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INTP Cognitive Functions and Their Influence on Life

INTP Cognitive Functions and Their Influence on Life

Updated on Dec 12, 2022 | Published on Dec 12, 2022

Reviewed by Dr. Nereida Gonzalez-Berrios, MD , Certified Psychiatrist

INTP Cognitive Functions and Their Influence on Life

INTP cognitive functions refer to mental processes that are involved in acquiring knowledge, manipulating information, and reasoning purposes. INTPs are introverts with a firm function of intuition. It means they possess a greater sense of empathy, self-awareness, observation, focus, and the ability to stay in the present.

They are flexible in their thinking process and love taking an unfamiliar approach to various aspects of life. INTPs love independence. These individuals can use their minds to integrate various ideas rapidly. Thus, they can easily understand some of the most complex situations.

In this article, we will discuss the cognitive functions of this Myers-Briggs type and check out how these functions appear in their functional stack.


INTP Cognitive Functions

The Swiss Psychiatrist, Carl Jung first introduced the idea of cognitive functions in personality psychology. Then it was later carried forward by the mother-daughter duo of Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers to form the Myers Briggs personality type.

One can recognize and put each personality type under categories through the four cognitive functions. They include thinking, feeling, intuition and sensing. In the case of the INTP personality type, they tend to classify themselves as Ti, Ne, Si, and Fe. They primarily depend on how each of them influences the personality type. These functions remain inside a stack, known as functional stacking.

This stack mentions all the mental processes people tend to prioritize, what they usually prefer, and those which come naturally to them. A person’s personality type gives them an understanding of how their brain works and why they view and interpret situations the way they do.

The functional stack of INTP showcases that Introverted Thinking (Ti) and Extraverted Intuition (Ne) influence the behavior of these individuals. Its dominant function is the most critical aspect of any personality type. The auxiliary function plays a significant supporting role.

On the other hand, the tertiary function of Introverted Sensing (Si) and the inferior function of Extraverted Feeling (Fe) have much less significance. The tertiary function is a conservative one. It attaches previous experiences and past precedents to ones that are familiar, routine, and predictable. INTPs’ inferior function helps them to focus on the needs and emotions of others.

It is now time to discuss the personality type before discussing their functions in detail –

1. Introversion

INTPs are introverted. They have reservations but are yet willing to deal with life’s situations rationally. These individuals carefully formulate their actions and properly perform them to yield the right results.

They love having independence in their lives. It helps them derive energy from nurturing their thoughts in an ideal manner. INTPs love socializing with a small group of close-knit friends with similar connections.

They feel mentally drained out while being around gatherings. Thus, an INTP will always prefer to avoid facing such situations. These people always look out for depth rather than breadth in their relationships. It is far more significant to connect with individuals carrying similar mentalities as them.

Due to their introverted nature, INTP Personality type people have a rich inner world. They take time to process information in their minds and act on them. The reason is that these individuals often get lost in their thoughts. People with this Myers Briggs always think hard about any situation before speaking out. They will never engage in any small talk.

These people are great listeners. They carefully listen to what others have to say. It is especially applicable when others discuss topics that generate interest among INTPs. They will process the information along with inputs if any and then give their opinion.

2. Intuition

INTPs are intuitive people. They always use their imagination to focus on the future. These individuals remain immersed in the world of possibilities. The intuitive feature in their personality allows them to get a deeper insight into problems and possible solutions.

They possess the instinct to sense if a decision is right or wrong. People with this personality type have the habit of processing information through impressions and patterns. Being intuitive, INTPs give a great deal of value to inspiration and imagination.

These people can read between the lines to gather knowledge. The abstract nature of this personality type directs them to dive into deep concepts, ideas, and metaphors. An intuitive person focuses on the bigger picture. They always anticipate thinking about what life has in store for them in the future.

All those who possess this intuitive ability like an INTP, tend to adopt unconventional ways of fulfilling their responsibilities. They always come up with creative solutions for their problems. It helps them to relax even when life becomes complicated. These people back their instincts to overcome all kinds of challenges with ease.

3. Thinking

This aspect of an INTP’s personality tends to affect how they make their decisions. It suggests that individuals with thinking preferences tend to depend on objective information. They consider knowledge as their indispensable tool. Whenever these people accumulate facts, they tend to test their alternate options against proper reason and logic. These two aspects enable them to find out the most effective way for maintaining those standards.

The thinking feature in an INTP’s personality helps them manage their relationships by implementing the primary method of fairness and effectiveness while dealing with others. All their attachments are born out of respect.

No matter the value INTPs place on relationships, they can still get rid of emotional responses of themselves and others. It happens due to the discomfort they face while tackling emotional situations that do not follow their usual rational path.

There are occasions when emotions confuse their minds. Still, it does not mean they have hearts made of stone. They tend to feel everything intensely, but avoid making any decision. INTPs consider people who allow emotions to take center stage as weak decision-makers.

This introverted personality type individual with a thinking trait tends to evaluate things relentlessly. Things are not as bad as they look. They are never satisfied if they feel something has not put much thinking behind a plan. It is great to have these people around impartial and critical thinking is the need of the hour. They can sort out methods and ideas.

