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The INTP Personality Type

The INTP Personality Type

Have you ever heard someone describing themselves as ESTP, INTJ, or INTP and wondered what these cryptic-sounding letters mean? These people are referring to their personality types based on the Myers-Briggs type indicator system.

The Myers-Briggs type indicator system is a self-report questionnaire designed to identify a person’s preferences, strengths, and personality type.

Based on the answers to the questionnaire, people are identified as having one of sixteen personality types. Note that no one personality type is best or better than another.

So, this tool is not designed to look for abnormality or dysfunction. Rather it’s a tool to help you learn more about individuals on four scales: Introversion (I) and Extraversion (E), Intuition (N) and Sensing (S), Feeling (F) and Thinking (T), Perceiving (P) and Judging (J).

The INTP personality type is rare in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator System. INTPs prefer spending time with their thoughts and are commonly considered thinkers and introverts.

Individuals with this personality trait are known for having a rich inner world. For example, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, and Rene Descartes are famous men INTPs, while Ashley Olsen and Marie Curie are women famous INTPs.

Understanding this personality may help you incorporate practices to better communicate with any of your close friends or family with this trait. So, to broaden your understanding, keep reading as we explain difficult concepts about INTP cognitive functions.

What Is the INTP Personality Type?

According to the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, people with this trait make up around 3% to 5% of the population. The INTP personality type has two subtypes: INTP A and INTP T.

  • INTP A: Individuals in this category are referred to as assertive logicians. Individuals with this cognitive function are confident and self-assured. This logician personality is not overall self-conscious or reliant on the judgment of others. Typically, these people prefer an open voice and exploring new ideas, making them more like extraverted intuition INTPs.
  • INTP T: Individuals in this INTP type are referred to as turbulent logicians. Unlike an INTP-A, a turbulent logician feels less comfortable regarding their current life and personality. As such, a turbulent logician will change their goals too often, which makes individuals with this personality flexible problem solvers.

Understanding the Basis of the INTP Logician Personality Type

People with INTP personality are unconventional thinkers with a skill for finding innovative solutions to problems. INTPs tend to be quiet and prefer to analyze and observe situations before getting involved.

People with INTP characteristics have some similarities found in anime characters. Anime characters tend to become master strategists with a level head under pressure. And many of these anime characters play pivotal roles, like L from Death Note and Shouta Aizawa in Hero Academia.

Also, individuals with INTP tend to be skeptical and rigorous. As such, they are highly independent in their work. Also, they tend to do well in science-related careers because of their analytical skills.

Characteristics and Traits Commonly Found in INTPs

People with INTP traits are quiet and reserved, but there is more to people with this personality. Below are some key characteristics of someone with these traits.

Analytical skills

They tend to have a quiet demeanor but with powerful intellectual abilities. Most INTPs are fast and logical thinkers who excel in analyzing complex systems and connecting small pieces of information and fine details in their own heads. They see the world as a complex machine with many interrelated parts to study, understand and connect all the possibilities.


People with this personality think deeply in exploring concepts and fully understanding how they work. They tend to use their own ideas or search for multiple ways to improve products or systems. Unlike other personality types, these people view concepts and ideas differently. Since an INTP’s mental energy is focused on the potential possibilities, it makes them excellent creative people.


Furthermore, these individuals are often ruthless when searching for the truth. When they explore concepts, they focus their energy on eliminating inconsistencies and finding mistakes. Also, they approach challenges with their creativity, open-mindedness, and analytical nature. This ability makes them very objective as they are receptive to the opinions of others, provided the opinions are backed with logic and fact.


Naturally, INTPs have a reserved lifestyle from the external world, which makes them excited by new concepts and ideas. When INTPs find an interesting new topic or idea in their own world, they tend to be enthusiastic about it. And their excitement can encourage others.

Honest and Straightforward 

Another key characteristic of INTPs is that they are honest and straightforward. These individuals believe in transparency and sincerity and expect others to behave similarly.

Cognitive Functions of an INTP

According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator dichotomies, four different cognitive functions exist. These functions form a hierarchy where each function is directed inwardly (introverted thinking) or outwardly (extraverted feeling). And the order of these functions determines an individual personality.

Dominant Function

The dominant function is the primary aspect of the INTP’s personality. An INTP approaches world problems rationally and logically by breaking down large ideas into smaller units to see how they fit and function together. As such, this function makes them lean closer to the introverted thinking side of the MBTI dichotomies. An INTP decision is often dependent on their introverted intuitive thinking and careful observation.

Auxiliary Function

An auxiliary function of INTPs is that they are insightful and imaginative because they spend much time thinking about their life partners. Their ability to ponder over possibilities of the future makes them closer to the extraverted intuition side of the scale. As such, an INTP can expand the boundaries around what is known to inform their dominant introverted sensing.

