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INTPs are relatively rare, especially among women. INTPs make up 3% of the general population, including 5% of men and 2% of women.

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) is a popular self-report inventory designed to identify someone's personality type and is one of the most widely used psychology tools today.

What does INTP stand for?

Each of the 16 MBTI types consist of four letters corresponding to a fundamental personality trait for the type. Tailored questions find your combination of four sets of opposing traits — introverted versus extroverted, sensing versus intuitive, thinking versus feeling, and perceiving versus judging. INTP stands for Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Thinking (T), and Perception (P) personality traits.

INTP characteristics

Common strengths

Open-minded

Logicians love to explore new ideas and possibilities. This allows them to utilize their knowledge and intellect to help them see what others think regarding specific issues and concepts. Because their immense quest to acquire as much knowledge as possible is rarely quenched, most Logicians spend their whole lives learning and acquiring as much knowledge as possible.

For an INTP, it's crucial that any new theories are supported by logical and well-framed arguments. This ties with their analytical side, which strives to pursue understanding, truth, and objectivity. This relentless pursuit can often be the goal of their lives, and many INTPs love to pour their energy into identifying errors to eliminate data.

Logicians are also open-minded, which helps them achieve this pursuit. When it comes to exploring their options and learning, INTPs like looking at ideas from a fresh perspective. They often dislike feeling 'stuck' and the need to focus on concepts and theories which have already been proven. Due to this, many INTPs excel in the science field as they love to discover ideas and cross boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge acquisition. Logicians dislike following rules and are fully prepared to keep their minds open to ideas others may deem impossible.

Analytical and problem-solvers

INTPs are often considered 'Abstract Philosophers' as they're great thinkers and like to problem solve across various areas of their lives. For an INTP, the world is a complex system with aspects of interconnection needed to be understood. A Logician will often try to find a deeper understanding and meaning behind things that happen to them and events occurring in their daily lives. From this, they'll come up with logical explanations and conclusions.

While INTPs love to think about various concepts and topics often, outsiders might overlook this as not much is publicly revealed. They are frequently misunderstood as overly introverted; however, many INTPs will be quietly thinking away behind this exterior.

As the name implies, Logicians are highly logical individuals and fast thinking. Individuals who have this personality type like to observe and analyze connections between pieces of information and concepts to discover explanations to common problems. This allows them to effectively problem-solve since their minds are inclined towards the analysis of information. INTPs also love to approach new possibilities from new angles, which gives them unique perspectives other personality types may struggle to grasp.

INTPs often enjoy being placed in situations involving solving puzzles, riddles, or games. In this environment, INTPs can thrive and showcase their natural talent to others. While this skill certainly is impressive, being analytical and good at problem-solving is a trait that usually comes naturally for them, and as such, INTPs may give little thought to it.

Unconventional creativity

Logicians love unusual approaches to solutions and creative ideas. They like to solve problems in clever and unique ways, successfully thinking outside the box. INTPs prefer to think deeply about a theory behind the idea rather than simply accepting the way it is. Understanding and explaining difficult concepts and how they can be improved is second nature to Logicians.

Most INTPs are naturally highly creative and can apply this skill to many situations. While they're often misclassified as logical and analytical, they also have a great imagination and creative drive. INTPs love spending time alone to recharge and explore the many possibilities within their minds. Their inner world is often incredibly vast and filled with exciting new ideas and thoughts they want to bring to life.

Due to this, many INTPS find themselves drawn to more artistic careers that incorporate music, drawing, dance, or writing. They're incredibly interested in jobs and careers that help them express creativity through various forms. For most Logicians, being in an environment that suppresses their naturally imaginative thoughts can be highly detrimental to their happiness.

INTPs excel in environments that allow room for growth and ways that help them feel challenged and interested. It's easy for them to lose interest in people or ideas that aren't challenging them or bringing passion. While Logicians are usually very scientific, incorporating a more artistic side to their personality might seem like an odd merging of interests, but this allows INTP to uniquely accomplish many impressive things.

Passionate

While many INTPs are often viewed as outwardly rigid, private, withdrawn, and introverted, this is not necessarily the case when they're interested in a challenging, or intriguing topic. If you involve a Logician in a conversation or discussion that piques their interest, they'll be able to become incredibly vivid and entertaining. INTPs are also more likely to use their wit and humor around people they trust. They also love to bounce ideas off their companions.

Another great aspect of INTPs is their aspect of being blunt when needed. They generally hate beating around the bush, and when they have something to say, they believe telling the truth is better than avoiding it, even at the expense of a potential disagreement.

INTPs can be fun to be around in the right company, especially in a smaller group. Most INTPs don't like overly large gatherings with loud music and lots of strangers, preferring quality conversations and good company over excess. In this situation, INTPs can be very enthusiastic, passionate, and keen to express their playfulness and creative sense of humor.

