybe if others read this they might understand why I did the things I have done"

Thanatos (not verified) says...

I totally agree with you. this will solve so many problems!

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow...yeah I do enjoy weaponry and archery...however I do enjoy drawing and writing at a desk.

Guest (not verified) says...

deadly

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm skeptical of computers telling me what I am and how I am, but this was spot on. Even a little creepily accurate. Very cool test!

Guest (not verified) says...

The "computer" as you put it, is not telling who you are. It is a test that just so happens to be made available to take on a computer. I do hope you understand that. Just me being analytical as a result of your response :-)

Guest (not verified) says...

on point . i love being an ISTP

Guest (not verified) says...

Yes! On point indeed

GuestIGuess (not verified) says...

2% of the female population. oh my. I'm part of a very small percentage. Completely accurate though.

Guest (not verified) says...

me too. :D

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm a female ISTP who used to think I was (or had to be) an ENFJ. I had a lot of issues and was trying to be the opposite of who I really am. I finally accepted who I am and I really love myself and my life now that I think of myself as ISTP and allow myself to act within my true personality.

Guest (not verified) says...

I used to think I was an ISTJ. I do enjoy weaponry/archery/fixing stuff... however I do enjoy doing math and writing or drawing at a desk.

Guest (not verified) says...

I've done this quiz a couple of time and I got ISTP, ISTJ and ISFP. You CAN be a mixture of them depending on the situation

Guest (not verified) says...

i was unfortuantely tested ISTP while i want to be ENFJ.
i am in your previous trail.

Guest (not verified) says...

Yeah me too, that's why I've decided to just go ahead and finish getting my A&P license, so I can start working on airplanes, I have two thirds of it already done I just have to take the tests :D it's the only thing that seemed fun to me even though I'm a girl

Guest (not verified) says...

Wow, im actually really surprised at how accurate this was. Im a girl too, and sience my dream job was literally an electrician, I got teased a lot. It finally makes sense now...

Feisfocused (not verified) says...

Me too, I always knew I was rare.

Guest (not verified) says...

we are pretty rare *throws hair over shoulder*

Guest (not verified) says...

what this isnt accurate at all literally every single job i'd ever wanted to have is considered least popular and everything id never want to do is most popular? the only thing i can relate to is the introvert part but i think i did the quiz wrong lol

Guest (not verified) says...

im amazed. normally i dont buy into the "take a quiz for your horoscope or personality", thing, but this is insane. sure maybe 1 or two things didnt fit me, but that was out of like 110 things that did.

Guest (not verified) says...

Honestly, it doesn't seem like me that much - but I think that's my own fault, with the way I was answering questions in a test.

Guest (not verified) says...

I am not sure, the ISTP sounds more like me but I feel every time I take this test I get a different one?

Roger Hayden says...

You need to be brutally honest with yourself when answering the questions. Answer the TRUE answer - don't give the answer that will give a desired response, don't guess what the answer should be, don't second-guess the question or try to anticipate the result. The brutally-honest answer will reveal your true personality. Usually the first answer you give will be the most accurate one.
Think about it, you're not trying to pass a test. You're trying to discover the real you. This is an investigation - not a test.

Guest (not verified) says...

Yes! My husband took the test at my request early in our marriage and got infp. It didn't feel accurate to me. Now after 5 years of marriage and many misunderstandings between the two of us he retook the test on his own and was honest and got istp. It is so accurate my jaw was on the floor. ... from rotfl

Some confused girl (not verified) says...

Nope, I don't buy it. I've answered everything as truthfully as I can and this is not me at all. Sorry test, better luck next time.

Gamer (not verified) says...

Just accept the fact girl!

Guest (not verified) says...

I encourage you to look into the validity and reliability studies published on the MBTI CAPT website. I promise you, if you took the assessment with the correct mindset, 96% of the time, it will result in exactly what your preferred personality type is...as long as you are assessed through a verification process with a credentialed practitioner.

ISTP (not verified) says...

This really is who I am. Recently I have been looking into engineering, and was excited when I found many types of engineering in the predicted jobs! I can also finally understand why I do what I do. I may hold a grudge for a while then drop it randomly, and I always try to steer my friends' conversations away from emotions. This is me in a nutshell and I'm proud of it.

Guest (not verified) says...

Hits the mark way closer than I expected, and now I feel such a sense of freedom and understanding. Granted, there are nuances here and there, but wow. I'm glad I put aside my skepticism for this test and went ahead and did it.

Guest (not verified) says...

I love my result!!!

Guest (not verified) says...

I'm off to jump from a cliff top,

Guest (not verified) says...

Hopefully you didn't jump. Today is the first day of the rest of your life, pace yourself.

Guest (not verified) says...

Hopefully he was talking about bungee jumping or cliff diving!

Melody Hazi (not verified) says...

Or skydiving or all of the above. It doesn't matter what it is the answer is "always jump"

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