They are both creative people who have active intellectual lives. They don’t like dull, day-to-day routines, and both can work alone. They are problem solvers and especially love theorizing and philosophizing about the world around them. They are not wildly social and hate small talk, preferring to have meaningful, stimulating conversations.
A closer examination of both personalities, however, reveals many differences. Here are just a few:
- ENTPs will ask for help when they need it.
- INTPs will try to do everything themselves.
- ENTPs have a whimsical and fun side. They aren’t afraid to show the world.
- INTPs have a silly side, too, but it is usually only offered to those closest to them.
- ENTPs will jump right in and act without much deliberation.
- INTPs will deliberate and rationally analyze an issue before they act.
- ENTPs are happy to work alone but would enjoy consulting with someone else.
- INTPs do not require anyone to work with them and are glad to be alone.
What are the Key Differences between ENTPs and INTPs?
ENTPs and INTPs are very similar, but their differences stand out in their approaches to problem-solving. ENTPs think on a large scale, conceiving of and applying general patterns to understand a situation. At the same time, INTPs focus more on the details, primarily considering individual facts.
ENTP vs. INTP Cognitive Functions
Every personality has four cognitive functions — Intuition, Thinking, Sensing, and Feeling. Those functions are then further described by how they are expressed: extroverted (outside of the mind) or Introverted (inside of the mind).
ENTPs and INTPs are mirrors of each other. ENTPs’ dominant function is Extraverted Intuition, and their auxiliary function is Introverted Thinking. INTPs’ chief function is Introverted Thinking, and their additional function is Extraverted Intuition.
Likewise, an ENTP’s tertiary and inferior functions are Extraverted Feeling and Introverted Sensing, respectively. INTPs are the opposite, with their tertiary function being Introverted Sensing and their impaired function being Extraverted Feeling.
An ENTP’s dominant function is Extraverted Intuition, which means they are very much in touch with and fascinated by the possibilities that exist in the world. They take in all available information and then form theories, changing their environment, if necessary, to conform to their ideas. Here are some ways ENTPs express their Extraverted Intuition:
- They are generally very open-minded.
- They are excellent at seeing patterns and connecting disparate entities, often seeing relationships when others do not.
- They are very oriented toward the future and the possibilities that the future might hold.
- Some people may criticize ENTPs for having too many crazy ideas that could never be practical.
An ENTP’s auxiliary function is Introverted Thinking, which means that they trust their inner logic and intuition, even if that trust may baffle other people. This function describes how they logically take information in and can use it to make decisions, reach conclusions and ultimately act. Here are some ways ENTPs express their Introverted Thinking:
- This function allows ENTPs to use logic to organize the flood of information they receive from the outside world.
- They consider what their senses tell them, as well as objective evidence rather than emotional evidence or subjective opinions.
- They seek to understand not only how things happen and why things happen the way they do.
- Their Introverted Thinking makes them excellent inventors and imaginative thinkers.
An ENTP’s tertiary function is Extraverted Feeling, which involves seeking peaceful and harmonious interpersonal relationships. This aspect of their personality is not usually naturally developed but can be improved with work. Here are some ways ENTPs express their Extraverted Feeling:
- If this aspect of their personality is fragile, they may seem insensitive to others.
- They can be whimsical and playful with others if they sense that the mood in the room needs to be lightened.
An ENTP’s inferior function is Introverted Sensing, which is about trusting and using past experiences to shape current behavior. Here are some ways ENTPs express their Introverted Sensing:
- Many ENTPs don’t consider what has happened in the past because they are so preoccupied with what could be in the future.
- Past results may feel like irrelevant details to an ENTP.
An INTP’s dominant function is Introverted Thinking. They are focused on controlling their inner world by using reason and logic. Here are some ways INTPs express their Introverted Thinking:
- They are very tightly controlled and self-disciplined.
- INTPs are generally very private people.
- They respond well to personal goals and challenges.
- They live by a rigid set of rules for themselves that do not change and are not typically applied to others.
An INTP’s auxiliary function is Extraverted Intuition. It allows them to collect data and consider solutions from many different sources logically, organized, and methodically. Here are some ways INTPs express their Extraverted Intuition:
- Their Extraverted Intuition supports their Introverted Thinking and makes them excellent problem solvers.
- They will consider out-of-the-box solutions along with what has worked before.
- Their rigid rules for themselves do not necessarily apply to problem-solving. They will go outside their comfort zone to find a solution when necessary.
