INTP Cognitive Functions
INTPs are at their best when they engage in the following cognitive functions:
- Introverted Thinking, representing your need for things to be logical and rational
- Introverted iNtuition, indicating your preference for theories and understanding
- Thinking Perceiving, suggesting you want to make smart and tactical decisions
- iNtuitive Perceiving, reflecting how you want variation and change in your life
This reflects the ideal INTP mental state: Theoretical, abstract, creative, flexible, technical, rational and full of variation and alternatives. Able to consider many alternative explanations and to comprehend things and to explain them rationally.
To be able to make smart decisions based on accurate theories and explanations. When they have an internal conflict and they choose to develop one of these above the others, they will start to fall into one of the INTP subtypes.
The INTP subtypes are the Scientists, with strong introverted thinking, the Philosophers, with strong introverted iNtuition. The Thinking Perceiving Hackers and the iNtuitive Perceiving Catalysts. The INTP subtypes rely on special cognitive functions. Some of these cognitive functions are not natural to the INTP process.
The inspirational function is used to act as a positive carrot or external encouragement, and the steer as an internal whip or negative internal encouragement. The brake is used as a kind of armor or anchor. Every one of the INTP Subtypes use different INTP cognitive functions.
Introverted thinking gives this INTP the sense of pride and accomplishment that they need to feel good about themselves. Thinking Judging acts as a positive source of encouragement. It reflects this INTPs pursuit of becoming more ambitious and of sticking to the plan. Introverted Sensing is the negative internal steer. It is the reminder of your past and your history. It reflects your fear of what you can’t explain or understand.
It makes you focused on how you know things have been defined in practice rather than what you think they could be. Sensing Judging finally is the rules and the order you need to follow and the methods you need to apply to feel you are being scientific. You may be so focused on wanting everything to be rational. This may cause you to lock yourself in and try to keep your environment too neat and organized.
Introverted iNtuition is the theoretical map or framework you follow and what you know and understand about the world around you. iNtuitive Perceiving is what you feel you want to prove or understand around you: changes and ideas you want to comprehend that you have noticed. Introverted Feeling is your steer here: it reminds you to be careful and warns you of hurting other people or being insensitive.
Feeling Judging is the brake here: instead of confirming your theories. Instead of setting down your foot on something with Thinking Perceiving, you keep things open-ended and vague, and you focus on discussing the theoretical possibility in a hypothetical sense. There is a chance you will be too focused on describing and explaining your ideas to other people and getting them to see things the same way, rather than just putting your ideas to practice.
Thinking Perceiving helps the INTP confirm and decide how reality works. It is an aide in in the moment decision making. It helps you weigh options and to measure and decide what is better and what is worse. Extroverted Thinking keeps you pragmatic and focused on what is rewarded or what your environment deems to be smart or realistic. Sensing Perceiving keeps you focused on what things are rather than what they could be.
There is a tendency to avoid ideas or possibilities and to focus on easy or smart prospects where you know there is profit to be made. You may be so focused on getting the best deal or making the smartest move in every situation your extroverted sensing will start to overwhelm you. There may be a fear of missing out here.
The Catalyst is well in touch with their intuition and perceiving but not with introverted thinking. They can imagine different alternatives and they can see change in the moment and can think of ways to apply an idea, but sometimes they can get too hasty and take action too quickly. This can cause their ideas to be poorly thought through or irrational and incorrect.
The INTP Catalyst can find themselves taking action when they should be taking a step back to think critically about something. Or they can find themselves analysing an idea that is completely irrational when they already know what is right and what is wrong.
Extroverted iNtuition fuels this: the INTP Catalysts world is full of mysteries to be tested and understood better. Instead of thinking smartly about something and weighing an option and doing the correct thing, there is a tendency to focus on your feelings about something. You may be doing things you know are stupid just because you feel something that you probably know is irrational.
What you are looking to ensure as an INTP is that you balance all four cognitive functions within yourself. This is giving yourself room for change and variation, while encouraging yourself to think critically and rationally about the world. You feel that you can be smart and that you can play and master the rules of the game. You believe that you can formulate your own unique theories and ideas about how the world is and how it works. All of your natural INTP functions are important to health and balance and if you miss one or more of them you will feel internal conflict.