Thinkers, also frequently referred to as Logicians, are one of the least common MBTI personality types, together with the Architects (INTJ). In fact, the two share most of the preferences that define these two personalities - they both have a strong preference for the factors Introversion, iNtuition, and Thinking, with the main difference being that Thinkers are Perceivers while Architects are Judgers.
Logic and reason are the most important traits and preferences of INTPs, which explains their nicknames. They are hard workers with a clear mindset and a bit of a “tamed” free spirit.
INTPs are quiet and reserved. As introverts, they derive a sense of gratification from within rather than through external approval.
The personality trait that defines them the most is their preference for analytical and objective thinking. Even if they are open to analyzing and absorbing empirical data, their thought processes are still very structured and logical. Emotions play no part in their reasoning, and they tend to dismiss them as annoying subjective factors that interfere with a perfectly reasonable and logical reasoning process.
Interestingly, their natural inclination towards an analytical approach does not make them rigid. Instead, they can be seen as self-controlled free spirits. They have a natural tendency to “think outside the box” which makes them very flexible while remaining faithful to their logical principles.
They enjoy playing around with theoretical concepts even if they cannot transpose them to reality. INTPs also dislike plans and schedules as they find them too restrictive, not allowing them to use their creativity and freely wander through their thoughts.
They naturally prefer and use logical reasoning and thought processes to interpret and analyze the world.
INTPs are fact seekers. They want to know more about everything and are willing to go the extra mile to look for proof, rather than blindly accepting what others tell them.
Thinkers do not dismiss any information from the beginning. They are even open to empirical data. However, they must find it logical, analytical, and provable. In the case of empirical knowledge, they are willing to accept it only if there is a scientific approach and sufficient supporting evidence behind it.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but not INTPs. People who fall under this MBTI type of personality thrive through their curiosity.
They are predisposed to want to learn more about everything, and to inquire about the functioning of the world. Thinkers tend to focus on the bigger picture rather than on details, which in turn makes their range of interests broader and more diverse.
INTPs are normally very creative when it comes to problem-solving. Their creativity stems from their other strong personality preferences. The fact that they are knowledge seekers, curious, and have a very analytical and logical thought process, helps them to connect ideas and concepts in innovative and unconventional ways.
Their mind is also flexible and receptive to new ideas, which in turn strengthens their predisposition to think outside the box and to find possible solutions that would be out of reach to others with a more limited scope of interests.
As a consequence of being curious and always seeking new knowledge, people with an INTP personality tend to be very open-minded and invite novelty. They understand that exchanging ideas and opinions is an important part of expanding one’s knowledge and understanding what surrounds them.
In this sense, Thinkers are very receptive to others’ opinions and suggestions. They are willing to listen to what others have to say and incorporate it into their own knowledge or approach if they find it suitable. Nevertheless, it should be noted that this receptiveness is only restricted to opinions and ideas based on logical reasoning. INTPs do not accept any data based on emotions, flimsy perceptions, or personal opinions without anything objective behind them.
Logicians are good at and enjoy being independent. Working alone or being in a situation where they do not depend on others allows them to approach any problem at their own pace and with the freedom to explore creative options.
Their objective and analytical nature also makes them prone to a goal-oriented approach that prevents them from procrastinating while going unchecked.
INTPs are not necessarily rebels, but they do struggle with rules and with accepting a hierarchical structure.
They find that having a rigid set of rules or having to answer and justify oneself to someone is too restrictive and can negatively affect the freedom of thought and learning. Rules and authority impose certain interests or routes to follow, which to someone with an INTP personality is very limiting and confining.
People with an INTP personality have a hard time following or making their own plans and schedules. The reason behind this handicap is simple: it is restrictive.
Thinkers enjoy learning more about a specific subject and coming up with creative solutions that connect different concepts and ideas. Following a plan can prevent them from exploring other problem-solving options and thought processes. Likewise, having to adhere to a schedule puts pressure on the individuals and limits their time.
A person with an INTP personality type only accepts facts or information that can be verified or tested. Unfortunately, this leaves out many cultural traditions which are rooted in old credences and/or customs.
This combined with their disregard for emotions in favor of reason has Thinkers coming out as insensitive and inconsiderate for not respecting the cultural history and traditions of others. They simply do not care if they are hurting someone’s feelings and focus solely on the (in)existence of logical reasoning behind a certain behavior or idea.
Working as part of a team can be very stressful and aggravating for an INTP as well as for everyone else involved.
To begin with, they enjoy being independent and foster their independence as much as they can. They prefer to work alone than to have their ideas and approaches conditioned by other people, even if they are their co-workers.
This in itself already makes an INTP a less than ideal colleague depending on the job in question, but the true problems arise when thinkers perceive others as inferior to them. They have a widespread tendency to clash with anyone that they believe is not as well prepared or focused.
People with an INTP personality are constantly drawn to new information and to opportunities to learn something new and to explore their creativity. The downside of this eagerness is that they tend to stray out of their path very quickly.
As they spread their attention thinly through several topics at once and they try to experiment with several different approaches too, they can end up losing sight of the final goal and become inefficient. Likewise, because they focus on the bigger picture all the time, it can be easy for them to miss important details or lose track of the pertinent information they need.
INTPs will find themselves happy in careers where they can exercise their analytical skills and use their creativity without any restrictions while looking to solve any problem.
The most suitable job for a person with this personality type will depend on other factors such as particular interests or skills, for example. Nevertheless, they tend to be drawn to careers that are either reasoning-focused with an artistic component (e.g. software developer, research scientist) or an art-focused career with logical and analytical features (eg. musician, architect, graphic designer).
The fact that they are open-minded and eager to learn new things also makes INTPs more likely to learn other languages and to engage in jobs that require complete fluency to understand the deep structure of the language and take control of that structure to communicate clearly and logically. In this sense, INTPs tend to make good interpreters and translators, and this objective and analytical ability to play with words also give them the potential for a successful career as a judge or a lawyer.
As for careers that they should avoid, INTPs should look at their weaker personality traits. For example, jobs that require working in a team might not be suitable for them. Likewise, any career that implies working directly with clients, patients, or external visitors may also not be the best choice for them.
When looking for a job that would make them happy, INTPs need to pay attention to all the dimensions of their functions.
For instance, they may be drawn to a profession such as a registered nurse working in an E.R. because they enjoy the scientific and analytical aspect of the job and the rush on the emergency room would mean that they would get in contact with an array of different medical cases. However, this job also implies dealing directly with the patients, having empathy, and understanding the importance and the role of emotions for both mental and physical health. Given that INTPs put logic above emotion at all times and tend to show some disdain over feelings, this would not be a suitable career for them.