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The Thinker (INTP) Personality Type (Characteristics and Traits)

INTP personality type

The INTP personality type (commonly called “The Thinker”) describes people with Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving traits. INTPs are imaginative, analytical people who enjoy learning about abstract concepts.

The INTP type is one of sixteen personalities defined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The INTP personality type consists of four distinct psychological attitudes. Each attitude has an opposing trait that the MBTI categorizes into the following four dichotomies. 

  • Introversion (versus Introversion): Describes people who are exhausted by extended socializing and prefer to focus inward. As introverts, INTPs like to spend most of their time alone. 
  • iNtuition (versus Sensing): A process through which people perceive information by interpreting patterns rather than strictly using their senses. As intuitive individuals, INTPs enjoy contemplating abstract concepts and future possibilities and are less interested in practical ideas or simple problems.
  • Thinking (versus Feeling): Defines an individual’s logic-based decision-making process. As thinkers, INTPs follow facts and disregard emotions.
  • Perceiving (versus Judging): Characterizes people who prefer to live in the moment and value spontaneity. As perceivers, INTPs appreciate a flexible lifestyle and dislike following plans or routines. 

INTPs fit the mold of The Thinker because they often lose themselves in thought. Thinkers are defined by three notable characteristics. Firstly, INTPs are naturally proficient at analytical thinking. INTPs’ unique combination of NTP (Intuition, Thinking, and Perceiving) traits allows them to spot hidden patterns and details. Secondly, Thinkers are reserved. As introverts, INTPs prefer the company of their thoughts over that of others. Thirdly, Thinkers have unconventional minds. As Intuitive personalities, INTPs are attracted to abstract ideas and theoretical concepts.

A Thinker’s greatest strength lies in their analytical yet vivid sense of imagination. On the other hand, Thinkers also tend to dwell on past mistakes and criticize themselves—this is a key weakness of the INTP personality type.

The INTP’s inquisitive mind can thrive in research-focused career paths within science, engineering, or law. However, INTPs are uncommon; they’re spread few and far between in such roles regardless of whether they are men or women.

What does INTP stand for?

INTP stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving. INTPs are ruled by their thoughts, and their unique combination of NTP (Intuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving) traits allows INTPs to tackle abstract concepts with ease. INTPs think outside the box and construct unconventional solutions to complex problems. Before taking action, Thinkers contemplate outcomes, weigh alternatives, and consider future possibilities through a critical lens. As introverts with such a vivid imagination, Thinkers can even find refuge in their thoughts.

What are the characteristics of INTP?

There are four key INTP characteristics. The first INTP characteristic is analytical thinking. Thinkers analyze details and deconstruct ideas to uncover hidden patterns. The second dominant trait of an INTP is an unconventional imagination. INTPs also utilize their advanced intuition to comprehend abstract concepts. While doing so, INTPs are mindful of future outcomes; they focus on what will happen instead of what is currently happening. The third characteristic of an INTP is their reserved attitude. INTPs favor their own company over socializing with others. The fourth key INTP trait is self-criticism. By fixating on the future, INTPs tend to overthink every action they take and are often harshly self-critical. 

What are the INTP cognitive functions? 

The four INTP cognitive functions are as follows (listed in order of dominance).

  • Introverted Thinking (Ti): INTP’s dominant function Ti seeks out logical connections between a system’s components to build an internal framework and make evidence-based decisions. Dominant Ti has a passion for learning and problem solving, but may be socially utilitarian.
  • Extraverted Intuition (Ne): INTP’s auxiliary function Ne reminds The Thinker that social relationships provide value beyond what is immediately apparent. Auxiliary Ne offers valuable perspective on the outside world, and helps INTP to avoid self-absorption.
  • Introverted Sensing (Si): INTP’s tertiary function Si offers a keen sense of self-reference that grows and matures into thirst for new experience. Tertiary Si is self reflective, at times to a fault.
  • Introverted Thinking (Ti): INTP’s dominant function Ti seeks out and breaks down logical connections. INTPs utilize the Ti function to build an internal framework and form evidence-based decisions. The Ti function also drives the Thinker’s passion for learning and self-critical tendencies.

