INTPs & INFPs (7 key Differences)

This article will not only explore the differences but also the similarities between the two personality types INFP and INTP while looking at their dominant traits, strengths and weaknesses. The article will also identify which career fields are most suitable for each personality type.

What Are The Differences Between INTPs And INFPs?

The differences between INTPs and INFPs is how they understand their surroundings; the INTP uses logic whereas the INFP is more reliant on their emotions. This difference impacts not only their understanding of the world but the motivation behind their behaviours, their vision and how they present themselves to others. It also impacts their relations and beliefs.

The article will examine further differences between the two personality types but first, it will examine what an INTP and INFP personality really mean and how the Myer Briggs Type Indicator determines an individual’s personality.

The Myer Briggs Type Indicator.

The Myer Briggs Type Indicator is a psychological self assessment tool that determines what personality type an individual belongs to by testing them on 8 psychological functions that include extraversion, intuition, feeling and perceiving. You can either be these or their opposites and this combination lands you in one of the 16 personality types of the Myer Briggs Type Indicator also known as the MBTI.

The article will now explore each personality type in detail after which it will highlight the differences between both types.

Who Is An INTP?

An INTP, also known as a ‘Logician’, is a personality type that favors logic over feelings or emotions. They take much interest in identifying what patterns or relations exist in their surroundings and like to experiment with existing ideas to come up with new and unique ideas or approaches.

Introverts.

INTPs are introverts. They are very focused on their thoughts and greatly value their quiet time. Unlike others, they do not interact with individuals and groups as much as others do because they prefer to work or think in solitude. Sometimes intermingling with others can be too much work.

Intuitive.

Furthermore, INTPs are intuitive which means they don’t always focus on the facts or what is in front of them. Yes they very much appreciate logic and the relationships they can see however, this does not stop them from thinking out of the box. Logicians are known for making many discoveries in world history and this does not happen by just ordinary thinking; they must go beyond the scope they are given! They give value to their vision, dreams and even imagination and combine that with what they already have in their hands.

Thinkers. Not Feelers.

Yes. Logicians are mostly people who give weightage to their thoughts and what seems structured or logical rather than the emotions they feel for others. This results in them not understanding the emotional complaints or requests their loved ones have. People with this personality type focus on values like truth and justice and prefer to see the logic or aim of things. They can be described as task oriented.

Perceivers.

INTPs are perceivers and this may explain why they are able to achieve so much in terms of their discoveries and contributions to the world. Logicians are spontaneous; they prefer things that come and go rather than a structured boring plan. They need excitement and can’t wait for it. However, at the same time, they are flexible and understand that things will occur in their time so they have a casual approach as well that helps them think openly and spot more opportunities along the way.

How Does An INFP Differ From An INTP In Dominant Functions?

In the article above, we examined who exactly is an INTP or Logician. In this section of the article we will examine what it is that differentiates Logicians from Mediators or INFPs. 

Mediators or INFPs have some traits that are similar to those of the INTP personality. For example, both personalities are introverts, intuitive and perceive. The difference between them is that one personality type is focused on their thoughts whereas the other is focused on their emotions or feelings.

INFPs are the personality type that can be described as feelers. They give much significance to how they feel about themself, others and the world. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that when making decisions or interpreting various stimuli or information, they use their feelings to understand how it impacts them or others.

People who are feelers place much importance on the values they believe in or have grown up with such as traditional or cultural values and even religious and social ones. They respect these values and strongly believe they should be upheld even if they don’t make much sense. Furthermore, they are very personal in their dealings. People may not allow their emotions interfere in how they treat others but INFPs do: they believe in love, mercy and forgiveness and hence allow these beliefs to dominate their everyday dealings and behavior. 

People oriented is a word that can be used to describe Mediators. They believe that every person is unique and must be dealt accordingly whereas INTPs expect people to be aware of how the world operates and that they must function in terms of the patterns and resources apparent or available in our surroundings.

Strengths And Weaknesses Of INTPs and INFPs – The Differences.

Thinking and Practicality.

In this area of strength, INTPs will take the score. When it comes to abstract thinking and analyzing information or situations, Logicians are the winners because they have the ability to observe the little details. Identify relationships and think in a creative manner. Due to this ability, they can also devise practical steps to achieve a dream or vision which may be difficult at first but not impossible.

INFPs on the other hand are not so practical. As we said before, their approach is mostly focused on what they believe in or feel for others hence they do not always pay attention to how things work. Furthermore they are overly idealistic so they tend to forget to think on the practical matters maybe because they are so drawn into their ideas or do not realize the importance of that area.

Considerate.

INFPs are considerate of others and their feelings hence they possess traits of empathy, kindness and being very helpful. On the other hand, INTPs are known to be insensitive at times due to their inability to understand the significance of emotions for others or because they are so wound up in their ideas that they cannot give time to their loved ones or family.

Nonetheless, INFPs win here because of their emotional intelligence. They are people who have good listening skills and recognize the importance of feelings not only for themselves but others too and incorporate this aspect when making sense out of situations.

Values and Traditions – The Control Center For INTPs.

INTPs dislike control and authority. It feels as if they are being restricted and thus cannot work freely to discover what they are meant to discover. Hence they are ones that like to stay away from tradition and may overlook values the society strongly believes in.

INFPs on the other hand, understand the importance of rules and guidelines and how it is necessary for the smooth functioning of the society hence they respect laws, traditions and guidelines and try to ensure they are enforced or followed by others.

We will look at how this impacts each personality type later on.

Tolerance.

In this area, it is the INFPs who win. INFPs understand the diversity in human beings hence they engage in tolerant actions even if others disagree with their ideas, beliefs and way of life. Mediators believe in giving other people the benefit of doubt and allow them to make mistakes or second guess themselves even This may result in friction but it results in the overall growth of the society and improves the ability to communicate and connect with each other.

INTPs are not so understanding of others. It is not to say they are self obsessed with themselves but rather with their ideas and beliefs. They have put so much thought and work into their theories that they do not easily back out from them unless someone provides hard evidence hence in the process they turn out to be labeled intolerant; this may actually be a good thing in their field of work.

What Occupations Suit INTPs and INFPs?

The occupations that would be recommended to these personality types are quite different. 

Occupations For INTPs.

INTPs would be suitable working in areas that require logic, patterns and creativity hence they could work in the area of computer sciences designing games, softwares or analyzing data. They can also make great engineers. They would make great scientists too because of their desire to experiment with ideas or objects – maybe even people too!

What is important is that they are able to utilize their skills and fulfill their vision or dream in the process of working.

Occupations For INFPs.

Although they appreciate the diversity in people, INFPs are in the end introverts and they need their personal space. The occupations that would suit an INFP should allow them to work by themselves but at the same time allow them to get in touch with their inner creative selves and communicate with people though their work. 

They can become good photographers, graphic designers, fashion designers, writers or editors and even animators.

Conclusion.

The article looked at the major difference between INTPs and INFPs while appreciating their dominant traits. It also looked at what strengths and weaknesses either personality type has and what occupations would suit them.

Frequently Asked Questions: INTPs & INFPs Differences.

Can you be both an INTP and INFP?

No you cannot be an INTP and INFP at the same time because their dominant functions contradict each other hence resulting in different traits.

Are INFP and INTP similar?

Yes INTP and INFP personality types are similar but not the same as both of them can be described as spontaneous and lacking structure.

How does an INTP flirt?

An INTP flirts by teasing the person they have an interest in.

References.

https://www.16personalities.com/intp-strengths-and-weaknesses

https://www.16personalities.com/infp-strengths-and-weaknesses

I hold my bachelor's degree in Psychology with a particular interest in personality, emotions, organizational behaviour and the psychology of marketing. I am currently pursuing my Master's degree in Business Administration specializing in human resource management and marketing where my psychology background comes very much handy. I have worked with different institutes to raise awareness of the benefits of incorporating psychology in the workplace. Apart from that, I like to travel, cook and try new cuisines and love animals.

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