INTP: The Thinker | Jungian Personality Type 15

& Relevant Book Recommendations
September 3, 2023
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Who are the Thinkers?

Thinkers are exceptional personalities who pride themselves on their unique perspectives and rigorously analytical intellect. Their insatiable curiosity and determination to unravel the mysteries of the universe make them stand out in a crowd, and it’s the reason many of the most influential philosophers and scientists throughout history have been Thinkers.

These individuals are often lost in thought, and from the moment they awaken, until they go to sleep, their minds are buzzing with ideas, questions, and insights. They conduct complete debates in their own minds, making them seem lost in their thoughts and a bit reserved for the outside world. But when they can focus their intense mental energy on someone or something, they have the potential to wow their associates and dazzle their friends.

Thinkers are introverts who tend to become exhausted after lengthy social interactions. They seek out alone time to reflect and gather their thoughts after a hectic day. However, they are not unfriendly or rigid in their interactions. They are highly animated when they can link up with kindred, spirited souls and enjoy exchanging ideas and debating issues.

INTP Characteristics

 First and foremost, INTPs tend to be quiet, reserved, and thoughtful individuals who prefer socializing with small groups of close friends with whom they share common interests and connections.

Additionally, INTPs commonly enjoy contemplating theoretical concepts and tend to value intellect over emotion, leading them to make logical decisions based on objective information rather than subjective feelings. When analyzing data and making decisions, INTPs are highly logical and objective, making them a valuable asset to any team.

INTPs tend to be flexible and good at thinking “outside of the box”, but they may struggle with feeling limited by structure and planning, preferring to keep their options open. Focusing more on the big picture, INTPs often overlook the smaller details.

INTPs Strenghts

INTPs Weaknesses

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INTP Cognitive functions

When we talk about individual personalities, we are actually talking about cognitive functions that are unique to every individual. These cognitive functions are sensing, thinking, feeling, and intuition, and each of these functions varies in terms of dominance. The way these functions are ordered hierarchically can play a significant role in how each person perceives and interacts with the world.

It is also worth noting that these functions can be either extraverted or introverted. The extraverted functions are the ones that are more focused on external factors, such as interacting with others and responding to the world around us. On the other hand, introverted functions are those that are primarily focused on internal processes like self-reflection and analysis.

The variation in these different cognitive functions and their focus allows for endless possibilities when it comes to understanding people and their unique personalities. By understanding these functions, we can gain better insight into ourselves and those around us, leading to greater understanding and more meaningful relationships.

Dominant: Introverted Thinking

One key aspect of INTPs’ thinking is their introverted thinking, which they express by attempting to gain insight into how things operate.

They enjoy analyzing complex ideas by breaking them down into smaller components to understand how they fit and function together. INTPs also tend to exhibit highly logical and efficient thinking patterns, meaning they aim to thoroughly understand any subject before sharing their opinions or taking any action. The curiosity and analytical nature of INTPs and their preference for a deep understanding of subjects are used before formulating conclusions.

Auxiliary: Extraverted Intuition

The INTP personality type is known for its unique approach to cognitive functions. They have an inherent ability to explore various possibilities and “what-if” scenarios, using their imagination, past experiences, and insight to develop intriguing and original ideas that can shed light on complex problems.

They are also inquisitive, which drives them to constantly seek patterns, even when others see chaos or randomness. This deep dive into detail and analysis can sometimes yield sudden flashes of inspiration or sudden insight, which can help them gain a deeper understanding and resolve issues. Additionally, INTPs tend to be fascinated with futuristic scenarios and are often preoccupied with thinking about possibilities and what they could mean.

To sum it up, INTPs possess a unique and exciting approach to cognitive functions that bring a fresh perspective to problem-solving and creativity.

Tertiary: Introverted Sensing

INTPs are known for their strong ability to organize and sort through vast amounts of information. Their attention to detail is unparalleled as they meticulously categorize and analyze every fact and experience they come across. INTPs are constantly gathering new information, and to make sense of it all, they compare and contrast it with their existing knowledge base. This allows them to predict future outcomes and develop insights that others may miss.

Their analytical skills are a hallmark of their personality, and they can break down complex ideas and theories into easily understood concepts.

INTPs thrive in environments where they are able to use their intellectual abilities to their fullest potential. Their inquisitive and curious nature helps them stay on top of industry trends and developments, making them valuable assets to any team.

Inferior: Extraverted Feeling

People who fall under the INTP personality type tend to value harmonious relationships and prefer to avoid conflicts in groups.

Despite their natural inclination toward introversion, they are often able to socialize with ease and confidence among individuals they know and trust well. Nevertheless, when they encounter stressful situations, their emotions become suppressed, and it can be difficult for them to form meaningful connections with others. Under stressful circumstances, INTPs utilize logic and reason rather than their feelings to navigate their challenges. It is important to understand that while they may seem distant or unfeeling at times, it is not a reflection of their personality but rather a coping mechanism to deal with stress.

