Home | Are INFPs and INTPs More iNtuitive Than We Think?

Hey everyone, I’m Erik Thor, an expert on using personality psychology for flow and personal development.

Are INFPs and INTPs More iNtuitive Than We Think?

In my research of these two types I have found out something incredibly strange. INFPs and INTPs tend to test out as strong in both Extroverted and Introverted iNtuition. But what does this mean?

While INFJs and INTJs tend to have a strong preference for Introverted iNtuition, and ENTPs and ENFPs tend to have a strong preference for Extroverted iNtuition, INFPs and INTPs tend to be more difficult to classify. I’ve developed tests for more than five years and the numbers I’ve gotten are quite telling. INFPs and INTPs are iNtuitive “mid-line” types. They seem to test moderately high for both forms of iNtuition! But the answer runs much deeper than that.

When interviewing INFPs and INTPs, I came to realise they had an intuition that was different from both INXJs and ENXPs. An iNtuition that intermixed some traits of INXJs and other traits from ENXPs.

iNtuitive Perceiving and Introverted iNtuitive

The INFP and INTP personality types tend to be both Introverted iNtuitive and iNtuitive Perceiving in their nature. What I mean with this is, INXPs experience their intuition as an internal process of conceptualisation, synthesis and theory, rather than experimentation, investigation, and pattern-recognition.

When INFPs and INTPs talk about their intuition, they talk about slowly mulling over or thinking about a complex problem or question. They talk about synthesising and processing different ideas and perspectives together to find the answer to a problem.

Like the ENFPs and ENTPs, they have a wide-ranged, diverse intuition, and they can be seen as mulling over multiple options. But often, like the INFJ or INTJ, their process tends to remain inside themselves, and they make little efforts to research, test, or apply their ideas in the real world like the Extroverted iNtuitive would.

Introverted iNtuition in INFPs and INTPs

We can see Introverted iNtuition in INFPs and INTPs in multiple ways. I asked my viewers on YouTube and got a ton of fascinating replies:

“For me, an intp, my intuition helps me notice unlikely similarities in a metaphysical way between dissimilar things such as the similarities between emotions and physics.” Jeff writes. Calico adds: “1.) Make a web of information that floats, externally. The info connects, while being seen, from many angles at once ..” Two INTPs weighed in and said that they found it hard to explain their ideas to others. That makes sense. I think it must be very difficult to explain your thought process as an INFP or INTP personality type.

I received a really interesting comment from Elizabeth, who pointed out that as an INFP, her intuition had a lot less immediacy than an ENFPs. She saw her intuition as something that took more time to form and to explain and had less concrete or direct application. This makes sense for Introverted iNtuitives.

iNtuitive Perceiving in INFPs and INTPs

While INFJs and INTJs tend to get very intense in their own process, INTPs and INFPs tend to retain a sense of play in their creativity. They entertain what-ifs, play with scenarios, and crack jokes and laugh at the absurdity of what they come up with. To them, intuition is a recreative activity, where for an INTJ or INFJ it is something intense that sucks you up and absorbs you completely.

I take my ideas 100% seriously. They come with a weight and a responsibility. I feel a duty to work to realise my ideas and to give my ideas the time necessary to complete them. Often, with INTPs and INFPs I get the feeling they are idea-commitment phobes. Often, they go through it over and over and jump from idea to idea, too scared to deep dive into any one of them.  

iNtuitive Perceiving is what makes an INFP or INTP want to tick every single box in a multiple choice exam or personality test. The answer of an INFP or INTP is always “Yes, if…” or “No, but…” Their ability to switch between multiple perspectives is honestly fascinating.

iNtuition is different for every type!

This is why I organised my system around 16 rather than 8 cognitive functions. But the real take away is that iNtuition is experienced differently in every single type. ESTPs experience iNtuition in one way.

INFPs in one way. INTPs in another way – when looking through INTPs testimonials, they were vastly different from INFPs. INFPs talked about reading people, daydreaming, they saw their intuition like a sixth sense. INTPs talked about theories, hypotheticals. No wonder it’s so hard to define a concept or cognitive function, if every persons experience of said concept or cognitive function is subjective!


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1 year ago

As an INTP who has been with an ENFJ for over 10 years, I find your conclusions to be consistent with other Ni users, particularly my partner. From my perspective, my partner often assumes that an idea or theory I have is some perspective I’m wanting to galvanize, but I’m really throwing it out there to see where it lands. What I’m committed to is not the idea itself, but what props it up, and what brings it down.

Most of my ideas revolve around exploring things I’ve read or experienced, and testing the validity of that through various means, sometimes using others as guinea pigs, unwittingly (hello devils advocate) – while at the same time potentially making myself look crazy. My goal though, is to take a slice of information, and put it into a system of tests I’ve established for finding what I hope is it’s truest meaning. But, that takes time, so while that’s being worked out, I move on to extracting the next bit of information I want to add to that plan of exploration. So, it’s not that I’m scared of depth, it’s that changing topics or subjects entirely helps to keep things from running together, potentially preserving the purity of my prior observation. Only so much can be tested at a time, and I don’t want to move on until I have more clarity on the given bit of information. But, there are many different things being worked on at once.

It’s like cooking. I try an ingredient in one dish, and while that simmers, I go to something else I’m making and add an ingredient to that to see how it affects the flavor. The goal is distinguishing similarities and differences to a degree as fine as my intelligence will allow. In turn, this makes me look like a jack of all trades for most of my life, but like most INTPs before me, that all culminates into something more meaningful later in life. On the other hand, I think it’s why I have so much damn trouble with school. Often times I felt like saying to schooling “Can you hold on? I’m in the middle of doing something that the information you’re providing is interrupting. You’re blurring the lines.”

Ni be like “Can we move on now?”. Ne be like “5 more minutes”. I can’t tell you how many times my Ni partner washes dishes, or throws things out before I’m completely done with them. I can see the value in committing to something to move forward and accomplish something. But, prioritizing progress over clarity is only one perspective of many occurring in a reality that inherently respects none more than another – you acknowledge this. It just seems to me that the problem in my life, is that my partner initiates life, whereas I simply observe and respond to it.

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