The Scientist

A friend of mine recently took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, which reminded me that I took it a while back and read a fair amount about it then. It is one of the more accurate and insightful personality categorizations I’ve seen. It assesses 4 different binary personality facets, giving 16 possible personality types. These are designated by 4 letters. I’d really like to learn more about it—especially how it relates to graphology. There are a number of sites that offer such a test for free. The one I like the best of the ones I’ve taken is this one. It doesn’t take very long and gives detailed results. After you take it, the best site that describes each personality type is this one. I’m quite interested in what other people get. Everyone that reads this should take it (click here to do so). Then you can post your results as a comment. (If you don’t want to post it you can email it to me. If you don’t know my email address, use this form.) I’ve taken several different MBTI tests and I’ve taken a couple of them at different times and answered all the questions differently (they are, of course, pretty subjective). I almost always get the same result. Even when I take the same test and give different (but still accurate) answers. I have read a fair amount about the personality types and agree with the results it gave for me. I am an INTJ: Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging. My results from above test today are:
Introverted (I) 89.66% Extroverted (E) 10.34%
Intuitive (N) 68.75% Sensing (S) 31.25%
Thinking (T) 69.44% Feeling (F) 30.56%
Judging (J) 69.23% Perceiving (P) 30.77%

When I took the test 6 months ago my results were pretty similar:

Introverted (I) 81.25% Extroverted (E) 18.75%
Intuitive (N) 58.62% Sensing (S) 41.38%
Thinking (T) 84.38% Feeling (F) 15.63%
Judging (J) 67.57% Perceiving (P) 32.43%

One of the cool things about this test is it actually gives you percentages. In all of my taking the tests and reading about the differences between each pair, it has reinforced the conclusion that I am an INTJ. My Judging/Perceiving characteristic seems to be the most balanced between the two possibilities. So I am also very close to an INTP.

Below is the description of the INTJ from the site I linked above. I know it’s long so I bolded the stuff I think is most interesting. That way you can skim it if you want. I think that it is a pretty good reference for my personality. If you want to know more about me, studying this along with the Portrait of an INTP: The Thinker will give you a lot of insight.