INTP Personal Relationships

The INTP personality type is characterized by introversion and a preference for spending time alone, as opposed to extroverts who gain energy from interacting with others. Social situations can be draining for INTPs, and they often require time alone to recharge and find balance. While they may come across as aloof or detached due to their fondness for solitude and deep thinking, INTPs are warm and friendly with their close group of family and friends. Intelligence and knowledge are highly valued by INTPs, who can sometimes become lost in their own thoughts and detach from the outside world. In social situations, INTPs tend to be easy-going and tolerant but can become unyielding when their beliefs or convictions are challenged due to their emphasis on logic. When it comes to relationships, INTPs are typically more compatible with ENTJ, ESTJ, or ENTP types, while they may clash with ISFJ or ESFJ types.

INTP Career Paths

From a career standpoint, INTP personalities tend to excel in scientific fields due to their love of theoretical and abstract concepts. They possess strong logic and reasoning skills but are also extremely inventive and imaginative, which makes them uniquely suited for careers that may require them to think outside the box.

Additionally, these personality types tend to value personal freedom and autonomy above all else, leading them to be particularly well-suited for jobs that allow them to work independently and with great flexibility. As for specific career paths, some popular INTP careers include

  • chemist,
  • physicist,
  • computer programmer,
  • forensic scientist,
  • engineer,
  • mathematician,
  • pharmacist,
  • software developer, and
  • geologist.

Ultimately, as an INTP, it is important to explore a range of job opportunities and find a career path that aligns with your strengths and values.

Tips for Interacting With INTPs


If you’re trying to befriend someone with an INTP personality, it’s important to know that they highly prioritize intelligence and smarts over other qualities. As a result, it could take a while before they become comfortable enough to form a friendship. However, once they form a bond with you, they usually cherish and value it deeply. As an INTP may not have a lot of friends, the ones they do have are often extremely close.

While it’s important to note that INTPs may not be the best at handling feelings and emotions, they often thrive when engaging in deep conversations about their interests and passions. If you share common interests with your INTP friend, this could very well pave the way to a long-lasting and fulfilling friendship. So, don’t be afraid to engage in intellectual conversations and explore shared interests with your INTP friend!


As a parent, it’s essential to understand that each child has their unique personality traits. If your child falls under the INTP category, it’s crucial to recognize that they might respond better to logical reasoning than emotional appeals. You must support and promote their intellectual interests to help them grow and explore their potential fully. At the same time, it’s vital to consider their social skills, which could prove to be challenging for INTP children.

Fortunately, there are ways to assist your child in building their social connections. You can look for opportunities that can help your child make friends. This can become a significant aspect of their personal growth, and it’s essential to address it carefully. By identifying others who share similar interests, your child can benefit from engaging and developing relationships with like-minded peers. This can boost their social skills and enhance their overall well-being.


INTPs tend to live in their minds, so it can be difficult to get to know them. Even in romance, they often hold back until they feel that the other person has proven themselves worthy of hearing their innermost thoughts and feelings.

One thing to remember is that while INTPs do enjoy romance in the context of a deeply committed relationship, they do not play games. So, if you are in a romantic relationship with an INTP, be honest and forthright when dealing with them.

Because INTPs are not good at understanding the emotional needs of others, you may need to be very direct about what you need and expect in that regard. INTPs also struggle to share their feelings, so you may need to pay attention to subtle signals that your partner is sending.

Interesting Facts about INTPs

  • On personality trait measures, score as Candid, Ingenious, Complicated, Independent, and Rebellious
  • More likely than other types to study a foreign language
  • The most frequent type among college students committing alcohol and drug policy violations
  • Have the lowest level of coping resources of all the types (with ISTPs)
  • One of the types least likely to believe in a higher spiritual power
  • Highest of all types of career dissatisfaction (with INFPs)
  • In school, they have lower grades than would be predicted from aptitude scores
  • More likely than average to complete engineering programs
  • Personal values include Autonomy, Freedom, and Independence
  • Overrepresented among working MBA students
  • Commonly found in science and technical occupations

How rare is the INTP personality type?

INTP is one of the less common types in the population. INTPs make up:

  • 4.8% of the general population
  • 5.8% of men
  • 4% of women

INTP Famous Persons

Famous INTPs include:

  • Albert Einstein
  • Kristen Stewart
  • Elon Musk 
  • Tina Fey
  • Jesse Eisenberg
  • Rene Descartes
  • Charles Darwin
  • Marie Curie
  • Socrates
  • Abraham Lincoln

INTP Book Recommendations

Here is a collection of the best books and other items on the market for the INTP personality type: 

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