Charles Darwin, INTJ – Millions love or loathe him. What does personality type have to do with it?

By Jack Speer | October 15, 2014

On the Likeability Index, INTJ’s can be a mixed bag, with people and groups lined up on either side.

Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) is a polarizing world paradigm-changing INTJ figure, who never set out to be.  Prior to Charles Darwin, both religious and non-religious communities believed that the individual animals of the animal kingdom had maintained their present form throughout the history of the world.  Darwin formulated his model of “natural selection” in his famous book, The Origin of the Species (1859) as the key mechanism of his famous theory, and battle over life and meaning have never again been the same.

A short 20 years after the formulation of Darwin’s  theory, the scientific community accepted evolution as the central organizing principle in the emergence of organisms from single cell animals to the huge creatures that occupy the planet.   Many in the religious community quickly accommodated Darwin’s views into their belief system.  Those who oppose the theory have fought for decades to get back into the text books with a competing voice, with unflattering debates ensuing.

The Likeability Index—Who Loves INTJ’s?

INTJ’s are often one of the most popular people in the world of academia, scientific invention, or entrepreneurship, and anywhere else ideas and the intellect is worshiped.

The INTJ, arguably one of the most consistently brainy types, has a mind for complex and abstract thought.  The INTJ as a personality type is drawn to complex, elegant models. They excel in engineering, math, and theoretical physics, as well as physical science.  They can be seen in disproportionate numbers as scientists, mathematicians, researchers and in computer science.

INTJ’s are most often quite popular as presenters, teachers and professors.  They tend to be eloquent in their expression, quick witted, and skillful with the one-liner.  They can be fascinating when they explain complicated concepts and ideas very skillfully, placing these concepts in concrete analogies.

View the rest of the Likeability Index Series:
MBTI Likeability Index Overview

The Likeability Index –Who Is Not Impressed by the INTJ?

The INTJ famously places what he or she thinks is true, elegant, and intellectually entertaining above the needs and feelings of the individuals and groups with whom their lives intersect.  In the contexts of teams and organizations, outcome-oriented personality types such as ESTJ’s, ENTJ’s, and ISTJ’s, who are focused on deadlines, budgets, and goals, often  see the INTJ as amazingly indifferent to what makes organizations work and intellectually lost in their self-made ivory towers.   Feeling types such as ESFJ’s, ESFP’s, who are doers rather than theoretical, can feel the INTJ is dismissive of them as unable to keep pace with their thought process.

The INTJ often has a low boredom threshold both for people and situations, and can abandon either without remorse.  ISTJ’s and ISFJ’s question whether INTJ’s will keep up with the daily routine once they have gone through enough cycles to become bored.  INTJ’s have little sense of the eco-system of the people within an organization.  They can fail to empathize with the hole left in an organization if they change direction and leave the organization in mid-course.

INTJ’s can struggle in management roles within organizations, often when they have been successful as brilliant individual contributors.  Because INTJ’s can often ignore what doesn’t interest them, when they are promoted to management, they can disengage both from an immediate task and from the team they are managing, and can underwhelm and fall short of people’s expectations.  They can become inaccessible to team members even in situations where their leadership is critical.  Still, if an INTJ is passionate about an idea or invention, they can be excellent entrepreneurs and effective leaders in the short term, especially in the early life of a product.

INTJ’s Are More than Mr. Spock—They Are People with Deep Feelings

INTJ’s are extremely loyal, nonetheless, in relationships with people they value, and with family.  Darwin was known for his connection to his children, taking walks, playing and picnicking with them, much different from most Victorian upper-class parents, which he was, who tended to be quite detached from their children and hired governesses to raise and educate them.  INTJ’s, however, allow few people into their inner circles, and can seem aloof and sometimes condescending in groups of people that are not significant to them.

INTJ’s and Religious Belief

In many cases, religious belief to an INTJ can be an interesting abstraction and they can be less drawn to formal religion than other personality types.  Early on Darwin was influenced by a prevailing Unitarianism, which was attractive to intellectuals of his time, and to natural theology.  Toward the end of his life, he said that he had never been an atheist, but portrayed agnosticism as his frame of mind.

Can the INTJ Model Become a Box that One Dare Not Think Out of?

The INTJ’s ability to find or discover elegant models that reflect reality is a gift that has brought hugely important discoveries to the world, such as the evolutionary model of Charles Darwin.  Models can also be constraining.  INTJs can come up with beautiful, elegant models and be constrained by their environment or themselves. They can be too reticent to accept the ‘other’ sides of life (energy, karma, emotions) so as to box themselves in with ‘pure’ ideas. They can defend their model to the point of excluding other ways of discovering reality.

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The personality type, INTJ, which we identify with Charles Darwin, is not a verified type, but is based on Delta Associates research and observation. Angela Saunders, our team INTJ, supplied key thoughts and ideas for this article.