INTP functional stack:
1) Dominant: Introverted Thinking (Ti) – This is a judging function. We tend to be judgers and are similar in this respect to EJs, except we introverts, we direct these tendencies inwards rather than outwards. In a manner quite different from Ni types, the INTP tends to think systematically and in terms of logic and reason rather than intuition. We enjoy systematically and conscientiously drawing out the structure of a situation and putting it together like a puzzle. The INTP exercises a great deal of self-discipline when it comes to their field of interest or expertise. In this sense, they are perfectionists who impose strict, almost ascetic, rules upon themselves in order to accomplish what they set out to do.
However, we oftentimes end up breaking these rules because of our Extraverted Intuition (Ne) functions. INTPs tend to be more interested in how wholes fit together conceptually, rather than just being concerned with bare facts. The INTP tends to be self-critical, and apply his reason to determine whether or not the transcendental preconditions of his own thought are reliable in the first place, rather than starting with the external facts themselves.
The INTP tends to be hyper-critical of structures, and in this response, may seem negative and frustrating to others, as we only positively articulate our own views after having meticulously rooted out the false and the dubious. The INTP is therefore good at discerning logical or philosophical inconsistencies within worldviews. Rather than quickly accepting facts as facts, therefore, the INTP adopts a more experimental approach, contemplating the merits of various ideas and determining which ones are correct or make the most sense. The INTP thinks primarily in terms of truth and reason rather than morality. The most basic question is not whether or not an idea seems morally palatable, but whether or not it is true. It is for this reason that INTPs are more likely to be found among systematic theologians or philosophers than artistic fields.
2) Auxiliary: Extraverted Intuition (Ne) – This function can manifest itself in the INTP both in terms of expression or perception. The INTP tends to think out loud in ways that may seem incoherent to others but which may make sense to the INTP.
This function also plays an important role in gathering information, but rather than purely empirical fact-acquisition of that of the Se, the INTP enjoys to look for underlying meaning, relationships, connections or patterns beyond the bare appearance of the facts.
This makes INTPs avid readers and skilled researchers, as well as good conversationalists when speaking with like-minded people. It is this function which causes them to be somewhat ‘sensation-seeking’ when it comes to ideas. They enjoy seeking out new ideas without even necessarily knowing what they are looking for.
Their innate appreciation for ideas allows them to impartially weigh the pros and cons of opposing ideas without uncritically accepting one or the other side in a debate. It is also involved in the tendenecy of the INTP to seek out unconventional lifestyles, such as joining a commune. In this case, they may tend to come off as eccentric to others.
While this function makes the INTP open-minded, it may also make him indecisive and prone to doubt decisions, due to the tendency to want to impartially weigh all of the competing parties in a discussion. The INTP may be made to feel like an aimless wanderer because of this trait. It is not simply that they are indecisive, however, but that we sincerely want to give each option a fair assessment in our search for the truth. These tendencies may produce anxiety and frustration in the INTP in his late 20s, as he may desire more time to come to important conclusions and make important decisions about life.
3) Tertiary: Introverted Sensing (Si) – This functionis “conservative,” and predisposes the INTP to stick with the routine and predictable. In the case of the INTP, despite their wandering minds, they may stick to certain life-habits.
They may eat the same thing every day, drink the same thing every day, undergo identical series’ of routines and find these routines difficiult to change. It is this function that makes the INTP a minimalist in financial and lifestyle matters. They are content with little as long as they have time and energy to contemplate ideas and read books.
4) Inferior: Extraverted Feeling (Fe) – The INTP does want everyone in a group to feel included, and no one to be offended, and are oftentimes even reluctant to express their feelings out of fear of offending or disturbing people, but the INTP tends to be less concerned with going out of his way to make others feel better. To put it simply, they tend not to be very interested in helping others. They tend to be anxious and excessively preoccupied with themselves and their exploration of ideas. The INTP may likewise refrain from attempting to articualte ideas out of fear that they will be seen as less intelligent than they are; something they may oftentimes be quite insecure about. This quality oftentimes makes the INTP lack self-assertiveness, which distinguishes them from the INTJ, who is more self-assertive.
