Quiet, reflective, impersonal, easy-going - but, like other INs, not amenable to violation of their principles. Their reserve and desire for privacy may lead them to be considered unsociable or arrogant, but such is not the truth. They enjoy - and need - time to reflect and process a broad, rich inner tapestry of thoughts and ideas - exploring these thoughts and ideas and seeing what emerges from them.
INTPs are true intellectuals, valuing ideas and receive great fulfillment from the abstract and the symbolic. They are visionary and possess a great ability to concentrate, whether on abstractions, issues of logic or ideas. Being analytical is a process of pleasure and occurs naturally with INTPs.
INTPs are deep thinkers who give the impression that they are so interiorly involved that "the real world" escapes them. Such is not necessarily the case but is the perceived result of the process of amassing massive amounts of information - as INTPs are inordinately interested in precision: in thinking and in speaking.
Imprecision can greatly annoy INTPs who have a propensity for intellectualism and, being so naturally predisposed, are unaware that others, more likely than not, do not have the same level of intellectualism.
What they can do, they expect others to be able to do. They do not see others as weaker in intellect. This can create problems for they proceed in speaking and doing, assuming they are understood at the same level that they understand. Not so.
And what they do or desire to do is to master the knowledge of whatever they are interested in: mathematics, computers, languages, systems of thought that require logical thinking.
For all their intellectualism, the mastering of systems and analytical abilities, INTPs are yet insecure, which often is the plight of those whose gifts are natural and not necessarily learned through academic study. Therefore, INTPs spend a good deal of time fearing failure and attempting to gain more knowledge with which to prevent such failure.
As will the INTJs, INTPs will debate points AND fine points. Both enjoy learning, but INTPs are more apt to be arguing in order to convince themselves that what THEY think is indeed true.
INTPs enjoy mental games that grant opportunity to utilize analysis, contemplation, ideas and concentration. Chess would be such an enterprise. Intellectual pursuits are intriguing and pleasureable.
Their tendency to "correct" others' "looseness" in thought, ideation, grammar, pronunciation, etc., might tend to be off-putting to co-workers and friends but INTPs are really easy-going and can be pleasant to be with if one is not threatened by someone with "smarts" used so naturally and competently.
This concludes our description of the INTP personality type.
* Personality Type Description used with permission from the author, Fannie R. Linder, Psy.D.