“Ok so I sometimes try to type characters but I always think the smart ones have to be Ts instead of Fs. Could you give examples of what each type would look like as geniuses? Also, are some types more likely to be clever than others?”
First of all, personality type doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with intelligence. It has to do with how the brain functions, not how well it functions. That said, I do think that the way the brain functions does play into what a person’s interests they are (for instance, how interested they are in learning). So yes, I would say that certain types are more likely, although not universally set to be more intellectual.
NTs typically show up in statistics as having the highest IQs. I was tested at one point with an IQ of 146, but in my opinion, IQ isn’t really an accurate measure of intelligence, and here’s why.
The definition of intelligence is highly subjective. One might be intelligent in the area of mathematics, or one might also be incredibly intelligent as to the art of baking. But, since I’ve assumed that you’re talking about the vile patriarchal values that dictate my education (aka book-smarts), I’ve comprised a list of examples for you.
However, do keep in mind that MBTI personality types have loads of stereotypes hooked on them. For instance, the stereotype that all INTxs are geniuses.
Wrong. Remember, there are people like Billy Pilgrim.
Furthermore, the media has an overwhelming tendency to present each personality type according to stereotypes. Most of the uber-intelligent characters that come up in fiction tend to be rationals. There far fewer NTs that pop up in fiction presented as stupid, and very few SFs that are presented as smart. Ultimately, that leads to further stereotyping of all NTs as smart and all SFs as stupid. Poor children of this earth…
Consider also, that there are varying degrees of intelligence. In one place, a person may be the smartest person in the room, but step into the next room and they may feel like a blundering idiot in pannyhoes.
Here are some examples, and like I said –yes, there seem to be more of them in certain categories than others. I’ve included both fictionals and real people. Obviously, not all of these are going to be geniuses, but I’ve tried to put in what a fairly intelligent person should look like for each type.
INTP: Charles Augustus Magnussen, Peter Parker, Charles Darwin, Rene Descartes
ENTP: the 11th and 5th Doctors, Jim Moriarty, Petra Arkanian, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison
INTJ: Ender Wiggin, the 12th Doctor, the 4th Doctor, Sherlock, Steven Hawking, Nikola Tesla, Steve Jobs, John Nash
ENTJ: Peter Wiggin, Tony Stark, Bill Gates, Carl Sagen, Loki (Thor)
INFP: the 9th Doctor, Albert Einstein, Brian Cox, Tom Hiddleston, John Green
ENFP: Jonathan Strange, the 10th Doctor, Michio Kaku
INFJ: the 8th Doctor, Neils Bohr, Bruce Banner (the Hulk – sometimes INTP depending on the actor playing him)
ENFJ: Charles Xavier, Gwen Stacy
ISTP: Indiana Jones, Natasha Romanov (Black Widow)
ISTJ: Mr. Norrell, Spock, Sigmund Frued, Allan Turing
ESTJ: Hermione Granger, Mycroft Holmes, Bryan Mills (Taken)
ISFP: Jane (Ender’s Game)
ESFP: Benedict Cumberbatch…is unfortunately the smartest one I can think of…
ISFJ: Rory Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)
ESFJ: Danielle de Barbarac (Ever After)
Sorry, but I couldn’t think of any for the blank ones. Comments gladly welcome if you think of any.
It appears that NTs are in the lead (actually, to be completely honest, I deliberately cut the INTx lists down to just to be nice to the ENTx groups). NFs and STs appear next in line and sorry for all of you SFs, but you’re last. Results are inconclusive. Judge as you see fit.
36 thoughts on “The Myers-Briggs Types as Geniuses”
Love how you included a bunch of characters from Ender’s universe. :)
isfj-Ichabod crane from the tv is a very smart man, he went to Oxford and he has a penchant for details (in part to his photographic memory) which is makes him a brilliant detective for the police
I know the Entps probably don’t need any more people on the list but I think Mr Teatime would be considered a genius by the many who have watched or read Hogfather
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I just realized that Natasha Romanov (Black Widow) isn’t on this list. I think she maybe should be. She’s a highly intelligent spy.
Also, Bruce Banner? Something to think about.
Hey there! quite interesting list- gives me ideas to reconsider some of my typing, which is always welcomed btw!
For ISFP i would recommend Michael Jackson definitely. high on kinesthetic intelligence, very good speaker (his speeches have been buried down in YouTube, but that doesn’t make them nonexistant!), and a good investor (owned half of Sony’s catalog by 25 – his children still feed off the profits.)
That aside, i have read somewhere that Cumberbatch could be a STP, and would like to know your view on it. In my opinion Benedict is too polite and people-reflecting to be using Fi as a secondary function. Based on personal experience Fe, anywhere in the stacks, makes the person much more polite and friendlier than Fi users and Ben is very very polite, chooses words carefully and takes so much caution to not offend anyone. Martin Freeman seems like a strong Fi user and actually people do comment on him being “comically angry all the time”, because Fi just isn’t that concerned with “how my words affect people”. I think them beside each other really portrays which one is using Fe and which one Fi. Anyway, i’d appreciate having your thoughts on this.
