What is the INTP Personality?

By Jack Speer | December 22, 2011

INTP Fast Facts

INTP’s are intellectually oriented people and like to “get to the bottom” of things. Their mental tendency is to “go to the heart of things” to examine underlying detail. They most often are the MBTI Type who will challenge the validity of what others might accept as “a given.” They are passionate investigators and debaters, and love discussion that challenge assumptions.
INTP’s can be challenging within a team. When in a more negative mode, they can be more focused on what will not work than in creating a plan that will. Their challenge will often be team related.
% of Population
3.3% of the population, or a little more than 3 in 100.
Career Tracks
Technical fields, Architecture, Scientific research, Organizational research

INTP’s are often found in the role of researchers, scientists, theorists, engineers, architects, software developers, and analysts . They are the people who are most apt to challenge the status quo and to question the direction of people and groups.

INTP’s highly value intelligence and use intellect and reason to analyze and dissect the underlying structures of the logical systems that others take for granted.

Albert Einstein, 1879–1955, physicist, was one of the greatest thinkers of all times. As an INTP type, he developed the theory of relativity largely in his mind. Others did the equations and the experimentation. Einstein’s theories made possible the technology revolution that continues today. Yet Einstein was largely uninterested in applications of his theory.

INTP’s love theory and abstract concepts and enjoy discussing them. They are quick to pick up on inconsistencies and enjoy taking concepts apart. They are skeptical about what groups and individuals think and tend to challenge existing premises. INTP’s like to see beyond the obvious and construct abstract theoretical models to explain the world around them.

INTP’s and Teams

INTP’s have a keen intellect and a natural skepticism toward issues and tend to dissect in order to build an integrate system. They can serve the team well by testing assumptions and asking the hard questions.

They function best when given concrete and practical outcomes that must be achieved. They are precise at expressing their ideas and can have a keen sense of humor. They are often articulate and excel as writers, both technical and creative.

What Are INTP Issues and Challenges in Groups/Best Alliances?

In forming alliances, INTP’s must be convinced it is essential to achieving the outcome rather than an encumbrance that might limit their ability to think independently. Some INTP’s come rather uneasily to the conclusion that they must develop cooperation and alliances, if they are to deliver value to the group and earn a livelihood.

INTP’s work best with an understanding boss or coworker who sees their contribution and can be comfortable with extensive analysis and the challenges that INTP’s almost inevitably make.

INTP’s and the Rest of their Lives

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INTP’s are natural truth seekers who want to know the true nature of the world around them—math, science, nature, people and ideas.

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), was the most innovative and important architect in U.S. history. As an INTP type person, Wright set about to create a new type of architecture, clean and unembellished and congruent with the environment. 300 of his structures stand today. Wright pursued a sometimes chaotic life without regard to the public.

INTP’s will be most comfortable in relationships with people who value abstract discussion and theory. INTP’s seek the perfect. They will make great effort to maintain relations well, seeking to make relationships the best that they can be. They will always offer interesting ideas and points of view and can be quite tolerant of the diversity of others’ thinking.