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Articles > The ENTP

The ENTP Personality Type

ENTPs are confident, bold, intense, and love a good debate.

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This series of short articles touches on several aspects of the ENTP personality type.

You can jump straight to any section by clicking the links below, or keep reading to learn about the definition of the ENTP personality type.

What does ENTP stand for?

ENTP stands for Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving.

In the popular Myers-Briggs or 16-personalities tradition, all personalities belong to one of 16 types. Each type is defined by preferences across these four dimensions:

  • Introverted vs. Extraverted
  • Sensing vs. Intuitive
  • Thinking vs. Feeling
  • Perceiving vs. Judging

Here’s how to understand the ENTP’s place on all four dimensions:

Extraverted

ENTPs have an extraverted attitude or orientation.

ENTPs tend to focus more on the objective world of people and their external environment, while an introverted attitude leads to a greater focus on the inner, subjective world of concepts and ideas.

Intuitive

ENTPs prefer to use the cognitive function of intuition over sensing when taking in information about the world.

This dimension, intuition vs. sensing, is known as the perceiving function in MBTI theory.

Intuition refers to perception from sources other than the sensory system. ENTPs prefer to use their perception of abstract patterns, connections, “gut feeling” about a situation, rather than relying more heavily on perception directly through the sensory system (sensing).

Thinking

ENTPs prefer using their thinking function when judging information and assessing values and needs among people.

This dimension, thinking vs. feeling, is known as the judging function in MBTI theory.

By prefering thinking over feeling as their judging function, ENTPs lean heavily on logic, consistency, and correctness when making decisions, rather than focusing on others’ emotions, desires, and perceptions.

Perceiving

As a perceiving type, ENFPs tend to present their perceiving function of intuition to the external world.

Because they present their perceiving function externally, other people see ENTPs as highy intuitive, curious, and interested in abstract concepts and ideas.

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ENTP cognitive functions

The four-letter types from MBTI theory encode each type’s attitudes and preferred cognitive functions.

  1. The first letter indicates an introverted vs. extraverted attitude
  2. The second letter indicates the preferred sensing function
  3. The third letter indicates the preferred judging function
  4. The fourth letter indicates a judging vs. perceiving attitude

For the ENTP,

  • E: This type has an extraverted attitude
  • N: This type prefers perceiving through intuition over sensing
  • T: This type prefers judging through thinking over thinking
  • P: This type has a perceiving attitude or orientation and will present their favored perceiving function (intuition) to the outer world

From this, we can determine how the ENTP prefers the four cognitive functions of intuition, sensing, thinking, and feeling:

  • ENTPs’ primary function is intuition (N)
  • ENTPs’ secondary (auxiliary) function is thinking (T)
  • ENTPs’ tertiary function is feeling (F)
  • ENTPs’ inferior function is sensing (S)

Why? ENTPs have an extraverted attitude (E) and a perceiving attitude (P), so they present their perceiving function (N) to the external world.

Like all extraverted types, ENTPs prefer an orientation to the outer world, so they present their strongest cognitive function (N) to the outer world and other people.

ENTPs’ secondary function, thinking, is the one they rely on more heavily in their inner, subjective world. This counterbalances their extraverted primary function.

In MBTI theory, the tertiary function is the opposite of the secondary function, which for ENTPs is feeling.

Lastly, the inferior function is the opposite of the primary function, which for ENTPs is sensing. The inferior function in all personality types is the least developed function.

How rare is the ENTP personality type?

According to the MBTI, somewhere between 3% and 7% of all people will be classified as an ENTP.

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