Common weaknesses

Impatient

Many INTPs can struggle with being patient, especially around others who don't comprehend information or ideas as fast as them. While most Logicians love to share their knowledge with others, if the individual does not immediately understand what they are trying to explain, the INTP can often become upset and impatient and would instead end the conversation than explain further.

Many INTPs often get frustrated with professions like teaching and tend to bottle up their discomfort, which isn't great for either party. INTPs tend to think everyone has the same problem-solving and analytical abilities as they do, rather than understand their individual strengths. This lack of adaptability is something INTPs need to work on to improve their interpersonal relationships.

Insensitive

Logicians are often classified as unemotional or insensitive, especially in times of conflict. For an INTP, emotions are void from problem-solving or understanding core reasons behind issues, so these feelings are often dismissed. This might be offensive for those from a "feeling" type personality, resulting in emotional distancing or an ending of a relationship.

While Logicians don't mean to be rude or unfriendly, their intelligence and analytical reasoning skills can make them appear arrogant to others. They often take pride in knowing a lot of information and don't hesitate to explain concepts to others, which can be frustrating. In discussions, many INTPs can find themselves (unknowingly or knowingly) looking down on others who have a viewpoint different from them and dismissing ideas they deem 'wrong.' This can make them appear snobbish and stand-offish if left uncontrolled.

Logicians can also prioritize knowledge and the pursuit of education over the emotional needs of others. It's easy for them to get caught up in their own needs and ideas, and this focus on logic with neglect of personal considerations can be highly offensive to their loved ones.

Extremely private

Most Logicians are incredibly private people, preferring to live in their own world filled with ideas, beliefs, and thoughts over real life. While many do allow a select few loved ones to have small glimpses into what's happening in their minds, this is an often rare occasion.

INTPs usually have a small circle of trusted close friends over large friendship groups. However, discussions with these friends usually don't result in the INTP overly expressing themselves and their emotions. For an INTP, their own inner thought processes can be so demanding that they are often lost in them, even in company. When others notice, this can lead to conflict.

Indecisive

While Logicians are intelligent and analytical, many of them often live in fear of criticism and failure. INTPs looking to discover a new concept frequently worry that they have overlooked a vital aspect of their theory or idea. This can result in extreme indecisiveness, procrastination, and the INTP will be self-conscious about wasting time and energy.

Logicians also have high expectations of themselves and the work they produce. Their constant pursuit of perfection and constant analysis throughout the working process can cause delays in decisions, resulting in inconclusive claims. INTPs also find it hard to accept things as they are and constantly see ways of improvement. Even if they achieve exemplary results, their behavior can still result in dissatisfaction and a deep desire to change their inventions. This can make INTPs even more withdrawn, as, in their quest for improvement, they forget to take into account current needs.

What are the hobbies and interests of INTPs?

INTPs are considered one of the more dreamy, thoughtful, and imaginative personality types, with a strong interest in scientific discovery. A typical INTP is incredibly innovative, intelligent, logical, and insightful, and loves to uncover complex puzzles.

Most INTPs have a wide range of hobbies and like exploring various new things as they have an interest in so many different subjects. For an INTP, learning and growing are important, and they always want to try out things that improve their education and experience. INTPs can also find themselves becoming bored quickly, so they need hobbies and interests that can challenge them intellectually. Don't be surprised if an INTP bounces from one hobby to the next, as they'll want to learn as much as possible.

  • Learning languages
  • Exercise classes
  • Reading and research
  • Gaming or other computer-based activities
  • Chess and other strategy games
  • Art and cultural events
  • Arts and crafts
  • Puzzles and board games

Interacting with INTPs

In a relationship

INTPs are generally easy to get along with in a relationship and don't make demands on their partner. INTPs are considered aloof and introverted in social situations, but when they're comfortable with their partner, a Logician can showcase lots of enthusiasm in sharing ideas and thoughts. They also dislike emotional demands or manipulation and would rather have a partner that communicates honestly and directly.

What does an INTP need in a relationship?

Most INTPs dislike games and drama in relationships. They thrive off a partner that is straightforward and able to understand their needs for alone time and analytical behavior. INTPs like partners who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about similar hobbies and interests, and allow them the freedom to get space to withdraw within their thoughts once in a while.

An INTP highly values intellect and engaging discussions with their partner. While all conversations don't need to be incredibly thought-provoking, INTPs dislike 'fake' or superficial small talk with those they are close to. Many INTPs are also highly suspicious and find it hard to read between the lines with flirting or teasing. They are much more comfortable with partners who are honest and have no interest in games.

If their partner is an intellectual match, many INTPs will love to have debates and heated discussions, especially if they can take criticism and dish it out. However, emotional displays of affection can be hard for an INTP, which can cause some conflict if a compromise is not reached.

