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Introduction:

Hello to all!!! It has been a long time since I was on here, and I think I’m due for another article!!! The focus of this article will be to explain the differences between INTP/ INTJ, as it relates to actual cognitive functions, and not “Oh, INTP’s and INTJ’s are the same except one’s lazy and the other isn’t…” Those types of threads are what made me mis-identify as an INTP (I’m an INTJ. Hardcore.) in the first place. So in order to assist those new to MBTI, and for those who are having difficulty understanding the difference between INTP/ INTJ, this article is for you.

So I want to start off by saying that when it comes to MBTI, you CANNOT, and I repeat CANNOT just take the 4 letters of the individual’s personality and determine their traits and preferences. You MUST look at the cognitive functions and processes.

So, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s delve into the world of MBTI cognitive processes!!!

Cognitive Functions:

So in our day to day interaction with the world, we are constantly receiving information, and then evaluating and acting according to how we processed the gathered information. Our information gathering functions are referred to as Perceiving functions, and are Sensing and iNtuiting. People who use Sensing as their Perceiving function take in information primarily via their senses. They evaluate what they can see, touch, smell, or hear. People who use iNtuition as their Perceiving function take in information based off of their intuition. Real world example: two people walk into the room, where the trashcan is turned upside down. The Sensor will notice that it’s upside down and flip it and continue on their way. The iNtuitor will see the trashcan, and flip it, while pondering why the can was upside down in the first place. Sensors are concerned with what they can directly interact with, and will generally shy away from theory or abstract thinking. They follow a straight line of reasoning, for the most part need to have all the steps of a process laid out for them, and are most at home in the physical world. Conversely, iNtuitors are concerned with ideas and theory, and may not be as home in the physical world. They are your absent minded professors, your daydreamers, or generally anyone who spends a significant amount of time thinking rather than doing.

Just as we have our intake or Perceiving functions, we have our evaluative or Judging functions, and they are Feeling and Thinking. Now it is imperative to understand that we define the meanings of “Feeling” and “Thinking” quite differently in MBTI than their correlating meanings in the English language; a person who uses Thinking as their Judging function is going to be the person to make their decisions based off of impersonal measures, such as points earned or what makes sense or what is mathematical or logical. Conversely, people who use Feeling as their Judging function will base their decisions and actions on more personal measures, such as the group dynamic and what makes sense “emotionally”.

Lastly, there is the first letter of the 4 letter identifier is either an “E” or an “I”. This denotes “introverted” and “extraverted” (note the difference in spelling vs. “extroverted”). An Introvert is someone who expends energy in social situations, whereas the opposite stands true for an Extrovert. What this means is that an introvert will naturally be inclined towards solitude, where an extrovert will be naturally drawn towards social situations.
Now that we’ve covered the types of functions, we are going to delve a little deeper into the function dichotomies. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I’m going to copy the definitions of the functions below:

From Understanding the 8 Jungian Cognitive Processes (8 Functions):