- Sometimes ideas that make sense to an INTP will not make sense to others.
An INTP’s tertiary function is Introverted Sensing, which involves comparing the past to the present. INTPs are detail-oriented and often attempt to examine history to illuminate the present. Here are some ways INTPs express their Introverted Sensing:
- They are known for keeping a list of details in mind and referring to them when necessary.
- They may get nostalgic about a past time, place, or activity.
An INTP’s inferior function is Extraverted Feeling. Of course, they are introverts but seek to get along with others in a group, especially if they have something in common. Here are some ways INTPs express their Extraverted Feeling:
- When stressed, they tend to close themselves off and not communicate with group members.
- They usually have difficulty expressing their feelings.
ENTP vs INTP Intelligence
Both personality types tend to be considered intelligent because of their natural curiosity and problem-solving abilities. They both share an interest in the world and a desire to learn new things. They also both enjoy engaging intellectually with others. They do, however, express their intelligence in different ways.
How do ENTPs express their intelligence?
- They will jump right into a problem, imagining multiple possibilities, then backtrack and begin analyzing to see if any of their ideas are possible.
- They are attracted by finding unique solutions more than by finding tried and true real-world options.
- They love debating and learning new ways of looking at ideas they hadn’t considered before.
How do INTPs express their intelligence?
- Before jumping into a problem, they will think about it logically for a long time, considering every aspect and data point they know.
- They are more interested in discovering the truth than examining endless possibilities.
- They don’t mind an intellectual discussion but prefer to work alone to find the answers they’re after.
Am I an ENTP or an INTP?
Both personality types are so close to each other in so many ways; how can you tell them apart? Here are a couple of basic questions that can help narrow down your personality type.
How talkative are you?
ENTPs are generally talkative with others, especially when discussing something that interests them. They will not hesitate to start a conversation or ask for someone else’s opinion.
INTPs are quieter and reserved and will save the talking when necessary. They will speak, but only after they’ve given a great deal of thought to what they are going to say.
Do you have many interests?
ENTPs have a wide variety of interests that they enthusiastically follow. They will also tend to bounce from one topic to another rather quickly.
INTPs’ interests tend to be focused on a few specific areas.
Is your life organized conventionally?
ENTPs usually want nothing to do with tradition and are most happy when they only arrange their lives in a way that works for themselves and themselves.
INTPs prefer a rational structure to their lives and will generally be more traditional than ENTP.
Can you stay on task?
ENTPs are easily distracted from what they are doing because their interest has been piqued by something else.
INTPs need little supervision because they are very focused and will stay on task.
Do people think of you as outgoing?
ENTPs have periods when they are social, fanciful, and impulsive. Those times are usually followed by quite a bit of downtime and quiet introspection.
INTPs are generally thought of as being reserved or quiet rather than outgoing. However, they do have their moments when they are comfortable sharing their fun side with others.
Do you think of yourself as being an introvert or an extrovert?
ENTPs generally think of themselves as being ambiverts or as having both introvert and extrovert qualities.
INTPs would usually consider themselves to be strictly introverts.
What is the difference between an introverted ENTP and an extraverted INTP?
On the surface, they seem very similar, but ENTPs and INTPs still perceive the world in an inherently different way. An ENTP will see the world as a big picture and, more often than not, may miss the finer details and nuances.
An INTP oppositely sees the world, focusing on details and the smaller picture. They are more connected to accurate world parameters than are ENTPs. So even if an ENTP is more introverted and an INTP is more extroverted, they will always be fundamentally different.
Can a shy ENTP be an INTP?
A shy ENTP will still be an ENTP. Shyness, or being introverted, is not the critical feature of what makes someone an INTP. No matter how social they are, an ENTP will still perceive the world in a big-picture, abstract way, and an INTP will still focus on real-world, detail-oriented solutions.
Can you be both an ENTP and an INTP or on the cusp of both?
You cannot be two personality types at the same time. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t share many of the characteristics of another personality. Your character can evolve and change over time due to your life experiences, relationships, or just by working on improving yourself.
Can an INTP become an ENTP?
According to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator creators, your personality types do not change. That doesn’t mean aspects of your personality won’t evolve. An INTP can work on developing their auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior functions, which could be extremely helpful for their lives, but they will still be an INTP.
If someone previously considered an INTP suddenly tests as an ENTP, it means they were more than likely an ENTP all along. It is important to remember that the MBTI does not seek to define an individual but instead seeks to describe them.