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INTJ (introversion, intuition, thinking, judgment) is an abbreviation used in the publications of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to refer to one of the sixteen personality types.[1] The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in his book Psychological Types. Jung proposed a psychological typology based on the theories of cognitive functions that he developed through his clinical observations.

From Jung's work, others developed psychological typologies. Jungian personality assessments include the MBTI instrument, developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, developed by David Keirsey. Keirsey referred to INTJs as Masterminds,[2] one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Rationals.[3] One of the rarest of the sixteen personality types, INTJs account for about 1–4% of the population.[4][5]

The MBTI preferences indicate the differences in people based on the following:[6]

* How they focus their attention or get their energy (extraversion or introversion)
* How they perceive or take in information (sensing or intuition)
* How they prefer to make decisions (thinking or feeling)
* How they orient themselves to the external world (judgment or perception)

By using their preference in each of these areas, people develop what Jung and Myers called psychological type. This underlying personality pattern results from the dynamic interaction of their four preferences, in conjunction with environmental influences and their own individual tendencies. People are likely to develop behaviors, skills, and attitudes based on their particular type. Each personality type has its own potential strengths as well as areas that offer opportunities for growth.

The MBTI tool consists of multiple choice questions that sort respondents on the basis of the four "dichotomies" (pairs of psychological opposites). Sixteen different outcomes are possible, each identified by its own four-letter code, referred to by initial letters. (N is used for intuition, as I is used for Introversion). The MBTI is approximately 75% accurate according to its own manual.[7]

* I – Introversion preferred to extraversion: INTJs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extraverts gain energy).[8]
* N – Intuition preferred to sensing: INTJs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than the details and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.[9]
* T – Thinking preferred to feeling: INTJs tend to value objective criteria above personal preference. When making decisions they generally give more weight to logic than to social considerations.[10]
* J – Judgment preferred to perception: INTJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability, which to perceptive types may seem limiting. [11]

Characteristics of INTJs

INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake ... INTJs are known as the "Systems Builders" of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ; both perfectionism and disregard for authority may come into play ... Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ's Achilles heel ... This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals ... Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense.[12]

Some practitioners have speculated that Susan B. Anthony was an INTJ.[13] However, according to the guidelines for the ethical use of the MBTI, only those taking the assessment can identify their own best fit.[14]

INTJs are analytical. Like INTPs, they are most comfortable working alone and tend to be less sociable than other types. Nevertheless, INTJs are prepared to lead if no one else seems up to the task, or if they see a major weakness in the current leadership. They tend to be pragmatic, logical, and creative. They have a low tolerance for spin or rampant emotionalism. They are not generally susceptible to catchphrases and do not recognize authority based on tradition, rank, or title.

INTJs are strong individualists who seek new angles or novel ways of looking at things. They enjoy coming to new understandings. They tend to be insightful and mentally quick; however, this mental quickness may not always be outwardly apparent to others since they keep a great deal to themselves. They are very determined people who trust their vision of the possibilities, regardless of what others think. They may even be considered the most independent of all of the sixteen personality types. INTJs are at their best in quietly and firmly developing their ideas, theories, and principles.[15]

Hallmarks of the INTJ include independence of thought and a desire for efficiency. They work best when given autonomy and creative freedom. They harbor an innate desire to express themselves by conceptualizing their own intellectual designs. They have a talent for analyzing and formulating complex theories. INTJs are generally well-suited for occupations within academia, research, consulting, management, science, engineering, and law. They are often acutely aware of their own knowledge and abilities—as well as their limitations and what they don't know (a quality that tends to distinguish them from INTPs). INTJs thus develop a strong confidence in their ability and talents, making them natural leaders.

In forming relationships, INTJs tend to seek out others with similar character traits and ideologies. Agreement on theoretical concepts is an important aspect of their relationships. By nature INTJs can be demanding in their expectations, and approach relationships in a rational manner. As a result, INTJs may not always respond to a spontaneous infatuation but wait for a mate who better fits their set criteria. They tend to be stable, reliable, and dedicated. Harmony in relationships and home life tends to be extremely important to them. They generally withhold strong emotion and do not like to waste time with what they consider irrational social rituals. This may cause non-INTJs to perceive them as distant and reserved; nevertheless, INTJs are usually very loyal partners who are prepared to commit substantial energy and time into a relationship to make it work.

As mates, INTJs want harmony and order in the home and in relationships. They are the most independent of all types[16]. They will trust their intuitions about others when making choices of friends and mates, even in the face of contradictory evidence and pressures applied by others. The emotions of an INTJ are hard to read, and neither male nor female INTJs are apt to express emotional reactions. At times, both will seem cold, reserved, and unresponsive, while in fact INTJs are almost hypersensitive to signals of rejection from those for whom they care. In social situations, INTJs may also be unresponsive and may neglect to observe small rituals designed to put others at their ease. For example, INTJs may communicate that time is wasted if used for idle dialogue, and thus people receive a sense of hurry from an INTJ which is not always intended. In their interpersonal relationships, INTJs are usually better in a working situation than in recreational situations.

Cognitive functions

Drawing upon Jungian theory, Isabel Myers proposed that for each personality type, the cognitive functions (sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling) form a hierarchy. This hierarchy represents the person's so-called default pattern of behavior.

The Dominant function is the personality type's preferred role, the one they feel most comfortable with. The secondary Auxiliary function serves to support and expand on the Dominant function. If the Dominant is an information gathering function (sensing or intuition), the Auxiliary is a decision making function (thinking or feeling), and vice versa. The Tertiary function is less developed than the Dominant and Auxiliary, but it matures over time, rounding out the person's abilities. The Inferior function is the personality type's Achilles' heel. This is the function they are least comfortable with. Like the Tertiary, the Inferior function strengthens with maturity.[17]

Jung and Myers considered the attitude of the Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior functions to be the opposite of the Dominant. In this interpretation, if the Dominant function is extraverted, then the other three are introverted, and vice versa. However, many modern practitioners hold that the attitude of the Tertiary function is the same as the Dominant.[7] (Neither view is backed by sufficient empirical evidence to be considered scientifically valid.[18]) Using the more modern interpretation, the cognitive functions of the INTJ are as follows:[17]

Dominant: Introverted intuition (Ni)
Attracted to symbolic actions or devices, Ni synthesizes seeming paradoxes to create the previously unimagined. These realizations come with a certainty that demands action to fulfill a new vision of the future, solutions that may include complex systems or universal truths. [19]

Auxiliary: Extraverted thinking (Te)
Te organizes and schedules ideas and the environment to ensure the efficient, productive pursuit of objectives. Te seeks logical explanations for actions, events, and conclusions, looking for faulty reasoning and lapses in sequence. [20]

Tertiary: Introverted feeling (Fi)
Fi filters information based on interpretations of worth, forming judgments according to criteria that are often intangible. Fi constantly balances an internal set of values such as harmony and authenticity. Attuned to subtle distinctions, Fi innately senses what is true and what is false in a situation. [21]

Inferior: Extraverted sensing (Se)
Se focuses on the experiences and sensations of the immediate, physical world. With an acute awareness of the present surroundings, it brings relevant facts and details to the forefront and may lead to spontaneous action. [22]

Shadow functions

Later personality researchers (notably Linda V. Berens)[23] added four additional functions to the descending hierarchy, the so-called "shadow" functions to which the individual is not naturally inclined but which can emerge when the person is under stress. For INTJ these shadow functions are (in order):

Extraverted intuition (Ne)
Ne finds and interprets hidden meanings, using “what if” questions to explore alternatives and allowing multiple possibilities to coexist. This imaginative play weaves together insights and experiences from various sources to form a new whole, which can then become a catalyst to action.[24]

Introverted thinking (Ti)
Ti seeks precision, such as the exact word to express an idea. It notices the minute distinctions that define the essence of things, then analyzes and classifies them. Ti examines all sides of an issue, looking to solve problems while minimizing effort and risk. It uses models to root out logical inconsistency. [25]

Extraverted feeling (Fe)
Fe seeks social connections and creates harmonious interactions through polite, considerate, and appropriate behavior. Fe responds to the explicit (and implicit) wants of others, and may even create an internal conflict between the subject’s own needs and the desire to meet the needs of others. [26]

Introverted sensing (Si)

Si collects data in the present moment and compares it with past experiences. This process sometimes evokes the feelings associated with memory as if the subject were reliving it. Seeking to protect what is familiar, Si draws upon history to form goals and expectations about what will happen in the future. [27]

Faith (for Content): 
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