INFORMATION-ACCESSING PROCESSES—Perception
Se
Extraverted Sensing: Experiencing the immediate context; taking action in the physical world; noticing changes and opportunities for action; accumulating experiences; scanning for visible reactions and relevant data; recognizing "what is." Noticing what was available, trying on different items, and seeing how they look.
Si
Introverted Sensing: Reviewing past experiences; "what is" evoking "what was"; seeking detailed information and links to what is known; recalling stored impressions; accumulating data; recognizing the way things have always been. Remembering the last time you wore a particular item or the last time you were at a similar event—maybe even remembering how you felt then.
Ne
Extraverted iNtuiting: Interpreting situations and relationships; picking up meanings and interconnections; being drawn to change "what is" for "what could possibly be"; noticing what is not said and threads of meaning emerging across multiple contexts. Noticing the possible meanings of what you might wear: "Wearing this might communicate…"
Ni
Introverted iNtuiting: Foreseeing implications and likely effects without external data; realizing "what will be"; conceptualizing new ways of seeing things; envisioning transformations; getting an image of profound meaning or far-reaching symbols. Envisioning yourself in an outfit or maybe envisioning yourself being a certain way.
ORGANIZING-EVALUATING PROCESSES—Judgment
Te
Extraverted Thinking: Segmenting; organizing for efficiency; systematizing; applying logic; structuring; checking for consequences; monitoring for standards or specifications being met; setting boundaries, guidelines, and parameters; deciding if something is working or not. Sorting out different colors and styles; thinking about the consequences, as in "Since I have to stand all day…"
Ti
Introverted Thinking: Analyzing; categorizing; evaluating according to principles and whether something fits the framework or model; figuring out the principles on which something works; checking for inconsistencies; clarifying definitions to get more precision. Analyzing your options using principles like comfort or "Red is a power color."
Fe
Extraverted Feeling: Connecting; considering others and the group-organizing to meet their needs and honor their values and feelings; maintaining societal, organizational, or group values; adjusting to and accommodating others; deciding if something is appropriate or acceptable to others. Considering what would be appropriate for the situation: "One should or shouldn't wear…" or "People will think…"
Fi
Introverted Feeling: Valuing; considering importance and worth; reviewing for incongruity; evaluating something based on the truths on which it is based; clarifying values to achieve accord; deciding if something is of significance and worth standing up for. Evaluating whether you like an outfit or not: "This outfit suits me and feels right."


Really take some time to read and understand the functions, because it is going to be imperative in explaining just how INTPs and INTJs are different.

Are you all read up and understand the different functions? Good, because here we go into the meat and potatoes of this article!!

INTP vs INTJ: An Objective Analysis

While from a superficial perspective, the only difference between the types is a letter, the way the two types evaluate information is quite different. I will start with the INTP, The typical functional preference ordering of the INTP is: Ti > Ne > Si > Fe. (For the purposes of this article, I will be focusing on the dominant and auxiliary functions only). What this means is that the INTP is driven by the need to have exacting clarity and precision in thought (Ti), and this is supported by Ne which allows them to see all of the possibilities of a situation. The INTP is first and foremost concerned with perfecting an idea in their heads, and will use the real world to gather information for the said idea. Hence the whole “lazy INTP” thing where they are concerned with perfecting the idea, as opposed to implementing it. Indeed, the INTP is not likely to implement (or even share) an idea with others unless it is perfect in their mind.

Now lets take a look at the INTJ. The typical functional preference ordering of the INTJ is: Ni > Te > Fi > Se. What this means is that the INTJ is primarily driven by their internal vision of how things can be better, and this is driven by Te, which gives the INTJ their systemization and contingency planning skills (hence the INTJ title of “Mastermind”) that they use to implement what their Ni is guiding them towards. What this translates to is as follows: The INTJ KNOWS how to improve a system, and will read and learn everything they need in order to implement the solution to the problem, but will generally stop the acquisition of knowledge if it isn’t pertinent to the task at hand. An INTJ will be the one who makes what I call a “command decision” based off the facts at hand, whereas the INTP will want to perfect the idea, and will experience significant apprehension if forced to present/implement the idea before it is perfected in their mind.

INTP vs INTJ: A Subjective Analysis

Great! Now you have the theory down, but I want to make this accessible and understandable to both iNtuitive and Sensing types (sorry, Sensing types… :p), so I want to give some actual examples of INTJ/INTP interaction/differences for your intellectual comprehension.

My house mate Stan is an INTP, and as interacted with him, I started to notice certain differences in our behavior that simultaneously made me question my status as an INTP, as well as reevaluating my past behavior. For one, I am a lot more opinionated that he is. I will be quick to respond to a situation and offer an opinion or solution, whereas Stan will sit back and truly observe the situation, then will only offer a suggestion or opinion when asked (if he even does so then). Another difference is in our thought process. When we were talking about personality disorders (specifically Bipolar II), my view was a pragmatic view, based off of the DSM-IV and various medical journals. Stan provided me an alternate view, incorporating metaphysics, spirituality and his own subjective experiences. In other words, I learned just enough to implement my ideas, whereas Stan developed a much more global perspective (Ti/Ne vs Ni/Te).


