What is an ISTP? Personality Traits, Myths & Cognitive Functions
ISTPs are one of the rarest personality types, which is why there's still a lot of confusion and myths about them. This article will go in depth about what an ISTP is, their cognitive functions stack, and what they're like as people.
The first thing to know about ISTP personalities is that they are introverted thinkers who have a preference for thinking over feeling. They also make up only 3% of the population- making them quite scarce indeed!
An Overview of the ISTP Personality Type
ISTP (introverted, sensing, thinking, perceiving) is one of the 16 personality types identified by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). People with ISTP personalities are introverted, enjoy time for solitary thought and are fiercely independent. ISTPs are often drawn to action, new experiences, hands-on activities, and the freedom to work at their own pace.
ISTPs enjoy taking things apart just to see how they work. The ISTP personality type is logical and rational, but are more interested in practical applications than in abstract ideas. They love doing new things and can become bored with routines rather quickly.
Key ISTP Characteristics
ISTP Cognitive Functions
The MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) identifies four key cognitive functions (thinking, feeling, intuition, and sensing) that are either directed outwardly (extraverted) or inwardly (introverted).
The hierarchical order of these functions determines an individual's unique personality.
Dominant: Introverted Thinking (Ti)
Auxiliary: Extraverted Sensing (Se)
Tertiary: Introverted Intuition (Ni)
Inferior: Extraverted Feeling (Fe)
Famous ISTPs You Might Know
ISTPs are introverts and they tend to be quiet and reserved. The ISTP type thrives with new experiences and dislikes strict routines.
In relationships, they are highly independent and do not like to feel controlled. This personality type have difficulty with commitments, but will likely go to great lengths for those who hold their interest.
They do not often share their emotions with other people. ISTPs are often described as quiet and tough to get to know.
Echoing their reserved nature, ISTPs tend not to share much personal information with others. ISTPs often make friends with people who share a similar hobby. These friendships can lead to people pursuing activities together and enjoying time spent with that friend.
Career Paths for ISTPs
Because ISTPs are introverted, they often do well in jobs that require working alone. ISTPs do not like too much structure and prefer careers where they have a lot of freedom and autonomy.
This personality type has a logical thinking process, so they enjoy work that involves reasoning and hands-on experience. In particular, ISTPs like doing things that have practical, real-world applications.
Popular ISTP Careers
Tips for Interacting With ISTPs
ISTPs tend to be curious and even adventurous, but they also have a strong need to be alone at times. It's important to be aware of the ISTP type's need for isolation, especially when they're feeling drained. Encourage them to find new hobbies and social engagements if this suits their personality more often than not.
If you are a parent to an ISTP child, it is likely that you have noticed their independent and adventurous nature. You can encourage them by providing safe opportunities so they can feel confident exploring things on their own. Provide guidance and yet allow children the freedom to explore. Allow them opportunities for hands-on learning, outdoor adventures, and experimenting with how things work.
Because ISTPs live so strongly in the present moment, long-term commitments can be a real challenge. By being willing to take things day by day and respecting their need for independence, you can strengthen your ISTP relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ISTP personality type?
The ISTP personality type is a very introverted personality type. ISTPs are motivated by their curiosity and desire to explore the world around them. They want a lot of hands-on experience with things and they enjoy practicing skills that use physical activity or dexterity.
ISTP personalities have strong senses but often do not show it on the outside
Are ISTPs rare?
They make up about five percent of the population. The personality type is more common in males than it is in females with men having a much higher percentage of being ISTP personalities.
Are ISTPs dangerous?
ISTPs are not dangerous at all, in fact they can be very helpful. They enjoy being able to solve problems and find ways around obstacles which have led them the nickname “The Mechanic” for their ability to fix things that others cannot figure out how to do on their own.
What are ISTP females like?
Your average ISTP female will enjoy being able to fiddle with things, they will have a strong sense of independence but often won’t show it on the outside. ISTP females are also likely to be very cautious and not like taking risks which can lead them into some self-fulfilling prophecies when they avoid opportunities out of fear that something bad will happen.
Who Are the ISTPs? (YouTube video by CS Joseph)