According to Carl Jung, cognitive functions represent how individuals of all personalities perceive themselves and the world around them. Unlike the psychological attitudes, cognitive functions exist on a singular dichotomy—extraverted functions versus introverted functions. The following sections will explore the four INTP cognitive functions and their levels of dominance over the Thinker personality.

1. Dominant Ti

The dominant function of INTP personalities is introverted Thinking (Ti), the opposite of extroverted Thinking (Te). As the dominant function, the Ti cognitive function has the greatest influence on how INTPs process information. It’s also the root of an INTP’s analytical skills, as the Ti function seeks out and analyzes logical connections. INTPs utilize the Ti function to build an internal framework and form evidence-based decisions. The Ti function also drives the Thinker’s passion for learning and self-critical tendencies. 

2. Auxiliary Ne

The auxiliary function of INTP personalities is extroverted Intuition (Ne), the opposite of introverted Intuition (Ni). The auxiliary function plays a secondary role, analyzing information the dominant INTP function takes in. The auxiliary Ne function supports the dominant Ti function by analyzing an INTP’s external world and past experiences. From this information, the Ne function comprehends abstract concepts and future possibilities. The auxiliary Ne function is also key to INTPs’ imagination. By absorbing external stimuli, the Ne function fuels an INTP’s unconventional ideas and solutions.

2. Tertiary Si

The tertiary function of INTP personalities is introverted Sensing (Si), the opposite of extroverted Sensing (Se). As the tertiary function, Si takes years to fully develop. When the Si tertiary function matures, it helps INTPs take a step back from their vivid imaginations and see things for what they are. In turn, this ability to perceive reality based on facts and details enables INTPs to be self-critical. 

4. Inferior Fe 

The inferior function of INTP personalities is extraverted Feeling (Fe), the opposite of introverted Feeling (Fi). The inferior function is the least developed cognitive function of the INTP personality, so you’ll seldom observe it in Thinkers. The Fe function primarily manifests when an INTP is stressed. The Inferior Fe function pushes the Thinker to seek comfort in the arms of loved ones. However, as introverts, Thinkers often struggle to communicate and express their feelings. 

How does INTP behave in a relationship?

In a relationship, an INTP behaves in a reserved and analytical manner. INTPs approach romance cautiously and rely on logic to make decisions. For example, if it suits their needs, INTPs will discard traditional relationship dynamics in exchange for a relationship that may be perceived as unconventional by societal standards. If the relationship ends in heartbreak, INTPs will try to mend their broken hearts with logic. However, not all problems have logical solutions. INTPs rely on their inferior Fe function to cope with complex emotions. They will turn to loved ones for support, but as Thinking introverts, heartbroken INTPs struggle to express their emotions. 

How is the INTP personality in parenthood?

In parenthood, INTPs are competent although somewhat detached from their kids. Due to their analytical minds, many INTPs find parenthood to be a challenging but enriching experience. INTP parents encourage independence and passion in their children. However, as logical introverts, INTP parents may struggle with their children’s emotional needs. Projects and new ideas may also distract INTP parents. As a result, INTP parents may sometimes appear distant or withdrawn from their children. 

How is the productivity of INTP business people?

The productivity of INTP business people is excellent if they’re allowed to be independent. As Perceiving-dominant personalities, INTPs are bored by rules and structure. To stay engaged with work, INTPs must use their unconventional imaginations. Creative tasks like brainstorming or problem-solving both stimulate INTPs and reaffirm their independence. Furthermore, due to their dominant Ti cognitive function, employers can rely on INTPs to handle hard data or complex ideas. However, coworkers may think INTPs are unapproachable because of their reserved, oftentimes critical nature.

How efficient are INTP people in science?

The efficiency of INTP science people is exceptional. Due to their dominant Ti and auxiliary Ne functions, INTPs are naturally analytical as scientists; they can comprehend theoretical and abstract concepts with ease. Tackling complex scientific research is also exciting to personality types like INTP. However, as in business, INTPs require independence. If restricted or bored by routine, INTP science people will be inefficient. 

What are INTPs like as kids?

As kids, INTPs are as imaginative and independent as their adult counterparts. From an early age, learning and analyzing the world fascinates INTP children, leading them to daydream a lot. However, INTP children may be so absorbed by their thoughts that they struggle to connect with their peers. As a result, young Thinkers appear more withdrawn than other personality types. 

What are the INTP traits?

