# Thread: which type excel at mathematics?

1. Originally Posted by Randomnity
ESFPs are the best at mathematics.
Hah, I'm actually first at maths in my whole year !

but then again I'm also a gay

2. not type related

3. i was thinking if the functions were at least loosely applicable here. For example whether Ni+Ti or Ti+Ne is more inclined to find math or even some related areas like physics natural.

a rough idea of Ti+Ne in working:

Ti: suppose A but not B therefore C therefore D and so on...
Ne: what more can I do with the information I have?
instead, suppose A and also B then...

Ni: the answer of the question must be in the form ABCD, solving the question is now a goal of mine
Te: to achieve the goal, i need a plan so first Do A then Do B then Do C...

wondering which one is more effective when it comes to math or some other related areas.

i have an impression which is that majority of successful scientists and mathematicians seemed to be INTJs, but i could be wrong.

An thoughts on it?

4. Originally Posted by ken888
i was thinking if the functions were at least loosely applicable here. For example whether Ni+Ti or Ti+Ne is more inclined to find math or even some related areas like physics natural.

a rough idea of Ti+Ne in working:

Ti: suppose A but not B therefore C therefore D and so on...
Ne: what more can I do with the information I have?
instead, suppose A and also B then...

Ni: the answer of the question must be in the form ABCD, solving the question is now a goal of mine
Te: to achieve the goal, i need a plan so first Do A then Do B then Do C...

wondering which one is more effective when it comes to math or some other related areas.

i have an impression which is that majority of successful scientists and mathematicians seemed to be INTJs, but i could be wrong.

An thoughts on it?
In theory, and confirmed to an extent with experience and discussing with others, Ti+Ne is slower, but more accurate, since Ti insists on the self-consistency, and gradually builds a system that covers everything. When you read a math textbook, and it starts off explaining addition in that weird-ass way of associative and commutative properties, and so on, that's a Ti approach to math.

Ni+Te is less accurate, but faster. Ni makes a guess about how to do it. Te tries to follow the Ni suggestion. If the guess was good, a math problem is solved almost instantly "in your head" and all that is left is writing down the solution clearly. If the guess was bad, Te figures out that it was a bad guess, and comes up with a new guess based on the information about how the last guess was wrong. For my part, when I'm solving something really complicated, I do an almost scientific-style experiment: I guess, then I analyze (experiment), then guess again, and analyze again, and bounce back and forth between the two until I narrow down to a correct answer.

FWIW, this really has nothing to do with how smart someone is, but it is simply different approaches, for which MBTI provides a good means of studying.

5. Raw number-crunching (Accounting): ISTJ.
Advanced math (Vector calculus, trig, et al): INTP, and INTJ.

That isn't the specialty of either type, but they all excel at it.

As for what type is best at what:

ENTJ: Senior management.
INTJ: Strategy.
ENTP: Entrepreneurship, litigation, college education.
INTP: Engineering and design, research.
INFP: Poetry, art.
ENFP: Journalism, customer service.
ISTP: Anything manual or technical.
ESTP: Marketing, promotion, team sports.
ESTJ: Middle management.
ISTJ: Accounting, organizational/clerical-type jobs.
ESFP: Entertainer.
ENFJ: Counseling.

No clue for the rest.

6. My point was that certain types may find math more appealing, but you can't decide which type is "best" at math, because despite the theory, people within a given type can vary quite a lot on most traits. The best you can say is that certain types are more likely to have an affinity for math and it may be easier for them to learn.
Originally Posted by ken888
i have an impression which is that majority of successful scientists and mathematicians seemed to be INTJs, but i could be wrong.

An thoughts on it?
I can't comment on mathematicians since I know none, but I know many scientists/profs and most of them are not INTJ (ENTPs, INTPs and Ns in general are overrepresented compared to the general population, though by no means the only type present, and no type is universally the best at their job...).

Maybe I should just start putting "not type related" in my sig....

7. Originally Posted by uumlau
In theory, and confirmed to an extent with experience and discussing with others, Ti+Ne is slower, but more accurate, since Ti insists on the self-consistency, and gradually builds a system that covers everything. When you read a math textbook, and it starts off explaining addition in that weird-ass way of associative and commutative properties, and so on, that's a Ti approach to math.

Ni+Te is less accurate, but faster. Ni makes a guess about how to do it. Te tries to follow the Ni suggestion. If the guess was good, a math problem is solved almost instantly "in your head" and all that is left is writing down the solution clearly. If the guess was bad, Te figures out that it was a bad guess, and comes up with a new guess based on the information about how the last guess was wrong. For my part, when I'm solving something really complicated, I do an almost scientific-style experiment: I guess, then I analyze (experiment), then guess again, and analyze again, and bounce back and forth between the two until I narrow down to a correct answer.