An ideal relationship for an INTP

An ideal relationship for an INTP has to live up to some of the relationships they tend to idealize or build up in their imagination. Some components needed to satisfy an INTP include:

  • A partner who is patient and understanding
  • The freedom to get time and space away
  • A partner who is emotionally strong and dislikes playing games
  • An honest and straightforward partner
  • An intellectual equal who likes to discuss ideas and theories

Relationship compatibility

While any personality type can be compatible with INTP, some may be more suited to balance out INTPs specific traits. They are most compatible with people who are also logical but also extroverted enough to balance the INTPs Introversion.

For INTPs, the ENTJ personality type can be a great match, as this pair has a relatively similar style of communication and can understand the other's needs on an intellectual level. Both ENTJ and INTP like to avoid superficial topics and small talk and love engaging and stimulating conversations across a wide range of topics.

As a parent

As parents, INTPs are devoted and committed to teaching their children. They view parenthood as a challenge and another way for them to learn and acquire knowledge. INTPs will view their children as independent individuals even from a very young age, with personality traits that need guidance and direction.

Since Logicians value intellect and independence, they will often guide their children to pursue education and knowledge, ask questions, think independently, and not settle for mediocre things. As the children grow older, INTPs will respect their personal views and opinions even if it can differ from their own.

As parents, INTPs are generally flexible and open-minded, not wanting to put too much pressure on their children and their daily obligations. They themselves do not like routine and regime, so they'll often have a looser structure and schedule than other parent personality types. However, this can backfire, because if their partner is not someone that likes to discipline children, they might live in an unlimited environment with a lack of rules and discipline.

INTPs must also be aware of their emotional numbness, as getting in tune with their children's emotions is crucial for being an understanding parent. INTPs may struggle to master this area, but doing this is vital for getting closer to their children. While this process might require a lot of hard work and persistence, having involved parents is essential for the health of an INTP’s children.

As a friend

INTP's social circle is relatively small and limited to a trusted few. With these few people, INTPs love to share their inner feelings and thoughts. These close friendships often involve common interests based on shared passions and philosophical conversations.

When they're comfortable among their friends, INTPs like to dominate discussions and have no trouble contributing to the conversation with their witty comments, unique ideas, observations, and friendly demeanor.

INTPs strongly dislike conflicts, and when one arises, they are more likely to excuse themselves and leave the conversation rather than talk it out. If talking it out is required, an INTP will prefer to find logical explanations over taking emotions into account. Due to this, personality types with strong 'sensing' or 'feeling' traits are not often found in the INTP friend list due to their dislike of abstract ideas and emotion-rich outlook.

Career path

INTPs often think long and hard before pursuing higher education and their career path. They believe the external world is meant to be explored and understood as much as possible. Due to their innovation and desire to experiment, many INTPs are found in IT or computer careers. INTPS can also be quite shy and reserved, especially around unfamiliar people, giving them a strong preference for largely non-sociable work environments. They will have great success as business owners, graphic designers, and freelance writers, where they can limit their social interactions while being creative and working independently. Also, don't be surprised if an INTP gravitates towards a career in science — this field allows them to focus on abstract and complex ideas while understanding the world through experiments.

Popular INTP jobs and careers

  • Architecture
  • Psychology and other social sciences
  • Graphic design
  • Computer and IT
  • Science research
  • Engineer
  • Surgeon or Physician
  • Mathematician
  • Analyst
  • Accountant
  • Media Producer or Director

Celebrities with the INTP personality type

Most INTPs are controlled, studious, and calm, driven by the search for reason. For many INTPs, remaining grounded and not being caught up in overthinking is crucial. Their intellectual nature is reflected in their career paths, with many famous philosophers and scientists being Logicians. INTPs also have a creative and artistic side that is not often observed, so it makes sense that some famous actors and entertainers have the Logician personality type.

Philosophers

  • Immanuel Kant, German philosopher
  • Hannah Arendt, German-American political theorist
  • Adam Smith, Scottish economist
  • Herbert Spencer, English philosopher
  • Friedrich Hayek, Austrian economist
  • Blaise Pascal, French philosopher
  • Eckhart Tolle, German-Canadian spiritualist

Scientists

  • Albert Einstein, German physicist
  • Charles Darwin, English naturalist
  • Marie Curie, Polish physicist, and chemist

World leaders

  • Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President
  • James Madison, U.S. President
  • John Quincy Adams, U.S. President
  • John Tyler, U.S. President
  • Gerald Ford, U.S. President

Artists and entertainers

  • Tina Fey, actor
  • Dustin Hoffman, actor
  • Sigourney Weaver, actor
  • Geoffrey Rush, actor
  • John Cusack, actor
  • Gregory Peck, actor
  • Kate Moss, English model.
  • Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, actors.
  • Kristen Stewart, actor.

The bottom line

INTPs are analytical, logical, and intelligent individuals. While they can often be misunderstood as private and withdrawn due to their need for disappearing in their rich inner world, Logicians are great companions to a select few.

Their constant need for exploration and knowledge makes INTPs valuable colleagues, friends, and partners.

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