According to the research done by Carl Jung (which was later expanded upon by Katharine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Meyers), each person's psychology can be categorized into one of 16 types. These types are based on four pairs of traits:
Introversion (I) vs. Extroversion (E)
Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
and Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (or MBTI) is a test that reveals the differences between each of these types ”” you can take the test for yourself here!
Einstein never took the MBTI, but he is often described as being a classic INTP (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Perceiving). INTPs are referred to as "The Architect" or "The Logician" ”” both titles would fit Einstein perfectly.
Carl Jung was another famous person who concerned himself with bringing order to the world. In fact, he's the main reason we can even categorize people according to their types, as he was the first to theorize that people could be split into "types." True to INTP form, Jung also sought to develop a logical explanation for the things that interested him ”” in his case, that was the psychology of individuals.
Individuals with INTP are very precise in their speech, and often have almost an obsession with logical correctness. While many try to label Hannah Arendt as being a philosopher, the famous political theorist was quick to reject that title, saying that philosophy is concerned with man in the singular while her many theories revolved around humanity as a whole. Much like Darwin (and Jung), Arendt was focused on creating a logical and precise explanation for something that to many may defy explanation. This is yet another INTP trait that she exemplified.
If you're an individual with INTP traits, you might often find yourself saying "that's debatable." It's not because INTPs are contrarian; they are merely able to think critically about many different topics while also presenting their thoughts clearly and succinctly. This is something that Abraham Lincoln excelled at, as is evident in his participation in The Great Debates of 1858 with Stephen A. Douglas. The attention he received for his excellent debate style eventually won him the candidacy in the 1860 election.
Larry Page is another Internet entrepreneur who fits into the INTP category. As one of the founders of Google, he was focused on organizing the Internet into something that made more sense. Interestingly enough, his co-founder Sergey Brin is also an INTP. He has authored a number of papers regarding pattern extraction on the World Wide Web. As it turns out, an interest in finding and making sense of patterns is also common among INTP individuals.
Marie Curie also joins the ranks of the INTPs. She, like many of the others on this list, was very focused on finding answers, logic and explanations in her work. "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood," she said, reflecting the belief commonly held by INTPs that "life is an ongoing inquiry into the mysteries of the universe."
Jane Austen is another writer whose sense of humor and irony earns her a place on the list of INTPs. Her works often poke fun of the typical tropes of romance, and she was acutely aware that she went against tradition in writing them. "I could not sit seriously down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life," she wrote in her letters, going on to say: "I must keep my own style and go on in my own way." People who are classified as INTPs are very well known for not going along with the crowd.
Much like a modern-day Jane Austen, Tina Fey also uses her wit and sense of humor to reveal truths about the world around her. In fact, a dry, satirical sense of humor is quite prevalent among people with INTP traits.
Kant was a very logic-minded philosopher, making him another entry on our list of notable INTPs. He constantly sought to learn as much as possible, saying "I am an investigator by inclination. I feel a great thirst for knowledge." Just like Kant, INTPs are known for valuing knowledge above all else.
"I think, therefore I am" ”” Descarte's most famous phrase is perhaps the best way to summarize many individuals who would fall into the INTP category. INTPs are often "thoroughly engaged in their own thoughts." Descartes lived in a time of extreme skepticism, and this same doubt pervaded his own philosophical beliefs. He refused to take as law the philosophical theories of his predecessors, instead striking out on his own to find answers. INTPs are much more likely to find their own way of doing things rather than following the crowd.
Like most INTPs, Jefferson despised small talk. He much preferred conversations about abstract ideas and concepts, and would avoid making small talk whenever possible. He even abolished the practice of drinking toasts to his dinner guests, finding the custom ridiculous. Like many of the other individuals with INTP traits on this list, Jefferson marched to the beat of his own drum.
Since INTPs delight in complex systems, it can come as not surprise to see Isaac Newton counted among them. Not only did he dedicate his life to understanding the complexity of nature; he also paved the way for many of the other scientists and philosophers on our list of INTPs.