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Thread: INTP or ISTP? Confused & Intrigued

  1. #1

    Default INTP or ISTP? Confused & Intrigued

    Dear Typology Central,

    I have only just recently discovered the joys of the MBTI and have been going on a spree of trying to analyze everyone I am in contact with. I don't think I've had this much fun, intellectually speaking, in months or even the past year. This is like cocaine, but way better (cocaine is vastly overrated anyway).

    The main problem (not much of a problem since it makes me think even more) I have is figuring out my own type, go figure. The first test I took, albeit not very detailed, classified me as an ISTP.

    I was then referred to the test, where I was classified as an INTP. I have retook the test since then answering some questions that I was on the fence about oppositely, and still came out INTP. Here are my results:

    Personality Profile of _Violence_ (Personality Type, Multiple Intelligences)

    My hobbies include a crazy amount of stuff from reading sci-fi and fantasy novels, researching theology, philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology. I love studying logic but I am not so deep with mathematics because I find it boring to be honest and do not pursue it at all. Maybe this is strange for NT types; I don't know.

    My biggest passions are martial arts training and theory, hoplology (study of human combatives), as well as actually fighting in sparring or competition. I am good at music, I been playing piano for the past 11 years. People tell me I can should go to music school but I have zero interest in making it a career. Also obsessed with cars, motorcycles, and a lot of mechanical things. I had a 350Z that was modified beyond hell, I had lots a lot of money on it and I think it's my underdeveloped Fe screwing me over when I was 18-years-old.

    I value intellect above all else, and most people I know say I can be extremely cold, arrogant, and seemingly uncaring/apathetic. I hold myself to high standards and others to low ones. I hate being dependent on anyone and am highly individualistic. Furthermore I consider myself extremely adventurous, for example I love getting lost, there is no food I won't try, I like driving crazy fast in cars and motorcycles, racing, fighting/competing, etc. I can be extremely spontaneous and random with what I want and activities I am pursuing. From my research most of these seem to be ISTP oriented.

    Other traits I have include my obsession with analyzing and observing EVERYTHING, especially organic interactions, whether it be socio-economic, naturalistic, or anything else. I think organic interactions, such as watching two teams play a computer or sports game against each other, are more interesting than mechanical ones (how an engine works), but I AM intrigued by both. Going to a restaurant or a mall, I can satisfy myself with sitting in a corner watching people walk by and trying to figure out as much as possible at everybody that walks past me.

    The things that confuse myself are how seemingly unfocused I can be on subjects I find uninteresting, my ability to procrastinate schoolwork indefinitely (doing everything last minute), my absent-mindedness when I'm suppose to be doing ACTUAL work, where I just start daydreaming or have random abstract thoughts that make no sense. I've been told that procrastination shows I am more INTP in that regard. And then, I like things which have nothing to do with logic and appeal to me on an emotional basis, such as literature, especially POETRY. And even psueo-religious texts such as the Tao Te Ching, which I analyze and try to apply to my daily life. I find it helpful as abstract concepts which I can interpret to benefit practical, everyday affairs.

    People seem to go to me for when they have some sort of problem to deal with. Looking at things objectively and without emotional attachment is fun for me, or perhaps addictive. I look for the solution, I don't try to comfort people. Apparently this can be both an ST and NT behavior? Oh and I am both atheist and existential nihilist. Came to those conclusions through years of abstract thinking ever since I got sick of going to Church and trying to rationalize the "meaning" of existence. Maybe there is no meaning.

    I do apologize for the extremely long post. But now you know I like going into extreme detail about everything too... hmmm

  2. #2
    Freshman Member Array simulatedworld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    7w6 sx/so


    Sounds pretty ISTP to me.

    Your penchant for looking at things analytically and without emotional attachment for the sake of understanding the inner mechanics of how they work is characteristically Ti (introverted Thinking); that is the dominant function of both INTP and ISTP.

    Are you familiar with cognitive functions? I'd look up some definitions of Ne (extroverted iNtuition) vs. Se (extroverted Sensing) and see which one you identify better with.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  3. #3


    Already on it, thanks.

    And you are correct, the most confusing thing for me is figuring out this who Ne vs. Se mess. Most other functions between INTP and ISTP seem pretty similar. :/

  4. #4
    desert pelican Array Owl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    You're my evil twin from bizzaro world.

    This first post casts you as an ISTP stereotype, but there's no reason an INTP couldn't enjoy activities usually associated with Se. SW's advice is solid, so I'll just ditto his post.

