ISTJ Inspector

A Few Caveats

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.  It is not your destiny, your fate, or anything like that.  Don't take what you read here as limitations, but as an invitation to grow outside your core strengths.  And especially don't use 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.


ISTJs are estimated at:

  • 6.92% of the American population  (sample size 9,320; Myers & McCaulley, 1985)
  • 13.7% of the UK population*   (sample size 1,634; Kendall & McHenry, 1998)
  • 8.6% of the Australian population  (sample size 3,373; Macdaid, McCaulley, & Kainz, 1986)
  • 16.9% of the New Zealand population  (sample size 993; Bathurst, 1995)
  • 17.0% 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. 


A caveat.  Isabel Myers (INFP) married a man named Chief, an ISTJ and a good man.  They were happy together, but according to Isabel's own type theory they weren't predicted to be perfect for each other.  Later on, Myers said that if she had known about type theory, she probably wouldn't have married Chief.  Hm!  There is a lesson to be learned here: type is not everything, nor should it be the decisive factor in choosing your lifemate.  That goes for you ISTJs too!  Take it from the founder of type herself--type ain't everything. 

Then too, the connections between type, attraction, love and marriage haven't been well studied yet.  (The question is more complicated than you'd think.)  You can read about this question and the various attempts to answer it here.

About all we can say is that ENFP-ISTJ couples tend to seek therapy more often than other combinations.

Sensors as a group tend to have higher marital satisfaction than Intuitives.  When compared with other Sensors, ISTJs have an averagelevel of satisfaction with their marriage/intimate relationship. 

Where can I meet an ISTJ?

  • For females - At your local library.  ISTJs are the most frequent type for librarians.
  • For males - At a military base or police station.  They are also one of the most frequent types in the military and police.


A study found that ISTJs were the type that most liked the work environment characteristic "Everything done by the book."  Of course, "most liked" is relative here, since only 24% of ISTJs indicated that they liked this characteristic.  ISTJs were also the type that was least interested in the characteristic "People with different backgrounds," although again this is relative, since 46% of ISTJs did like this characteristic. 

Over 80% of ISTJs also indicated that they liked jobs with "Clear structure," "Independence and Achievement," "Loyalty/security," and "Variety of tasks."  In addition, ISTJs were among the top four types for liking "Clear structure," "Toe the line," and "Goes by the book."  In terms of organizational values, ISTJs' only marked preference was to rate low the value "Visible autonomy."

ISTJs were one of the two types that tended to have the highest long job length; i.e. they stayed working at the same place for the longest time of all types. 

Hammer (1993) suggests that occupational trends for ISTJs include "Management," "Administration," "Law enforcement," and "Accounting."


In terms of type and grades, ISTJs tend to be fairly middle of the road.  For aptitude tests such as the ACT, SAT and IQ, Intuitives generally do better than Sensors; when compared to other Sensors, ISTJs were slightly towards the high end. 


ISTJs are not a very stressed out type compared to most.  A study of type and stress found that they only tended to be highly stressed out about one thing, namely "Work."  However, ISTJs are the third most likely type to develop heart disease and hypertension.  ISTJs didn't emphasize any particular coping method for dealing with stress; the only notable thing was that they did not prefer the coping mechanism "Talk to someone close."




A study found that the only leisure pastime for which ISTJs were overrepresented was "Watching sporting events."  They were less likely than average to listen to music, write, or appreciate art during their leisure time. 


Like all Judgers, ISTJs tend to be neat and to take that little bit of extra care with their appearance.  Like all Guardians, ISTJs tend to dress conservatively and to wear nice clothes.  Tieger notes that males will seldom have long hair, and that Guardians tend to put the functionality of their clothing before style. 

Type Dynamics and Cognitive Functions (Or Not)

I won't be covering type dynamics or cognitive functions here.  Type junkies may be wondering why not, since Si, Te, Fi, and Ne are widely considered to be characteristic of ISTJs.  But there is doubt over whether the cognitive functions exist.  You can read about it here

Essentially, I see no point in pouring more time and effort into a bucket so full of holes, and will not be discussing this part of the MBTI theory.

Post-Apocalyptic Survival for ISTJs

Does your type have what it takes to survive the end of the world, or will you be eaten by monsters?  Read on and find your fate...or don't, and die in unimaginable agony.  The choice is up to you.

Famous ISTJs

Real People

Fictional People


ISTJ forum on Personality Cafe - Meet and chat with real ISTJs. 

Books of Interest