INTJ (Introversion, iNtuition, Thinking, Judging) is an abbreviation used in the publications of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) 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 INTJs as Masterminds, one of the four types belonging to the temperament he called the Rationals. One of the rarest of the sixteen personality types (accounting for no more than 1% of the population), the INTJ may also be referred to as the scientist, the free-thinker, or the strategist.
INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake... INTJs are known as the "Systems Builders" of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ; both perfectionism and disregard for authority may come into play... Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ's Achilles heel... This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals... Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense.
INTJs are strong individualists who seek new angles or novel ways of looking at things. They enjoy coming to new understandings. They tend to be insightful and mentally quick; however, this mental quickness may not always be outwardly apparent to others since they keep a great deal to themselves. They are very determined people who trust their vision of the possibilities, regardless of what others think. They may even be considered the most independent of all of the sixteen personality types. INTJs are at their best in quietly and firmly developing their ideas, theories, and principles.
Hallmark features of the INTJ personality type include independence of thought, strong individualism, creativity, and a desire for efficiency. People with this personality type work best given large amounts of autonomy and creative freedom. They harbor an innate desire to express themselves, that is, to be creative by conceptualizing their own intellectual designs. Analyzing and formulating complex theories are among their greatest strengths. INTJs tend to be well-suited for occupations within academia, research, management, engineering, and law. The key to differentiating the INTJ personality type from the related INTP type is their confidence. They tend to be acutely aware of their knowledge and abilities, as well as their limitations and what they don't know. Thus, they develop a strong confidence in their ability and talents, making them natural leaders.
In forming relationships, INTJs tend to seek out others with similar character traits and ideologies. Agreement on theoretical concepts is an important aspect of their relationships. By nature INTJs tend to be demanding in their expectations, and they approach relationships in a rational manner. As a result, INTJs may not always respond to a naturally occurring infatuation but wait for a mate who better fits their set criteria. People with this personality type tend to be stable, reliable, and dedicated. Harmony in relationships and home life tends to be extremely important to them. They generally withhold strong emotion and do not like to waste time, as they see it, with what they consider irrational social rituals. This, however, may cause non-INTJs to perceive them as distant and reserved. Nevertheless, INTJs are usually very loyal partners who are prepared to commit substantial energy and time into a relationship to make it work.
Based on observations of behavior, famous Masterminds include Ayn Rand, William F. Buckley, John Maynard Keynes,, Isaac Newton, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. For a more complete list of famous INTJs, see Notable Masterminds.