Exploring the ENTP Function Stack (A guide

In this brief guide, we will look at the ENTP function stack and all the concepts related to this subject.

What is the ENTP Function Stack?

ENTP, a type in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, stands for Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Perceiving (Prospecting), and its function stack is commonly abbreviated as NeTi, which stands for Extroverted Intuition and Introverted Thinking, which are cognitive function in the Jungian theory of personality types.

The ENTP function stack may be summarised as such:

  • Dominant: Extraverted Intuition (Ne)
  • Auxiliary: Introverted Thinking (Ti)
  • Tertiary: Extraverted Feeling (Fe)
  • Inferior: Introverted Sensing (Si)

As may be seen above, the dominant cognitive function in the ENTP personality is the Extraverted Intuition, while the Auxiliary or supporting function is the Introverted Thinking function.

The tertiary function, which usually does not develop till the person has grown up or at least crossed adolescence, is the Extraverted Feeling, and the Inferior function, which is INtroverted Sensing, is the last to develop, and may sometimes not be seen till the person has crossed their fourth or fifth decade, and even then it is usually quite muted, or may run more in the background as a subconscious process.

Before we head into understanding what the ENTP function stack means, let us first look at what a function stack is and what it does.

What is a function stack?

A function stack is basically a collection, or stack, of cognitive functions, layered in the order that they are active in the individual, meaning, starting with the most dominant and easily assessable and observable cognitive function, to the one that may not be obvious even to the person themselves.

In the MBTI personality types, the function stack is based first on whether the person is an Extrovert or an Introvert (E or I), and then one needs to look at the last character in the four-letter classification, which may be J or P, to check whether the person uses more Judging, which is decision-making processes, or more Perceiving, which are information gathering processes.

Under Judging, we have Thinking and feeling, which refer to whether the person is an analytical and logical thinker who depends on solid facts and figures and the observable things to make their decisions, or whether they are feelers, who base their decision making or judging abilities more on emotions and feelings felt by themselves or other people.

In the Perceiving cognitive functions, we may see one of two functions in the function stack, Intuition or Sensation or sensing.

Intuition is the function that may be familiar to a lot of people as “Gut feeling”, whereas the Sensing function is more about the feeling things out or seeking more information rather than going by what is already available or what seems right.

Together these functions form a stack that consists of a dominant function, an auxiliary function, a Tertiary function, or an Inferior function.

An overview of the ENTP personality

ENTP is also known as the Debater, due to their tendency to think logically above everything else and give merit to their own thought processes, and their ability to think about all aspects of a situation and their wanting to talk about them and discuss them due to their extraverted tendencies.

An ENTP loves to break down ideas and assess them, and this process of deconstructing and reconstructing ideas is a rare thing that may make them very intelligent and seem like formidable opponents in an argument or discussion.

The ENTP thoroughly enjoys the process of mental sparring as it allows them to exercise their effortlessly quick wit and the broad accumulated knowledge that they are constantly working on.

The ENTP may also love connecting disparate ideas to prove their points in an argument, which may sometimes get slightly disturbing and annoying to people when they just want to have a simple conversation, but one needs to remember that the ENTP does not do this on purpose, or to annoy, they simply do it sort of as a means to hone their skills and because it comes so naturally to them. 

The ENTP may make the ultimate devil’s advocate, as they thrive on the process of destroying and getting into arguments and beliefs, simply for fun.

Now that we have had a glimpse into some of the core features of the ENTP, let us look at the ENTP function stack in detail, and explore why they are the way they are and how their mind works.

ENTP function Stack

The ENTP function stack is given below in detail.

Dominant Function: Extraverted Intuition (Ne)

The dominant function in the ENTP function stack is the Extroverted Intuition function, which means that these individuals are intuitive about the world around them and they are able to make quick judgments about the environment they are in, which plays a big role in their ability to tear down arguments with such efficiency.

Dr. Dario Nardi says in his book “Neuroscience of personality”, about Extroverted Intuition:

“Regardless of the kind of stimulus that enters the brain — sights, sounds, smell, sensation, or so forth — the brain responds by rapidly processing that stimulus in multiple regions, including regions seemingly not applicable to the stimulus. For example, for most people, hearing the words ‘dog’ and ‘cat’ will evoke auditory regions…and perhaps some visual or memory regions…Perhaps we recall a beloved childhood pet. However, the Ne types get busy using all regions to tap relationships across situations, perhaps suddenly imagining a story about two brothers, one of whom is faithful and sociable (like a dog) while the other is independent and quiet (like a cat). They might wonder about dog and cat writing styles too!”

This brief description encompasses pretty much everything there is to know about this function and how people use it, it talks about how the Extroverted Intuition dominant person uses this ability to make arbitrary and distant connections between things and how it may pertain to the organization of knowledge within their brains.

The extroverted intuition function Ne helps the ENTP find distinct patterns and underlying principles of a certain concept of belief, enabling them to see future possibilities clearly.

The Ne function also allows the ENTP to be able to construct theories and lay the groundwork to eventually form connections, and they may do it at the same time as doing other things, so that they can formulate their theories and concepts even as they talk, write, or create. 

Sometimes the extroverted intuition that is constantly keeping the ENTP busy may make them seem like they have their head in the clouds, and it may seem like there is simply no end to their crazy ideas, but the truth is that they are extremely in touch with reality at the same time. 

According to Jung, the cognitive functions that lie below the dominant function, exist in a capacity to “serve” the dominant one, which means that in an ENTP, the Ne way of doing things gets priority most of the time.

Auxiliary: Introverted Thinking (Ti)

The auxiliary function in the ENTP function is introverted thinking and this is what makes them hungry for knowledge and deeply philosophical and intellectual, and fuels their need to spar with people on an intellectual level.

It is this function that is right after the dominant function of extroverted intuition, and the Ti is the cause behind the ENTP’s general focus on intellectual pursuits. 

As it comes second in the ENTP functional stack, it is assumed to operate mostly in the background, which allows the typical ENTP to do further analyses on the ideas and concepts that the dominant function Ne comes up with out of thin air. 

The introverted thinking function makes the ENTP individual capable of creating a logical framework and it uses all the data gathered by the Ne as reference material to determine which ideas are logical and can be used to further their thinking and planning.

Tertiary: Extraverted Feeling (Fe)

The tertiary function of the ENTP function stack, the Extraverted Feeling, is responsible for the ENTP’s humanitarian side, as it focuses on the feelings and emotions of others, and tries to take their ideas and responses into account.

However, while the extraverted feeling function may make them attuned to the feelings of others, it can also do damage with this knowledge based on what the other traits in the person are, and in a Machiavellian individual, for that matter, this function may provide information that may well be used against other people instead of in an empathetic manner.

In a more positive way, however, the extraverted feeling function may make the ENTP more expressive, eloquent, and they may come across as a skilled conversationalist, and they may even succeed in convincing others of things they don’t want to believe.

This function of the ENTP function stack is responsible for their drive to use their intelligence and creative problem-solving skills to help others and make things better to them and makes them more empathetic.

Inferior: Introverted Sensing (Si)

The inferior, and last function in the ENTP function stack is the Introverted Sensing, which may not develop in the typical ENTP till they are much older, and even then it is likely to run in the subconscious rather than be an overt thing.

It may be assumed with some conviction that the Si function of the ENTP function stack is not as strong as the other functions and it allows the ENTP to store all the interesting facts and knowledge they gather.

The introverted sensing function is responsible for the organization of information and this function may also make the ENTP come across as consistent, reliable, and help them to actually implement their ideas, rather than just think them up or talk about them well.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we looked at the ENTP function stack and all the concepts related to this subject. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments you may have about this topic or suggestions about what you might like to read next.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): ENTP Function Stack

Who are some ENTP characters?

Here is a list of some great ENTP characters :

Dr. Gregory House from House MD
Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean
Del Spooner from I, Robot
Mark Watney from The Martian
Jeff Winger from Community
Rintarou Okabe (anime)
Imogen Spurnrose from Carnival Row
Ezra Spurnrose from Carnival Row
Ryuk from Death Note
Hans Landa from Inglorious Basterds

Who are some famous ENTP people?

Here is a list of some famous ENTP people:

Rutherford B. Hayes.
James Garfield
Theodore Roosevelt
Thomas Edison
Leonardo da Vinci
Benjamin Franklin
Steve Wozniak
Tom Hanks
Benedict Cumberbatch
Neil Patrick Harris
Jon Stewart
Ashton Kutcher, 
Amy Poehler

What does a healthy ENTP look like vs an unhealthy ENTP?

A healthy ENTP vs an Unhealthy ENTP may look like someone who enjoys talking a lot and even though they say great things and seem to have great ideas, they will not put others down out of malice or use their conversational skills for hurting others. 

An unhealthy ENTP on the other hand, vs the healthy ENTP, maybe someone who likes putting people down or argue for the sake of arguing, or start unhealthy things for the sake of knowledge or “just to see what happens”.

Citations

https://personalityjunkie.com/entp/

https://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/

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