INTPs and INTJs have many similarities, but they also have many differences. Some people have difficulty determining whether they’re an INTP or INTJ. In this video and article, I’ll discuss some of the similarities and differences between the two.
First, both are rare types. INTJs seem to be rarer than INTPs by a small percentage. Capt.org has INTJs in the general population at 2-4%, while INTPs are listed at about 3-5%. The female percentages are tied at 1-3% (other stats show INTJ females to be the most rare type), and the male INTPs (4-7%) are more common than male INTJs (2-6%).
INTJ vs INTP
When you look at the four dichotomies, INTJs and INTPs are just one letter off. This probably accounts for a lot of the similarities between the two types. Here’s a quick overview of the similarities:
- First, both are very introverted and can come off as loners or geeks, especially when they are younger.
- Next, both types are “NT” types, which means they are abstract in their perception and logical and analytical in their decision making. They are both considered “rational” types. INTJs and INTPs love logical and rational thought, discussion, theories, etc.
- Both types value competence.
- Both types can be very skeptical, quick to point out logical fallacies or inconsistencies, and may engage in frequent debates.
- Both types have a reputation of being highly intelligent.
- Both can struggle with things like isolation, cynicism, nihilism.
- Both types may feel as if they don’t “fit in” with the world and are misunderstood by society.
- INTJs and INTPs both seem to gravitate towards areas of technology, mathematics, and science. In fact, you could argue that out of the two most well-known scientists, one was an INTJ (Newton) and the other was an INTP (Einstein).
- INTJs and INTPs can enjoy discussing theoretical or scientific things.
INTJ and INTP Differences
How can you tell whether you’re an INTJ or INTP? With so many similarities, it can be hard to tell the differences between the two types. However, there are many distinguishing characteristics. Here are some differences between the INTJ and INTP:
First, it may be helpful to examine the cognitive functions, because even though these types share almost the same 4-letter code, their cognitive functions are very different. The INTP has the following cognitive functions stack: Ti—Ne—Si—Fe, whereas INTJs have the following cognitive function stack: Ni—Te—Fi—Se. Let’s examine how these different functions can create different traits.
Introverted intuition, the INTJ’s dominant function, is a perceiving function. Any time you have a dominant intuition or sensing function, it’s a perceiving function. Anytime you have a dominant thinking or feeling function, it’s a judging function.
Introverted intuition is the INTJ’s dominant function, and it is concerned with connecting information in a very abstract way. We take information in, and we see connections and patterns or develop hunches based on that information. Much of this takes place unconsciously. We also spend a lot of time conceptualizing and creating imaginary scenarios in our minds. Ni also a very future-thinking function. INTJs plan for the future more than any of the 16 types.
Introverted thinking is the INTPs dominant function, which is an internal judging function. Introverted thinking is concerned with making judgments about information to see how it logically relates to their internal file-based system. They seem to have a constant process of breaking information down, analyzing it logically, and then organizing that information in a way that makes sense to them.
INTJs have Te, which seeks to control the environment externally, apply objective logic, organize people and things, and so forth. INTPs secondary function is Ne, which is primarily concerned with perceiving patterns and possibilities in the external world.
INTJ’s third function is Fi. Introverted feelers have a strong sense of their own values. INTJs can come off as judgmental or as having very high standards. Fi people generally know their own emotions well (and even feel them deeply), but they seek to conceal those emotions from others. Therefore, INTJs are often accused of being cold or having no emotions.
INTPs have Fe, which is their last and least used function. They don’t use this much and may not even develop it until later life. Fe is concerned with seeking harmony in relationships. People with Fe often struggle to understand their own emotions, even though they can often absorb other people’s emotions.
Se is the INTJ’s least used function, which means that the INTJ is not in tune with their outside world as much. Some articles suggest that this may be why INTJs dislike to be touched, dislike strong sensory things like sounds, smells, etc. INTPs have Si as their third function. Si is about taking in sensory information and relating it with the past. This helps the INTP remember important details of things, but many of them will report that they remember the details of things that don’t really matter.
Here are a few practical differences you’ll notice between most INTPs and INTJs. These are stereotypical behaviors, and you will find exceptions to these!
- INTPs love to learn information for the sake of information. INTJs love to learn information that can help them in some practical way, and if it can’t help them, the INTJ views that information as a waste of brain space. I will do a brain dump of anything that I consider irrelevant. INTPs, on the other hand, will spend time reading and learning about things that have no practical application in their lives. They simply like understanding things.
- INTPs are very adaptable, whereas INTJs are not. My power went out three different times for about an hour or so each time the other day. I felt like my entire day was ruined. Unless I have some pre-planned contingency, unexpected delays or changes really bother me. I’m not very adaptable. INTPs are adaptable to the unexpected. They can roll with the punches. INTJs get irritated and shut down.
- INTJs tend to be neater and more organized. INTPs tend to be messier and disorganized. INTPs seem to be okay with clutter and messes, and they don’t spend a lot of time in creating external systems to organize things. INTJs, on the other hand, do generally like to organize or structure their environment. They don’t like excessive clutter. My room can get a little messy with papers or books I’m reading, but I’m going to systematize it and clean it up. I will sell any item I don’t need on eBay. INTJs tend to be minimalistic, INTPs tend to be hoarders.
- INTPs are also known to be more eccentric with their physical appearance. An INTP may be more likely to have crazy hair or wear a wrinkled shirt or clothes that don’t match. (Think Albert Einstein with this crazy hair.) This doesn’t apply to all INTPs, and I suspect that females will probably have a better sense of style due to the pressure for females to be “pretty” or “stylish.” INTJs tend to come off a little more in tune with style and hygiene.
- INTPs tend to be more philosophical, and I’ve heard many people suggest that they make better philosophers than INTJs. However, INTJs can certainly do well in that field.
- INTJs tend to be good with managing money. INTPs tend to struggle with finances. For example, I use Quicken to record all of my transactions. I have a 3-shelf plastic storage bin. The top bin is for bills that need to be paid, the second is for bills I’ve paid but need to be properly filed, and the third is for miscellaneous documents I access frequently. I also have other filing systems. INTPs will often talk on forums about not managing their money well, not keeping their checkbook balanced, forgetting to pay bills, etc.
- INTJs tend to be punctual, INTPs tend to arrive late. INTJs will arrive 30 minutes early. INTPs will arrive 15 minutes late (unless, of course, it’s something very important).
- INTPs can be more creative than INTJs in the artistic sense. Art was one of the preferred academic subjects for INTPs but not for INTJs. That’s not to say that INTJs aren’t artistic. Rather, INTPs may have a higher likelihood of pursuing artistic things.
- INTJs are control freaks. They get a sense of control by being able to plan things out, create contingencies, and work to produce results. INTPs are not so much control freaks, and they prefer to put off decisions, wait to the last minute to do things, and come off as a little more spontaneous.
- INTJs do a little better academically when compared to INTPs. In fact, the MBTI Manual has a data chart, and INTJs excelled above all other types. INTPs weren’t too far down, but it did say that they were among the three types to have the most trouble in school.
- INTPs have a reputation of being lazy. It’s not that INTPs are lazy—they’re just working in their heads. INTPs aren’t as interested in implementing the idea. They want to perfect the idea. INTJs want to create a great strategy and then execute.
- Another interesting distinction is that many INTPs have an aversion to leadership. INTJs aren’t as quick to lead as the ENTJ, but they will lead well if they choose to do so.
In conclusion, those are some of the similarities and differences between INTP vs INTJ personality types. INTPs tend to be very intelligent people. INTJs and INTPs often form close friendships, and they often make good romantic mates.