INTJ vs. INTP – Key Personality Type Differences

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The two introverted logical thinkers of the 16 personality types (the INTJ and INTP) share many attributes in common. They love to learn at their own pace, take pride in their accomplishments, and value deep understanding over popularity.

But how can we tell them apart? Or better-yet, what if you aren’t sure if you are an INTJ or INTP? This article will compare the lookalike INTJ vs. INTP personality types.

Before we jump in, you should know this post is part of a series dedicated to answering the question: Am I a judging or perceiving personality type? Check out the main post on this topic here.

A High-Level View

One key difference is that INTJs accumulate knowledge that is useful or will be in the immediate future. They persevere toward their goals and strategically map out how they’ll achieve them in the most efficient manner possible. INTJs value a tight-knit, honest friend group who’ll push them out of their comfort zone and improve.

INTPs—typically a great person to have on your trivia team—will store random facts in their head just because they found it interesting. They value curiosity and autonomy to toy with their ideas and come up with sometimes far-fetched theories that may or may not hold some truth in them.

Functions Stack: INTJ vs. INTP

The functional stack model arranges the different cognitive functions according to preference for each personality type.

INTJ:

  1. Introverted Intuition (Ni)
  2. Extraverted Thinking (Te)
  3. Introverted Feeling (Fi)
  4. Extraverted Sensing (Se)

INTP:

  1. Introverted Thinking (Ti)
  2. Extraverted Intuition (Ne)
  3. Introverted Sensing (Si)
  4. Extraverted Feeling (Fe)

Vision vs. Systems Thinking (Ni vs. Ti)

INTJs lead with introverted intuition (Ni), and often have a clear vision of what they want to pursue and accomplish in the next few years. They are typically hardworking, ambitious, and willing to go the extra mile to achieve their goals. They work methodically and enjoy scheduled work processes. INTJs work with their intuition to gather information that furthers their large vision for self-improvement and career development.

INTPs often have many interests unrelated to each other. They enjoy solving puzzles and waxing their logical brain to find new solutions and different perspectives on life and its mysteries. When new information comes in, INTPs will compare each data point to the crystalline structure of ideas that they’ve already amassed throughout their life and evaluate whether it makes sense or not. This process is often long-winded and requires many hours of critical thinking.

Doing vs. Ideating (Te vs. Ne)

INTJs are quiet workhorses and go-getters thanks to their auxiliary function, extraverted thinking (Te). If their ideas fail to see the light of day and are kept on the bookshelf to collect dust, they can lose steam and feel deflated. They truly shine when their ideas are presented to the world in a cohesive, comprehensive manner—whether that be through TED talks, podcasts, articles, or entire novels.

INTPs relish in the process of brainstorming. They love ideas, however strange and far-fetched they may appear. Sometimes, INTPs may fall into a rabbit hole of procrastination by fleshing out an idea in their head, rather than in reality. This may lead to years of unfinished projects stored up in on a bookshelf or in a variety of digital documents. Often, they work best with a competent partner able to bring their complex and ingenious ideas to life.

Cold vs. Warm (Fi vs. Fe)

INTJs have introverted feeling (Fi) in their tertiary position, and take a long time to warm up to others. They typically have a group of very close friends (think 1-4) they would cross oceans for. With strangers, INTJs are typically polite and courteous, but require their personal space. If truly hurt and upset, they will go cold turkey and refuse to speak to anyone who broke their heart or trust. INTJs believe in tough love and will give constructive criticism to their loved ones as they deem fit.

INTPs, in contrast, have extraverted feeling (Fe) at the end of their function stack. With strangers, they can rely on their goofy demeanor and developed people skills (for mature INTPs) to make others feel comfortable. They typically avoid conflict and will try their best to “fit in” and match the energy of a group. In the long run, this may cause burnout from excessive socializing and the avoidance of processing their own emotions.

Moments vs. Memories (Se vs. Si)

INTJs end their function stack with extraverted sensing (Se). Under extreme stress, they may resort to dangerous and reckless activities. INTJs have a secret live-in-the-moment side and will break through certain parts of their ego to make the most of the moment. Sometimes, during this process, INTJs will experience an epiphany of some sort. They may realize what their life goal or mission is all along and quietly celebrate this alone.

INTPs have introverted sensing (Si) in their tertiary position. They are excellent at storing facts and statistics on a wide range of subjects, which again makes them excellent trivia team members. INTPs enjoy the feeling of nostalgia and talking to their friends about all of the entertaining and crazy experiences they’ve shared together. They compare past experiences with the present moment to decide on the best course of action (what has worked before, and what could potentially work?).

Career Differences: INTJ vs. INTP

INTJs value competency, logical thinking with a creative edge, and clear promotional space. They are most suited towards careers in law, technical writing, forensic sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, and economics. (view more INTJ careers)

INTPs need time to think and process their thoughts in a coherent and explorative manner. They can make excellent application developers, game developers, cybersecurity specialists, copywriters, and microbiologists. (view more INTP careers)

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