The 6 Smartest Myers-Briggs Personality Types, Experts Say
According to experts, these types are the most intelligent of the bunch.
Intelligence is a virtue, but no matter how hard you might study, some just have an edge over others. These are the people who breezed through exams at school because they "test well" or who can rattle off every state capital on a whim—they'd likely be your "Phone-a-Friend" on an episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. How smart someone is can be quite subjective, and people can be more intelligent than others in different areas. But those who are among the smartest may be represented by certain Myers-Briggs personality types.
"There are many different personality types that are considered to be intelligent and it's an interesting topic of debate as to whether intelligence can be measured," Staci Holweger, PhD, founder and doctor of regenerative medicine at Lifepatches, tells Best Life. "Nevertheless, it's important to understand the role of personality type when it comes to intelligence."
This is where the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) comes in. Using a self-reported questionnaire, the test determines whether you lean toward Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I); prefer to use Sensing (S) or Intuition (N); tend to be more Thinking (T) or Feeling (F); and are more Judging (J) or Perceiving (P). These letters can be arranged to form 16 different personality types, identified by four-letter acronyms—and experts say that some of these types do tend to be on the smarter side.
Read on to find out which six Myers-Briggs types are the sharpest.
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People who are introverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging, are more likely to have that "stereotypical" intelligence, Isabelle Robledo, personality expert and co-founder of Making Mindfulness Fun, tells Best Life.
INTJs have a Te function, otherwise known as extroverted thinking. "They live to learn, they keep things factual," Robledo says. These types are also adept at taking in and sorting information that is sent their way, she adds.
Karen Comen, lead astrologer and editor-in-chief of Zodiacsign.com, agrees, adding that "thinking is the primary tool of an INTJ."
According to Comen, both INTJs and INTPs are among the smartest, adding that thinking is actually "the primary life goal" for INTPs, as opposed to the key tool.
These people are most likely to be engineers and mathematicians, Robledo says. As she explains, their Ti and Ne functions—meaning their introverted thinking and extroverted intuition, respectively—are what make them "gifted at following complex theoretical trains of thought."
When compared with their extroverted (and also intelligent) counterpart, the ENTP, people who have an INTP personality type "will be more interested in theories and logical systems that govern the world around them," Holweger says.
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Extroverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging types are also among the most intelligent, Joseph Puglisi, CEO of Dating Iconic, explains. They might not be the type you think of when it comes to calculating hard numbers, but they're in-tune with others and innately know how to respond in a crisis.
"They are everyone's confidant, always helpful, offer intelligent solutions and advice, are emotionally intelligent, respectful, understanding, alluring, and overall easy to access," Puglisi says.
They're also among one of the rarest Myers-Briggs types, making up just 2.5 percent of the U.S. population, according to data from Ball State University. So, if you have an ENFJ in your life that you can count on, make sure to keep them there.
Other smarties to make the list are ESTJs. These people are "born to lead by default," Puglisi says. "They are resilient, always working, moving, thinking of the next best thing … They think ahead of situations and people are often threatened by them."
These types aren't going to back down if they feel they need to claim responsibility and will always rely on hard facts. Robledo says that they are generally "favored more in society," largely due to their ability to oversee systems, including those in education and business. According to Robledo, this is thanks to their dominant Te function.
"The ESTJ … has a gift for seeing what's happening around them (because of their sensing function) and making it more organized," she says. "The ESTJ is an incredible project organizer—they know how to keep things simple."
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ENTJs have this dominant ability of extroverted thinking, which puts them on the list of "most intelligent," according to Robledo.
"The ENTJ can take in many sources of information and apply it to create a big-picture theory that can be applied to a long term vision," she says, adding that Apple founder Steve Jobs is among some of the most famous ENTJs.
However, unlike their feeling counterparts, the ENFJs, these types are lacking when it comes to their emotional intelligence. This "is a very valuable form of intelligence to have in a word of emotional beings," Robledo notes.
Those who are introverted, sensing, thinking, and perceiving are the "doers" of the intelligent crowd, Robledo adds. This is a different spin on smarts, but they're the invaluable people you want around when you're trying to put that complex furniture from IKEA together.
"ISTPs learn through working with their hands," she explains. "They are intelligent in the sense that they can learn to do anything that requires creation or building without much guidance."
According to data from Ball State, these types make great pilots, landscape architects, systems analysts, and engineers, speaking to their can-do attitudes and innovative mindsets.