12 Signs You’re An INTP Personality Type

If you’re an INTP personality type, you’re a highly rational and fiercely independent person. You may feel different from others because your personality type is actually quite rare—INTPs make up only 3 percent of the population (female INTPs are even rarer than males). Like the famous physicist Albert Einstein, who is thought to be an INTP, you’re drawn to the discovery of subjective truths and universal law. It was Einstein who said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Are you an INTP personality type? Here are 12 signs that you are. (Keep in mind that typology describes general personality characteristics. Your background and experiences make you an individual, so you may not relate to every point but nevertheless be an INTP. Try our quick, free test to learn more about your personality type.)

1. You’re a seeker of truth. You wish to uncover the underlying universal law behind everything you encounter. To you, life is a complex puzzle to be solved. You’re especially fascinated by what motivates others and makes them tick.

2. You take intellectual matters seriously. You devour books, articles, and podcasts on the subjects of philosophy, religion, psychology, evolutionary theory, and anything else that interests you. Isabel Briggs Myers, who helped create the Myers-Briggs personality system, wrote in her book, Gifts Differing, ”INTPs are perhaps the most intellectually profound of all the types.” But the cultivation of knowledge is not all a solemn matter for you—you’re intellectually playful, quirky, and open-minded. You have an almost child-like awe and wonder of the world.

3. You make decisions by asking, “What makes analytical sense?” You value logical thinking more than emotion. For example, you’re more persuaded by an argument that is based on research rather than one that uses emotional or inspirational appeals.

4. But it’s not that you don’t have emotions. It’s just that you place them at a lower priority than rational thought. You’re actually quite genuine and personable when you feel comfortable with others. Sometimes you worry about how others will take something, so you don’t share your true thoughts and observations out of fear of hurting their feelings. You’re flexible and open-minded, so you rarely get angry, but when you do, others should watch out—you can be a powder keg of an explosion.

5. You can quickly locate any logical inconsistencies in a belief system or argument. You’re always noticing when information doesn’t add up. You can easily poke holes in others’ arguments or beliefs. When you express what you see, others may think you’re criticizing them, but to you, it’s not personal because you’re simply trying to get at the truth. You want accurate information yourself, so you figure others do, too.

6. As an introvert, you don’t let everyone in. You may conceal part of your personality—your highly rational and cerebral side—and only a few people are granted full access to your private inner world. You tend to vet others before letting them see the real you. However, once you sense that someone is no real danger, you can develop intimacy at a surprising speed.

7. You’re indifferent to the particulars of everyday life. You don’t care for small talk or discussing the everyday matters of people’s lives. Gossip doesn’t interest you. Sometimes you struggle to connect with others because you have no desire to play social games. Yet when someone gets you talking about a topic that interests you, you can become quite loquacious.

8. You may struggle to find a career that fits. You dislike corporate culture and the organizational life. If you keep your highly cerebral side private, you may feel that others don’t recognize your true competence and knowledge. Many INTPs find satisfying work as freelancers or entrepreneurs because they prefer to work outside the system.

9. You’re so independent that sometimes you wonder if you actually need other people in your life. But you do. Your independent projects only take you so far, and you may eventually realize that you feel empty without a few close connections. You value partners and friends who are intelligent, creative, and open-minded. Ideally, your closest intimates are people who share your specialized interests, so you can co-explore truth together.

10. You like simple living arrangements. You prefer living on less rather than more. You may shy away from serious financial obligations, like buying an expensive home or taking out loans, because you fear these will diminish your sense of freedom.

11. You’re suspicious of conventions and you’re far from traditional. Highly individualized and independent, you’d rather reason out your own way than go with the crowd. In fact, you relish breaking apart conventional ideas that others take for granted. You don’t understand how anyone can hold onto theories or ideology that have been proven illogical.

12. At your best, you change the way reality is perceived. Along with Einstein, the famous philosopher Socrates was probably an INTP. With their ideas, these men have changed the way whole societies see reality, showing that mature INTPs can be powerful thinkers.

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Showing 37 comments
  • Bryan
    Reply

    Ola,

    I strongly relate to all those points.

    It feels too correct to be true, that i automatically become wary and defensive about what i’m reading here.

    Is it true? (based on science anyway)
    or tricks, like a horoscope?

    Haha 🙂

    I’m really impressed. These 12 points are very accurate for me.

  • Luna Mark
    Reply

    I am an INTP (female)16 years old.I observed after taking tests many times.This all written is just true about me.I think logically rather than emotionally. But this doesn’t mean i don’t understand others’ feelings.I don’t know why i still feel alone after having a whole bunch of friends.I always hated gatherings events and parties…

    • Rohan Kishibe
      Reply

      I’m a 16 year old INTP female as well! I can fully relate with your comment.

  • Chuck
    Reply

    So INFPs care for meaning and INTPs simply for the truth?
    What’s the difference between meaning and truth?
    First i was afraid that simultaneous things eventually couldn’t be calculated
    sequentially. To me, it was in fact a question about god and the universe.
    But the fear didn’t last long. Now it would just hit my ego somehow if my cheap particle
    algorithm that i worked out wouldn’t really work. And that’s said to be an ENTP
    trait. You have the choice between fantasy and science fiction. Science fiction is a good
    thing because when it actually works, it gives you power. If you believe in fantasy, you’re more likely a girl. But if the truth was impossible to grasp, at least for common people, also INTPs would become frustrated.
    Playing god is better than proving god. And that’s no paranoid delusion. There’s a clear real chance to solve the riddle. So take the challenge.
    Now i’m struggling with evolution and how evolutionary algorithms could resemble minimax backtracking.
    I discovered a code example of an evolutionary algorithm 1.5 years ago. And now i want to squeeze decision making and human perception into it.
    It basically processes of sets of selections of each five letter-sized bitmap patterns that can be scaled or rotated. They have a movement vector and the data structure has the time they were generated and a color in it. Now you can feed a bitmap or even animated video for comparison into the algorithm.
    Or other data that was converted to be represented visually.
    It basically always only compares two pictures by summing up absolute pixel value differences at the same coordinates and gives one of them evaluation score points.
    The sets are randomly varied or recombined with each other and the ones with the good evaluation get sorted up while the bad ones are replaced by new random ‘individuals’ at the bottom end of the struct array.
    Certain pictures would be linked with a movement of a limb. When they show repeatedly and there is no fear stimulus with them, our ‘robot’ would move his limb.
    Just think of a movement enough and you’ll carry it out.
    The fear stimulus is a certain kind of picture which simply paralyzes actions.
    And it also influences the ratio between the mutation and the recombination rate in a curve.
    Comparing pictures often only goes forward in one direction. For example, two pictures which would have nothing in common except that the second one occured one moment after the first one would give a match. And moving one picture with its vector before comparison while not actually changing the stored info also.
    My idea is that this way, the data structures get chained in a way that their linkage resembles a decision tree. Meaning when the program runs, it will sort of vaguely backtrack its memories to figure out the most promising next move.
    Back to the MBTI:
    Se is focusing on the outer input rather than comparing already stored sets
    Si is always using the same parameters on different patterns
    Ne is a higher mutation rate with external focus
    Ni is a higher mutation rate with internal focus
    Fe and Fi is being more sensitive to fear triggers
    Te is applying varying parameters on the outside world
    Ti is varying the parameters much while not changing the patterns

    Anyone can make up BS. I concentrated real hard to describe what’s going on in our heads so i guess i’m still not the worst. There is much worse esoteric stuff out there. And my program at least does SOMETHING. It would be hard to evaluate if such a robot would make sense in its behaviour. It’s not exact. It can never be exact because you never have all the info before making a decision. Prove that the minimax recursion actually happens while running the evolutionary algorithm.
    Under psychological viewpoints, it’s already now a more scientific and reliable model for predicting human behaviour than the MBTI. But proving the algorithm right really makes me nervous.

  • No need to know
    Reply

    I’m a intp I’ve taken multiple tests and my one friend (I know sad right? 😞) she studies this kind of stuff and she told me I have the factors of an intp

    • Chaz
      Reply

      At least you have “a” friend. I’m almost 48, an INTP (having taken every test multiple times and read just about every book on the topic) and I have always said that I don’t really have any friends; I have acquaintances in contexts. Propinquity is enough to pull me into a relationship by finding some common thread, but it’s never deeper than that. Maybe that’s what friendship is. I’m not sure.

      My wife (ISFJ) has been trying to push me out recently to interact with others. I’ve gone to a meeting or two with people with whom it would seem that should have things in common. I did. We talked about it. That was enough. I know where they stand and their depth is insufficient to hold my interest. It’s hard when you have to relate to people on an emotional level and all you want is the data and underlying implications. Most people will tell you how this or that makes them feel. I get “emotional” about things that are complicated and need to be sussed out. It’s not that I necessarily enjoy the topic. It’s that I enjoy learning the topic. Whether or not I ever need to use that as a form of expression is not relevant. My knowing it is expressive enough.

  • John from or
    Reply

    Intp married to an esfj. Very tough at times. I’m her tether to the ground and she brings the world to me. Very unique and very dedicated. Amazing that it has lasted 23 years with no end in sight. Thanks for the highlights and reminders.

  • Johny Aiden.
    Reply

    This is way too general. Could apply for most introverts.

  • Johanna
    Reply

    So I was reading a book (The Rule of Thoughts) which I really liked. I kept reading for about 15 mins because it was lunch and that is the time to read and draw. So I kept reading, then my friend hit my book out of my hands. Because your genius here never noticed they had been talking to me. Lol, save me from my personality type.

  • Missy
    Reply

    hahahaha oops I’m an INFP. Sorry guys. I guess that’s why I didn’t relate to this! 🙂

  • Drak
    Reply

    I love reading the comments sections, it’s great. Also, I thought I should just mention this, since I’ve not seen it mentioned before by anyone else (or I may have missed it). I actually care a lot about people’s feelings as well as my own, and I strive to be as authentic as possible. However, I think I’m using Ti to do that, it feels more like my Ti recognises it as an important fact to be taken into account. It could be influenced by my inferior Fe I suppose, and I feel like I have elements of Fi in a way in how I strive for authenticity to my emotions and thoughts alike, but it all seems processed and weighed through logic (I reasoned that all those were important and must be considered).

    It isn’t directly relevant to the topic but it seemed intuitively linked somehow.

    -intp (female)

  • Stephen
    Reply

    Now I know why I do not like to talking to people. Shit personality to have if you want a companion though 🙁
    I have been single just about all my life because I can not relate to anyone.

    • Drak
      Reply

      I think I was really lucky, I have an INTP partner now. We don’t quite cover our own blindspots but we aren’t disturbed by them either so its working out well. I personally find that INFPs and ISFPs are great to connect with too, after accepting that emotions do matter and are important and true objectivity doesn’t exist (they get frustrating occasionally). They have nice deep insights into human nature and other perspectives if you appreciate these sort of things. Anyway, I think there’s always hope for some nice people who understand or at least try…

    • Tabetha
      Reply

      Same here. I’m glad to be alive in this technology age because typing conversation is way easier and more effective than traditional, face-to face talking. I’ve never been a chatterbox and the only way I’ve ever made friends is because my extroverted buddies found me and adopted me. :p Good to know there isn’t anything wrong with us after all. Learning that I was an INTP-T made my life easier.

  • Mika Williams
    Reply

    I find this very fascinating, For a long time (12 years) I thought I was an ISTP but just recently I have realized I am an INTP. Whenever someone talked about ISTPs I never connected with it but now it makes MUCH more sense. I still am confused about one thing though… I’m friends with an INFP but even though we are one letter off we seem TOTALLY different. She thinks everything should be supported even if they have no facts, she believes that everything has a purpose, she is really calm, she hides all of her emotions, she loves every personality type. I hate it when people say stuff that isn’t supported by facts, I believe that some people are idiots and make stuff that is stupid, I am always thinking of new things and tight, all of my emotions are slapped on my face, I dislike some ENFPs, INFJs, and some ESTPs. Can someone explain why we’re so different?

