Each of the 16 Personality types consists of four letters. Each letter corresponds to a fundamental personality trait for that personality type, which is found by answering a set of tailored questions. Your answers to those questions determine your combination of four sets of opposing traits—introverted versus extroverted, sensing versus intuitive, thinking versus feeling, and perceiving versus judging.
INTPs are relatively rare, especially among women. INTPs compose around 5% of all men, and 2% of all women, which adds up to around 3% of the population.
What is the meaning of INTP?
Each of the 16 Personality 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.
What are INTPs like?
INTPs (Architects) are reserved, pensive, and analytical problem-solvers who seek to understand the underlying principles of how things work. Creative and open-minded, Architects embrace innovation and welcome fresh perspectives. As quiet as they are, they often surprise people with their endless curiosity and unconventional way of looking at life.
Oftentimes, INTPs seem detached from their surroundings, as they spend much of their time lost in thought. Their active, sharp minds are constantly picking up and processing new information, which often causes them to postpone making decisions. In fact, they are prone to second-guessing themselves and avoid committing to a decision before seeing the full picture.
Although INTPs are rather private and come off as aloof, they’re usually happy to engage in intellectual discussions, especially philosophical or scientific in nature. However, they rarely, if ever, share details about their personal lives—even with their closest friends. After all, they are fascinated by abstract ideas and theories and prefer to remain objective at all times.
Architects 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 Architects 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 their driving force, and many INTPs love to identify errors to eliminate data.
Architects 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. Architects dislike following rules and are fully prepared to keep their minds open to ideas others may deem impossible.
Analytical and problem-solvers
INTPs are also known as '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 Architect 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, Architects are highly logical individuals and fast thinking. Individuals who have this personality type like to observe and analyze connections between points 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 others 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.
Architects 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 contemplate the theory behind the idea rather than simply accepting the way it is. Understanding and explaining complex ideas and how they can be improved is second nature to Architects.
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 Architects, 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 Architects 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.
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 Architect in a conversation or discussion that they are interested in, 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 often make great guests, especially in a smaller group. However, they can struggle with people they don’t know. 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 playful with a creative humour.
Many INTPs can struggle with being patient, especially around others who don't comprehend information or ideas as fast as them. While most Architects 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.
Architects are often classified as unemotional or insensitive, especially in times of conflict. With INTPs, 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 Architects 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.
Architects can also prioritize knowledge and the pursuit of education over other people and their emotions. It's easy for them to become absorbed in their own needs and ideas, and this focus on logic while neglecting others can be highly offensive to their loved ones.
Most Architects 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.
While Architects are intelligent and analytical, they are often afraid of criticism and failure. INTPs looking to discover a new concept frequently worry that they have overlooked an important problem with their theory or idea. This can result in extreme indecisiveness, procrastination, and self-consciousness about wasting resources.
Architects 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 special 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. Learning and growing are important to INTPs, 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 activities 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
- Strategy based games such as chess
- 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 Architect 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, particularly if they can take criticism and dish it out. However, emotional displays of affection can be hard for them, which can cause some conflict if a compromise is not reached.
An ideal relationship for INTPs
An ideal relationship for the 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
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 when young, with personality traits that need guidance and direction.
Since Architects 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.
INTP personality growth tips
To turn their weaknesses into strengths, INTPs should:
- Don’t wait for inspiration. INTPs often struggle to finish what they start. Instead of waiting for motivation or inspiration, they should push themselves to achieve their goals and learn to work consistently.
- Let others in. Since INTPs can be rather closed off, they should consciously choose to open up to others to improve their relationships.
- Act. Unlike most people, Architects don’t need to think twice before they act—they’re already thinking more than enough! Since overthinking often leads them to procrastination, they might benefit from simply taking action instead.
Embrace emotions. Although INTPs experience emotions deeply, they’re often unaware of them. Learning to recognize and understand their own feelings can help them navigate interpersonal relationships and relate to others.
The INTP (Architect) personality is often drawn to technical yet creative fields, such as video game design and web development. They thrive in career paths that enable them to utilize their analytical thinking abilities and solve problems in new, innovative ways. They also tend to prefer independent, solitary jobs to those that require them to collaborate with others on a daily basis.
That said, 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 lets them focus on abstract and complex ideas while understanding the world through experiments.
Best INTP career matches
Some of the most common career choices for INTPs include:
- Business Analyst
- Design Technician
- Financial Consultant
- Graphic Designer
- IT Consultant
- Technical Writer
- Web Developer
Worst INTP career matches
Due to their repetitive and/or social nature, the following jobs generally aren’t suitable for INTPs:
- Flight Attendant
- Fundraising Manager
- Sales Representative
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 Architects. 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 Architect personality type.
- 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
- Albert Einstein, German physicist
- Charles Darwin, English naturalist
- Marie Curie, Polish physicist, and chemist
- 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 (Architects) are analytical, logical, and intelligent individuals. While they can often be misunderstood as private and withdrawn due to their need for disappearing into their rich inner world, Architects are great companions to a select few.
Their constant need for exploration and knowledge makes INTPs valuable colleagues, friends, and partners.