Fi: Einstein is often thought of as an incredibly logical person, but everything he did was motivated by personal emotion. He wanted most to be true to himself and often went directly against his parents orders even if it meant losing their trust, love or funding. He was a bit of a radical, and all as a result of hating the school system, Einstein revoked his citizenship of Germany at age 15 without telling his parents. As a young man, he married a woman that his parents hated, and was rejected by them for years to come. Einstein was a bit of a flirt in school and tended to be a bit of a quiet ladies man (if you’ve ever seen one, you know what I mean).
Ne: Albert Einstein was all about new ideas and theoreticals. He loved to explore new ideas and question old ones. He was forever learning and constantly embracing new things –be it in his appearance, frequent remarriages or his ideas. Einstein was bored in school because the ideas were all things that had already been explored and he wanted to explore new things. Einstein knew what he wanted, but didn’t always consider the long term consequences of his actions. For instance, when he dropped out of school, he had no plan for what to do next, and when he married the woman against his parent’s wishes, he had no plan for income.
Si: He didn’t particularly care for the routines and rituals of school –or any traditions for that matter. In his youth, he skipped out on classes, asked friends to take notes for him and passed all his classes flying without much studying. Despite his dislike for German traditions, he had a love for culture, religion and music and devoted significant time to pursuing each. Einstein wasn’t one to easily accept the knowledge or social rules of his time, but rather, questioned everything, coming up with new theories and eventually revolutionising our views of quantum physics (among other things).
Te: Albert Einstein didn’t see the need to talk more than was absolutely necessary. In fact, he didn’t speak a single word until he was five years old, when after years of his parent’s believing there was something wrong with him, he asked in perfect German, for the salt to be passed at dinner. Years later, when people asked why he hadn’t spoken prior to the incident, he replied that he hadn’t seen the need to until then. Einstein was incredibly logical, and often infuriated colleges with his oddities, resulting in his having a difficult time holding down a job (that is –until he was world renown).
I’ve typically seen Einstein Typed as an INTP, but I don’t see Einstein using much Si or Fe… Einstein was a very Fi person (based on all the books I’ve read about his life).
29 thoughts on “Albert Einstein: INFP”
Being a 1w9 doesn’t mean you have to be INFP. You can be a morally driven person and true to yourself while being INTP.
But I am not surprised by the fact that Einstein was typed as an INFP as much as an INTJ who typed him as such. LOL.
He’s ISTJ but this is close enough. Same functions. You would agree with me as well after discussion. Really like your works by the way. Unfortunate you went off the face off the earth but did so in typical INTJ fashion so not unsurprising.
Albert Einstein was an istj
[…] enough, some of my favourite scientists are xNFPs (Albert Einstein, for instance). People often assume that all NTs are extremely intelligent (not true), and that any […]
I’m a physics undergrad and the mbti test says I am an infp. funily I’ve always been fascinated by Einstein’s ideas but also by him as a person. I saw myself in many of his ways. Like when he would take long walks to think deeply about a subject or how he thought about physics problem with intuition. It feels great to know there was a physicist of this type because I often feel out of place when I see how I do not connect with my colleagues. I guess this subject attract people that are much more into structure and logic. It made me question if I was made for this. Now I am more confident I do.
I appreciate the recognition that INFPs can be highly logical due to Te. Stereotypes portray the strong emotions of an INFP as interfering with rationality, but, in reality, emotion vs. logic is a false dichotomy (sorry, Spock). Balanced INFPs may reason by using emotion and logic in tandem, with emotion at times being closely tied to “intuition” in the traditional sense (i.e., conclusions drawn from subconscious impressions and evaluations that don’t get acknowledged by the conscious mind). As a teenager, online MBTI tests (which I now have healthy skepticism for) typed me as an INTP because I preferred logic as “safer” than emotions, and even now I still find it much easier to work with people who regularly exercise reason than people who respond based on their knee-jerk emotional reactions. The times when my own emotions have ousted logic and totally taken over my ability to reason have often been precursors to identifying various physical and mental health issues. In short, unlike many, I have no logical objections to Einstein being an INFP, though I do have an emotional preference that he would be. :)
Thank you for having the courage to go against the winds that’s very Fi vs Fe ! I mean when i do that kind of things i know what i would face and the effort it will take me to try to convince the majority that they are wrong and so i tend to keep my thoughts and my real opinions to myself.
Now it is true that the majority of MBTI community think that Einstein is not only an INTP but an achetypical one so When they think INTP the image that pops up in their heads is Einstein face, this is how strong the steorotype is !
Now, when an idea is so well accepted by the majority it is very hard to “debunk” it without an exposition to a strong wave of resistance. You are in the same position as Bruno, Galileo or Jesus, it’s you against the world, against the dogmatic attitude of the temple’s guardians.
The fact is that Einstein being an INFP fine tuned with the right enneagram related to his personality, in his case E type 5w6, is not a crazy idea at all, in fact that would make a lot of sens when you think about it objectively.
The INFP 5w6 is in itself a rather rare bird, but they do exist and Einstein, in my opinion, could be a proud representative of this kind.
What makes me think of einstein more likely an INTP is his deduction formulated after the michelson-morley ‘s experiment. He developed the special relativity noticing a deep logical connection, see the light clock.
He is INTP. If you read Jung’s introverted rationals description, you will see that almost all of what you attribute to Fi here is also applicable to Ti. You’ve fallen prey to the function tandem theories which don’t align with Jung’s ideas. The idea that INTPs are “Ti/Fe” types, as if a Fe is a preference, is incorrect. The inferior function is opposed to the dominant and largely unconscious. The person rejects that aspect of themselves. This means that INTPs will frequently find Fi attitudes less “threatening” than Fe attitudes and you may find similar themes in their values to INFPs. An example of this is a survey out there showing INTPs and INFPs to both highly value autonomy, whereas in contrast, INFJs highly value community. One more time for emphasis: INTPs consciously reject Fe attitudes and are more likely to embrace Fi ones when it comes to forming personal values and emotional expression. Ti and Fi dom have waaaaay more in common than Ti and Fe or Fi and Te doms.
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Einstein actually identify is as an INTP, not an INFP.
Thank you! Did you ask him?
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Did you talk to him then? Because, you seem rather certain that he is, in fact, INFP instead of INTP…..
I can’t say I know a lot about Einstein enough to type him, but I’ve always thought he was an Fi user. Einstein once said “Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it” which is the most Fi quote I’ve ever seen in my life.
I think he uses Ti-Fe. Ti users are known to be rebellious. So he’s either an ENTP or an INTP.
I’ve been meaning to bring this up for a while now, and the only reason I haven’t brought it up is that I don’t have a formalized argument for why Einstein is INTJ. I only know that when I read his philosophy my Ni immediately told me, “Einstein isn’t INTP, I know Fi when I see it and his writing is ALL Fi! He must be an INTJ.” I was so certain that Einstein was INTJ in fact that I asked the psyche type professional who typed me and he confirmed my intuition. Unfortunately though, he didn’t really provide details given that he is an INTJ himself!
Because I respect your knowledge and competency in psyche type I will not make an argument from authority about how you’re wrong, nor will I ever engage you in argument without compiling a detailed evidence for my position (unlikely to happen because I hate digging through what I’ve already read just to make a point). So instead I will point out two key facts that might make you reconsider Einstein’s type insofar that you believe he is an Fi dominant. In that sense I am absolutely confident beyond any reasonable doubt that he is not IFP.
I think the reason you believe him to be an Fi dominant is that the tertiary function has been known to function quite powerfully in practice as stated by Linda Berens, and that people have a tendency to over-identify with their tertiary function. These two facts came to mind when I was reading Einstein’s philosophy a while back, because the same type (INFP) crossed my mind when I read just a few pages of his philosophy. It became quickly apparent though that he was likely an INTJ given his distaste for ostentatious displays of wealth and material success in general (inferior Se), his deeply personal and philosophical definition of religion (Fi), and the fact that he was known to linger on the same questions for years at a time (Ni). There is even a quote (it could be fabricated or distorted; I keep that in mind) in which he says, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” More credible evidence of this was in a documentary I saw about Einstein in which they commented on how he wondered as a teenager what the world would look like travelling on a beam of light and how he kept this question in mind for years to come. This is all indicative of Ni. Furthermore, as I said in the “Do I Relate to INFPs” article, Ne types find it absurd how long I ponder their statements – and I’m just an ISFP. I find it hard to believe that an Ne type would be set on answering just one question for so long.
Another two quick thoughts is that similar to Stephen Hawking Eistein sought a unified theory that would explain everything in the Universe, which is also strongly indicative of introverted intuition. Finally, it is known that Einstein would become very stubborn about new emerging theories that conflicted with his Fi belief that the Universe ought to be rational; this indicates to Ne in the fifth position as the Opposing Personality, what we become very stubborn and rigid about.
Just some thoughts I wanted to share, I’d love to hear your response.
Having read a large quantity of the theories presented by both Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, I don’t think both of them are INTJs. Einstein may have searched for a grand-big-picture explanation of the universe, but guess what–that’s what astronomers had started doing at the time (they started looking for a TOE, or “theory of everything” that would explain everything in the universe, and they’re still looking for one).
It is highly plausible that Einstein was not an INFP. However, I don’t personally see much evidence for NiTe as upper functions in the way that he conducted his life. He was not someone who had much of a plan for how he wanted his life to turn out, and he definitely wasn’t organised. I would however, be willing to consider the idea of him as an ISFP.
Youve got to be kidding me. He is a caricature for the Ti-Ne thought process. I can see arguments for ENTP, but INFP and especially ISFP is beyond absurd. It seems like you have a vested interest in typing him anything other than INTP to be honest
Yes, I am totally kidding you.
Not entirely convinced Einstein was an INFP, but, being one myself, all your points seem invalid.
1)Distaste for ostentatious displays of wealth
What on earth makes you think this doesn’t apply to INFPs as well? Status symbols draw attention to what a person is in the external world and away from who they are on the inside, making them something that Fi despises, whether it is working in an INFP or INTJ. Obviously there are INFPs out there who get pleasure out of perceived superiority, but then there are INTJs who do as well.
2)His deeply personal and philosophical definition of religion
It seems to me that there are more INFPs with unique religious beliefs than there are with traditional ones (Walt Whitman, Soeren Kirkegaard, Albert Camus, Jack Kerouac, JD Salinger, just to name a few). My own beliefs are a strange mixture of Taoism, Buddhism, Transcendentalism, Agnosticism, and Christianity with ample doses of my own ideas thrown in. Religion is often something that INFPs take too seriously to accept mainstream explanations.
3)Lingering on same questions for years at a time
Admittedly this is your strongest point. However, while I can’t speak for all INFPs, I do often find my Ne and Si working together in a way that mimics Ni. My Si catalogs various thoughts I’ve had while my Ne goes back through this mental catalog drawing connections.
I am an INTP and I always slightly doubted Einsteins popular typing as an INTP. However, I didn’t have the need to type him, and don’t know if I’m completely convinced by your typing, but I wanted to say that the typing you made here does seem fitting, but since I’ve never tried to read about him with the intention of typing him I’m still not convinced, but I agree with you right now.
One of the reasons I thought he wasn’t an INTP was because of the “rules” he gave Mileva, while I, on a personal matter, would love to give at least one of those rules to people around me, I would never do so. Because in my opinion asking someone to do what you want, just because you want it clashes highly with my Ti. I would find it really difficult to do, since I’m hyper aware of the fact that nobody owes me anything, nor do they have to comply to my wishes, no matter who I am.
I know this might be a highly subjective evaluation, and that I might be wrong in my own typing as an INTP and that Einstein might have been one indeed or maybe not, but it was one of those typings I didn’t completely agree with, and when I clicked on this article I was expecting to find something about those letters, but you like keeping things brief. I would just want to ask if you considered those letters a factor in your typing.
Anyways, great site!
So basically, you’re not convinced because YOU have never typed him. Fair.
Someday, when I have a life, I will consider re-evaluating every single one of the typings that people disagree with on my site, but right now, I’m really just focused on earning a college degree. You get me?
I meant there’s always the possibility you’re wrong, and he may actually be another type and that includes INTP.
But I, personally, doubt Einstein’s INTP typing, so I like how you type him as an INFP, as it makes sense.
So I agree with your typing, I will probably never type him myself, I’m not confident enough, It’s just that I always have that itch of “Hey it MAY be wrong, but probably not” and I felt the need to state it.
And I also doubt my typing skills, so I may not even be an INTP and that’s why I saw that part of his behavior as odd, and because there exists a possibility I am not one that his behavior could make sense with being an INTP.
I mean that I am pretty sure I am an INTP and Einstein being one seemed odd because of some things I know about his life. But hey, I’m no expert. Basically. So I can agree with your typing due to that, because I had already considered that he wasn’t, but I was too lazy to attempt to type him myself.
The previous comment was a mess, sorry for that, this one is too but hey, I’m not a writer.
TL:DR I agree with you, but you may be wrong, and I may be wrong. And I didn’t organize my thoughts well enough. And wanted to know how relevant those “rules” he gave Mileva were in relation to his typing, cause that’s the thing that originally made me doubt his INTPness. Also, do you think it’s possible to type her? I always found her very interesting.
Gotcha, Ti not so good at organising and explaining thoughts directly.
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You might be the only one who categorizes him as INFP and I truely appreciate it. I have always related to him, especially after going into similar work-study-income issues he went through at the same age and having read the novel “Einstein in Love”, I could not help but notice how he also seeks meaning in everything he does. Still it is pretty weird how Myers, Keirsey and son, Von Franz and Pauli identify him as T type and nobody seems to be even close to convinced that he could be F. This is especially a serious question when one looks at the quantity of letters and documents that are out there from his personal life.
I guess it’s because people tend to automatically think T type for scientists.
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