INTJs and INTPs are both inwardly focused abstract thinkers. This results in the two types having many overlapping interests and behaviors. However, if you look beyond superficial common interests, the thinking processes are very different.

J vs P

Misunderstanding the differences between J/P is one reason many people mistype. Many assessments and descriptions use environmental factors to differientiate Js from Ps. This often leads to inaccurate results. Having a messy room and putting off tasks to the last moment does not make one a P type. Many INTJs report being messy; probably a result of not placing a high priority on the external environment. Any type can put off tasks when they don’t find value in them or find them tedious.

The main difference between Js and Ps for is the desire closure or flexibility. INTPs value keeping their options open and find deadlines restrictive; it’s cutting them off from bringing in more possibilities. INTJs value coming to a conclusion so they can put their ideas in action and efficiently move on to the next task.

Cognitive Functions

The cognitive functions for INTJs and INTPs are completely different and should be taken into consideration if you are still confused about your type.

Cognitive Functions: Ni, Te, Fi, Se Cognitive Functions: Ti, Ne, Si, Fe
Gain knowledge so it can be applied. Once the knowledge is applied to something that works, INTJs may lose interest in gaining additional knowledge on the subject. Knowledge is the end goal. It doesn’t have to be applied to be worth pursuing, and INTPs usually don’t want to bother “applying stuff” anyway.
Explores possibilities and finds potential (Ni) then interacts with the environment to realize those possibilities and potential (Te) Pieces information together and draws conclusions (Ti) then interacts with the environment to find additional possibilities (Ne)
Perfectionists of action. Perfectionists of thought.
Desire to control the world around them Spontaneous and adapt to the world around them


A List of Discussions About INTJs vs INTPs

47 thoughts on “INTJ vs INTP

  1. I am an INTP married to an INTJ. This is a wonderful breakdown of the differences between the two thinking styles. It is easy to see how the two types can work well together, but also why they sometimes clash.

    1. I am INTJ married to an INTP and I have to agree! This is a nice brief, yet to the point, analysis on the differences between the two!

  2. My family and friends unanimously agree with your characterization of me, an INTJ. I’m not sure if I should be offended or flattered by the consensus because your characterization is pretty on point. But the truth be told…who cares if their ego’s so small that they can’t handle mine. What matters is what I think. 😉

  3. I have takens everal of these tests, and I seem to be a anomaly… I test as both INTJ AND INTP (taken several of these tests and fall equally on either side more often than not.) I have taken left/right brain tests too and I always fall in the center area (ie; no dominate quadrant). I looked at the explanations for both INTJ and INTP and combined… There’s me, so still works :o)

    1. You shouldn’t test out as either right- or left-brained, as Rationals (NTs) are cerebral, or front-brained (N is front right, T is front left). We live in the human part of our brains, and often shun the limbic (rear), or animal (SF) part.

  4. I am a female INTJ and agree (for the most part) with your profile overview.

    However, I’m not egotistical. I simply prefer not to interact with those who don’t ‘get’ me to begin with.

    I take an instant disliking to lying, insincerity and general stupidity. I also refuse to read publications where there are consistent grammatical errors.

    For those who do ‘get’ me, it is very much on a superficial level and I have been called quirky on a number of occasions.

    I don’t find it difficult to get dates, I simply find it hard to date period. I emotionally shut down the moment I feel I am being asked to explain myself.

    It’s nice to know that there are others out there who share the same characteristics. It’s also a relief that it’s not just me who lives inside their head, needs to have time out at the end of the day, has been known to be abrupt, is forgetful, hates repetitive conversation and gossip and does a lot of smile and nodding.

  5. Please allow me to add one more major difference. And it is basically due to a difference between between Ti and Te. I am personally INTP, I am going to mention something that fits with me, I am aware that I have no right to generalize this to all INTPs.

    I personally dislike redundancies, which the very reason why I dislike quantity. Quantity depletes quality. I don’t want to gain a lot of knowledge, I want to get real and core knowledge. Facts seem to be very numerous, but one should only focus on very few facts at a time to “get hold of” or should I say “catch” the LEADING PRINCIPLES behind the appearances, from here many facts are going to inevitably result. The converse of everything I said is true for a strongly Te person.

    1. Agreed. The basic principles of almost anything are more important than a multitude of perhaps interesting but likely useless or inapplicable facts.

    2. I understand why you are getting at here, I’m trying to figure out if I’m a p or a j and have been reading about cognitive functions. However, your argument seems flawed in that underlying principles can also be seen as fact since they apply to many situations and are predominantly correct. I don’t believe Te users go around memorizing a bunch of facts. I did read somewhere that Te users believe that the premise for their arguments cannot be argued, as if it were a stabilised fact. This does not mean that they argue with facts but with things they believe are facts

  6. I’m marrying Mr. INTP in a couple of weeks! I can’t wait. I love him dearly and don’t want to change a thing about him. We complement each other very well. Plus he’s hot. 😉

    Ms. INTJ

    1. I would also like to see this. My partner is an ISTJ, and as much as I love him, he sometimes drives me insane. I would like to see a comparative chart with his thought processes so that perhaps explaining things to him would be easier.

      And by the way, fellow INTJ’s, did the above statement seem rude of me to say? Because I don’t feel I’ve said anything rude or nasty, but apparently I have (yeah, he saw what I was typing if you can’t already tell) >:| -immanent argument in… 3…. 2…. –

      1. I am an INTJ.
        No you didn’t.
        You presented a thought here for evaluation in a safe community of like minded individuals who will likely provide decent feedback (itself a small miracle) and he decided to read without permission a conversation not intended for him.
        Everyone drives their partner insane sometimes. You provided a concise question and stated your hoped for return. You even phrased it as needing to change the way YOU communicate with HIM to save his feelings.
        That’s a fairly inconsiderate response on his part.

  7. The main difference between Js and Ps for is the desire closure or flexibility. INTPs value keeping their options open and find deadlines restrictive; it’s cutting them off from bringing in more possibilities. INTJs value coming to a conclusion so they can put their ideas in action and efficiently move on to the next task.

  8. This is really interesting. I thought I might be an INTP, but now I that see the difference, I know I’m definitely an INTJ. The Mastermind/The Scientist vs. The Thinker/The Architect. Really good, in my opinion.

  9. Well, I also have issues with being classified as both an intp and intj. I share the intp thirst for certain knowledge in quality not quantity but schedules and deadlines are core to my life(I’d have a breakdown without) as see in the intj characteristics. Though the farthest I ge to applying my knowledge is correcting people when the y are mistaken about something that I’m sure about. There are many other traits of both that I’ve somehow obtained. Help?=\

  10. I am an INTJ but I have been under a lot of stress lately and i believe that I’m becoming a lot more like a INTP then a INTJ how can that be does it have to do with the shadow effects or something?

    1. I think I might be undergoing this very same process, adding that I’ve been revising some longstanding ideas and beliefs of mine lately…but is it even possible for someone to “change” his personality type??

      Wow, talk about an identity crisis!

      PS: You’ve posted it on my birthday. Mere coincidence? 😛

      1. You might be neglecting your secondary Extraverted Thinking function and translating your Introverted Intuition through your Introverted Feeling function. If you are oppressed or use any substance (including caffeine) you could be trying to express your introverted feelings (due to others telling you extraverted thinking is bad) extrovertedly, which leads to failure and repetition of failure if self or environment has not changed. Translating your introverted feeling using extraverted thought is key, and if you really need a change I would change your extraverted sensing environment as well.

      2. I thought I was a INTJ for a really long time. But recently I felt like I’m more like a INTP. I seem to be just floating around in the middle of being a INTJ and a INTP. I don’t understand!

  11. What I love about INTJ’s the most is how cool we know we are and how much other people can’t handle that, but how we don’t give a damn about that because we know how cool we are.
    It’s too bad for them that they are not as smart as we are.

  12. Very true Kay. But I think we’re smarter than just cool. Coolness is fine and all, but even that wears rather thin (in other people) when you can see right through it.
    There is substance behind where we are coming from that is beyond cool. And yes, some just can’t handle people like us who can set plans in place and execute them effortlessly, we not only talk the talk, but walk the walk as well.

    I hate having to dumb down the conversation so others feel they can compete and contribute when clearly, and so often they can’t.

  13. Took several tests and always bounce around INTJ and INTP (1:3 ratio respectively) and the margin between the two is always slight (below 10%). This breakdown makes me think I’m a P but I’ve been getting more J results.

    I don’t think I’m smart and nor do I despise stupidity (I think it’s an endearing trait when not excessive) or deceit (oftentimes, I go ”wow that’s pretty innovative” when i hear about scams and pranks). No one believes it when I tell them I get horrible stage fright, hate large social gatherings and that I am capable of feeling nervous: it seems my daily false bravado and ”boisterous-outgoing-daredevil” facade have been all too convincing.

    They don’t know that I am terrified of commitment when it comes to relationships though: the emotional demands and getting tied down are daunting and exhausting.

    1. Yeah, I know EXACTLY what you mean. I myself am borderline INTP and INTJ, always within 3% of each other. I normally think that it depends on the situation. But I do seriously understand what you mean, having a fake personality (just to not come off as too wierd in my case) but being quite different on the inside, often the exact opposite, but that is why it is easy to fake, youdo the exact opposite thing you normally would do. I think being a cross between the two helps a lot regarding decidsion making, one could have a easily adjustable plan and then stick with it

