This article is about the Myers-Briggs personality type. For the Socionics ENTp, see Intuitive Logical Extrovert.

ENTP (Extraversion, iNtuition, Thinking, Perceiving) is an acronym used in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) publications to refer to one of the sixteen personality types. The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl G. Jung in his book Psychological Types, which proposed a psychological typology based on his theories of cognitive functions.

From Jung's work, others developed psychological typologies. Well-known personality tests are the MBTI assessment, developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, developed by David Keirsey. Keirsey referred to ENTPs as Inventors, one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Rationals.

The MBTI instrument

  • E - Extraversion preferred to Introversion
  • N - iNtuition preferred to Sensing
  • T - Thinking preferred to Feeling
  • P - Perceiving preferred to Judging

ENTP characteristics

Myers-Briggs descriptions

The ENTP has been described variously as the innovator, the originator, the lawyer, the inventor, the explorer, and the visionary. ENTPs also fall into the general categories of thinkers, rationals, and engineers. Using their primary function-attitude of extraverted intuition (Ne), ENTPs are quick to see complex interrelationships between people, things, and ideas. These interrelationships are analyzed in profound detail through the ENTPs auxiliary function, introverted thinking (Ti). The result is an in-depth understanding of the way things and relationships work, and how they can be improved. To the ENTP, competence and intelligence are particularly prized, both in themselves and in other people.

ENTPs are frequently described as clever, cerebrally and verbally quick, enthusiastic, outgoing, innovative, flexible, loyal and resourceful. ENTPs are motivated by a desire to understand and improve the world they live in. They are usually accurate in sizing up a situation. They may have a perverse sense of humor and sometimes play devil's advocate, which can create misunderstandings with friends, coworkers, and family. ENTPs are ingenious and adept at directing relationships between means and ends. ENTPs "think outside the box," devising fresh, unexpected solutions to difficult problems. However, they are less interested in generating and following through with detailed plans than in generating ideas and possibilities. When ENTPs are used correctly on a team, they offer deep understanding and a high degree of flexibility and problem solving ability. The ENTP regards a comment like "it can't be done" as a personal challenge, and, if properly motivated, will spare no expense to discover a solution.

Keirsey descriptions

Inventors are introspective, pragmatic, informative, and expressive. They can become highly skilled in functional engineering and invention. Of all the role variants, Inventors are the most resistant to doing things a certain way just because it was done that way in the past. Intensely curious, Inventors are always looking for new projects to work on, and they have an entrepreneurial character. Designing and improving mechanisms and products is a constant goal of Inventors.

Though full of ideas, Inventors are primarily interested in those that can be put into action or used to make products. They see product design as a means to an end, the goal being a marketable prototype. When beginning a project, they rarely start with a blueprint. Rather they are confident in their ability to find effective and pragmatic solutions during the design process.

Inventors tend to be laid back, nonjudgmental, and good conversationalists. They are often nonconformists who attract a circle of friends interested in their ideas or activities. Generally informative rather than directive in their social exchanges, Inventors are often able to explain their own complicated ideas well, and to comprehend the complex ideas of others. In arguments they may use debating skills, often to the significant disadvantage of their opponent. This strategy can backfire, however, by alienating those seeking a cooperative relationship rather than a combative one.

Inventors are usually ingenious individuals who are capable of rising to meet the demands of challenging situations. In work, they tend to be good leaders of pilot products that test their abilities. Constantly looking for new ways to do things, Inventors usually have the drive and the social skills to implement their ideas.

Based on observations of behavior, famous ENTPs include Alexander the Great, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, and Ben Franklin. For a more detailed list of famous ENTPs, see Notable Inventors.

Cognitive functions

See Type dynamics and development

Extraverted iNtuition (Ne)

The ENTP's primary function-attitude is Extraverted iNtuition (Ne), which allows the ENTP to effortlessly identify complex interrelationships between ideas, people, and things that are often invisible to other personality types.

Introverted Thinking (Ti)

The ENTP's auxiliary function-attitude is Introverted Thinking (Ti), which serves as Extraverted iNtuition's ready assistant. In this mode, the ENTP analyzes the constant stream of information provided by Extraverted iNtuition, develops structure, and reconciles any inconsistencies in the ENTP's belief system. However, Ti proves no match for the prodigious Ne, leading the ENTP to juggle multiple projects and theoretical enterprises at any given time, in various stages of completion.

Extraverted Feeling (Fe)

The ENTP's tertiary function-attitude is Extraverted Feeling (Fe). When this mode is well developed, the ENTP can foster goodwill in others, and can be seen as quite charming and loyal. When it is not well developed, the ENTP can be seen as aloof and unconcerned with other people's feelings. In most ENTPs, weakness of the tertiary function can be observed in its inconsistency or lack of endurance.

Introverted Sensing (Si)

The ENTP's inferior function is Introverted Sensing (Si), which offsets the ENTP's natural tendency toward anarchy and non-conformity. It acts as a sort of gravitational pull that keeps the ENTP in orbit around reality.

See also


External links

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