Tertiary Function

A tertiary function of INTPs is their personality to influence how they process information. They tend to organize their thoughts and be detail oriented in their minds. This introverted sensing ability of INTPs allows them to constantly compare new information, recognize patterns, design theoretical concepts, and make predictions.

Inferior Function

Because INTPs are introverts, their least developed element is their personality which only surfaces around people with meaningful relationships. Their inferior function is their extraverted feeling, which causes them to struggle to connect with others, making them rely more on logic than feelings.

Strengths and Weaknesses of INTPs

People with the INTP personality type tend to thrive in certain areas but struggle in others. In this section, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of an INTP individual.

Positive Traits Associated with INTP Personality Types

If you know anyone who falls within the INTP category, here are some positive traits you can expect to find them exhibiting:


One of the positive things you should understand about this personality type is that they are logical and solution-oriented. People with this trait love solving problems by assessing the big picture and spending much of their free time with their ideas. People with this trait are often fast thinkers, highly logical, and relentless in their pursuit of understanding.


Another positive trait of INTP individuals is their strong, independent spirit. This set of people has no issue spending most of their time alone. However, it is worth noting that most people with INTP personality type have a lonely childhood and may grow aloof sometimes. But this does not deter them as they can cope even without emotional support from anyone.

Abstract Thinker

Also, INTPs tend to have abstract thoughts or their own opinions fill their heads, which explains their exceptional intuitive and logical nature. To be an abstract thinker, one must combine intuition and critical thought.

A typical INTP person uses intuition to gather information from a broader data perspective that may not be as easy to see from the specific in-the-moment view. And combines it with critical thinking to offer more fact-based, logical decision-making.

Loyal to their Circle

Furthermore, an INTP person will prefer working with close friends. These individuals are not the biggest fan of extensive socializing. But with a few close family and friends, they are loyal and affectionate.

Potential Challenges Faced by an INTP

Unfortunately, being an INTP is not all rosy. People with these personality traits usually face several challenges that may be detrimental to their overall quality of life. Understanding these potential challenges is important so INTPs can work on them to reach their full potential. Below are some of these potential challenges faced by an INTP.


An INTP individual has a bit of a stoic attitude toward things. As such, this can get them into trouble because they tend to prioritize the activities in their head over the needs of others. And because INTP can get caught up in their abstract concepts, they forget any kind of emotional needs or consideration, which can be seen as offensive.

Prone to Self-Doubt 

Sadly, despite this personality’s intuitive understanding and intellectual prowess, they often live in fear of failure and doubt. As such, they often doubt critical aspects of their idea, theory, or invention. This can cause them to be very self-conscious and lead to time-wasting as they second-guess themselves and their own thoughts.

Difficulty socializing 

Another challenge a person with this trait faces is difficulty socializing. Most people with the INTP T or A traits are condescending, making it hard for them to socialize with people who don’t catch on as fast as they do. While their constant pursuit of objectivity and trust is admirable, it can provoke impatience and brutality.

How to Get Along with an INTP

If you are an INTP person or know someone who is, despite their challenges, it doesn’t mean they have a disastrous life. Rather, learning strategy games you can use to get along with such a person will help make coexisting much easier. Revamping your communication skills is one way to get along with an INTP. One of the other strategy games includes capitalizing on activities to apply on the job.

Tips for Communicating with an INTP

  1. INTP don’t like to be the center of a conversation; as such, they don’t speak much in conversation. So, don’t be too pushy; allow them to listen, watch, analyze, and think about what they want to say.
  2. An INTP prefers to be on the sidelines in a large group discussion.
  3. When you notice an INTP individual zoning out, it could be because the conversation is not engaging enough. Try switching the conversation a bit. You can even ask open-ended questions about whatever conversation the group has been having.
  4. INTPs are difficult to understand. As such, they may respond or behave in a socially unexpected way. Not acting as an award to their predicament may help soothe the atmosphere.
  5. Also, an INTP becomes more convenient when the other party in the conversation is someone with ST or NT traits.

Activities That Can Help Foster a Good Relationship with an INTP

INTP are naturally solitary, but you can harness the power of a good relationship with them by following these practices:

  • Friendship: There must be shared interests if you want a good, friendly relationship with an INTP. They value intellect over other kinds of qualities. While this characteristic makes it such that they only have fewer friends, the ones they gain tend to be very close.
  • Parenting: If you have a child with this trait, it’s important to understand to appeal to their logic and reason rather than appealing to emotion. It also helps to encourage the child to develop their intellectual interests.
  • Relationship: Building a romantic relationship with someone with this trait is difficult and takes time. This type of individual doesn’t open up easily.
Date: 20 June 2023
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