INTPs are logical types who like to get things right. For this reason, typing mistakes are likely to really annoy them and make them doubt the value of the MBTI system in their development. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is for INTPs to type themselves based on their cognitive functions rather than their behavior, and also to do their best to avoid some of the more obvious mistakes.
INTP General Strengths and Weaknesses
INTPs use introverted thinking as their dominant. This function allows them to take in a lot of data, separate it out and determine the objective truth of each strand independent of confounding factors. They use this alongside their extraverted intuition function, which explores the world looking for its patterns. Because of the work of these two functions, INTPs are absolute geniuses when it comes to discovering the truth about how things operate. They can look at a system, whether it’s related to machinery or something more abstract, and see how its component parts all contribute to the end result. Analyzing things on this level is incredibly helpful in a variety of fields and INTPs also use this understanding to create new things as well. Their extraverted intuition means they’re naturally innovative and open to change and creativity, and this often leads to the INTPs spearheading amazing new things and ways of doing things.
The INTPs greatest weakness comes from their analytical mind. This type focuses on data, metrics and absolute truth. As a result, they’re often blind to emotional content or even dismiss it as unimportant. When coupled with the INTPs famous honesty, caused by their deep-seated respect for the truth and refusal to sugar-coat it, this can result in some very rocky personal interactions. INTPs are often thought of as blunt and insensitive by others, and aren’t always aware of the effects they have on the people around them. This is something that this type must constantly work on if they want happy and healthy personal and professional relationships.
Common Type Confusions
INTPs most commonly mistype themselves as INTJs. This is usually based on assumptions about the behavior of Perceivers. Perceiving types, those who have the ‘P’ in the final position, are usually thought of as less structured than Judgers (J). They’re often slower to make decisions and prefer to keep their minds organized and their external world open to experience and novelty. This stereotype often results in INTPs being mistyped as INTJs because they require some organization in the external world in order to allow for the rational, regimented work approach that they prefer. So when INTPs take the online tests, which explores their propensity for impulsive behavior and order in the external world, these tests often type them incorrectly. This is a very common oversimplification of the MBTI system and one that causes a lot of typing problems such as this one.
Common Confusions Comparisons
INTPs and INTJs are very different in the way they process information and in the end goals of that analysis. Despite the fact that these two types might look alike sometimes, they actually don’t share any cognitive functions, which explains the differences between them. These differences prove the importance of typing people based on the cognitive functions rather than the external results of them. In this case, INTPs process information using their introverted thinking dominant. This systematically works through information looking for the objective truth. They couple this with extraverted intuition, which actively explores the eternal world looking for its patterns. In contrast, INTJs lead with introverted intuition. This function takes in information that has been collected and uses it to predict patterns in the future. INTJs have no real interest in separating the information into discrete units of information, they’re more interested in how it fits with everything else they know. This is markedly differently to how INTPs operate and what they’re interested in.
Unusual Type Confusions
INTPs can sometimes mistype as ENTPs. This is a far less common mistyping because most INTPs like and need to spend a lot of time alone to think and recharge, but it does occur occasionally. Introverts are always harder to type than extraverts because they rely on their auxiliary function to operate in the external world. After all, their dominant function is inwardly focused, so it doesn’t help them complete their work or interact with others. As a result, many introverts end up using their auxiliary function on a regular basis and it can become one of the most obvious parts of their personality and result in typing mistakes. For INTPs, when this occurs it means that they’re using their extraverted intuition dominant to explore the world more than they’re analysing the data in silence and isolation. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can confuse the issue of which type they really are.
Unusual Confusions Comparisons
The easiest way to distinguish between an INTP and an ENTP is to look at the tertiary and inferior functions. INTPs have introverted sensing as their tertiary. This means they have more of a tolerance for guidelines and restrictions than ENTPs do. They also have extraverted feeling as their inferior and this is the reason for their blindness to the emotional reactions of other people. This type of data is mostly unconscious for this type and it takes a lot of work before INTPs can develop even the most rudimentary understanding of it. In contrast, ENTPs have extraverted feeling as their tertiary, so they have some understanding of social conventions and the emotions of others. They also have introverted sensing as their inferior, which is why most ENTPs avoid restrictive systems or people like the plague.
The thoughtful, analytical INTP has very little patience with things that don’t make sense and encountering mistyping errors with the MBTI system can seriously upset their sense of truth and order. That’s why they need to be careful to use the system correctly so they can get the most from this way of understanding their own personality and developing it in the most natural ways.
- Storm, Susan. “10 Signs That You Might Be an Introverted Thinker“. Oct 26, 2017. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- Dodge, Antonia. “What is a “Judger,” and What is a “Perceiver?”“. Sep 15, 2011. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- Storm, Susan. “10 Signs That You Might Be an Extraverted Intuitive“. Oct 30, 2017. (Retrieved Apr 2019).
- INTP – The Scientist.
- INTJ – The Mastermind.
- ENTP – The Inventor.