Many individuals and organizations utilize the Myers-Briggs Types Indicator (MBTI) personality quiz to learn more about themselves and how they work with others (professionally and personally). The questions analyze a person based on particular questions, and you’ll end up with one of their 16 personality types.
For those who’ve taken the MBTI and discovered your type is an INTP, understanding what that entails can help you better understand yourself and reach your full potential.
What is INTP?
The INTP personality type has four main characteristics that are exhibited by the letter of the personality type. They have unique characteristics and strengths that other personality types don’t necessarily have. INTP means introverted, intuitive, thinking, and perceiving. Here’s a breakdown of these four components:
- Introverted (I): These people gain energy from their thoughts, ideas, and their inner world. They prefer small groups rather than large gatherings.
- Intuitive (N): INTP individuals focus on ideas and abstract thinking. Their minds look for connections and patterns rather than only facts and concrete details.
- Thinking (T): These individuals will make decisions based on logic rather than emotions. They tend to be objective and look at things from a rational standpoint.
- Perceiving (P): INTPs love a spontaneous lifestyle and are known to be flexible. They’re curious, open-minded, and love exploring new perspectives before making decisions.
Typically, someone who receives the INTP personality is more introverted and prefers smaller groups or being alone, abstract thinking, making logical decisions, and being a little flexible and open-minded.
These individuals love to learn, value their intellectuality, their independence, and are usually reserved in social settings but still enjoy intellectual conversations.
Key INTP Characteristics & Traits
Many people think that the four main components of the personality type are a little conflicting, but it makes for unique individuals. These are some of the most important characteristics and traits of INTP individuals:
- Abstract Thinking: They enjoy abstract concepts and frameworks. They have a natural ability to understand complex theories and see patterns that others might not see.
- Analytical Thinking: INTP think logically and analytically, so they will often dissect problems and will look for different ways to solve a problem based on reasonable solutions.
- Conceptual Humor: INTPs will often have a quirky sense of humor and speak sarcastically. Their humor is witty and dry, and they enjoy intellectual jokes.
- Curiosity: Most people with the INTP personality type are naturally curious and love learning new things. They thirst for learning more and want to understand how things work. They’ll often pursue higher education and opportunities to learn new things.
- Flexible: One major characteristic of INTPs is their flexibility and adaptability. They are willing to change their minds and are open to new ideas when they have further information.
- Independent: These individuals value their independence greatly. They don’t deal well with micro-managing, enjoy working at their own pace, and thrive in environments where they can explore projects and ideas without interference.
- Objective Decision-Making: They will use analysis over emotions to make decisions every time. They often detach themselves from personal opinions to solve problems and make decisions on a rational basis.
- Reserved: INTPs are more introverted and prefer to be alone or in small groups with close family and friends over large ones. They can be more reserved and quiet in social settings and will listen more than talk.
- Strategic: These people enjoy approaching challenges methodically. They will break things down to find solutions to a problem.
Now that you know more about the INTP personality type, let’s look at some great examples of people and fictional characters having it.
INTP Famous People
We can’t 100% know everyone’s personality type unless they share their results, but there are several famous people that are generally associated with the INTP personality type.
They’re often used as examples for the type to help individuals who receive this result better understand their personality type. Some great examples of famous people who embody the INTP type are:
- Albert Einstein
- Charles Darwin
- Isaac Newton
- Larry Page
- Marie Curie
- Abraham Lincoln
- Richard Dawkins
Much like the famous people mentioned above, without a celebrity confirming their MBTI personality type, it’s challenging to know exactly their type. That being said, several celebrities have shared their results or are associated with the INTP personality type, such as:
- Albert Brooks
- Aubrey Plaza
- Bo Burnham
- Bill Murray
- Jesse Eisenberg
- Julian Assange
- Kristen Stewart
- Mads Mikkelsen
- Tina Fey
- Zooey Deschanel
INTP Fictional Characters
Fictional characters can’t take the MBTI assessment, and the creators don’t always state that they use the INTP type to create one, but based on what we know about the personality type, these are some fictional characters that have INTP traits:
- Artemis Fowl from the Artemis Fowl books
- Robin Buckley from Stanger Things
- Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk from the Marvel Comics and films
- Data from Star Trek
- Dr. Gregory House from House
- The Doctor from Doctor Who
- L from Death Note
- Sherlock Holmes
- Spock from Star Trek
- Q from James Bond
INTP Strengths & Weaknesses
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses that are unique to them. While someone with the INTP might be similar in many ways, everyone is their person, and what one person has as a strength, the other might have as a weakness. That being said, INTP people tend to have the following general strengths and weaknesses.
INTPs have incredible strengths that make them who they are. Just because we say that the following are strengths doesn’t mean every INTP has them. Some INTPs might have only a few of them. Here are some of the most significant strengths that INTPs generally have:
- Analytical thinking
- Logical thinking
- Creative problem solving
- A large knowledge base
- Objective decision making
- Conceptual thinking
- Attention to detail
- Love of learning
No one is perfect, and while INTP has incredible strengths, they’re not without weaknesses. These are some weaknesses INTPs typically have:
- Issues with emotional expression
- Difficulty with routine
- Lack of attention to detail
INTP Compatibility: Who are INTP Compatible With?
Compatibility is more than just a personality type; it can be beneficial to see who an INTP may or may not connect with as much.
Since there are 16 total Myers-Briggs personality tests, there are some that INTP gets along better with than others. Remember the following that might be true for you and not for others. Here’s a quick glimpse at how INTP is with some other personality types:
- INTP and INTP: These individuals have identical thinking, and while they get along in many aspects, they can post problems with emotional expression and coordinating social outings. Difficulties with emotional expression can lead to a lack of emotional connection.
- INTP and INTJ: These individuals love logical analysis and being independent. INTPs can help balance the emotional depth of INFJs. The issue is communication differences where INTP is more direct, and INFJ isn’t.
- INTP and ENFP: These are an intriguing combination. They balance each other, and while one is more enthusiastic and warm, the other can be logical and grounded.
- INTP and INTJ: They both love logical analysis and independent thought. They both enjoy stimulating conversation but struggle to be emotional with one another.
- INTP and ENFJ: They have a lot of differences but can learn from each other more than other personality types. ENFJ can help INTPs navigate social settings, while INTPs can help ENFJs think more logically.
Whether you’re someone with an INTP personality or dating someone with this personality type, knowing how they typically are as a partner can help you navigate the relationship better. INTPs have a lot to offer their romantic partners. Some of the best things an INTP partner can bring to the relationship are:
- A calm and rational approach
- Intellectual stimulation
- A sense of adventure
- Supportive of personal growth
INTP Love Language
There are five love languages and generally a combination of all five. Each INTP person will have a different love language. That being said, there are some love languages that INTP individuals typically will have as their top or second top love language.
Words of affirmation are likely a love language that many INTPs will see as their top or their top two love languages. They appreciate hearing genuine praise for what they’re doing no matter what it is, especially about their brain. They generally value complaints about their thoughts and opinions over other things like getting a gift.
Secondly, quality time is something INTP values. They want to spend quality time with their partners, friends, and families because they are more introverted and value closer relationships over more prominent groups. They want to be around them in any capacity, even if they’re not talking.
Because words of affirmation and quality time are typically the top two love languages INTPs have, everyone is different. An INTP can still have physical touch, gifts, and acts of service in their top two love languages.
Best Jobs & Careers for INTP
You can pursue any career path that you want, but it’s known that depending on your personality type, you might excel in some and not in others.
INTP Career List
When on the right career path, people can thrive. INTPs have specific strengths and preferences that will allow them to succeed highly in specific career paths and industries. Much like some careers don’t align well with INTPs, some pair perfectly with INTP characteristics like:
- Computer Programmer
- Computer Software Developer
- Financial Analyst
- Philosophy Professor
- Urban Planner
Each one of the above careers utilizes the brain of an INTP in an analytical way and still allows them to learn new things and embrace their passion for learning. They can use theoretical and analytical thinking as well as rational thought in all these careers.
Careers for INTP Females
While females can hold any of the positions above, these are some of the best careers that female INTPs can have:
Females can do whatever they want career-wise, but these are some that women typically enjoy, and their personality combined with an INTP personality type can allow them to excel in these as well as the other careers listed above.
Careers for INTP Males
Similar to the positions above, males can hold whatever job they want, but these are some great careers that INTP males can have:
- Financial Analyst
- Urban Planner
As we mentioned above, males can hold whatever career they want, but these are some that men typically hold over women. At the end of the day, they can have whatever career they want as long as they’re content with their career.
INTP Careers to Avoid
Again, INTP individuals can hold whatever careers they want, but some jobs won’t utilize their best personality traits either or at all. There are some careers where there are mismatches, and it won’t be as good of a fit. These are a few careers INTP should avoid:
- Administrative Roles
- Clerical Positions
- Customer Service
- Management Roles (Specifically High Stress)
- Routine-Based Jobs
- Hierarchical Environments
The reason these careers aren’t ideal for an INTP personality type is that these are too routine, too high-pressure, and don’t necessarily allow for the individual to express their analytical mind and think about new solutions to problems like research, analysis, and other careers.
INTP personality type is a unique combination of characteristics that make for an open-minded, analytical, and rational person. They love to have a passion for learning and enjoy looking for solutions to problems without allowing emotion to cloud their judgment.
If you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs personality test and gotten the INTP as your result, hopefully, this guide will help you better understand your result and live up to your potential.