Politeness is not always a sign of lacking Fi, or even of Fe. Politeness is very much more often –in my experience– derived from a person’s upbringing. Look at Tom Hiddleston, a dominant Fi user!
I’ve typed Cumberbatch as ESFP and you can find the post by searching for it in the search bar
Benedict always struck me as an INFJ. Very private about his family life, polite, outgoing but needs to be by himself to recharge, witty and silly, values tradition but strives for individuality within that and is highly idealistic.
My mum is an ISFJ (I think…the first two letters are up for debate but I’m almost certain) and she’s actually a genius. For one thing she’s amazing at maths and can do cryptic crosswords and stuff, and for another (though it wasn’t quite the point of this article) she’s the most caring hardworking generous person I know, by a long shot. She did physics at uni but then went on to be a nurse and midwife and do childcare and pretty much stereotypical stuff for F types I guess and now she doesn’t even tell people she has a degree because she’s being modest and selfless and my actual point is that perhaps there aren’t well known SF geniuses but maybe that just means that they do a good job of hiding it? Because standing out from the crowd for being better than everyone else isn’t their main concern?
If I have anything to say to your mum (and all women), it is this. If you are a highly erudite woman, QUIT hiding the fact that you have a degree! Be confident in your intelligence, and don’t ever assume that your gender makes you any less qualified to assert intellectual prowess than the men around you.
Now. To answer your actual question: Yes, I do think there are a large quantity of intelligent SF types hiding in the crowds of entrepreneuring folk around them.
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So this is a year late, but you typed Jane from Ender’s Saga as ISFP. I’d say she’s fairly intelligent.
Are you saying ISFPs aren’t intelligent?
No, you just don’t have any ISFPs listed on this post and encouraged people to recommend more intelligent characters. So I pointed out that Jane is an ISFP. She’s obviously a genius, especially in the classically smart that you are working under. When I said she was ‘fairly intelligent’ that was sarcasm because she’s extremely intelligent.
Ah, got it. Don’t know why I didn’t make that connection. Tired day, I suppose.
Not sure if I’d call them geniuses, but I have a few smart ISFJ characters in mind.
Steve Rodgers/Captain America
Westley and Inigo Montoya from Princess Bride. (Very tentative typing, there, but thought I’d mention them)
Well as I specified in the article, they’re people who are “relatively smart” for their type –not geniuses.
Ah, okay. Well I think those probably fit then.
Isn’t Einstein thought to be an INTP? He is placed as one on Celebrity Types. Also, isn’t Steve Jobs thought to be an ISTx?
Sure, believe whatever is cannon. I’m sure the masses are correct in all of their opinions.
While some of CelebrityTypes’ typings are accurate, a lot of them are poorly argued and quite frankly incorrect. For example, Steve Jobs and Simon Cowell (INTJ and ENTJ respectively) are both typed as Ti doms because they value truth/honesty in communication, and supposedly Ti doms, “do not naturally parse their words for public consumption.” Really? What about Fe? Even if it’s inferior a Ti dominant will be very careful about what they say to avoid offense, and if anyone does take offense it’s in spite of the TPs best efforts. If you’ve ever encountered an ITP in conversation you’ll know exactly what I mean (I’m a math major so I’m practically surrounded by them at University).
The function CT should have used is Te, which communicates in a direct and factual way the person’s thoughts/feelings/opinions WITHOUT ANY consideration of other people’s sensibilities period. And while Fi can soften the user’s language to avoid offense by being empathetic and respectful to the people it’s communicating with, Fi usually doesn’t even consider the possibility of offense until after it’s already offended somebody because it knows its intention wasn’t to offend and that’s what matters most. This is easily observable in Simon Cowell if you watch him judge, and he has even justified his brutality by saying he wants contestants to stop wasting their time on a pointless dream and find a better outlet for their creative energy where they are more likely to be successful. If this was a Ti dominant would he really resort to saying something like, “Worst I’ve ever heard. Absolutely no way,” if his intention was to help the contestant? Notice that the phrase makes NO attempt to connect with the other person WHATSOEVER. This isnt inferior Fe, it’s differentiated Te.
And don’t get me started on their pathetic argument with Obama, “He’s an ENTP who has learned to repress his dominant function to an unusual level.” No he hasn’t learned to repress his “dominant” function Ne, he simply just doesn’t use Ne in the first place!! Continued repression of the dominant function occurs only in the most damaged of minds, so why is this an acceptable argument when Obama’s mental health is fine as far as we can tell? Why is Steve Jobs an ISTP with an “unusually developed” Ni? Because it’s actually his dominant function. Any website that resorts to these kind of arguments should be taken with a grain of salt.
A few more examples to point out their mistakes. Mark Zuckerburg is an INTJ because he’s focused on making the world more connected despite the fact that he never showed any hint of dominant Ni growing up. INTPs can be focused on their goals too, this isn’t unique to NTJs. Hilary Clinton is an ESTJ based on quotes. Matt Bellamy is INFP based largely on the perception of one of his colleagues (not even a close one), Einstein is an INTP despite the overhelming evidence of his use of Fi, the diametric opposite of Ti (his supposed dominant function!). And worst of all Meryll Streep is an ESTP instead of an INFJ because the communication of her thoughts don’t match up to some imagined standard of Ni clarity. Sorry but two things: Myers said herself Ni finds self expression difficult (I can attest to this and it’s only tertiary in me), and the manner of expression in which we are privy to Ni clarity varies from person to person; a lot of INFJs (introverted Fe types in fact) find self expression through writing much easier than on the spot in some interview, and some are very articulate in the moment. The same applies to INTJs, to INFPs, to ISFPs, to any other introvert.
I’m not saying making mistakes is a bad thing, but you shouldn’t treat CT as any standard of truth on type.
Thank you for clearing that up. Saved me a half hour.
I don’t know, I struggle accepting Steve jobs as an INTJ (as much as I would like it to be, if he was one, it gives me hope that I could overcome certain challenges I have). The reason why I don’t see him as an INTJ is because more so than an innovator what comes to mind is a master salesman, with lots of charisma. But as I write this I’m thinking that maybe what made him so persuasive was not charisma but a deep understanding of human desires, so yes in the end he was just being a good old mastermind.
In any case I wonder can INTJs be perceived as charismatic?
As an ISFJ, I have always wanted to see an intelligent female ISFJ in film, television, or literature who I can relate to.
Well, if I see one I shall inform you immediately.
Thank you very much for considering this!
Hahaha I got it.
How about Anne Elliot in Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”? She’s definitely an ISFJ and she’s quite intelligent. I don’t know how relatable she would be for you personally; but she’s been a favorite of mine for a long time. (P.S. Don’t watch the movie first, the movie messes with her character to a considerable degree.)
There’s Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. She gives great speeches, can concentrate like no one else, is well-read and determinated.
I just saw the other comments. Thank you Jessica and Aline for your recommendations! I am planning to read Persuasion at some point. I have never watched Gilmore Girls; I’ll research it.
What about Jimmi Hendrix as ISFP?
Interesting thought. I don’t know much about Jimmi Hendrix (more of a swing/classical person myself), but potentially that could work.
I agree with John Green as INFP. I just finished watching one of his videos where he said he understands himself to be human by his own emotional experience, and admits all others could possibly be robots imitating a person with emotional experiences, but he chooses to perceive them as experiencing feelings like his, and that choice is key for his own humanity. You don’t get much more emotionally existential than that.
“I can’t go to the door because I have sharpie on my face.”
John Green everyone.
I’m surprised that nobody has requested little brother Hank yet.
I have written a post in connection with MBTI and intelligence. If you are interested, you can find it here: https://systematicthinker.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/mbti-and-intelligence/ Your opinion and thoughts are welcome on it!
Theory seems logically sound to me. I’d say N types are probably the best at test taking because they’re better able to figure out what the writers of the test want from them –it’s why Ni-doms can just go take a test they’ve never studied for and score 100% on it (okay, not all of them).
I think the reason people through the ages start scoring better on tests has less to do with IQ and more to do with the fact that people figure out the system and adapt to it (which is why they keep updating the tests).
I like your ideas about literacy and its negative correlation to IQ. Fun fact, that’s how the method of loci was developed –Cicero wanted a way to remember things.
When it comes to saying “I don’t know,” I think there is some validity in recognizing when we don’t know something (although I get what you’re saying in relation to test taking). NT types are less likely to stop trying to figure out a question just because they don’t know the answer because they’re more likely to believe they can figure it out without knowing the answer in the first place. In every day application however, I think it’s important to admit when we don’t know something (the ability to do that shows emotional intelligence).
In terms of learning style, yes, for sensors, it’s all about memorization. For NTs, it’s more about the big picture –which can at times be a bad thing if your professor is looking for extremely specific answers and isn’t worrying so much about the big picture. Throughout my entire education I have hated the curriculum because it is perpetually “details first,” big picture later. That said, there are always memory palaces…
You mentioned emotional intelligence at one point. I’ve actually written quite extensively on that topic myself (though on a different blog).
If you don’t mind, could you give the link to your other blog? I would like to read more on this topic (emotional intelligence).
Unfortunately no, because it’s my personal blog that I reserve purely for the purpose of keeping my close friends and family members updated on my life.
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