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  1. #1
    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    Default Why are ISTPs and INTJs confused so much?

    James Bond
    Guy from Burn Notice
    Jason Bourne
    Sherlock Holmes
    Toph Bei Fong
    Jethro Gibbs

    These are just what I can think of right now who have been guessed as both types. Why (prefferably functionwise) is this?

    I mean, they're not THAT similar. How can one determine which is correct when they're so easy to confuse?

    And another thing. Is common for ISTPs to invent things and develop complex plans? Because that seems rather N, but I hear they do.
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  2. #2
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    i think that Ti doms can be very J like - and i would begin to guess that maybe the Se/Ti - Ni connection lies in that Ti has an understanding of the system plus Se knows how to bounce in the moment, so TiSe can use its inherent navigation skills to get the same results that Ni goes about in an entirely different kind of way. and Te, especially aux or tert, can be a bit Se like in its enjoyment and seeking of action.

    but most of all, i feel like it's a feeling/atmosphere/vibe thing. all of these people are quiet, logical, thrive in action, a little cold on the outside - INTJ is usually a little more "polished" than ISTP, but ISTPs can clean up good too.

    as for inventing - i know an ISTP musicians who is a brilliant improviser. that's a type of inventing in and of itself.

    assessing how much they stick to plans might be a decent way to differentiate?

  3. #3
    Senior Member chris1207's Avatar
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    I find ISTP's and INTJ's to be the least emotionally expressive of all the types. That's just my anecdotal evidence. ISTJ's usually need a sense of being within a group of people that the other IXTX's don't have and INTP's, while cold and calculating, aren't as dense as other IXTX's in understanding the potential of emotions and emotional connections (probably because of Ne.) Ergo ISTP's and INTJ's are the "people-dumb" personality types.
    "... you think deeply about stuff [that] nobody cares about and hardly anybody can understand you." ~ Peguy talking about Ni users. So true.

  4. #4
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    In real life, these types are easier to differentiate.

    Character wise, ISTPs are inventive, but it's more detail oriented and improvisational. And their goals are a little more personal usually.

    INJ's Ni has a far more long range view.. a larger conceptual scheme, in the Fe or Te sense. You could say Batman (Bale version) was more of an INJ character. There was even a scene after he hopped on the plane out of China.. how he was telling Alfred that he had gathered what he thought he needed in terms of exploring the criminal underworld, and wanting to go back to Gotham, with the plan of being a symbol. It was like things were clicking with him finally in a Ni/Te sort of way. Same goes for Paul Atreides in the Dune story (but INFJ in that case probably).. lots of ridiculously long range conceptualizing there.

    Holmes I think is INTP. Not so different from an ISTP in a way. Maybe all of the stereotypical labels help illustrate some things here: ISTP=Inspector, INTP=analyst, INTJ=architect, etc.. The first two just "sound" more P like in their style.. in how a character like that would behave differently than an "architect" type.

    James Bond has been many types (depending on the actor). Except ESFP.. That's Austin Powers.

  5. #5
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    That's funny, because I've also seen people call Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights an STP because of his propensity for violence, I suppose, although he seems CLEARLY INTJ to me with his quiet, mysterious plotting for lifelong revenge, brilliantly strategized and executed not only to cause maximum pain but also to derive maximum wealth, and no one suspected it at all until it started unfolding...not even Cathy. I also think the way he is decribed in the first few pages of the book paints him as an especially curmdugeonly and twisted INTJ, among other things, but I realized last night that some confusion between ISTP and INTJ could be derived from this passage about Heathcliff as a young boy:

    "However, I will say this, he was the quietest child that ever nurse watched over...Cathy and her brother harassed me terribly: he was as uncomplaining as a lamb; though hardness, not gentleness, made him give little trouble.
    "

    although this following quote from the very next paragraph seems more INTJ, I think

    " I wondered often what my master saw to admire so much in the sullen boy; who never, to my recollection, repaid his indulgence by any sign of gratitude. He was not insolent to his benefactor, he was simply insensible;"

    There are repeated descriptions about how he spoke infrequently, but when he did speak he spoke the truth, and also about how completely unemotional and calm and collected he was, even after suffering abuse as a child.

    Also, the way he cracks emotionally later in life - over Cathy, nothing and no one else - seems more Ni/Fi madness, hysteria, obsession than an inferior Fe. I see no inferior Fe in Heathcliff at all, just blatant Ni/Fi in his hallucinations and mourning for Cathy.

    And of course, bad use of inferior Se can be used to explain his violent rages as a grown man.

  6. #6
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris1207 View Post
    I find ISTP's and INTJ's to be the least emotionally expressive of all the types. That's just my anecdotal evidence. ISTJ's usually need a sense of being within a group of people that the other IXTX's don't have and INTP's, while cold and calculating, aren't as dense as other IXTX's in understanding the potential of emotions and emotional connections (probably because of Ne.) Ergo ISTP's and INTJ's are the "people-dumb" personality types.
    I disagree with that..I find that INTPs and ISTJs are often more clueless about people, but I'm guessing that's mostly due to group vs individual dynamics and my own preference to that
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    My first guess would be that they are both quite a bit more action oriented than other introverts.

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    Well it's something I've seen quite commonly occuring.

    INTJ tends to have a complex set of mistypes which are possible.

    First the ENTJ can be confused based upon how attentively social the person is if you don't break it down into cognitive functioning.

    The INTP and INTJ can be confused if there as a feeling of a lack of fufilling goals and self expectation even though they are cognitively opposite.

    The ENFP/INTJ and the INTJ/ISTJ can be confused if one can't break out if they are using Ni/Si or Ni/Ne!

    And the most interesting is the ISTP because the Ni-Te gives and Ti-Se gives both types a very introverted personality mode.

    In the ISTP they feel the need to actualise plans to affect their environment much like INTJs, they use Introverted Thinking to ponder exactly what they want to do and then get gratification by delivering results through supportive Extroverted Sensing.

    The INTJs form an image of how they imagine the world should be via Ni-Fi and use that to influence the environment via extrapolatory thinking (Te).

    What is important when considering that the INTJ as an Ni dominant with a J actually feels threatened by the environment (hence the need to judge it) and has 'flexible' internal cognition (Pi). In effect a Je (Te) has an internal Pi (Ni). By contrast the ISTP has a strongly defined and linear internal cognition Ji (Ti) with a weak need to affect the environment for satisfaction and growth (Se).

  9. #9
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    In real life, these types are easier to differentiate.

    Character wise, ISTPs are inventive, but it's more detail oriented and improvisational. And their goals are a little more personal usually.

    INJ's Ni has a far more long range view.. a larger conceptual scheme, in the Fe or Te sense. You could say Batman (Bale version) was more of an INJ character. There was even a scene after he hopped on the plane out of China.. how he was telling Alfred that he had gathered what he thought he needed in terms of exploring the criminal underworld, and wanting to go back to Gotham, with the plan of being a symbol. It was like things were clicking with him finally in a Ni/Te sort of way. Same goes for Paul Atreides in the Dune story (but INFJ in that case probably).. lots of ridiculously long range conceptualizing there.

    Holmes I think is INTP. Not so different from an ISTP in a way. Maybe all of the stereotypical labels help illustrate some things here: ISTP=Inspector, INTP=analyst, INTJ=architect, etc.. The first two just "sound" more P like in their style.. in how a character like that would behave differently than an "architect" type.

    James Bond has been many types (depending on the actor). Except ESFP.. That's Austin Powers.
    I've never understood why people assign "detail-orientation" to SPs when it is clearly an SJ trait linked to Si. No SP I've ever known, myself included, could reasonably be called a detail-oriented person.

    Also, where are you getting those labels from? I've never seen ISTP labeled as inspector. In fact, Keirsey calls ISTJ the inspector. And INTPs are usually the architects while INTJs get mastermind (Keirsey) or analyst (socionics.)

    I'm pretty sure a good place to begin answering the question in the OP is the shared communication and interaction style between ISTPs and INTJs. Both are directing and chart-the-course.

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    In the ISTP they feel the need to actualise plans to affect their environment much like INTJs, they use Introverted Thinking to ponder exactly what they want to do and then get gratification by delivering results through supportive Extroverted Sensing.

    The INTJs form an image of how they imagine the world should be via Ni-Fi and use that to influence the environment via extrapolatory thinking (Te).

    What is important when considering that the INTJ as an Ni dominant with a J actually feels threatened by the environment (hence the need to judge it) and has 'flexible' internal cognition (Pi). In effect a Je (Te) has an internal Pi (Ni). By contrast the ISTP has a strongly defined and linear internal cognition Ji (Ti) with a weak need to affect the environment for satisfaction and growth (Se).
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sherlock Holmes View Post
    Toph Bei Fong
    Also, I don't even think this is a close call. The fact that someone confused Toph for an INTJ says more about their own ineptitude at recognizing types than it does with the similarity between ISTP and INTJ.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Heh. Well, clearly, I'm not detailed oriented.

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