  5. #5


    Welcome! Hope you don't mind if we dip into cognitive functions to tell the difference:

    The biggest difference between ISTP and INTP are the auxillary and tertiary functions, both of which are perceiving functions. Both types rely on Introverted Perception as a sort of "ego defence" or "home base" for when they feel under pressure or disoriented, and both types rely on Extraverted Perception as a way of interacting with and observing the world. See which of these pairs you identify with most:

    Quote Originally Posted by ISTP
    • Extraverted Sensation (Se) says that the observable world is filled with wonderful stimuli, and all you have to do is let yourself react to them. No need to think, just react. The meaning of something is what your gut tells you you should do in response. If it's not here or not now, it's not real.
    • Introverted Intuition (Ni) says that the observable world is arbitrary and deceitful, and not representative of all the possible interpretations of itself. You have to liberate yourself from these arbitrary interpretations by considering all possible interpretations, or you will risk being led astray.
    Quote Originally Posted by INTP
    • Extraverted Intuition (Ne) says that everything in the observable world is connected to a greater context, and it allows you to make contextual connections between this object and another one. Through this act of discovery, we become aware of greater possibilities for meaning, knowledge or action.
    • Introverted Sensation (Si) says that the observable world is so overwhelmingly filled with stimuli and randomness that you need something stable to focus on, or you'll just be permanently overwhelmed and confused.
    [edit]: I'm also going to point you toward this website, which is the greatest website in the history of everything: The Lenore Thomson Exegesis Wiki

    [edit2]: "Confused and Intrigued", the mantra of the dominant-Ti.

  6. #6


    More confusion on my end:

    I have been reading more about this, and some people apparently believe that ISTPs are more prone to noticing every little detail about the present situation, being "in the moment" after all. I am like this at times, for example when I am walking home or somewhere, I tend to create a little "bubble" around me and try to notice every single little detail, look for potentially dangerous situations, try to avoid getting mugged, look for suspicious people or things, etc.

    Then on the other hand, I seem to have a TERRIBLE short-term memory, I misplace and lose small things such as my cell phone, wallet, or character on a 24/7 basis, I forget to call people back, I get absent minded and forgetful and lose track spacing out and daydreaming. And sometimes, even in this types of situations say in class, if someone leaves to go to the bathroom I will miss them. And then after realizing I didn't notice I will be extremely disappointed with myself because being aware of surroundings is something I take way too seriously.


    Vagrant, I feel that I identify more strongly with the ISTP secondary and tertiary functions. And it doesn't bother me whether I am INTP or ISTP or even seem to change depending on the day, this is just so very interesting.

    For example, I thrive on the little joys I get every single day. I hate preparing for the future, thinking what I am going to do or where I'm gonna end up even 2-3 years from now, my career, or anything like that. Using my Ti for that type of analysis only makes me feel emotionally unstable, or sometimes even depressed. What truly seems to make me happy is enjoying my bowl of ice cream, taking 30 minutes out of my day to have lunch with a friend, watching a sports game, reading a book, or just zone out and listening to the music that is befitting of my mood.

    I was gonna say if somebody offered me one million dollars but there was a contract that I couldn't have any of these things and had to live in basically a prison cell with no interactions or books or anything for X amount of time, that I would say no. But then I thought it would depend on how long "X" was because then I can figure out the opportunity cost, hahaha.

  7. #7


    I'm going to say you're ISTP based solely on your moody, stylish Avatar.

  8. #8


    With me seemingly an ISTP (despite the stupid mypersonality test!), or possibly even fluctuating between ST & NT, gives me even more things to analyze. I RETOOK the test and answered some of the questions differently, and actually got ISTP this time.

    The weird thing is, my Sensing this time is 63%. My Intuition on the last test result was also 63%, which annoys me because on some of these questions, I really DO swing both ways, and it just depends on the specific damn situation.

    Since one of my best friends who is basically my partner in intellectual crime seems to fluctuate between INTJ & INTP. Now I'm reading your guide with great gusto... XD

    You think it is possible for me to shift between ST and NT depending on environmental and social stimuli? Or is this something that is ingrained much, much deeper? Or some other random ass reasons/explanations. Thanks!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Jaguar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by VagrantFarce View Post
    I'm going to say you're ISTP based solely on your moody, stylish Avatar.
    So what are you suggesting with your avatar-- all INTPs are in dire need of a face lift?
    When all else fails, claim it's rigged.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Jaguar View Post
    So what are you suggesting with your avatar-- all INTPs are in dire need of a face lift?
    and a shower

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