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INTj or INTp?
19 March 2007

by Sergei Ganin

INTjs and INTps can have very similar behaviour, interests and even appearance. However, when it comes to intertype relations there is a big difference between these two, because one's Dual is the other's Conflicting type. Also, two INTjs or two INTps can co-exist quite peacefully, whereas an INTj and an INTp do not make a very promising combination. Join any INTj discussion forum or mailing list and you can see this Quasi-identical tension for yourself. This is because there are many INTps among those INTjs.

Why do INTps test as INTjs? Because it is possible that some INTps actually do behave in such way that they could be mistaken for Judging types. The common perception of Perceiving types is as disorganised, unreliable and wavering. There are INTps out there that are, on the contrary, organised, reliable and unwavering or at least they may behave as such. As a result they often score as Js. But let's not forget that type is not about how you behave, it is about how your psyche is structured, which in return influences your behaviour in one way or another. Taking more tests or reading more type descriptions may not give an answer to the INTj/INTp question for the reasons explained above. The right way to distinguish between these two types is by making a comparison on a "molecular" level.

Let's take a look at INTj's main function - introverted thinking (). That's right and this is not a mistake, in Socionics the functions are ordered differently for introvert types. So, INTjs are mainly interested in accumulating an understanding. They want to know why and what causes things happen the way they happen. They want to know and see the logic behind everything. If "it" does not contradict logic then "it" is right, otherwise "it" is wrong. INTps on the other hand seem to be logical too as their second strong function is extroverted thinking (). However, if for INTjs it is about gaining understanding, for INTps it is about exercising their knowledge, and therefore they mostly concern themselves with known facts. Moreover, INTj's logic is their area of confidence and conservatism. This makes their logic fundamental, meaning once the rules are established, they can be applied anywhere. INTps logic is their area of creativity. This makes their logic circumstantial and unpredictable - the rules apply here but may not apply there.

The same goes for Intuition. INTp's main function is introverted intuition (). Since introverted intuition is about internal wholeness or belief, this manifests itself in INTps being highly religious and spiritual people. It is also their area of confidence and conservatism and they will not welcome anything that could disturb that internal wholeness. And since you can believe in things that are not necessarily there or actually true, INTps criticise a lot. As for INTjs, their intuition is their second strong function, which is extroverted intuition (). Extroverted intuition is about perspective and potential and because it is INTj's creative output, their "creations" could be very unexpected and original, often bearing a high potential for future development. So, combining two and two together, INTjs are in their element when involved with science, invention, innovation, discovery, theory, explanation, interpretation, philosophy etc. INTps are in their element when involved with business, enterprise, commerce, industry, trade, financial institutions, church etc.

Another comparison will be between Dual-seeking functions. INTps are looking out for extroverted sensing (), INTjs are looking out for extroverted feeling (). Since both functions are the subconscious functions, they are likely to influence the subconscious choices. INTps would want to go power driven, moneymaking, sometimes risky places, whereas INTjs would prefer a happy, cheerful and exciting surrounding.

The last comparison - "Hidden agenda". This is what people hide from other people, because it is very sensitive area of one's psyche. If the main function is like a geometric cone firmly standing on its base, the hidden agenda is like the same cone standing on its tip that one is trying to balance. For INTjs their introverted sensing () is their nightmare. Introverted sensing is mainly about the body, its functions, sensory perceptions etc. The only way they can balance that cone is for them to be physically healthy and if this is not that important to you, you are most probably not INTj. INTps are also trying to balance this cone on its head when it comes to introverted feeling (). Introverted feeling is love, affection, morality etc. It is important for an INTp to be involved with someone, to have an object of affection, to like people. If this doesn't concern you, you are probably a type other than INTp.

So if after all this you are still not sure whether you are INTj or INTp, maybe you are neither...
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