INTJ: The Scientist

INTJ (introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging) is an acronym that represents one of the 16 personality types described by the Jung Personality Test. People with INTJ personalities are highly analytical, creative and logical. According to psychologist David Keirsey, developer of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, approximately one to four percent of the population has an INTJ personality type.

INTJ Characteristics

The test identifies preferences in four key dimensions: 1) Extraversion vs Introversion, 2) Sensing vs Intuition, 3) Thinking vs Feeling and 4) Judging vs Perceiving. As you can tell by the four-letter acronym, INTJ stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking and Judging.

  • Introversion (I): INTJs tend to be introverted and prefer to work alone.
  • Intuition (N): INTJs look at the big picture and like to focus on abstract information rather than concrete details.
  • Thinking (T): INTJs place greater emphasis on logic and objective information rather than subjective emotions.
  • Judging (J): INTJs like their world to feel controlled and ordered so they prefer to make plans well in advance.

Common characteristics exhibited by people with this personality type:

  • Enjoys theoretical and abstract concepts
  • Dislikes confusion, disorganization and inefficiency
  • Reserved and prefers solitary work to group work
  • Orderly and structured
  • Perfectionistic
  • High expectations and standards
  • More focused on the future than on the present

When INTJs develop an interest in something, they strive to become as knowledgeable and skilled as they can in that area. They have high expectations, and they hold themselves to the highest possible standards.

INTJs are good at gathering information from the outside world, analyzing it and reaching new insights. People with this personality type tend to be very analytical and logical. They value information, knowledge and intelligence and make excellent scientists and mathematicians. They tend to do particularly well in fields that require efficiency and the ability to interpret complex information such as engineering, academia, law and research.

“INTJs…tend to be insightful and mentally quick; however, this mental quickness may not always be outwardly apparent to others since they keep a great deal to themselves,” explains Sandra Krebs Hirsch in Introduction to Type in Organizations. “They are very determined people who trust their vision of the possibilities, regardless of what others think. They may even be considered the most independent of all of the sixteen personality types. INTJs are at their best in quietly and firmly developing their ideas, theories, and principles.”

People with this personality type are introverted and spend a lot of time in their own mind. INTJs work best by themselves and strongly prefer solitary work to group work. While they tend not to be particularly interested in other people’s thoughts and feelings, they do care about the emotions of the select group of people to whom they are close. In personal relationships, INTJs are willing to devote time and energy toward making these relationships successful.

Other people often interpret INTJs as cool, aloof and disinterested, which can making forming new friendships challenging. People with this type of personality often see little value in social rituals and small talk, making it even more difficult to get to know them. They tend to be reserved and prefer to interact with a group of close family and friends.

INTJ Cognitive Functions

INTJ’s dominant function is introverted intuition, which is supported by their secondary functions extroverted thinking, introverted feeling, and extroverted sensing. This  combination of functions causes them to view the world rationally while retaining a special care for intuition and emotions, making INTJ a very rare and interesting personality type.

INTJ Women

INTJ women are rarer than INTJ men, and they account for less than 1% of the population. Despite this, they are very prominent in politics and business, as they diligently follow their plans.

As a contrast to INTJ men, who are likely to be friends with men with different personalities, INTJ women are unlikely to get along with women of other personality types. This is because INTJ women are not very compatible with traditionally feminine society, so they tend to prefer to work alone.

These women are not outwardly emotional, even in relationships, which can lead to the perception that they are unkind. While it is true that they prefer hobbies and cultural events to more romantic situations, they truly appreciate someone who is willing to participate in these with them.

INTJ Relationships

INTJs are most compatible with personality types that similarly value reason and abstract thinking, but tend to be more forthright than the inwardly focused INTJ. This allows these personality types, like ENFP and ENTP, to reach to the core of an INTJ’s feelings and allow them to safely express themselves as they feel comfortable. INTJs seek to build a stable, trusting relationship over time.

Famous People With INTJ Personalities

Researchers have suggested that a number of famous individuals match the characteristics of the INTJ personality type based on analysis of their lives and works:

  • Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President
  • John F. Kennedy, U.S. President
  • C. S. Lewis, author
  • Jane Austen, author
  • Susan B. Anthony, civil rights leader
  • Arthur Ashe, tennis player
  • Emily Bronte, author

Some well-known fictional INTJs include:

  • Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
  • Professor Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes
  • Clarice Starling, Silence of the Lambs
  • Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings

Best Career Choices for INTJs

INTJs typically do well in careers that integrate their strong ability to understand and evaluate complex information with their ability to put this knowledge into practice. Careers that allow the INTJ to work independently and autonomously are also ideal.

  • Scientist
  • Mathematician
  • Engineer
  • Dentist
  • Doctor
  • Teacher
  • Judge
  • Lawyer

If an INTJ feels cramped or unfulfilled in a job or career, they will not hesitate to make the effort to switch to something that allows them to reach higher.