Because of the INTPs difficulty with expressing or asserting himself, he may suddenly and impulsively act, oftentimes in such a way that makes others wonder why he had not expressed himself first. Indeed, this lack of self-assertiveness may be difficult for others to understand. This reluctance to directly assert themselves may likewise cause the INTP to be somewhat passive-aggressive.
While the INTP enjoys teaching others, they tend to become impatient with those who are not as quick to understand their ideas, and are thus more suited for college professor teaching positions than other teaching positions that are less controversy-friendly.
While the INTP may be somewhat quick to understand the feelings of others, they are less prone to reflexively ‘feel’ the feelings of others, thus oftentimes incurring accusations of lacking empathy. Indeed on the Enneagram Threes, INTPs tend to score high in narcissistic tendencies.
The INTP desires affirmation for others, oftentimes without realizing it, and his preoccupation with being a writer may be unconsciously motivated by a desire for affirmation from others in a way he does not immediately realize or appreciate. The tendency to violently oscillate between extreme isolation and independence to a need for a special few people in their lives is among the INTPs most narcissistic traits, and resembles the tendency to need and then devalue others among narcissists.
This sort of black-and-white tendency manifests itself strongly with the emotions of the INTP. INTPs are oftentimes disconnected with their emotions, and their emotional extremes, both in terms of inappropriate lack and extreme presence, tend to seem uncontrollable and unpredictable. The INTP may thus exhibit difficulty in expressing emotions to their partners. The INTP may be vulnerable to F types, who may be able to manipulate the emotions of the INTP, the latter being somewhat out of touch with his unconscious Fe function.
The extreme degree to which these emotional elements are unconscious in the INTP may give him the ability to shrug off circumstances, situations or behaviors that would cause extreme guilt, shame or regret in other people, and may to some degree may them resilient against situations or events that many people would consider traumatic.
The INTP tends to exhibit a great deal of independence, self-discipline and cerebral intensity. In some ways, the INTP is one of the intellectual types par excellence (although it is the INTJ who has the highest collective IQ and discovers its intellectual side earliest). The INTP tends to be preoccupied with a systematic study of the grand metaphysical truths that underlie all reality. The INTP is oftentimes a voracious reader, devouring tons of books in an effort to understand the whole of reality in order to understand the parts.
The INTP can come across as quite extraverted when discussing topics that interest them. Indeed, they exhibit extraverted Feeling (Fe) and Intuition (Ne). Their intellectual lives tend to be chaotic and wide-ranging. While they may come off as warm and agreeable, they are somewhat uninterested in the personal lives of others, and more interested in discussing abstract ideas. For the most part, they are interested in other people insofar as they are interested in what makes people tick, which is a function of their tendency to be interested in the underlying nature of reality.
INTPs can oftentimes be anxiety-prone and insecure particularly when they feel like someone is critiquing or watching them. Ironically enough, the INTP may oftentimes hide their cerebral tendencies except to a few few who appreciate these tendencies. To the rest of the world, the dominant function of the INTP is manifested primarily in their writing, for example, which is a very common hobby for the INTP. Their indifference to what they regard as trivial and uninteresting matters may make them come off as incompetent in the workplace.
Phase 1 – Introverted Thinking (Ti) emerges as the dominant function of the INTP. They are oftentimes highly preoccupied with specific pursuits or hobbies until they master them. They exhibit a high degree of self-discipline in mastering their interests.
Phase 2 – Extraverted Feeling (Fe), the inferior function of the INTP, begins to exert more of an influence than it had before. Extraverted Intuition also begins to exert a more influential role. This is their auxilitary function, and it influences them to become more preoccupied with philosophical and cerebral interests.
Like other personality types, the INTP oftentimes doubts previous judgments at this point, but unlike other personality types, the INTP is more likely to require a greater degree of data and exploration before definitively deciding on a specific answer. They oftentimes have to sift through a great deal of competing worldviews before deciding on what to believe.