Below are the four key INTP personality traits of Thinker personality types

  • Analytical thinking: As an Intuitive, Thinking (NT) personality type, INTPs excel at analytical thinking. Thinkers comprehend abstract concepts and analyze complex problems to uncover solutions with ease.
  • Vivid imagination: An INTP’s unconventional and unique ideas stem from their strong sense of imagination and rich inner worlds.
  • Absent-mindedness: As the Thinker personality, INTPs often get lost in thought and are prone to distraction.
  • General reservation: INTPs are introverts who dislike extensive socializing and typically withdraw from most social situations.

What are the INTP strengths?

Below are the five INTP strengths.

  • Analytical thinking : INTPs are inquisitive, curious people who love to learn. People with an INTP personality seek out hidden details or patterns that thread complex ideas and concepts together. 
  • Innovation : As the Thinker personality type, INTPs think outside the box. They’re driven by an auxiliary Ne function, forming innovative and unconventional ideas once they’ve broken down complex ideas.
  • Independence : Due to their Perceiving trait, INTP prefer to live—and most importantly, think—on their own terms. Structure and routine are too inflexible for INTPs. 
  • Vivid imagination: INTPs lose hours to their daydreams. Their vivid sense of imagination fuels their unconventional ideas and pushes them to analyze any topic or problem that catches their interest
  • Passion : Although reserved and introverted, INTPs are passionate about their interests. If they’re close to someone, INTPs will shed their detached exteriors and talk about their interests for hours.

What are the INTP weaknesses?

Below are the five INTP weaknesses. 

  • Overly critical: INTPs often come across as condescending or judgmental, since they value logic over emotions. To a Thinker, the most logical way to improve is to be critical of mistakes, be it their own or those of others. 
  • Indecisiveness: In addition to their criticism, INTPs are indecisive. Even if they have a solution in mind, the INTP’s dominant Ti and auxiliary Ne functions will fixate on negative outcomes and overthink every action they take.  
  • General reservation: Due to their innate introversion, INTPs struggle to connect with others. As a result, INTPs prefer the company of their own and often seem emotionally distant.
  • Absent-mindedness: INTPs spend so much time lost in thought that they sometimes forget about important obligations or tasks. Daydreaming isn’t a negative trait, but INTPs take it to extremes due to their overactive imaginations.
  • Disorganization: Due to their Perceiving personality trait, INTP individuals struggle with routines and experience stress within highly structured lifestyles.

What stresses an INTP? 

Below are five situations and activities that stress the INTP type. 

  • Following strict schedules: INTPs understand the importance of routines and deadlines, but strict schedules are stressful for INTPs. Being both independent and inquisitive, INTPs require flexibility in their day-to-day lives.
  • Making fast decisions: INTPs are intelligent, but indecisive. If they have to think on their feet, INTPs will stress over potential mistakes or missed details. 
  • Focusing on concrete applications: It is stressful for Thinkers to explain themselves to less imaginative people. INTP dislikes explaining the practical, concrete applications of their unconventional ideas.
  • Connecting with others: Empathy doesn’t come naturally to the INTP who may feel stressed when trying to connect on an emotional level. That said, INTPs require emotional connection just like any other personality type–it just takes more effort.

What do INTPs hate?

INTPs hate making fast decisions above all else. Although people with INTP personalities aren’t necessarily perfectionists, they are analytical and indecisive. They can’t reach rapid conclusions like action-oriented ESTPs. As the Thinker personality, INTPs need time to contemplate and carefully consider their options before making serious decisions.

How does the INTP deal with stress?

The INTP deals with stress in three ways. Firstly, INTPs tend to abandon projects that require concrete applications rather than innovation. Being so rooted in mundane, practical matters is discouraging to the Thinker. Secondly, INTPs abhor and avoid strict work schedules. They would sooner lose productivity than adhere to what they see as oppressive deadlines. Thirdly, connecting to others is difficult for the Thinker, so INTP types tend to withdraw from stressful social situations.

How do INTPs deal with grief?

INTPs deal with grief well on the surface, but internally struggle to cope with sorrow. Due to their dominant Ti function and innate introversion, INTPs will withdraw from others and try to process grief logically. In reality, solitude and logic are little more than coping mechanisms for INTPs because there is no logical way to cope with grief. As INTPs become more bereaved, they begin to rely on their inferior Fe function and gradually reach out to others for emotional support.

Are INTPs emotional?

No, INTPs are not overly emotional. Due to their dominant Ti cognitive function, INTPs try to process their emotions logically. Although they’re not always successful at rationalizing feelings, INTPs tend to be more objective about emotional matters than other personality types. Furthermore, INTPs are reserved and sometimes critical. They’re the least likely of their peers to get emotional but the first to criticize outbursts (especially if it gets in the way of an INTP’s work or research).

Are INTPs rare?

INTP is uncommon, but not altogether rare. The INTP personality type accounts for only 4.8% of the population, though Thinker men are slightly more common than women. 

What are the hobbies of an INTP?

Below are the five typical hobbies of an INTP. 

  • Reading: INTPs are inquisitive and analytical, so they naturally gravitate to a hobby like reading. Be it fiction or nonfiction, reading sparks an INTP’s vivid sense of imagination.
  • Writing: Writing is also the perfect hobby for creative and imaginative personalities like INTPs. Furthermore, INTPs are free to conjure up unconventional or innovative stories through writing. 
  • Strategy games: Due to their analytical minds, strategy games like chess or Go make excellent hobbies for an INTP. Strategic games push INTPs to predict their opponent’s next movement, which is a natural skill of the Thinker personality type. 
  • Meditation: INTPs have overactive imaginations and can feel trapped in their thoughts, so hobbies like meditation can help INTPs relax.
  • Video games: With video games, inquisitive personalities like INTPs can challenge their analytical mind, uncover hidden patterns, and enjoy intellectually stimulating challenges.

What are the career paths for INTP?

The best career paths for the INTP personality type make use of their unconventional imagination and analytical minds. Below are four great career paths for INTPs.

  • Anthropologist: Anthropology may not seem like a natural calling for INTPs, but this career path requires specialized knowledge and extensive research. As analytical individuals who love learning and researching, INTPs excel as anthropologists. 
  • Financial Analyst: Financial analysts examine data and identify profitable investments—two tasks that would benefit from an INTP’s analytical mind and research skills. If they can compromise on rigid guidelines and schedules, INTPs can thrive as financial analysts.
  • Lawyer: Lawyers tackle all sorts of complex legal issues. INTPs will do well as lawyers because they can comprehend complicated ideas and come up with unique solutions.
  • Writer: As professional writers, INTPs can be independent, creative, and unconventional. Few career paths offer INTPs as much freedom as writing.

How does INTP prepare for a job interview?

The INTP should follow three steps to prepare for an interview.

  1. View the job interview as career research. Think of the interview as a chance to learn more about their dream careers. In doing so, INTPs will stress less over the social aspect of interviews and focus more on the learning opportunity. 
  2. Research the company thoroughly. To prepare for an interview, INTPs should put their analytical skills to the test and uncover whether the company appreciates independence, imagination, or other star qualities INTPs have.
  3. Prepare to ask a lot of questions. Interviewers will appreciate an INTP’s inquisitive nature. By asking questions, INTPs show that they’re knowledgeable and willing to learn.

Here are two tips INTPs can benefit from as they prepare for an interview. Firstly, INTP job seekers should work on their listening skills. Since they’re often absent-minded, INTPs may lose track of a conversation. Therefore, INTPs must reign in their wandering thoughts and focus on the interviewer. Secondly, INTPs should mentally prepare and be careful about offering suggestions. Many INTPs can’t help but be critical of a system they believe they could improve. If they have an interesting idea, INTPs should wait until the end of the interview to give it. Suggestions should also serve as examples of an INTP’s skills and not as a critique of the company’s methods.

Are INTPs good employees?

Yes, INTPs are good employees if they’re allowed to be independent and creative. Due to their inquisitive nature, INTPS will excel in positions that require careful thought and extensive research. Managers can also rely on INTPs to tackle abstract ideas and provide useful insights. Meanwhile, coworkers may find INTPs reserved and difficult to approach but professional and competent.  

How INTPs prefer to work

INTPs prefer to work in work environments that have the following characteristics.