So what does this mean? Sorry INTP’ers, but I am not one of you; I am an INTJ. But honestly, I don’t think it matters. On a personal level, I relate more to the INTP mentality of things, though it may just be my high usage of Ti, Te, Ni, and Ne (see my signature). In any case, I hope this was informative/eye opening for you. If I’ve made any mistakes, please let me know so I can correct them and update my knowledge. Otherwise, please comment below, or email me at [email protected]

Thanks a ton for reading!


x01660
 

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''Indeed, the INTP is not likely to implement (or even share) an idea with others unless it is perfect in their mind.''
''Perfect'' is too strong of a word. I would say ''logical'' or ''making sense'' to us. Arriving there can indeed sometimes be a long process because we take into account many possibilities or angles.

In other words, there is a certain threshold of analysis that you must attain before sharing an idea confidently. Otherwise, our opinions will be pretty much just us bouncing ideas and we will appear indecisive or having no substantial position.

Also ''perfect'' could imply it cannot be easily reconsidered or possibly improved. That is usually not the case. In a way, we are extreme perfectionists in our head.
 

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When we were talking about personality disorders (specifically Bipolar II), my view was a pragmatic view, based off of the DSM-IV and various medical journals. Stan provided me an alternate view, incorporating metaphysics, spirituality and his own subjective experiences. In other words, I learned just enough to implement my ideas, whereas Stan developed a much more global perspective .
That part is brilliant.

A friend and I regularly email each other. We haven't seen each other for a very long time, but still we talk about some very complex stuff. You're absolutely right about the pragmatic side of the INTJ versus the abstract side of the INTP. My friend continuously goes on about books, seminars, lectures and other things where he learned a specific piece of information. I always counter/discuss his points with my own totally disconnected ideas which have no basis or proof, but are logically sound and remain on the correct topic of discussion.

I feel guilty because he seems to be a hoover of researched information - I envy his diligence. But the 'problem' is that he only takes in the stuff that's come from a rigid pre-set structure or formula, so he often doesn't form his own ideas, and instead just relays what he's been told - all adding to that master plan. Whereas I tack any old thing together to formulate what would usually be an equally presentable idea, based on global truths rather than 'book truths'. Problem for me is that I often don't have enough relevant information to make a useful point.

We often talk about the complexity of society in the modern world, how to manage the global human problem, what system is best, etc etc. He always gives examples of what has worked previously, and what would work best now - he thinks in terms of the conclusion. I, on the other hand, don't have any examples or solutions to give, instead I just try to make sense of it all - I think in terms of the current mechanism in all it's intricate glory. He sees humanity as something that can be 'fixed' with the implementation of a perfect system that everyone can agree on. I see humanity as an array of variables, such that it could be controlled and go in any way desired, including being fixed, but I don't care for that, I just care for the understanding of such a system.

INTJ friend wants to be able to view the world from the heavens and say, "Ahhhh, it is finished and runs beautifully, I can leave now and it will remain perfect forever, thus I am complete!"
INTP me wants to be able to view the world from the heavens and say, "Ahhh, I understand it all and can make any change I like while being fully aware of what will happen next, thus I am complete!"

Difference being that the INTJ can rest and watch it run in harmony forever and put it on a shelf to marvel at, whereas the INTP will want to play with all the controls just because he can, until he gets bored, obliterates it on purpose, then builds a new one 10'000 years later during an impulsive bored moment.

Ok enough examples. Hope that was of some interest!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That part is brilliant.

A friend and I regularly email each other. We haven't seen each other for a very long time, but still we talk about some very complex stuff. You're absolutely right about the pragmatic side of the INTJ versus the abstract side of the INTP. My friend continuously goes on about books, seminars, lectures and other things where he learned a specific piece of information. I always counter/discuss his points with my own totally disconnected ideas which have no basis or proof, but are logically sound and remain on the correct topic of discussion.