FWIW, this really has nothing to do with how smart someone is, but it is simply different approaches, for which MBTI provides a good means of studying.

Wow very interesting.

from what you wrote, it almost seemed like INTJ is sort of a problem solver and INTP more a theory builder. interesting.

about the part on analyzing (experiment) after making a guess, do you craft out a sort of plan where you have a list of things to do in a specific sequence or use step-by-step logic for reasoning or do you dissect a piece of information to see how it works

Originally Posted by Aleksei
Raw number-crunching (Accounting): ISTJ.
Advanced math (Vector calculus, trig, et al): INTP, and INTJ.

That isn't the specialty of either type, but they all excel at it.

As for what type is best at what:

ENTJ: Senior management.
INTJ: Strategy.
ENTP: Entrepreneurship, litigation, college education.
INTP: Engineering and design, research.
INFP: Poetry, art.
ENFP: Journalism, customer service.
ISTP: Anything manual or technical.
ESTP: Marketing, promotion, team sports.
ESTJ: Middle management.
ISTJ: Accounting, organizational/clerical-type jobs.
ESFP: Entertainer.
ENFJ: Counseling.

No clue for the rest.

interesting

maybe ISFP : artist?
ENTP: prototype inventor - eg: steve jobs? burt rutan?
INTJ: chess master?

and in the case of science- how about

ENTJ: observational science eg: astronomy
ENTP: experimental science eg: neuroscience
INTJ: theoretical science eg: theoretical physicist
INTP: mathematics eg: algebraist

8. I have an INTP friend majoring in math, and he says like 90% of the people he meets in that program are INTP or INTJ, with an occasional ENTP or ENTJ.

We had an interesting discussion about that where we decided one of the things INTJs really need NTPs for is our ability to translate their ideas into palatable terms and consolidate them into a coherent and elegantly structured model--this applies especially well in math. My INTP friend's dad is an INTJ and also a math professor, and he understands a lot of the difficult abstract concepts but doesn't seem as readily able to put his ideas into words that make them click easily for other people.

NTPs seem to have a talent for that, especially in complex subjects like higher math.

9. Originally Posted by simulatedworld
I have an INTP friend majoring in math, and he says like 90% of the people he meets in that program are INTP or INTJ, with an occasional ENTP or ENTJ.

We had an interesting discussion about that where we decided one of the things INTJs really need NTPs for is our ability to translate their ideas into palatable terms and consolidate them into a coherent and elegantly structured model--this applies especially well in math. My INTP friend's dad is an INTJ and also a math professor, and he understands a lot of the difficult abstract concepts but doesn't seem as readily able to put his ideas into words that make them click easily for other people.

NTPs seem to have a talent for that, especially in complex subjects like higher math.

that is surprising, because I really thought it was another way round, but now i think about it maybe you r right. i guess ill need more observation to confirm it. thanks for the info.

10. I'm actually finishing up an extensive study of how type impacts our approach to learning math. Most of you will say "duh" when I report that math instruction in the US doesn't meet the needs of all types. Things that happen produce math anxiety, overwhelmingly in Feeling types, although many Feeling types excel at math.

Since math involves numbers, not data and things, it's true that more T's pursue it professionally. But as well stated in several posts on this thread, it isn't all about type and there will be people of all types with innate love and strengths in math.

What's fascinating is that countries like Japan, Korea, China report NO math anxiety. There, instead of thinking people are or aren't good at math, the belief is that anyone can get good at math if they just work at it. Gladwell summarizes this well in a chapter in Outliers.

In the US, one of our big problems in schools is parents who actually say, "I wasn't good at math, so I don't expect my child to do well either. I tell him it's okay, he has other strengths." As one math teacher put it, the whole country believes in math phobia. "I can go out with a group of teachers and no one says, "let's let the language arts teacher read the menu to us." But they expect me to figure out the bill because I"m the math teacher..."

I'd agree that statistically you'll find tons of INTPs but also a good representation of ISTPs who've found practical applications and want to perfect the math. INTJs as well with a different style. A smattering of other T's and F's, but often they pursue math to further some other goal. Maybe an ENTP pursues it to do groundbreaking research in a chosen field, etc. I've been told, though, that getting a PhD in math is about the hardest discipline because of the general desire for original theory in the dissertation...and many are almost at defense when someone else publishes what they were working on...it takes real willingness to go very deep for a long time, more characteristic of I's.

#### Posting Permissions

• You may not post new threads
• You may not post replies
• You may not post attachments
• You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO