ISTPs make up 5.5% of the US population.
ISTPs are observant artisans with a unique ability to master the use and operation of tools, instruments, and equipment. ISTPs are curious and enjoy understanding how things work, but in a practical sense; they like to be able to put their technical understanding to immediate action and are quickly bored by theory. They are good at responding to emergencies and are often thrill-seekers. ISTPs tend to be detached and prefer the logic of mechanical things to the complexity of human emotions. Independent and reserved, ISTPs prefer to have plenty of personal space, and like environments where they are free to be spontaneous and follow their own lead.
Popular hobbies for an ISTP include magic and comedy, archery, weaponry, hunting, scuba diving, rappelling, aviation, skydiving, motorcycles, and other extreme sports. They are often drawn to risky or thrilling activities and those that allow them to work with something mechanical.
At work, the ISTP is motivated by a desire to achieve and utilize technical expertise. Preferring tasks with a tangible result, ISTPs often look for occupations that allow them to apply their technical skills to solve practical problems. The also enjoy occupations that involve physical activity, often with an aspect of risk or danger, and dislike being stuck at a desk. ISTPs value efficiency, logic, and understanding, and prefer a job where they can be spontaneous and active without being burdened by rules, routine, or bureaucracy.
In leadership positions, ISTPs tend to be flexible and hands-off, and expect their reports to be independent as well. They are practical and action-oriented, and will prefer to lead teams on projects where tangible results are seen quickly. Good in a crisis, ISTPs are energized by situations that must be acted on immediately, and will jump right in to get the job done. ISTPs often lead by showing rather than telling, and may be tempted to complete tasks themselves rather than try to explain to someone else how to do it.
Popular careers for the ISTP include:
- police officer
- private investigator
- intelligence agent
- securities analyst
- athletic coach
- mechanical or civil engineer
- software developer
- systems analyst
- emergency medical technician
- ER physician
- landscape architect
- electronics technician
- military officer
In relationships, the ISTP is independent and calm. They are often handy around the house, and enjoy being useful to their partners as quick and able problem-solvers. ISTPs are fun-loving and adventurous, and will often encourage their partners to learn new and exciting physical skills. They are good at responding to their partners’ immediate physical needs, but may be less adept at dealing with emotions. Often private, they tend to keep their feelings and reactions to themselves, and want their partners to allow them plenty of freedom to do their own thing.
Good matches for the ISTP include Thinking Judger types (ESTJ, ISTJ, ENTJ, and INTJ) who share the ISTP’s appreciation for logic and balance the ISTP’s spontaneity with the structure of the Judging function.
As parents, ISTPs often connect with their children through their mechanical and physical skills, first by teaching their children, and then by enjoying an activity together. ISTPs are rarely demonstrative or particularly verbal, and may show their love to their families by crafting or building something for them rather than being outwardly affectionate. ISTPs are generous and helpful but sometimes unreliable, and may become distracted from family responsibilities when adventure is at hand.
Famous ISTPs include Lance Armstrong, Bruce Lee, Michael Jordan, Chuck Yaeger, Katherine Hepburn, Rowan Atkinson, Clint Eastwood, and Amelia Earhart.
Interesting facts about the ISTP:
- On personality trait measures, score as Critical, Detached, Guarded, Independent, and Resourceful
- Commonly found in populations of male college scholarship athletes
- More likely than other types to suffer cardiac problems
- Lowest ranked of all types in using social coping resources
- One of four types least satisfied with their marriage or intimate relationship
- Among types least likely to complete college
- Personal values include Autonomy; at work, value Stability, Security, Independence, and Achievement
- Commonly found in skilled trades, technical fileds, agriculture, law enforcement, and military occupations