Phase 3 – The INTP becomes increasingly aware of his Fe function.
Ti is a dominant function, typical of IPs in a way similar to that of EJs, except in the case of the Ti, we direct these tendencies towards ourselves rather than towards others. The tendency of the Ti function towards contemplation of concepts and situations purely for their own sake rather than in order to solve practical situations is a notable element of the INTP type.
Instead of being highly preoccupied with helping others improve themselves or achieve their goals, the INTP is typically more concerned with setting goals for himself and accomplishing them. They tend to set up challenges for themselves and pursue them with a great deal of discipline and dedication.
The INTP is more concerned with the ideal than the factual. Rather than being concerned with ‘bare’ facts, they are more concerned with the proper interpretation of these facts within the context of a coherent or cohesive theoretical framework. It is in this sense that the Ti type tends to differ from the Te, who is more likely to rush headlong into fact-collecting.
There is a negative or critical tendency towards the INTP in that they tend to be preoccupied with internal logical consistencies rather than positively putting forth theories. The INTP differs from the INTJ in that the latter is not bothered by exceptions to general theoretical rules, on the ground that they will surely eventually be explained, whereas the INTP is quick to point out the exceptions to general rules.
The auxilitary Ne helps the INTP to explore various theories and possibilities, and assists them in their idiosyncratic trial-and-error approach to new ideas. The process of knowledge-acquisition for the INTP may be painstaking and quite slow, with a coherent system emerging only after many years of fact-collecting and trial-and-error.
Yours truly is a typical INTP:
You have strong preference of Introversion over Extraversion (95%)
You have moderate preference of Intuition over Sensing (50%)
You have distinct preference of Thinking over Feeling (62%)
You have distinct preference of Perceiving over Judging (67%)
Drenth, Dr. A.J. (2014-01-08). The 16 Personality Types: Profiles, Theory, & Type Development (Kindle Locations 84-86). Inquire Books. Kindle Edition.
The INTP is more concerned with logic and reason than the sort of humanitarian ‘feeling’-oriented concerns of the IFP. It is for this reason that the INTP is less often found among the artists and more often found among the philosophers, concerned as they tend to be with abstract thought rather than feeling.
The functional stack of the ISFP:
1) Dominant: Introverted Feeling (Fi) – This is different from Extraverted Feeling (Fe) in that they tend to be more independent. Indeed, they are suspicious of collective opinions and attitudes, and are especially hostile towards what comes off to them as fake or pretentious. Unlike the melodramatic Fe type, the ISFP is more composed and outwardly calm, in some way resembling Ti types.
Like the Te and Ti types, they are also quite intense and deep. As a juging function, this function tends to be serious and grave rather than lighthearted. Their outlook on life is quite serious, and can come off to more lighthearted types as somewhat solemn.
While Se and Fi types areboth sensation-seekers, after a fashion, the ISFP is more deliberate and focused on specific goals when it comes to their sensation seeking, whereas the Se types may be more indiscriminate in their pursuit of pleasure and experience. This intentional and serious attitude distinguishes from other types that may be predisposed towards sensation-seeking.
2) Auxiliary: Extraverted Sensing (Se) – This is what causes a somewhat hedonistic streak in the ISFP. They tend to be preoccupied with novelties surrounding the 5 senses. Unlike IN types, as we note further on, the ISFP is more action-oriented rather than seeking novelty in the form of thought.
They oftentimes enjoy performance-oriented activities or sports. While they are oftentimes artistic in a way comparable to the IN types, their artistic talentis less likely to be literary or abstract, and more likely to have to do with performance-oriented art or the visual arts, or sometimes, with fashion, in accordance with their concreteness-oriented nature. They oftentimes likewise exhibit an adventurous attitude when it comes to trying new foods.
3) Tertiary: Introverted Intuition (Ni) – While they tend to predominantly interested in the concrete or the physical, this function allows them a certain degree of versatility when it comes to abstract or theoretical thinking.
4) Inferior: Extraverted Thinking (Te) – It is this which draws the ISFP unconsciously towards objective values, contrary to their conscious and overt preference for subjectivity. As this function causes them to be oriented towards towards understanding systems and structures, they oftentimes enjoy organizing things for their own sake, oftentimes to an excessive degree that gives them a somewhat obsessive-compulsive personality.
The ISFP, like the INTP, oftentimes tends to lack assertiveness and exhibit tendencies towards conflict-avoidance. This is correlated with a tendency to feel as though they do not have control over the world in which they live.
At around 8-9 percent of the population, the ISFP tends to make a great caregiver or nurturer. An Introverted Feeling (Fi) type, they enjoy expressing their tendency as a lover or nurturer with children or animals. They tend to be highly loyal and devoted. The ISFP tends to be highly action- and concreteness-oriented, as opposed to abstract.
They tend to exhibit unusually good hygiene, and have a developed fashion sense. Many ISFPs tend to be athletic and dexterous. While IN types may be more interested in intellectual pursuits, the ISFP is more interested in physical exploration.
They tend to be independent; a trait typical of IP types. While they may be highly intelligent, they are oftentimes underperforming in academic environments because of their predominant interest in physical exploration rather than more purely intellectual pursuits. Unlike an IN type, they tend to be optimistic, less depressive, and more practical.
Phase I – The Introverted Feeling (Fi) function develops. While they can oftentimes be quite reticent when it comes to expressing themselves, they nonetheless can oftentimes think in a highly polarized manner.
Phase II – Their auxiliary function, Extraverted Sensing (Se) emerges, and the inner novelty-seeker or sensation-seeker comes out. They begin to seek out new adventures and experiences.
Functional stack of the ESFP:
1) Dominant: Extraverted Sensing (Se) – This function differs from Si in that Si is more routine-oriented and modest. Se, on the other hand, is more novetly-oriented and sensation-seeking, and more concerned with aesthetic enhancement.
They tend to live for new sensations and material pleasures. They are the classic hedonists or sensation-seekers. They tend to live in the moment rather than dwelling on the past or the future.
On a more cognitive level, they tend to exhibit high degrees of sensory recall, and are capable of noticing subtle aspects of the environment that may escape the notice of others. The typical SP, the ESFP is commonly found among nurses, waitresses, therapists, counselors, chefs and cosmetologists.
2) Auxiliary: Introverted Feeling (Fi) – While the ESFP comes across as lighthearted and playful, they can be quite serious, and tend to internalize their emotions.
It is because of this personality trait that they tend to be better than many other personality types at controlling their emotions. They tend to be more individualistic and independent than Fe types.
3) Tertiary: Extraverted Thinking (Te) – It is this trait that makes the ESFP a naturally good counselor. Because they are a “P” type, they tend to adapt to situations rather than assert themselves and try to produce change.
They tend to emphasize harmony rather than breaking the peace, which can sometimes be unhealthy when difficult issues need to be discussed. It is this function, furthermore, that tends to cause the ESFP to be a strict rule-follower.
4) Inferior: Introverted Intuition (Ni) – This function also contributes to the tendency of the ESFP to be natural counselors. Much of their sense of self-worth comes from functioning as counselors and advice-givers to other people.
Over-indulgence in their Ni function can cause the ESFP to be prideful and refuse to admit when they have made mistakes. It also causes them to stick to specific, inflexible worldviews rather than taking information as it comes.
The ESFP comprises about ten percent of the population, and is most commonly found among women. The ESFP, like the ISFP, is commonly regarded as physically attractive. They tend to be extraverted, concerned with their appearance, and attuned to what is currently trendy and popular.
The ESFP is widely regarded as having an enhanced sense of style, oftentimes adorning their apperances with jewelry, perfume and snazzy clothing. As an Extraverted Sensing type, they tend to have a greater appreciation of the aesthetics of appearance in general.
