Portrait of an ITP child

Portrait of an ITP Child

(Introverted Thinking Perceiving)

ITP traits

  1. Logical and objective
  2. Tend to be adventurous, and enjoy taking physical risks
  3. They're original and value their uniqueness
  4. They're highly independent, and don't like being told what to do
  5. They have no interest in controlling or leading others, or telling them what to do
  6. Quiet and serious
  7. Honest and direct
  8. They're very observant
  9. Curious and interested in learning new things
  10. Quick to learn new things
  11. Not overly affectionate or demonstrative of their love
  12. They enjoy books
  13. They have a tendency to be loners, and may have one or two friends, rather than lots of acquaintances
  14. They're very easy-going and undemanding
  15. Often prefer to work alone rather than in groups
  16. They want to be good at things that interest them, and they apply their own standards rather than trying to impress anyone else
  17. They get bored easily
  18. They value precision in communication, and are irritated by exaggerations and half-truths

Potential strengths

  1. When interested in something, they exhibit extreme competence and will master it completely
  2. They're flexible and can adapt well to new situations
  3. Laid-back and easy-going, they're usually easy to get along with
  4. Strong sense of fairness
  5. They're highly observant, and quickly incorporate new data into their thinking
  6. They're usually quite intelligent, and able to do well in higher education
  7. They're quite honest and truthful
  8. They take things seriously, and are seldom frivolous or flighty
  9. They have open and accepting natures, although they're not always interested in people

Potential weaknesses

  1. They don't have a good sense of time or schedules, and may frequently run late or miss deadlines
  2. They will strongly resist being told what to do, which may present a discipline problem
  3. They do not like to make decisions, and prefer to leave things open until the last possible moment
  4. They will resist doing anything that they don't feel like doing
  5. They're often unaware of how others are feeling, or how their own behavior affects others
  6. They keep their own feelings closely guarded and well-hidden from others, sometimes even from themselves
  7. When stressed out or upset, they may react with extreme emotions that are inappropriate or exaggerated for the situation
  8. Highly objective and detached, they may have difficulty forming close bonds with people
  9. With their risk-taking natures, they might get into some trouble

ITP learning style

ITP children have Thinking as their dominant personality function. Accordingly, they are extremely logical and rational. They probably have the capacity to absorb and process just about anything that a school curriculum would offer. However, if they're not interested in a particular topic, they will not put forth any effort into learning it. They don't tend to be as interested in classes that require use of the Feeling function, such as foreign languages and art. They are interested in work that requires the use of logic, and increasingly presents new challenges to their minds. These types of courses, such as many kinds of Math, will be completely mastered by the ITP, who highly values their competency and drives themselves to meet their own high standard of excellence.

ITP children need specific feedback. General praise or criticism (such as "Good job!") mean nothing to an ITP. They need to know specifically what they did well, or specifically what they did not do well, and why. Be as specific and detailed as possible when giving feedback to an ITP child.

ITP children have a strong need for things to be logical and consistent. Accordingly, they need to have any rules or goals spelled out clearly and consistently. Rules must be consistently enforced for everyone to suit the ITP's sense of fair play.

ITP children are very interested in learning, but they get bored easily. They need to be presented with new challenges constantly in order to keep them interested and developing.

ITP children do not like being told explicitly what to do. They will do best with assignments in which they are told what the desired goal is and any rules that must be followed, and left to their own devices to achieve the goal.

ITP children work best alone. They may have problems with groups assignments, and may reject these kinds of projects by not participating much.

ITP special needs

Our society associates the Feeling preference (rather than Thinking) with female characteristics. ITP girls (who prefer Thinking) may be seen as unfeminine. They're likely to shun "girly" clothing and may appear distant and reserved, rather than friendly and empathetic. ITP girls should not be made to feel guilty for these traits. As they reach the teenage years, ITP girls will become more interested in social acceptance, and may seek advice at that time on how to use their Feeling function more effectively.

ITP children do not have access to their Feeling function at a young age. That doesn't mean that they don't have feelings, it means that they don't make decisions based on subjective data. Their decisions are made entirely based on logic and objective fact. That means the the ITP values objective truth over a person's feelings in a given situation. In practice, this makes the ITP child sometimes do or say things that hurt other people's feelings. The ITP child is not naturally interested in or aware of other people's feelings, and they will need to develop this interest and skill as they grow. Parents and other caregivers can help ITP children learn how to form bonds by their own example. ITP children are very observant and will pick up on adult behaviors. They can learn how to make friends and be friends by observing how adults do this.

ITP children are typically very direct in their speech. This will sometimes cause them to say things that seem unfeeling or inappropriate for a given situation. Adults should realize that the child rarely intends to be mean, although they may say something hurtful. They are just being their honest and direct selves. They should not be made to feel guilty about this behavior. If their directness is causing a real problem, you can speak with them about it, providing real examples and explaining rationally why their behavior is causing problems. However, they are likely to continue being direct, because it goes against their nature to tailor the truth.

ITP kids need for things to be fair in order for them to be comfortable. They want rules to be enforced consistently for everyone, and will become upset over any perceived favoritism. They have a strong sense of fair play and will treat others fairly. They also expect to be treated fairly, and may become quite upset if they aren't.

The "missing" letter

Adult personality types contain four letters, while for kids aged 7-12, we use three letter types. What happened to the missing letter? It's there, we just can't usually determine what it is until after a person is 13 years old. ITP kids will grow up to be either ISTP "Mechanics" or INTP "Thinkers". At this stage in their development, it's not obvious whether they will choose Intuition or Sensing to complement their Thinking preference. You will see the child practicing both Intuition and Sensing as they settle down into their preferred function. In some children it's possible to distinguish their "missing" letter, but for many kids we just have to wait a few years to be sure.