  • Flexibility: As reserved yet passionate individuals, INTPs prefer to work in career paths that encourage freedom of expression and independent thought. 
  • Mental stimulation: Employees with INTP personalities desire mentally-stimulating experiences. Therefore, they prefer to work in careers that provide exciting professional opportunities.
  • Complexity: INTPs may not be action-orientated or quick-thinking, but they can grasp complex, abstract ideas other personality types would struggle with. INTPs prefer to work in a career that challenges their analytical skills. 
  • Need for research: INTPs love learning. As a result, they tend to gravitate towards research fields where they can continue to learn and improve their skills. 

What career paths should INTPs avoid?

INTPs should avoid people-orientated, highly structured career paths where they’re required to regularly socialize and maintain strict schedules. The following list contains four examples of career paths that do not play to INTP’s strengths.

  • Elementary Teacher: Teaching elementary school children requires excellent social skills, empathy, and a practical, easy-to-follow curriculum. Most INTPs are far too critical, unsociable, and analytical to teach young children effectively.
  • Administration: Leadership and management roles rely more on practical problem-solving than unconventional, innovative ideas. Therefore, administrative positions would restrict an INTP’s wild imagination.
  • Telemarketing: Telemarketing requires interpersonal skills and quick thinking. Being reserved and socially withdrawn, INTPs will find telemarketing exhausting.
  • Registered Nurse: Most nursing careers require constant socializing and rigid schedules, two things independent INTP dislike. 

Key statistics for the INTP personality type

The INTP personality type has several key statistics which illustrate its role in society. The INTP personality type accounts for 4.8% of the U.S. population, making the Thinker uncommon overall. This is especially true of INTP women, who account for just 3% of the total population. Conversely, INTP men are somewhat more common with a prevalence of approximately 10%. Due to their rarity, both INTP men and women are difficult to identify across society. That said, INTPs typically gravitate towards research-focused or analytical fields careers within business, science, and law.

Who are some INTP celebrities?

Below are some examples of well-known INTP celebrities.

  • Albert Einstein (Theoretical physicist)
  • Tina Fey (American actress)
  • Charles Darwin (naturalist) 
  • Marie Curie (Polish-French physicist)
  • Alan Turning (mathematician)
  • Abraham Lincoln (16th US President)
  • Bill Gates (American business magnate)

What are the quintessential INTP quotes?

Below are the INTP quotes that best capture the inquisitive, intellectual Thinker personality.

  • “Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value.” — Albert Einstein
  • “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” — Marie Curie
  • “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “If a machine is expected to be infallible, it cannot also be intelligent.” – Alan Turing
  • “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” – Bill Gates

What are the INTP sub-types?

Assertive INTP (INTP-A) and Turbulent INTP (INTP-T) are the two subtypes of the INTP personality. Both INTP subtypes share the same Thinker characteristics, psychological attitudes, and cognitive functions, but differ in how they view themselves and make decisions. 

Assertive INTP (INTP-A)

Assertive INTPs are more independent and less concerned with fitting in than Turbulent INTPs. As a result, the INTP-A is the more confident subtype. However, due to their increased sense of independence, INTP-As are also stubborn. People with INTP-A personalities are less likely to ask for help when they need it or spend time with friends and family. One example of a famous person who shares INTP-A characteristics is Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States who first served as a five-star general in the US army. 

Turbulent INTP (INTP-T)

Turbulent INTP (INTP-T) is the self-conscious, sensitive counterpart to INTP-A. Turbulent Thinkers are notably more indecisive than INTP-As, but also more flexible. If faced with a complex challenge or problem, INTP-Ts will consider alternatives INTP-As think are too practical or too simple. Conversely, INTP-Ts are less confident than INTP-Ts. They’re quick to self-criticize and often seek approval from others (though, as reserved introverts, they sometimes struggle to connect with others). A famous example of someone who fits INTP-T is Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States who abolished slavery and modernized the economy.

How do INTPs view other personality types?

INTPs view other personality types with introverted, analytical traits favorably. These personalities may not share INTPs’ interests, but they’re nonetheless passionate and independent like the Thinker. Of the personality types who share these traits, the INFP and INTJ personalities are the most similar to INTP. However, INTPs do not recognize themselves in extroverted, empathic personality types such as ESFJ or ESFP. INTPs prefer to make fact-based decisions and spend most of their time alone, in contrast with more emotional and social personality types.

Can a person be both intp and INTJ?

No, a person cannot be both INTP and INTJ. Although similarly analytical, NT-aligned personalities, INTP and INTJ have two distinct differences. Firstly, INTPs are independent; they dislike structure and following routines. On the other hand, INTJs prefer to plan for the future and stick to rigid schedules. Secondly, INTJs and INTPs have different dominant cognitive functions. INTP’s dominant function is introverted Thinking (Ti), so they’re interested in how pieces of a puzzle connect. Meanwhile, an INTJ’s dominant function is introverted Intuition (Ni) which means INTJs are more interested in the significance of each puzzle piece rather than how they connect.

Are INTP personalities hereditary?

There is currently not enough evidence to prove that INTP personalities are hereditary. Some studies suggest that personality traits could be hereditary, whereas others believe that external factors (such as nurture) ultimately determine personality types. 

How do the genders of the INTP personality compare?

The male and female genders of the INTP personality share the same key Thinker characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, and cognitive functions. However, the INTP personality type notably aligns with traditional male gender roles. Therefore, many INTP traits are considered “masculine”. Society consequently views INTP men and women differently. For example, an INTP woman’s reserved nature is sometimes mistaken for coldness by her coworkers. Meanwhile, INTP men are seen as quiet and professional in the workplace.  

INTP men and women are cautious and awkward about romance. Nevertheless, an INTP woman may seem dispassionate or rebellious because she typically doesn’t follow traditional relationship dynamics. INTP men may experience similar judgment but to a lesser degree. 

Within business career paths, INTP women may feel pressured to socialize or appear approachable. Meanwhile, an INTP man’s stoic independence is a sign of competence. INTP men and women experience similar differences in science fields. Since science is largely male-dominated, innovation from INTP men is more accepted than that of unconventional INTP women.

How is the INTP female personality?

The INTP female personality is quiet, inquisitive, and known to have a unique mind. As Thinkers, INTP women spend most of their time lost in thought. Their rich, inner worlds lead to interesting and innovative ideas. Therefore, it’s no surprise that female INTP scientists such as Marie Curie pioneered research in radioactivity. In general, INTP women are successful scientists who also prosper in business or creative career paths. 

How is the INTP male personality?

The INTP male personality is reserved and professional, favoring logic and facts. Many great Thinkers were men, including Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin. Their contribution to science is a testament to the Thinker’s talent for out-of-the-box thinking. Outside of science, INTP males are appreciated for their flexibility and independence. Although sometimes absent-minded and disorganized, INTP men can succeed in many career paths.

What are the strongest signals that someone is INTP?

Below are five of the strongest signals that someone is an INTP.

  • They are lost in thought: INTPs are known to be absent-minded and spend most of their time daydreaming. If you know someone who prefers the company of their own thoughts, then this may be a signal of an INTP personality.
  • They are inquisitive: Due to their dominant Ti functions, Thinkers never stop asking questions or looking for patterns. INTPs have an endless thirst for knowledge and love learning.
  • They are reserved: As introverts, people with an INTP personality are notably quiet and aloof. INTPs also tend to have a small circle of friends.
  • They are passionate: Although introverted, INTPs have rare moments of uncontainable excitement about their latest project or interests. 
  • They are critical: INTPs are analytical. Therefore, they tend to overanalyze their actions and are quick to critique mistakes, especially their own. 

How to understand whether you are an INTP or not

To understand whether you have an INTP personality type, watch out for the five INTP traits and habits below. 

  • You’re always coming up with new ideas: INTPs have vivid imaginations fueled by their curious, inquisitive minds. If this sounds like you, then you may have an INTP personality. 
  • You get lost in research: Due to their cognitive functions and psychological attitudes, INTPs have a natural talent for research and analysis. If you also have excellent research skills, then you may be an INTP. 
  • You keep a close circle of friends: Due to their introversion, INTPs tend to gravitate toward kindred personality types they can relate to. If your friends are like-minded, curious individuals who value logic, then you may be an INTP. 
  • You value your independence: INTPs dislike structure and value free-thinking. If you revere both of these qualities, then you may have an INTP personality.
  • You struggle with self-doubt: INTPs tend to be their own worst critic. If you’re also self-conscious, then there’s a chance you’re an INTP. 

For a more accurate self-assessment of your MBTI type, try a personality type test.

How to classify personality types for INTP communication?

To classify other personality types based on their stance for INTP communication, consider the following four main classifications.

  • Kindred personalities: Kindred personalities are highly compatible with INTPs. They share similar traits and worldviews as INTPs, valuing independence and logic. Kindred personalities also tend to be introverted like the INTP personality type. A close relationship isn’t guaranteed, but kindred personalities typically communicate well with INTPs.
  • Friendly personalities: Friendly personalities are mostly compatible with the INTP personality type. Most of their characteristics and values are similar to INTPs. Spare for some notable differences, INTPs usually get along well with this class of personalities. 
  • Opposite personalities: There are more differences than similarities between opposite personality types and the INTP personality types. Therefore, communication may sometimes be difficult, but INTPs may find an unlikely friend in this group of personalities.
  • Different personalities: Different personalities have very little in common with INTPs. As a result, they do not communicate well with INTPs. It’s unlikely that this group of personalities will form close relationships with INTPs.

What are the main similarities of other personality types to INTP?

INTPs share three main similarities with other personality types. Firstly, INTPs are introverted, so they prefer to spend time alone, much like their kindred personalities, INTJs and INFPs. Secondly, Thinkers value logic and rely on facts to make decisions, a trait INTPs share with ENTP and INTJ personalities. Thirdly, INTPs are profoundly passionate about their interests and unconventional ideas. Like-minded INTJ, INF, and ENTP personalities are equally fervent about their own projects and hobbies.

What are the kindred personality types for INTP?

The kindred personality types for INTPs are INTJ, INFP, ENTP, and other INTP personalities. The following list describes the key characteristics and traits kindred personalities share with the INTP personality type. 

  • INTJ: Much like INTPs, INTJ are introverted individuals who apply their analytical thinking to solve problems and uncover patterns. Although INTJs are not as flexible as INTPs, they nonetheless share an INTP’s passion for learning. After getting to know each other, INTPs and INTJs will quickly fall into deep, riveting conversations about their shared worldviews. 
  • INFP: Both INFP and INTP individuals are passionate and reserved. They both also prefer to think through their problems rather than act quickly. Although driven by emotions, INFPs appreciate INTPs’ rational thinking. When they put their minds together, INFPs and INTPs can overcome any challenge together. 
  • ENTP: Although extroverted, ENTP is the intellectual equal to INTP. They’re both -NTP personalities. Therefore, they’re both independent, inquisitive people with unconventional imaginations. INTPs may be caught off-guard by an ENTP’s outgoingness, but the two have a lot more in common than they may initially realize. 
  • INTP: INTPs communicate well with other INTPs. Since they share the same key traits and characteristics, people of this personality type essentially speak the same language. Forming friendships or collaborating on projects isn’t an issue for fellow INTPs.

What are the most friendly personality types to INTP?

The most friendly personalities for INTPs are INFJ, ENTJ, ISTP, and ENFP. The following list explores the key similarities and sparing differences between friendly personalities and INTPs.

  • INFJ: Like INTPs, INFJs are introverted and driven by facts. Unlike INTPs, INFJs are empathetic. They’re also not as independent as INTPs and value daily routines. Despite their differences, an INFJ’s empathy offers a unique perspective INTPs can benefit from.  
  • ENTJ: ENTJ individuals like to socialize and follow routines, two traits INTPs may find incompatible. However, beneath an ENTJ’s veneer lies an analytical mind on par with that of INTPs. If they can look past their differences, INTP and ENTJs can learn how to communicate. 
  • ISTP: ISTPs are down-to-earth introverts who like to get things done quickly. Meanwhile, INTPs like to contemplate every single course of action. INTPs may initially think ISTPs are too spontaneous or frivolous. However, beneath the ISTP’s seemingly whimsical surface is a rich imagination similar to that of INTPs’.
  • ENFP: ENFPs are extroverted, logical individuals who prioritize others’ needs. At first glance, INTPs and ENFPs appear incompatible, but ENFPs are similarly analytical. They offer empathic and helpful counterpoints to INTPs’ less emotional views.

What are the opposite personality types to INTP?

The challenging opposite personality types of INTPs are ENFJ, ESTP, ISFP,  and ISTJ. As opposing personalities, the following list of personalities shares few similarities with the INTP personality type. 

