INTJ (introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging) is an acronym that represents one of the 16 personality types described by the Jung Personality Test. People with INTJ personalities are highly analytical, creative, and logical. According to psychologist David Keirsey, developer of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, approximately one to four percent of the population has an INTJ personality type.
The test identifies preferences in four key dimensions: 1) Extraversion vs. Introversion, 2) Sensing vs. Intuition, 3) Thinking vs. Feeling, and 4) Judging vs. Perceiving. As you can tell by the four-letter acronym, INTJ stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, and Judging.
- Introversion (I): INTJs tend to be introverted and prefer to work alone.
- Intuition (N): INTJs look at the big picture and focus on abstract information rather than concrete details.
- Thinking (T): INTJs emphasize logic and objective information more than subjective emotions.
- Judging (J): INTJs like their world to feel controlled and ordered, so they prefer to plan well in advance.
Common characteristics exhibited by people with this personality type:
- Enjoys theoretical and abstract concepts
- Dislikes confusion, disorganization, and inefficiency
- Reserved and prefers solitary work to group work
- Orderly and structured
- High expectations and standards
- More focused on the future than on the present
When INTJs develop an interest in something, they strive to become as knowledgeable and skilled as possible. They have high expectations and hold themselves to the highest possible standards.
INTJs are good at gathering information from the outside world, analyzing it, and reaching new insights. People with this personality type tend to be very analytical and logical. They value information, knowledge, and intelligence and make excellent scientists and mathematicians. They tend to do particularly well in fields that require efficiency and the ability to interpret complex information, such as engineering, academia, law, and research.
“INTJs…tend to be insightful and mentally quick; however, this mental quickness may not always be outwardly apparent to others since they keep a great deal to themselves,” explains Sandra Krebs Hirsch in Introduction to Type in Organizations. “They are very determined people who trust their vision of the possibilities, regardless of what others think. They may even be considered the most independent of all sixteen personality types. INTJs are at their best in quietly and firmly developing their ideas, theories, and principles.”
People with this personality type are introverted and spend a lot of time in their minds. INTJs work best by themselves and strongly prefer solitary work to group work. While they tend not to be particularly interested in other people’s thoughts and feelings, they care about the emotions of the select people with whom they are close. In personal relationships, INTJs are willing to devote time and energy toward making these relationships successful.
Other people often interpret INTJs as cool, aloof, and disinterested, challenging to form new friendships. People with this personality type often see little value in social rituals and small talk, making it even more difficult to get to know them. They tend to be reserved and prefer to interact with a group of close family and friends.
INTJ Cognitive Functions
INTJ’s dominant function is introverted intuition, supported by their secondary functions of extroverted thinking, introverted feeling, and sensing. This combination of functions causes them to view the world rationally while retaining special care for intuition and emotions, making INTJ a scarce and exciting personality type.
INTJ women are rarer than INTJ men, accounting for less than 1% of the population. Despite this, they are very prominent in politics and business, diligently following their plans.
In contrast to INTJ men, who are likely to be friends with men with different personalities, INTJ women are unlikely to get along with women of other personality types. This is because INTJ women are incompatible with traditionally feminine society and prefer to work alone.
These women are not outwardly emotional, even in relationships, which can lead to the perception that they are unkind. While it is true that they prefer hobbies and cultural events to more romantic situations, they genuinely appreciate someone willing to participate in these with them.
INTJs are most compatible with personality types that similarly value reason and abstract thinking but tend to be more forthright than the inwardly focused INTJ. This allows these personality types, like ENFP and ENTP, to reach the core of an INTJ’s feelings and allow them to express themselves as they feel comfortable and safe. INTJs seek to build a stable, trusting relationship over time.
Famous People With INTJ Personalities
Researchers have suggested that several famous individuals match the characteristics of the INTJ personality type based on analysis of their lives and works:
- Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President
- John F. Kennedy, U.S. President
- C. S. Lewis, author
- Jane Austen, author
- Susan B. Anthony, civil rights leader
- Arthur Ashe, tennis player
- Emily Bronte, author
Some well-known fictional INTJs include:
- Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride, and Prejudice
- Professor Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes
- Clarice Starling, Silence of the Lambs
- Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings
Best Career Choices for INTJs
INTJs typically do well in careers that integrate their strong ability to understand and evaluate complex information with their ability to put this knowledge into practice. Jobs that allow the INTJ to work independently and autonomously are also ideal.
If an INTJ feels cramped or unfulfilled in a job or career, they will not hesitate to try to switch to something that allows them to reach higher.