    • Becca Marie
      Reply

      I have experienced this in my life as well. I am an INTP and my sister is an ENTP, and while we share a few commonalities, we are worlds apart. When you dive deeper into the Myers-Briggs theory you stumble across cognitive functions. These functions are the backbone of the personality theory, and these functions determine the 4 letters that make up your personality, not the other way around. There are 8 functions, and while everyone uses all of them, each personality has a particular “stacking” which shows their preference. We all have a primary function (the one we prefer to use first), secondary, third, and inferior (weakest function) that makes up our stack. When you look into this it really explains your question, because even when you are only one letter off, your functional stacking is so different, it’s no wonder you interact with the word in completely different ways! I’m including a few links to articles I found fascinating on the subject if you feel so inclined to read more 🙂

      https://thoughtcatalog.com/heidi-priebe/2015/06/if-youre-confused-about-your-myers-briggs-personality-type-read-this-an-intro-to-cognitive-functions/

      https://thoughtcatalog.com/heidi-priebe/2015/12/how-each-cognitive-function-manifests-based-on-its-position-in-your-stacking/

    • Savannah
      Reply

      Just because someone is one letter away from you doesn’t mean they’re going to be similar to you. You misunderstand how MBTI works. Each type has it’s cognitive functions and it’s preference order from strongest to weakest. INFPs have FiNeSiTe ergo Introverted Feeling is our strongest function, Extroverted iNtuition, Introverted Sensing, and Extraverted Thinking is our worst. On the other hand INTPs have TiNeSiFe, Introverted Thinking is their strongest, Extroverted iNtuition, Introverted Sensing, then Extroverted Feeling as their weakest. Thus INFP and INTP may only be one letter away from each other in the type but half our functions (the two most important as the weakest and strongest parts of you shape you the most) are different. Please look in to what each of these functions mean as Introverted Thinking presents in a completely different way to Extroverted Thinking even though they are both thinking functions. This should clear things up for you.

    • Johny Aiden
      Reply

      Agreed. Fi types outright repulse me with their fluff.

  • ELIZABETH
    Reply

    That was really fascinating. I think that I never had the issue you had with feelers. I highly respect feelers (My mother is a brilliant ENFP and I do mean brilliant) . She’s one of the most intelligent people I know. I just feel like an alien even among other INFJ’s. I think I naturally build cognitive distance when discussing topics and I love debate. Like debate on science and important issues is a gladiatorial sport for me especially online. I spend a lot of time in my driver state and I think that Ti blends in with Ni for me in a way that is just not the norm for many other INFJ. I think I mistook Ni for Ti when I was torn between an INTP or INFJ. Also, INFJ’s are rare and it’s common for people to insist that you are mistyped if you typed yourself as an INFJ. I thought maybe I messed up since my experience is just so far from other INFJ’s in a meaningful way.

    I can’t really identify how I make decisions it’s like a really complex process where I take into account a lot of things trying to balance what’s good for me, what’s good for others, and what’s logical. I may actually be using harmony a lot, but I think it’s on an unconscious level for me. I think I will need to work on using harmony on a conscious level. One of the things that stuck with me from the blog post is this description for an INFJ that’s spent a lot of time in academia : ” If coupled with self-discovery, this function may feel like it is the dominant because it gives Ni its voice and allows their previously unconscious mental processes to come to light. If the INFJ engages in intellectual pursuits such as Academia, his/her tertiary function will get the opportunity to flourish and may feel indistinguishable from Ni.” . For me, I believe partially because I had to lean so much on Ni and Ti in the hard sciences Ni and Ti are almost indistinguishable at this point in my life. The key to figuring out that I was in fact an INFJ was looking at how I approached the subjects I was studying. For me, I while I was fascinated with these subjects I continue to see the knowledge I learn as a tool for making the world a better place. I love learning new things for it’s own sake, but most of the time I have a goal in mind when I am learning new things. I think I am both an INFJ and an enneagram 5 and this is how the enneagram 5 manifests for me as an INFJ.

