INTP vs. INFP

Anton P. Lepp is a contributing guest writer for CelebrityTypes. As always with guest writers on the site, Lepp’s piece represents his own insights and type assessments and not necessarily those of the site.

By Anton P. Lepp

INFPs and INTPs are both dominant judging types, that is to say, they compulsively evaluate things. With INTPs, this constant analysis is especially noticeable, whereas with INFPs, their version of the same tendency towards introverted judgment is more subtle.

In terms of functions, INTPs have Ti-Ne-Si-Fe where INFPs have Fi-Ne-Si-Te.

An INTP’s evaluatory pattern tends to focus around impartial models of how things work, the accuracy of said models, and statements concerning these models. Their Feeling function is inferior and repressed, often feeling like bothersome noise to this more detached and mechanical evaluation of things. Their inferior Feeling is also extroverted, meaning that it is oriented towards the atmosphere of the external situation. INTPs want everyone feel fine, but don’t really possess the fluent tact needed to take care of other people’s feelings which the FJ types so naturally develop over the course of their lives.

For the INFP, their evaluatory pattern tends to revolve more around personal authenticity, motivations, and meaning: What feels right to do; are these actions in accord with who I am; why does that person make the statements that they did; what does it say about them? Fi qualifies as ‘thinking’ in the conventional sense, but it doesn’t have the cold and detached characteristics of the Thinking functions. When compared with Ti specifically, Fi is prone to reason in a partisan way, that is to say, it isn’t as averse to taking sides as Ti.

The Thinking function in INFPs is extroverted and oriented towards the external state of things: How things are, what can be fashioned from the current situation, the manifest properties of objects and so on. In contradistinction to the TJ types, though, the Extroverted Thinking of INFPs tends to be a bit absolutist and rough. It is not always very good with “lesser of two evils,” logical trade-offs kind of thinking.

What both types have in common is an interest in new ideas, possibilities and points of view, and a tendency to solidify their evaluations into something more static (this tendency can be simultaneously a headache for them, because as much as they feel the inclination to solidify and settle things in their minds, they also tend to feel the drive to find new things, and to look for greener pastures, constantly causing them to abandon or modify their previous work or thoughts).

So in conclusion:

  • The INTP is a model-oriented systems thinker, often obsessed with truth and accuracy. They tend to have a bit of a warm, fuzzy vibe, but are often also socially clumsy to the point of “forgetting how to human.” Their motto could be summed up as Think for yourself.
  • The INFP is driven to express and be themselves and to understand what drives others and their passions. They can be very insistent on objectivity and measurable standards in sometimes silly or reality-resistant ways. Their motto could be summed up as Be yourself.

9 Comments

  1. I thought this was very good. :)

    I do think however, that INTPs are extremely “authentic” too. Their self-concept is strongly mixed in with their analytical process, so if they decide after a lot of thought that X is true and Y is wrong, they can be extremely stubborn even if everyone tells them Y is true. :) And this is because they very authentic where following their own conclusions is concerned.

  2. I don’t really care if everyone is “fine” or not. I just don’t want to see people crying or arguing around me, or getting into fights. I don’t like that. And I don’t want strangers coming up to me and trying to sell me things or whatever either.

    In fact, just get rid of other people. That would make me happy. :)

  3. Lol rachelw. I think I am pretty bad at picking social cues sometimes and get awkward in emotional situations. But I have always been interested in knowing people and usually like most of them. :D

  4. This is an interesting read, but the generalization of “…sometimes silly or reality-resistant…” seems a bit insulting to INFPs. So many profound, serious, and brilliant thinkers are listed in your site as INFPs: Shakespeare, Orwell, Augustine, Milton, Camus, etc. Even Isabel Myers is listed as an INFP–a developer of typology. It seems that INTPs are not the only ones “…obsessed with truth…”

  5. The test makes sense, yet I think that there’s a chance for both to be part of a person.
    Sometimes I find myself alternating between thinking and being myself. I’ve come to realize that there’s value in both, but it’s hard to balance it in different situations. For example, at school or work I may be thinking more than being due to rules and demands, but at home I find myself more relax and free. Just goes to show that there may be other factors to consider but words still inevitably limit us. (though this may prove that I’m INTP which I got here, even though in the overall test I got INFP)
    After this word salad I may as well point out (what may already mentioned elsewhere) that it’s possible to adapt characteristics from other personalities due to environment and experiences, but that’s a conscious and stressful effort. Feel free to correct me.

  6. This is off topic, but does anyone know if Jack Kirby was ISTP or ISFP? I’m leaning towards F

  7. I took one test which said I was INTP and another that said I was INFP. This really helped me especially the mottos. I have so much trouble being myself and my more introverted personality gives me a hard time making friends.

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