The Scientist

Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Thinking


Portrait of an INTJ

As an INTJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via your intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things rationally and logically. INTJs live in the world of ideas and strategic planning. They value intelligence, knowledge, and competence, and typically have high standards in these regards, which they continuously strive to fulfill. To a somewhat lesser extent, they have similar expectations of others. With Introverted Intuition dominating their personality, INTJs focus their energy on observing the world, and generating ideas and possibilities. Their mind constantly gathers information and makes associations about it. They are tremendously insightful and usually are very quick to understand new ideas. However, their primary interest is not understanding a concept, but rather applying that concept in a useful way. Unlike the INTP, they do not follow an idea as far as they possibly can, seeking only to understand it fully. INTJs are driven to come to conclusions about ideas. Their need for closure and organization usually requires that they take some action. INTJ’s tremendous value and need for systems and organization, combined with their natural insightfulness, makes them excellent scientists. An INTJ scientist gives a gift to society by putting their ideas into a useful form for others to follow. It is not easy for the INTJ to express their internal images, insights, and abstractions.The internal form of the INTJ’s thoughts and concepts is highly individualized, and is not readily translatable into a form that others will understand. However, the INTJ is driven to translate their ideas into a plan or system that is usually readily explainable, rather than to do a direct translation of their thoughts. They usually don’t see the value of a direct transaction, and will also have difficulty expressing their ideas, which are non-linear. However, their extreme respect of knowledge and intelligence will motivate them to explain themselves to another person who they feel is deserving of the effort. INTJs are natural leaders, although they usually choose to remain in the background until they see a real need to take over the lead. When they are in leadership roles, they are quite effective, because they are able to objectively see the reality of a situation, and are adaptable enough to change things which aren’t working well. They are the supreme strategists – always scanning available ideas and concepts and weighing them against their current strategy, to plan for every conceivable contingency. INTJs spend a lot of time inside their own minds, and may have little interest in the other people’s thoughts or feelings. Unless their Feeling side is developed, they may have problems giving other people the level of intimacy that is needed. Unless their Sensing side is developed, they may have a tendency to ignore details which are necessary for implementing their ideas. The INTJ’s interest in dealing with the world is to make decisions, express judgments, and put everything that they encounter into an understandable and rational system. Consequently, they are quick to express judgments. Often they have very evolved intuitions, and are convinced that they are right about things. Unless they complement their intuitive understanding with a well-developed ability to express their insights, they may find themselves frequently misunderstood. In these cases, INTJs tend to blame misunderstandings on the limitations of the other party, rather than on their own difficulty in expressing themselves. This tendency may cause the INTJ to dismiss others input too quickly, and to become generally arrogant and elitist. INTJs are ambitious, self-confident, deliberate, long-range thinkers. Many INTJs end up in engineering or scientific pursuits, although some find enough challenge within the business world in areas which involve organizing and strategic planning. They dislike messiness and inefficiency, and anything that is muddled or unclear. They value clarity and efficiency, and will put enormous amounts of energy and time into consolidating their insights into structured patterns. Other people may have a difficult time understanding an INTJ. They may see them as aloof and reserved. Indeed, the INTJ is not overly demonstrative of their affections, and is likely to not give as much praise or positive support as others may need or desire. That doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t truly have affection or regard for others, they simply do not typically feel the need to express it. Others may falsely perceive the INTJ as being rigid and set in their ways. Nothing could be further from the truth, because the INTJ is committed to always finding the objective best strategy to implement their ideas. The INTJ is usually quite open to hearing an alternative way of doing something. When under a great deal of stress, the INTJ may become obsessed with mindless repetitive, Sensate activities, such as over-drinking. They may also tend to become absorbed with minutia and details that they would not normally consider important to their overall goal. INTJs need to remember to express themselves sufficiently, so as to avoid difficulties with people misunderstandings. In the absence of properly developing their communication abilities, they may become abrupt and short with people, and isolationists. INTJs have a tremendous amount of ability to accomplish great things. They have insight into the Big Picture, and are driven to synthesize their concepts into solid plans of action. Their reasoning skills gives them the means to accomplish that. INTJs are most always highly competent people, and will not have a problem meeting their career or education goals. They have the capability to make great strides in these arenas. On a personal level, the INTJ who practices tolerances and puts effort into effectively communicating their insights to others has everything in his or her power to lead a rich and rewarding life. INTJ Strengths:
  • Not threatened by conflict or criticism
  • Usually self-confident
  • Take their relationships and commitments seriously
  • Generally extremely intelligent and capable
  • Able to leave a relationship which should be ended, although they may dwell on it in their minds for awhile afterwards
  • Interested in “optimizing” their relationships
  • Good listeners
INTJ Weaknesses:
  • Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times
  • May tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, rather than the desired emotional support
  • Not naturally good at expressing feelings and affections
  • Tendency to believe that they’re always right
  • Tendency to be unwilling or unable to accept blame
  • Their constant quest to improve everything may be taxing on relationships
  • Tend to hold back part of themselves
INTJs generally have the following traits:
  • Able to absorb extremely complex theoretical and complex material
  • Driven to create order and structure from theoretical abstractions
  • Supreme strategists
  • Future-oriented
  • See the global, “big picture”
  • Strong insights and intuitions, which they trust implicitly
  • Value their own opinions over others
  • Love difficult theoretical challenges
  • Bored when dealing with mundane routine
  • Value knowledge and efficiency
  • Have no patience with inefficiency and confusion
  • Have very high standards for performance, which they apply to themselves most strongly
  • Reserved and detached from others
  • Calm, collected and analytical
  • Extremely logical and rational
  • Original and independent
  • Natural leaders, but will follow those they can fully support
  • Creative, ingenious, innovative, and resourceful
  • Work best alone, and prefer to work alone

Careers for INTJ Personality Types

More so than any other personality type, INTJs are brilliant when it comes to grasping complex theories and applying them to problems to come up with long-term strategies. Since this type of “strategizing” is the central focus and drive of the INTJ, there is a happy match between desire and ability in this type. Accordingly, the INTJ is happiest and most effective in careers which allow this type of processing, and which promote an environment in which the INTJ is given a lot of autonomy over their daily lives. Possible Career Paths for the INTJ:
  • Scientists
  • Engineers
  • Professors and Teachers
  • Medical Doctors / Dentists
  • Corporate Strategists and Organization Builders
  • Business Administrators / Managers
  • Military Leaders
  • Lawyers / Attorneys
  • Judges
  • Computer Programmers, Systems Analysts and Computer Specialists

INTJ Relationships

INTJs believe in constant growth in relationships, and strive for independence for themselves and their mates. They are constantly embarking on “fix-up” projects to improve the overall quality of their lives and relationships. They take their commitments seriously, but are open to redefining their vows, if they see something which may prove to be an improvement over the existing understanding. INTJs are not likely to be “touchy-feely”and overly affirming with their mates or children, and may at times be somewhat insensitive to their emotional needs. However, INTJs are in general extremely capable and intelligent individuals who strive to always be their best, and be moving in a positive direction. If they apply these basic goals to their personal relationships, they likely to enjoy happy and healthy interaction with their families and friends.