  • ISTJ: Much like INTP individuals, ISTJs are also reserved and inquisitive. They may find common ground through their shared interests or worldviews, but INTPs and ISTJs ultimately lead different lifestyles. For example, INTPs prefer to be independent and flexible, while ISTJs prefer a practical, organized life.
  • ISFP: ISFPs are introverted with an independent streak. Like INTPs, they value their freedom, but they’re notably more practical and sensitive than ISFPs. As a result, ISFPs may struggle with an INTP’s analytic coldness. INTPs may similarly think ISFPs are far too illogical and uncreative. 
  • ESTP: Both ESTPs and INTPs dislike structure and value reason over emotions. However, ESTPs are outgoing, practical, and quick-thinking. They may find an intellectual middle ground, but ESTPs are generally too impulsive for INTPs. Conversely, INTPs are too indecisive for ESTPs
  • ENFJ: ENFJs are assertive yet inquisitive and willing to learn. They can grasp the same complex, abstract ideas that INTPs create, but unlike INTPs, ENFJs don’t ruminate on these ideas forever. They take action and assert control. Although INTPs think ENFJs are logical, they may nonetheless be overwhelmed by an ENFJ’s confident personality.

What are the most different personality types for INTP?

The most different personality types for INTPs are ESFJ, ESFP, ISFJ, and ESTJ. These personalities have very little in common with INTPs as described in the list below. 

  • ESFJ: The traits of the ESFJ personality contrast with the traits of the INTP personality. ESFJs are extroverted, practical, empathetic, and organized. ESFJs are also people-oriented and gravitate toward different career paths and social groups than INTPs. As a result, the ESFJ personality type differs the most from the INTP personality type. 
  • ESFP: ESFPs and INTPs are both independent and dislike strict schedules. However, ESFPs are notably more outgoing, pragmatic, and empathetic than the reserved INTP. Consequently, communication may be difficult between ESFPs and INTPs.
  • ISFJ: ISFJs are as withdrawn as INTPs, but they’re also known to be compassionate, practical individuals. Conversely, INTPs find value in theoretical concepts and unconventional ideas that may never come to fruition. As a result, ISFJs and INTPs are largely incompatible.
  • ESTJ: Similar to INTPs, ESTJ individuals are inquisitive. They enjoy learning. However, ESTJs are extroverted, sensitive souls who keep to schedules and plan for the future. ESTJs may find INTPs are too reserved to communicate with, even if they like their unconventional ideas.

What disorders are associated with INTP personality types?

Below are the four disorders associated with INTP personality types.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Autism exists on a spectrum and there are many different neurodevelopmental conditions associated with autism. One commonality between autism and the INTP personality is a reserved, withdrawn disposition. INTPs and autistic individuals often prefer the company of their own thoughts over socializing.
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID): Dissociative identity disorder is a rare condition where a person has two or more personality states. The disorder sometimes manifests in children who utilize their imaginations to cope with severe trauma. Given the INTP’s vivid imaginations and rich inner worlds, individuals with this personality type may be susceptible to DID if they’ve also experienced severe childhood trauma. 
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Two of the most prominent symptoms of ADHD are absent-mindedness and hyper fixation. People with ADHD are easily distracted by their thoughts and tend to fixate on a new interest or topic. Due to their cognitive functions, INTPs act similarly.
  • Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD): Schizoid personality disorder is a disorder wherein individuals have no interest in social relationships and lead generally detached, reserved lifestyles. SPD is also characterized by rich inner worlds and elaborate fantasies. As previously mentioned, INTPs are known for their vivid imaginations. They’re also withdrawn and often absorbed by their thoughts—two characteristics that are associated with SPD.

Disclaimer: There isn’t enough evidence to suggest that the INTP personality type is likely to develop any of these aforementioned disorders. Instead, the list above focuses on the crossover between INTP traits and common signs of these disorders. 

Is INTP a good personality type?

There’s no way to conclusively answer whether INTP is a good personality type. No personality type is inherently “good” or “bad”. Each of the sixteen personality types has its strengths and weaknesses. For example, the INTP personality type is reserved yet passionate; analytical yet critical; imaginative yet absent-minded. None of these key INTP traits is better or worse than that of other personality types. Therefore, the INTP personality is equal to the other personality types.