4. Perceiving

The perceiving characteristic of INTP personality type individuals denotes that they always look at life with freedom and spontaneity. They prefer to keep their options open than go with a clear action plan. This open-minded approach allows these people to flourish under unexpected circumstances.

Due to their spontaneous nature, people with this Myers Briggs type can always handle numerous projects simultaneously. They like to begin a task. Then, they are ready to work out all its future possibilities than finishing the same. These tendencies do not allow an INTP to make concrete decisions. Hence, they can end up leaving their work halfway through before moving on to the next one.

INTPs cannot see why they should not treat work and play as similar concepts. Hence, they put their best effort into incorporating both these aspects into their lives simultaneously. These people tend to treat work deadlines as nothing but suggestions. Hence they do not treat them with importance.

This feature makes these people laid-back. They can adapt to different circumstances. It makes an INTP talk more about their observation than regarding their decision. These individuals suffer from stress due to plans, deadlines, and predictability. As this preference shows how they portray themselves to the outer world, perceivers can be decisive or planned.


The Description of Cognitive Functions

Cognitive functions and preferences play an important role in shaping how a person sees the world. They are the core values that help a person make decisions and act accordingly.

We will give a detailed analysis of INTP’s functional stack for your better understanding. Let us now check out how these functions work –

1. Introverted Thinking (Ti) – Dominant Function

INTPs use their dominant function, Introverted Thinking to introduce proper order and structure in their internal world. They help grant them a greater sense of inner control. These people are well-disciplined and always working out ways to manage their thought processes and lives effectively.

  • Introverted thinkers use discipline to consider several things in life as a challenge. All these challenges can be physical, practical, intellectual, or psych emotional. INTPs impose various rules on themselves to attain success in all these personal challenges. These people show more interest in working with ideas than with facts.
  • These people have the habit of regularly digging into the background of their thoughts. It enables them to better understand their origins. This will make sure their ideas are formed based on solid reasoning.
  • An INTP personality type individual feels that it is unnecessary to form theories on an uncertain platform of concepts. It makes them slower than Extraverted Thinking personality types, going for experiments to unravel more truths. They find it more convenient to locate inconsistencies or shortcomings.
  • As these people are sensitive to theoretical exceptions, they can resort to pushing theories and once again begin from scratch. While functioning constructively, INTPs often adopt the trial-and-error method for buildings ideas.

2. Extraverted Intuition (Ne) – Auxiliary Function

INTPs tend to express this cognitive function by experiencing different kinds of possibilities. They use imagination, insight, and previous experiences to formulate ideas. These people often concentrate on what they know and look out for patterns until they can get some inspiration or a breakthrough into a problem.

  • Extraverted Intuition enables people with this personality type to spend a lot of time thinking about the future and imagining all possibilities. While it can help them see things that others might ignore, it also lets an INTP haphazardly move from one idea to another.
  • These people might struggle to relate to them while trying to convey those through their Ne. It does not merely accumulate sensory information but goes beyond sensory data. Thus, it allows INTPs to recognize hidden patterns, potentials, and possibilities.
  • An INTP person generally uses the receptive element of this function to carry out various activities. They include reading, conversing, or researching.
  • This function enables them to ask questions. It helps them gain deep knowledge and understanding from other people. Thus, INTPs are good facilitators of conversation.
  • This Myers-Briggs personality type also uses Extraverted Intuition to discover exciting possibilities. They enjoy taking up the role of seeker. An INTP person rarely knows beforehand what exactly they are trying to seek.

3. Introverted Sensing (Si) – Tertiary Function

The tertiary function of INTP is introverted sensing. It is a conservative function, which has an attachment to previous experiences and earlier precedent to the familiar, routine, and predictable ones.

  • The Introverted Sensing feature enables them to save rather than spend. INTPs consider excessive consumption of material pleasures as unnecessary.
  • They only strive for things that are necessary for them to lead their life.
  • Introverted sensing of an INTP helps to develop a perception of all the sensations within themselves.
  • It gives access to the basic sense of being, which exists apart from outward stimuli. This feature of Si comes to the forefront when an INTP carries out some specific activities. These are all those which require paying close attention to the internal state of the body, like yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, etc.

4. Extraverted Feeling (Fe) – Inferior Function

The inferior function of extraverted feeling does not make an INTP emotionless. Rather, it talks about their feelings which come and go just the way they want. It states the problem an individual faces. They include summoning their emotions or making voluntary contact with others.

  • INTPs go through phases of awkwardness and start feeling uneasy during emotional circumstances. They might be cognitively aware of the exact emotional response. Even then, if they fail to get in touch with their feelings, INTPs can appear mechanical.
  • This function is associated with maintaining harmony with people in society. It encourages them to act as peacemakers. INTPs will always make sure not to hurt or offend others.
  • Doing so can even help minimize the occurrences of emotionally vulnerable situations from taking place in their lives.
  • It makes them get in touch with others’ emotions. INTPs might still struggle to feel what they are feeling.

To Sum Up

An INTP personality type person likes to spend their time thinking of theories. This individual gives preference to intelligence over any kind of emotion. They like analyzing situations, knowing how things operate, and solving problems.

Despite being introverts, they like to spend time with selective people who carry similar mindset and ideologies. They hate plans and structure but rather prefer to keep things open-ended.