People with INTP preferences tend to think strategically and are likely to build conceptual models to understand complex problems. They typically adopt a detached and concise way of analyzing the world and often uncover new or innovative approaches. Words or phrases that describe people with INTP preferences at their best are highlighted in the MBTI® Type Head below:
People with INTP preferences tend to be attracted to occupations in technical and scientific fields and look to gain expert knowledge. They work best in environments that provide them with the time and space to concentrate without interruption, and which don’t pressure them to work in teams or attend a lot of meetings. They enjoy working with abstract and conceptual data, such as in information system design or big data analysis. They prefer to work independently and enjoy private and quiet time in which to think. People who prefer INTP are drawn to complex subject matter and enjoy developing ingenious and creative ideas. They prefer to work in a flexible environment with minimal structure, few rules, and plenty of autonomy.
Like ISTP types, people who prefer INTP tend to conduct a thorough analysis of any problem and neither require or seek input during their decision-making process. Unlike their ISTP counterparts, however, INTPs will do this analysis with the long-term vision in mind, and the vision could be an external brainstorming of all the innovative, outside-the-box solutions they can conjure up. With N and T working together, they are constantly looking for what doesn’t work and for creative solutions to fix the system. When they are done fixing/improving project A, they are quickly on to project B, leaving the actual long-term implementation to others.
Jobs That Typically Appeal to INTPs
Top executive, legal
Computer software engineer
Top executive, computing and mathematical occupations
Top executive, construction and extraction occupations
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People with INTP preferences make up 4.5% of leaders and represent the same percentage of the general population. Their preferences may help them analyze the pros and cons of a situation and then to anticipate the long-term outcomes.
*Note: Global leadership sample includes 960,000+ supervisors, managers, and executives; global sample representing the general population includes 21,000+ individuals. See Introduction to Myers-Briggs® Type and Leadership (2015).
Begin with the End in Mind
Just like NFs, NT leaders tend to also be drawn towards possibilities of what could be. However, there is a significant difference in where they might focus this future orientation. NTs reported that their major leadership contributions included solving problems and analyzing issues (89% of those surveyed), displaying a strategic perspective (82%), and taking initiative (73%). As a group, NTs seem to see themselves as a source of critical analysis, a strategic mind-set, and a willingness to move forward. Therefore, when leading others, NTs will likely be good at:
People with INTP preferences will typically become stressed by the factors highlighted in the MBTI® Stress Head above. During initial stress they may become overly critical of others and can come across as feeling a bit superior. In extreme circumstances they may tend to feel alienated and upset and prone to hypersensitivity. Download and share the INTP Stress Head to remind you (and your colleagues) about the things that stress you.
People with INTP preferences can be tolerant of a wide range of behaviors of those around them; however, they can fail to consider the impact on others regarding the way or style in which they express their ideas. Their partner, peers, family members, and friends will likely see them as introspective and needing autonomy.
Find out more about Types and Relationships
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People with INTP preferences tend to be “independent problem solvers who ask difficult questions to help them understand the underlying principles at play” (Introduction to Type® and Conflict, p. 31). This can work well for them when they need to get to the overarching issues of a conflict. However, it could backfire when others feel as though they haven’t had the opportunity to talk through the specifics of the conflict together with them.
The TP conflict style of people who prefer INTP works when they need to remain objective and allow the conflict time to develop. However, it could fail when others’ feelings are not considered and the conflict goes on too long without any resolution.
Who are some famous INTPs?
Unless they have taken the MBTI assessment and shared their personality type preferences, it’s impossible to know. Anything else is just speculation, and we call it “type-casting.”
Where do our data come from?
All figures and data are representative of our own assessment samples collected at the time users take the Myers-Briggs personality assessment.
Think you might have INTP preferences?