    2. ash – emotional demands are definitely exhausting. I hate the gossip and relationship talk. This is useless waste of time as people will more than likely tell you what they want you to know about them and tend to “hide stuff” for later surprises. If you want to avoid these surprises, COURTSHIP is very important. You need to observe your subject of interest from a distance to see if the object of interest is worth your time or not. Pros vs cons, etc. Observe behavior and compare it with what you are looking for. Analyse the person’s body movements as well as their words. 7% of the truth = words, 93% of the truth = bodily expressions/behavior, etc. Heard that somewhere, did research. I disagree with the percentages but do think that there is some merit to the idea (words vs bodily expressions) when it comes to collecting information about the subject of interest.
      INTJ = Asks the question “Does it work?” to almost everything
      INTP = Asks the question ” It this as logically correct as possible?”
      INTJ: initial function = perceiving, dominate function = judging
      INTP: initial function = judging, dominate function = perceiving
      INTJ = willing to act of their convictions/decisive
      INTP = sending a lot of time second guessing themselves/flexible
      I hate social gatherings/niceties. What a waste of time! People talk to you about their dog. Who cares? You are thinking about something more important. Do not be terrified about relationship commitments and all that stuff. All that matters is what you think. Think ahead will help with your planning. The subject of interest needs to be able to be predicted in order to apply the following idea. Knowing what you know now about this person of interest, imagine 3 or 6 months down the road with this person of interest. What are the pros and cons of being with this person? Will you waste most of your time being exhausted from emotional garbage or will you be able to have intelligent and interesting conversations with this person? Will they give you your alone time for you to go back in your mind or will they try to take that alone time away from you?

  14. Thanks for putting this on there I have now figured out that I am not technically any of the Meyers-Briggs personality types I am a mix of INTJ, INTP, and somewhere leaning towards INFJ over INTJ in about a quarter of the aspects, so I would call myself an IN(T/T/T/F)(T/J) if that makes any sense. Now that I think of it, I just don’t have a normal personality.

    1. I’ve been reading around here to try to figure out which I am since I test into both as well. YOUR post cleared it all up. I’m definitely INTP by your definition!!

  15. So.. based on the comparison, I could conclude that I am /really/ somewhere in between. I don’t only want to know everything because I want to know (knowledge is everything) but also I want to apply them in the real life (knowledge is for a better system, a better approach, and a better solution for everything). Additional piece of knowledge is always worth it and may hold a vital key to the next improvement.

  16. Ha ha! This resolves my doubts that I once had for what type I REALLY am! My research has come to an end.. Seriously, I wanted to figure this out, and so because of my high interest, I could see I could be both. didn’t know what to believe until I knew the clear difference between them. Thank you so much! What I thought I knew turned out to be true after all. My work here is done. 🙂

    -Female INTJ

  17. I(100%) N(100%) T (75%) J (56%). So I am borderline between J/P. I think the J and P can be influenced by the environment. Because the famous INTPs are rich so they can seek knowledge wholeheartedly without worrying its practicle aspects. I.e. Newton, Darwin, and Pascal came from rich families. But if they were poor, like me, they ll have to care about the practicality more. I read all their bios. Especially Newton, I read two books on him and seen at least 3 documentary.

    Science, mathematics and philosophy.

    This characterization is mostly

  18. I(100%) N(100%) T (75%) J (56%). So I am borderline between J/P. I think the J and P can be influenced by the environment. Because the famous INTPs are rich so they can seek knowledge wholeheartedly without worrying its practicle aspects. I.e. Newton, Darwin, and Pascal came from rich families. But if they were poor, like me, they ll have to care about the practicality more. I read all their bios. Especially Newton, I read two books on him and seen at least 3 documentary.

    I am naturally incline to think philosophically. That is my natural self.

    Science, mathematics and philosophy.

    This characterization is mostly

  19. Some tests, I’m INTP, others, I’m INTJ. One test concluded that my JvP says I’m 1% J.

    According to one user, J is evil Mastermind, P is lazy scientist. Funny, but it has some truth if you really compare it properly. In retrospect, it is true to my personality. When I pull my act together, I’m a decisive INTJ, ie a seriously evil mastemind who wants control and sticks to the deadline; but when I’m slack, I really am one hell of a lazy scientist, who prefers to plan than execute. So truly, I am an INT with J/P depending on situation/ motivation. What do you guys think?

    1. I think the two are much more different than people think, this article summarizes the difference.
      Do you tend to delve deeply into the detail of a few things (j), or the big picture, and the sourced behind the details (p).
      Do you like knowledge for the sake of knowledge (p), or applying your knowledge to accomplish something (j).

      in short, INTJs are more selective in their scope, but have more focus, INTPs have a broader scope, but focus less on the detail.

      Also, INTJs emotions are more internal, not caring of the feelings of others, and INTPs are more external, being softer and more affected by the emotions of others.

  20. interesting.

    by most tests, i am INTJ, only once am i INJP.

    but from your description, i seem to be more like iNTP (thinker). go figure.


  21. I am I(22%) N(25%) T (1%) J(78%), but I don’t think I’m egotistical. ‘-‘ I don’t know where people get that idea for INTJs, really. But I am very new to these four letter personality things anyway.

    What makes INTJs come across as egotistical? Or am I misunderstanding something?

  22. I stumbled on this site by accident and after reading through all of the comments I have come to find how refreshing it is to see those like minded.

    What should one do if they have power issues? such as, I prefer academic conversations but while I’m at work I find time to go by much quicker by being apart of a conversation, so I befriended to some degree some people.

    Here is my Dilemma, I’m purely academic, I.E Philosophy, Religion, Politics, Physics, etc.. etc.. where as these conversations are about football/baseball and crap alike.. I refuse to stray away from my train of thought, but is there a way around this without having to study useless statistics and facts? I figured comedy but I like insult comedy… and well… you can imagine haha.

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