INTJs As Lovers

INTJs live much of their lives inside their own heads. They constantly scan their environment for new ideas and theories which they can turn into plans and structures. Sometimes, what they see and understand intuitively within themselves is more pure and “perfect” than the reality of a close personal relationship. INTJs may have a problem reconciling their reality with their fantasy.
INTJs are not naturally in tune with their own feelings, or with what other people are feeling. They also have a tendency to believe that they are always right. While their self-confidence and esteem is attractive, their lack of sensitivity to others can be a problem if it causes them to inadvertently hurt their partner’s feelings. If this is a problem for an INTJ, they should remember to sometimes let their mate be the one who is right, and to try to be aware of the emotional effect that your words have upon them. In conflict situations, INTJs need to remember to be supportive to their mate’s emotional needs, rather than treating the conflict as if it is an interesting idea to analyze. Sexually, the INTJ enjoys thinking about intimacy, and about ways to perfect it. In positive relationships, their creativity and intensity shine through in this arena. In more negative relationships, they might enjoy thinking about sex more than actually doing it. They’re likely to approach intimacy from a theoretical, creative perspective, rather than as an opportunity to express love and affection. Although, the INTJ who has learned the importance of these kinds of expressions to the health of their relationship is likely to be more verbally affectionate. INTJs are able to leave relationships when they’re over, and get on with their lives. They believe that this is the right thing to do. They may have more difficulty accomplishing the task than they like to exhibit to other people. INTJs are highly intense, intelligent people who bring a lot of depth and insight into most major areas of their life. In terms of relationships, their greatest potential pitfall is the tendency to think about things rather than doing them, and their difficulty reconciling reality with their inner visions. INTJs are likely to be in positive, healthy relationships, because they’re likely to leave relationships which aren’t working for them (unless other circumstances prohibit that). Although two well-developed individuals of any type can enjoy a healthy relationship, the INTJ’s natural partner is the ENFP, or the ENTP. INTJ’s dominant function of Introverted Intuition is best matched with a partner whose personality is dominated by Extraverted Intuition.

INTJs As Friends

INTJs are usually difficult to get to know well, and difficult to get close to. Those who are close to the INTJ will highly value them for their ideas and knowledge. Although INTJs are generally very serious-minded people, they also have been known to enjoy letting loose and having fun, if others pull them into it. They also can be really good at telling jokes, and exhibiting a sarcastic wit with a poker face. The INTJ is not likely to choose to spend time with people who they feel don’t have anything to offer the INTJ. They especially like to spend time with other Intuitive Thinkers, and also usually enjoy the company of Intuitive Feelers. These personality types love to theorize and speculate about ideas, and so can usually relate well to the INTJ, who loves to analyze ideas. Many INTJs believe that they are always right. In some INTJs, this belief is quite obvious, while in others it is more subtle. Some people may have a difficult time accepting what they see as a “superior attitude” or “snobbery”. Not to imply that INTJs are snobbish, just that some people with strong Feeling preferences may perceive them that way. And some individuals simply have no interest in the theoretical pursuits which the INTJ enjoys.
Doesn’t that describe me pretty perfectly?

6 Responses to “The Scientist”

  1. Robyn says:

    Wow, that described you so perfectly that it inspired me to take the test also. I got the results that I am an ISFJ. However, upon reading the implications of that I'm not sure it fits me all that well. I'm still pondering it.

  2. William says:

    One of the cool things about the particular Myer-Brigs test I linked above is that it gives you percentages between each of the characteristics. If you are really close to 50% on one or two it's insightful to read the descriptions for the ones that you are close to as well.

    There's been a time or two that someone I know has taken the test and gotten borderline results on a particular category and alternating that one trait describes them perfectly.

  3. Andrew says:

    Hey William, I just saw this post and was amazed because when I took a paper and pencil MBTI a year or two ago I came out as INTJ too, which I felt described many of my attributes that I never had really thought much about before. It was quite enlightening. I'll have to try this one some time to find out if I still am and what my percentages are.

  4. Shelli says:

    I am completely different. This is not surprising, of course. ESFP. I didn't pay attention to the percentages…typical (numbers, you know).

    I don't know how I feel about being called a performer, though, I guess I am a bit dramatic. Having read the Portrait of an ESFP, I am finding it to be fairly accurate.

    The only thing is, I had a problem with some of the statements. "I don't think being 15 min late for an appointment is a problem." How do I answer? Because I DO think it is a problem, but I am consistently late. Or "Prefer to finish ahead of schedule." Yeah, that would be nice, and IS preferable. But that doesn't mean it ever happens.

  5. Jason Henline says:

    I see that I’m a little bit late to the party here, but I just discovered your blog when you posted the new address on Facebook. My results were ISTJ with corresponding percentages 78, 62, 59, and 67. I think the description for ISTJ fits me really well, so I guess that’s one more Myers-Briggs success story. Thanks for the entertaining post.

  6. Sammie Krohn says:

    I just saw this and took the test. I’m an ISFJ or ESFJ but that didn’t quite sound like me. My percentages were: 50, 55.26, 62.86, and 63.89 respectively. I’m really close on everything apparently.

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