But they won't tell you that INTPs are one of the introverted types most likely to get married. (And more than once, too.)
Or that INTPs are the type predicted to do best on I.Q. tests.
Or that INTPs are the type most likely to smoke.
I love those warm fuzzy affirmations as much as the next guy, but if we don't know our true strengths and weaknesses, how can we chart our lives? I'd kind of like to know if my type was the most likely to die of lung cancer, wouldn't you? Forewarned is forearmed. I'd also feel a lot more confident in my decision-making if I had actual numbers and statistics rather than just vague generalizations, i.e., "INTPs like designing things..."
Which is why I've compiled some of the fascinating research that other webpages either don't know about, don't care about, or just choose not to mention. Some of it will be great news, some of it will be disheartening news, and some of it will be just plain old weird. :) I hope this website will be useful to you. There's a table of contents at left.
A Few Small But Significant Caveats
As you read on, please bear in mind that none of this has to be a stereotype that rules your life. You're a unique individual with a unique background, and this description is simply a generalization based on statistics and averages. Don't take what you read here as limitations, but as an invitation to grow outside your core strengths. And especially don't be the annoying guy who uses this description as an excuse. You're better than that! :) Besides, why box yourself in? Type is a starting point, not an ending place. Enjoy it and then grow from it.
INTPs are estimated at:
- 3.54% of the American population (sample size 9,320; Myers & McCaulley, 1985)
- 2.4% of the UK population* (sample size 1,634; Kendall & McHenry, 1998)
- 3.82% of the Australian population (sample size 3,373; Macdaid, McCaulley, & Kainz, 1986)
- 2.7% of the New Zealand population (sample size 993; Bathurst, 1995)
- 4.8% of the Singapore population (sample size 1,733; Lim, 1994)
*Be chary about comparing the UK estimate with the others. There's a long explanation.
Independent, abstract reasoners, INTPs are often found working at the cutting edge of thought as mathematical/political/economic/etc theorists. INTPs are not interested in everyday chitchat about coworkers, barbecues, shopping trips, etc. They would rather be discussing whether dolphins have language or complaining about how Star Wars breaks the laws of physics.
INTPs are interested in absolute Truth as established through logic and reasoning. For this reason, philosophy is a beloved INTP pastime.
The beauty of pure reason and perfectly designed systems is not lost on INTPs. They appreciate the design of cleverly-engineered products and carefully constructed statements of logic, whether in the form of arguments, equations, or computer code. They feel a sense of satisfaction when they see facts appear in that fall in line with their mental model of a situation.