The ESFP is a classic novelty-seeking personality type. They voraciously seek out new sensory experiences. There is a sense in which they are the classical hedonist.
They also tend to exhibit high athleticism and hand-eye coordination. Their sensation-seeking, in addition to their extraversion, oftentimes makes them the life of the party.
Instead of exhibiting high degrees of mental energy, the ESFP is more interested in exploring and manipulating the physical world. Because of their sense of style and outgoing personality, they tend to make good salesmen, marketers, and actors.
Rather than being all about sensation, however, their tertiary function of Extraverted Thinking allows them to be articulate and intelligent. While they tend to be outgoing like other extraverts, they are not necessarily always very talkative. They are more likely to express themselves through action instead of speech. However, they do tend to become quite talkative when they have the opportunity to play the role of counselor or advisor.
The Ni function of the ESFP is such that thtey oftentimes have a great deal of insight into the problems of others. Indeed, the Enneagram Twos describes them as “The Helper,” and advises them to choose careers related to counseling; careers which the ESFP oftentimes finds quite gratifying to their ego.
The role of counselor oftentimes occupies a central place in the social circle of the ESFP. While similar to the ESFJ, the ESFP is more common, and tends to have a greater sense of style. In addition to being a natural counselor, the ESFP tends to be a caregiver and a nurturer. They typically love animals and children, in relation to whom they are able to express their care-giving nature most effectively.
Since the ESFP contains an Fi function, they tend to be emotionally indepedent. That is, while generally extraverted, they tend to be introverted with respect to expression of their emotions. This contributes to many seeing them as emotionally independent and strong, and contributes to the tendency of others to see them as counselors.
Phase 1 – The dominant function of Extraverted Sensing (Se) emerges. Phase 1 ESFPs just want to have fun, particularly when it comes to sensation-seeking.
INTJ Functional Stack:
1) Dominant: Introverted Intuition (Ni) – This is a “Perceiving” function. INTJs are primarily perceivers. They are, in a sense, introverted EPs. While the processing of their thoughts is sophisticated and complicated, it is less systematic and more unconscious and more intuitive.
As an Ni, the INTJ tends to learn best by immersion and contemplation, although they do balance this with hands-on experience. They acquire impressions of the world with the help of their relatively unconscious, inferior Extraverted Sensing (Se) function, gradually piecing the world together.
As a comparatively unsystematic and more impressionistic thinker, thet INTJ is sometimes unable to explain how she comes to her conclusions. As someone with an Extraverted Sensing inferior function, it should comce as no surprise that the INTJ is unusually visually oriented, leading Jung to characterize the Ni type as a kind of visionary or seer. INTJs oftentimes tend to use imagery rather than logical syllogisms to explain problems.
It ought to be kept in mind, however, that the Extraverted Sensing function is more oriented towards specific details of the environment; a tendency which is downplayed in the person of the INTJ, since, as one of its inferior functions, it is used instead to assist the dominant function of forming a cohesive whole rather than remaining preoccupied with details.
2) Auxilitary: Extraverted Thinking (Te) – This function is associated with logical and systematic thought. It is by means of this function that the otherwise intuitive and impression-oriented INTJ can exhibit impressive systematic precision in thought. It is this function of the INTJ that causes the INTJ to focus more on impersonal and objective thought rather than subjective feeling and interpersonal realities. The hallmark of this mode of thought is analytical precision.
As impersonal and mechanistic, this function may make the INTJ a good bureaucrat. While capable of highly systematic thought, however, it ought to be remembered that the dominant mode of thinking of the INTJ is intuitive and impressionistic rather than systematic and formulaic.
3) Tertiary: Introverted Feeling (Fi) – It is this function which may cause the INTJ to seem insensitive or indifferent to the feelings of others. This is because the feelings of the INTJ are subject to their introversion, causing them to hide their feelings from others.
Increased awareness of their function helps the INTJ to engage in transformative processes of emotional and psychological self-discovery and introspection. The INTJ may begin in a career-focused manner but subsequently question their path in life during this process of introspective self-discovery. The collaboration of FI, Ni and Te may help the INTJ to begin a great social or political reformer.
A potential weakness of this function is that the INTJ may be susceptible to being highly defensive and hyper-sensitive to real or imagined criticism.
4) Inferior: Extraverted Sensing (Se) – Although the Se function plays an important role in the psyche of the INTJ, she must not let it take inordinate control of her. Immature indulgence in this trait may lead to irresponsible and impulsive sensation-seeking behavior.
Such attachment may also manifest itself in excessive worry about having financial or material subsistence, causing them to be torn between job security and potential conflicts with respect to finding a suitable romantic partner. In general, this aspect of the INTJ may cause her to become torn between catering to material vs. spiritual and psychological needs.
One of the rarest personality types, the INTJ makes up 2-3 percent of the human population. Possessing Introverted Intuition as their dominant trait, male INTJs outnumber female INTJs four to one. The INTJ is able to develop impressions of the world at large with the help of their inferior function, Extraverted Sensing (Se), although this process is oftentimes quite unconscious, particularly in the INTJ.
Thus, among Introverted Intuitives, the INTJ tends to possess an unusually powerful ability to unconsciously and almost passively form comprehensive, if pre-conceptual or pre-linguistic, impressions of the world. It is in this way that they are able to focus better on the “bigger picture” rather than smaller details of situations. INTJs are oftentimes found among those interested in the underlying physical laws governing reality, such as physicists and mathematicians.
The dominant function is contrary to their J-P type. It is “Perceiving” rather than “Judging.” It is for this reason that they oftentimes come off as rather passive. Yet contrary to appearances, the INTJ is most active when passive, integrating the complex bits and pieces of the world-picture into one coherent whole. Rather than forcibly attempting to fit pieces together that may not fit, they simply allow their minds to subtly and subconsciously piece the world together. In this respect, they are quite different from INTPs, who tend to exhibit tendencies to impulsively cobble together chaotic pictures of the world.
INTJs as a group possess the highest IQs of any other personality type. In accord with their tendency to appear ‘passive,’ they do indeed tend to exhibit little variability in expression, and instead seem to remain more or less emotionally consistent.
Their Te function causes them to tend to be blunt in expressing their opinions, and although they may not intend it, they oftentimes tend to offend those unprepared for such expression. Despite their fitness for being a college professor who delivers long, somewhat dry lectures, their inner life can be quite playful and light for those who get to know them well.
A curious idiosyncrasy of the INTJ is their tendency to be detached from their bodies. That is, they tend to see their bodies as alien to them. They are, as the Greeks put it, immaterial souls in tombs of flesh. This tendency may be correlated with a tendenecy towards hypochondria and obsessive-compulsive habits with respect to regularity and propriety of exercise and food consumption.
Like all N dominants, the INTJ tends to be a perfectionist, oftentimes at the expense of their own physical and psychological well-being. They are oftentimes inordinately arm-chair thinkers, who live inside their own heads and focus on theory rather than application. It should come as no surprise that many philosophers tend to be INTJs.
Phase 1 – Their dominant Introverted Intuition (Ni) develops and is differentiated from its inferior functions, although Extraverted Thinking (Te), their auxiliary function, may often function as a helpful co-pilot. They may exhibit stubbornness or resistance to revision of their judgments at this point. It ought to be kept in mind, however, that Ni is a perceiving function, and INTJs therefore tend to be quite reflective and
Phase 2 – It is at this point that the Extraverted Sensing (Se) function begins to exert a significant influence. It is at this point, following adolescence, that the INTJ may begin to become more open-minded, reflecting their more open-minded and flexible aspects typical of the Introverted Intuitive type. More specifically, however, exploring their personal feelings is more associated with the development of their Introverted Feeling (Fi) function, which is their tertiary function.
Phase 3 – Beginning in the 30s, The INTJ becomes increasingly aware of the role played by their inferior Se function, which they increasingly learn to balance with their dominant Ni function.