I feel guilty because he seems to be a hoover of researched information - I envy his diligence. But the 'problem' is that he only takes in the stuff that's come from a rigid pre-set structure or formula, so he often doesn't form his own ideas, and instead just relays what he's been told - all adding to that master plan. Whereas I tack any old thing together to formulate what would usually be an equally presentable idea, based on global truths rather than 'book truths'. Problem for me is that I often don't have enough relevant information to make a useful point.

We often talk about the complexity of society in the modern world, how to manage the global human problem, what system is best, etc etc. He always gives examples of what has worked previously, and what would work best now - he thinks in terms of the conclusion. I, on the other hand, don't have any examples or solutions to give, instead I just try to make sense of it all - I think in terms of the current mechanism in all it's intricate glory. He sees humanity as something that can be 'fixed' with the implementation of a perfect system that everyone can agree on. I see humanity as an array of variables, such that it could be controlled and go in any way desired, including being fixed, but I don't care for that, I just care for the understanding of such a system.

INTJ friend wants to be able to view the world from the heavens and say, "Ahhhh, it is finished and runs beautifully, I can leave now and it will remain perfect forever, thus I am complete!"
INTP me wants to be able to view the world from the heavens and say, "Ahhh, I understand it all and can make any change I like while being fully aware of what will happen next, thus I am complete!"

Difference being that the INTJ can rest and watch it run in harmony forever and put it on a shelf to marvel at, whereas the INTP will want to play with all the controls just because he can, until he gets bored, obliterates it on purpose, then builds a new one 10'000 years later during an impulsive bored moment.

Ok enough examples. Hope that was of some interest!

It's so true!!! Though it's interesting that I am sort of in the middle... I'd be the guy to make it perfect, sit back and watch it for a while and marvel at it's perfection, then purposely sabatoge the system to see if my 1st-5th contingency plans will work, then adjust the system accordingly... rinse and repeat... :D

In any case, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for sharing!


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I'd be the guy to make it perfect, sit back and watch it for a while and marvel at it's perfection, then purposely sabatoge the system to see if my 1st-5th contingency plans will work
Interesting! In my case I wouldn't sabotage it, I would simply change some of the variables and see if it had the expected outcome.

"If I double the birthrate of Tanzania, change the main social ideology of Venezuela, make India a predominantly Buddhist country, and increase the black bear population by 4000%, it should result in....... ah-ha! My hypothesis was correct!"
 

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What is the purpose of having your name in the title of this thread?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What is the purpose of having your name in the title of this thread?

I am planning on writing a series of articles, and that will make it easier for me to search for it here, and on the internet once Google's web crawlers cache the page. :)


x01660
 

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I am planning on writing a series of articles, and that will make it easier for me to search for it here, and on the internet once Google's web crawlers cache the page. :)


x01660
A more discreet way of doing this may be to add a tag instead.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A more discreet way of doing this may be to add a tag instead.

Not a bad idea! Is there any way you can point me in the right direction, and then maybe a mod (mods, this is for you) can change the title and remove that first part?


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Not a bad idea! Is there any way you can point me in the right direction, and then maybe a mod (mods, this is for you) can change the title and remove that first part?


x01660

Tags can be changed at the bottom of the page.
 

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@x01660

You never struck me as an INTP anyway.
Of course I didn't tell you because I hadn't perfected why yet ;)

I still find the explanation of Ne vs Ni ridunkulous.
It seems like they both serve to think outside the box and are concerned with things that are not actual and they both seem to be about finding connections in the world. I don't really comprehend how Ne can be about expanding while Ni is about narrowing down. How can you look beyond what is seen and reduce the number of connections in your mind? When Ne makes a connection it's not like eliminating a previously possible connection via Ti is absent. So in my mind both are expansive and narrowing down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@x01660

You never struck me as an INTP anyway.
Of course I didn't tell you because I hadn't perfected why yet ;)

I still find the explanation of Ne vs Ni ridunkulous.
It seems like they both serve to think outside the box and are concerned with things that are not actual and they both seem to be about finding connections in the world. I don't really comprehend how Ne can be about expanding while Ni is about narrowing down. How can you look beyond what is seen and reduce the number of connections in your mind? When Ne makes a connection it's not like eliminating a previously possible connection via Ti is absent. So in my mind both are expansive and narrowing down.