  • ELIZABETH
    Reply

    Hmm I seem to have answered my own question. I think the test is right I am an INFJ, but I’m an enneagram 5w4. I’m also an academic having spent 10 years studying chemistry, mathematics, and then computer science. This means my Ti is highly developed https://psyphics.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/infj-vs-intp/ . I believe I am what they describe as a logical feeler. A good example of this is Noam Chomsky.

    • Charis Branson
      Reply

      Hi Elizabeth! I was an INFJ who identified as an INTP for a long time. Here is a couple of articles I wrote on the subject:

      https://personalityhacker.com/harmony-secret-weapon-infj/
      https://personalityhacker.com/feelers-dilemma-accepting-feelings/

      It is very common for people to spend so much time in their tertiary function that they can actually demonstrate that function as a dominant strength. In reality, though, if you were actually around someone who had that function as a legit strength, you would notice a difference in the way they wielded it compared to you. As a tertiary, it will never be as strong as someone who has it as a dominant. And for INFJs, it ends up being a bit of a pain point.

      I’m glad you reached your own conclusion on this. In a podcast comparing and contrasting INTPs with INFPs, Antonia made an interesting observation: “INFPs often mistype as INTPs. But INTPs never think they are INFPs.” I think the same may be said of INTPs and INFJs. There are a lot of INFJs who may think they are INTPs, but it rarely (if ever) happens in the reverse.

  • ELIZABETH
    Reply

    This is so accurate it hurts. I tested as an INFJ three times on your test, but all of these are spot on. Do you think it would be possible for a female INTP with highly developed Fe to mistype as an INFJ. I am very logical, but I’m also very compassionate and empathic towards people and humanity as a whole. The common denominator on every personality test I have ever taken is the value for Ti is through the roof. I wander if Fe/Ti/Ne can mimic the effect of Ni/Fe which might explain how I tested as INFJ. Though the arguments that are the most powerful are the ones based on research and logic as well as including a heavy dose of ethics or emotion for me. Ethics matter to me.

  • Sheila
    Reply

    Is it possible that many of these characteristics fit also for INFJs (maybe aside from especially 3 & 9)?

  • Carlo
    Reply

    So true. Also you tend to value facts over feelings. And you are easily distracted when doing mundane tasks, but laser sharp focus when engaging in something that interest you or you find intellectually challenging

  • Fleur
    Reply

    I find that traits 2 and 6-11 also fit the INTJ personality type. I thought INTJs ans INTPs were completely different but it turns out maybe they aren’t.

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      Both types use very different cognitive functions, but the results are often similar. Same emergent, different system.

      -A-

  • Kimberly Koonce
    Reply

    That’s me to a ‘T’.

  • Kim
    Reply

    That is me.

  • Shasta
    Reply

    Hmmm. Don’t think so. I’m not rational or logical.

    • Antonia Dodge
      Reply

      As those are the core characteristics of the type, if you’re neither rational or logical then either you’re in a really bad space and should probably make some serious changes in your life, or you’re not an INTP.

      The former is something that is a major red flag, the latter is totally fine and an easy mistake to make. For example, I find many INFPs identify with INTP when they’re still parsing out the differences between Introverted Feeling and Introverted Thinking.

      -A-

    • Nemesis
      Reply

      Your comment is gold. 9 out of 10 people around me bore me to no end. Their meaningless silly chit chats, their silly social games and protocols and the way they judge everyone and always seem to misunderstand people they don’t ‘get’ is so boring and annoying.

      • Johny Aiden
        Reply

        Mistyped INFPs to INTPs are the most annoying of the types. I absolutely detest them.

  • Eric Westfall
    Reply

    13. Most people bore you. You find the average person has interests far from your’s, and an approach to those interests that is equally different. On the flip side, a very few people absolutely fascinate you, and you tend to bring your childlike wonder and play with them.

    It’s related to #7, but somewhat different.

  • Angela
    Reply

    Brilliant! Keep ’em coming..

    -rare female intp

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