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General Details
Global Population3-5%[1][2][3]
Keirsey TemperamentRational (NT type)
Keirsey DescriptorArchitects Rational
Adaptive Traits
  • Attention to detail
  • Patient with understanding principles
  • Generally knowledgeable
Maladaptive Traits
  • Limited social skills
  • Concentration limited
  • Cynical of emotions
  • Whiny
Cognitive Functions (Harold Grant Stack)
DominantIntroverted Thinking (Ti)
AuxiliaryExtraverted Intuition (Ne)
TertiaryIntroverted Sensation (Si)
InferiorExtraverted Feeling (Fe)
Shadow Functions
OpposingExtraverted Thinking (Te)[4]
Critical ParentIntroverted Intuition (Ni)[4]
DeceivingExtraverted Sensation (Se)[4]
DevilishIntroverted Feeling (Fi)[4]

An INTP (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Perceiving) is a psychological type within analytical psychology and individual personality frameworks such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.[5] Carl Jung proposed a psychological typology based on the theories of cognitive functions that he developed through clinical observations. Jungian personality assessments include the MBTI assessment, developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS), developed by David Keirsey.

INTPs tend to be quiet, stoic, modest, and aloof, creative and enthusiastic about exploring novel possibilities. Keirsey referred to INTPs as Architects, one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Rationals. INTPs are account for 3–5% of the American population.[1][2]


INTPs are quiet, thoughtful, analytical individuals who tend to spend long periods of time on their own, working through problems and forming solutions. They are curious about systems and how things work. Consequently, they are frequently found in careers such as science, philosophy, law, psychology, and architecture. INTPs tend to be less at ease in social situations or in the "caring professions." They prize autonomy in themselves and others. They generally balk at attempts by others to convince them to change, at which they respond by being even less conformist than they otherwise would be. They also tend to be impatient with bureaucracy, rigid hierarchies, and the politics prevalent in many professions. INTPs have little regard for titles and badges, which they often consider to be unnecessary or unjustified. INTPs usually come to distrust authority as hindering the uptake of novel ideas and the search for knowledge. INTPs accept ideas based on merit, rather than tradition or authority. They have little patience for social customs that seem illogical or that obstruct the pursuit of ideas and knowledge. This may place them at odds with people in the SJ (Sensing/Judging) types, since SJs tend to defer to authority, tradition, and what the rest of the group is doing.[1] INTPs prefer to work informally with others as equals.[6]

INTPs organize their understanding of any topic by articulating principles, and they are especially drawn to theoretical constructs. Having articulated these principles for themselves, they can demonstrate remarkable skill in explaining complex ideas to others in very simple terms, especially in writing. On the other hand, their ability to grasp complexity may also lead them to provide overly detailed explanations of simple ideas, and listeners may judge that the INTP makes things more difficult than they need to be. To the INTPs' mind, they are presenting all the relevant information or trying to crystallize the concept as clearly as possible.[6]

Given their independent nature, INTPs may prefer working alone rather than leading or following in a group. During interactions with others, if INTPs are focused on gathering information, they may seem oblivious, aloof, or even rebellious—when in fact they are concentrating on listening and understanding. However, INTPs' intuition often gives them a quick wit, especially with language. They may defuse tension through comical observations and references. They can be charming, even in their quiet reserve, and are sometimes surprised by the high esteem in which their friends and colleagues hold them.[6]

INTPs are driven to understand a discussion from all relevant angles. Their impatience with seemingly indefensible ideas can make them particularly devastating at debate.[1]

Type dynamics

Type dynamics is the interaction between mental functions within the psyche. Therefore, although INTPs and ISTPs share the same dominant function: introverted thinking (Ti), they way they use that function differs between them. The ISTP prefers to understand physical, mechanical or technological systems and their interconnected components due their Se-Ni pair. Conversely, the INTP is looking to understand general principles to construct a framework that can be applied across disciplines due to their creativity that stems from Ne-Si pair. More importantly, the psyche is not the sole factor in these activities and other factors may alter this general observation.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Keirsey, David (1998). Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence. Del Mar, CA: Prometheus Nemesis Book Company. p. 205. ISBN 1-885705-02-6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Portrait of the Architect". Retrieved 2008-10-13.
  3. "CAPT". Retrieved 2008-10-13.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "INTPs and their 8 cognitive functions". Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  5. "Myers-Briggs Foundation: The 16 MBTI Types". Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Barron-Tieger, Barbaras; Tieger, Paul D. (1995). Do What You Are. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-84522-1.

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