Think of it this way:

Ne is allowing you to intuit the external world, seeing how things connect to each other externally. Making connections between different subject matter and experiences. This supports Ti, which is driving you to have complete internal understanding of a situation.

Ni is having a "gut feeling" about things, and just kind of KNOWING that something can be another way (its very subjective) and usually better, with the Te supporting it to take that gut feeling and support it by real world facts.

Ti/Ne internalizes the thinking process, pulling from the real world for understanding
Ni/Te internalizes the "this can be better" process, pulling from the real world to apply the iNtuition externally.

Hope that helps. :)


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Think of it this way:

Ne is allowing you to intuit the external world, seeing how things connect to each other externally. Making connections between different subject matter and experiences. This supports Ti, which is driving you to have complete internal understanding of a situation.

Ni is having a "gut feeling" about things, and just kind of KNOWING that something can be another way (its very subjective) and usually better, with the Te supporting it to take that gut feeling and support it by real world facts.

Ti/Ne internalizes the thinking process, pulling from the real world for understanding
Ni/Te internalizes the "this can be better" process, pulling from the real world to apply the iNtuition externally.

Hope that helps. :)


x01660
I guess for myself I never thought of the biggest difference between INTJ/INTP as their primary functions because they seem to be able to intertwine in many ways. For instance I get gut feelings but they seem to revolve around knowing something WON'T work. I have hunches about what will work and either I look to learn via experience which sometimes sucks (not a big fan of failure, Se) or I look to gather more information to form a better understanding.

I also find that I am pretty concerned with real world facts. So concerned that I question the validity or real world facts because the determination that something is fact seems to largely be questionable. So I am objective but I don't really truly buy into much as "Fact" except things like math lol. But I am subjective because I don't really give a crap if the majority thinks something is fact. The world thought the earth was flat at one point - just shows you how stupid the majority and fact can be.

But I'd have to say that the idea that I am more prone to observe then tell someone my thoughts would be correct. I am concerned with perfecting what I have to say and that process includes answering questions that someone might ask me thoroughly.
 

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Think of it this way:

Ne is allowing you to intuit the external world, seeing how things connect to each other externally. Making connections between different subject matter and experiences. This supports Ti, which is driving you to have complete internal understanding of a situation.

Ni is having a "gut feeling" about things, and just kind of KNOWING that something can be another way (its very subjective) and usually better, with the Te supporting it to take that gut feeling and support it by real world facts.

Ti/Ne internalizes the thinking process, pulling from the real world for understanding
Ni/Te internalizes the "this can be better" process, pulling from the real world to apply the iNtuition externally.

Hope that helps. :)


x01660
So the INTJ just keeps saying that it could be better without knowing what could be better?
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So the INTJ just keeps saying that it could be better without knowing what could be better?

In a sense, yes. But it's more involved than that. The INTJ knows what they know, but more importantly, they know what they DON'T know. Within that, the INTJ will have this internal guiding that tells them " With the little I know about this system (company, human, military, really ANY system), I KNOW it can be better. So what do I need to learn in order to apply my intuition, and make it a reality?" It's really difficult to explain, because the Ni/Te combo work in unison (as in they don't occur at separate times), with the intuition driving the fact gathering and application. Whereas the INTP Ti/Ne combo drives the INTP to seek full understanding of a situation, and this is driven by their intuition telling them how things could be. And this is also why INTJ's "do"; Our auxiliary function with which we use to support our dominant function is a Judging function (Te), which is why we strive to apply our knowledge externally. Whereas an INTP's auxiliary function is a Perceiving function, which drives the dominant function internally, hence wanting to understand everything, and not placing as much importance on it's application in the physical world.


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