ISTP Vs INTP (5 key Differences)

This article will explore the differences between the ISTP and INTP personality types by highlighting their dominant functions and the differences in their traits. It will also shine light on what the Myer Briggs test is and how it determines your personality.

The Difference Between the ISTP & INTP Personality Type.

The major difference between the personality types of an ISTP and an INTP is their dominant function of sensing and intuition. The ISTP possesses the dominant function of sensing hence they focus on different values or elements when trying to make sense of a situation. Personality types like the INFP, on the other hand, tend to focus on other elements when they think; processes of the brain such as imagining and dreaming help them form their thoughts.

Before the article examines the functions of both personality types and how they differ, it will take a quick look at what the MBTI is!

What Is The Myer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)?

The Myer Briggs Type Indicator is a self-report questionnaire based on Carl Jung’s theory that individuals experience the world using four psychological functions namely sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking with either one of these being the dominant factor. The personality test determines which of these functions best describes a person hence detailing their personality, strengths and attitudes; it assigns one of the 16 personality types (just like INTJ or ETSP) to the individual taking the test.

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.


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.


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.


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 ISTP Differ From An INTP In Dominant Functions?

The two personality types differ in the dominant functions of sensing and intuition. Whereas ISTPs are more focused on their senses to understand the world around them, INTPs are more intuitive in that they make use of the various processes the mind is capable of carrying out such as reflecting, imagining and creating new information from available one. 

These individuals look inside themself for answers and guidance. They accept dreams, imagination and crazy ideas as good sources of inspiration, information and creativity. They, unlike INTPs who mostly rely on the outside environment for information, focus on the what could be rather than what is going on right now. Hence their approach is focused on the future and their vision!

They like to experiment with their thoughts and ideas by using their dreams, imagination and creativity and hence come up with even more unique ideas or solutions as they are not restricted by their past or the outside environment.

 Differences In Traits – ISTPs And INTPs.

Openness In Information Processing.

INTPs are way more flexible and open when it comes to taking in and processing information rather than ISTPs. Why? ISTPs are very choosy about what they consider to be logical and objective. They extract information through their senses only missing out from the insights they can gain from their dreams, vision and other brain processes that include imagination and creativity. They just seem to be more concrete than INTPs who rely on more sources for information.

Hence, INTPs are more creative when compared to ISTPs and they are better at solving unique and complex problems because they can think of more creative and out of the box solutions. Furthemore, ISTPs are restricted by their five senses. The human body can only experience so much; there is more the mind can discover.

Picking Up On Details.

ISTPs are better when it comes to picking up on the details because they are in more of a habit to use their senses efficiently. Hence they can identify stimuli better with their sight, taste, smell, hearing and touch. 

On the other hand, INTPs are not able to gain so much information from their surroundings because they are not used to processing their external environment that too with their senses. They are more in the habit of playing with information they have in their mind and experimenting with it through their dreams and imagination.

Absent Minded.

Yes logicians can be absent minded compared to their friends the virtuosos who are more in control of their ability to stay in the now due to their dominant function of senses. Sometimes logicians get stuck in their ideas or imagination and hence are unable to focus on the environment around them so they are more likely to be seen daydreaming and unfocused.

ISTPs have great ability to focus on the present situation hence they have strong listening and observation skills. They are less likely to lose focus or zone out during long lectures or discussion and so they can take in more information!

The two personality types differ in the dominant functions of sensing and intuition. Whereas ISFPs are more focused on their senses to understand the world around them, INFPs are more intuitive in that they make use of the various processes the mind is capable of carrying out such as reflecting, imagining and creating new information from available one. 

Crisis Management.

ISTPs are way better at handling critical situations and may also engage in risky behavior. They are more relaxed and in control of themselves and are also able to prioritize better than their friends the INTPs.

So, when a situation that seems out of control arises, ISTPs are able to make better sense of it because they do not panic and have control over their five senses that lets them stay in the moment and absorb the necessary information they need and filter out whatever it is that is irrelevant. INTPs may become overwhelmed in such a situation especially with all the incoming stimuli and not being used to dealing with such volume.

So in comparison, ISTPs are better than INTPs when it comes to crisis management.


The article delved into the personality types of ISTPs and INTPs and examined their differences in terms of their traits, abilities and dominant functions. It also briefly looked at how the Myer Briggs personality test works.

If you’ve enjoyed the ”ISTP Vs INTP” you should take a look at ”Differences between ISTP and ISFP personality types?” too.

Frequently Asked Questions: ISTP Vs INTP: The Differences.

How can you tell the difference between an ISTP and INTP?

You can tell the difference between an ISTP and INTP by examining the preferences they give to information in their environment. ISTPs appreciate attention to detail and are able to identify the little things way better than INTPs that may miss out on them.

Can I be an ISTP and INTP at the same time?

It is not possible to be an INTP and ISTP at the same time because their dominant functions contradict.

ISTPs are charming?

Yes ISTPs can be considered charming because they are adaptable and know how to behave in a particular situation which usually impresses people.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!