Precise, perceptive, and disciplined, INTJs bring an intense focus to achieving their goals.
Reading time: 5 minutes
This series of short articles touches on several aspects of the INTJ personality type.
You can jump straight to any section by clicking the links below, or keep reading to learn about the definition of the INTJ personality type.
INTJ stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging.
In the popular Myers-Briggs or 16-personalities tradition, all personalities belong to one of 16 types. Each type is defined by preferences across four cognitive functions:
Here’s how to understand the INTJ’s place on all four dimensions:
INTJs have an introverted attitude or orientation.
INTJs tend to focus more on the inner, subjective world of concepts and ideas, while an extraverted attitude leads to a greater focus on the external world of objects and people.
INTJs 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. INTJs 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).
INTJs 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, INTJs lean heavily on logic, consistency, and correctness when making decisions, rather than focusing on others’ emotions, desires, and perceptions.
As a judging type, INTJs tend to present their judging function of thinking to the external world.
Because they present their thinking function externally, other people see INTJs as logical, rational, and highly analytical.
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The four-letter types from MBTI theory encode each type’s attitudes and preferred cognitive functions.
For the INTJ,
From this, we can determine how the INTJ prefers the four cognitive functions of intuition, sensing, thinking, and feeling:
Why? INTJs have an introverted attitude (I) and a judging attitude (J), so they present their judging function (T) to the external world.
However, as an introverted type, INTJs prefer an orientation to the inner world, so their primary cognitive function is not what they show to the external world. Instead, their primary cognitive function is their perceiving function: intuition or intuitive perception (N).
INTJs’ secondary function is the one they show to their external world: thinking. This counterbalances their introverted primary function.
In MBTI theory, the tertiary function is the opposite of the auxiliary function, which for INTJs is feeling.
Lastly, the inferior function is the opposite of the primary function, which for INTJs is sensing. The inferior function in all personality types is the least developed function.
According to the MBTI, somewhere between 1% and 7% of all people will be classified as an INTJ.
For comparisons between INTJs and other types from the 16 Personality typology, visit any of the type pairings below: