Introverted (I), Sensing (S), Thinking (T) and Perceiving (P)
The ISTP personality type is nicknamed the "Craftsman" and belongs to the SP Creator temperament. ISTPs are adventurous and independent. They are fearless and thrive on challenging situations. They are gifted problem solvers. Their mechanical and technical nature enables them to operate many kinds of tools and instruments. They are proud of their relatively effortless ability to acquire many skills. They seek freedom and are typically unemotional.
ISTPs direct their energy inward. They are energized by spending time alone. They are independent and analytical. As Sensors, Craftsmen process information through the five senses. They are practical, concrete and realistic. They live in the moment. Craftsmen are objective and logical. They make decisions with their head and can be impersonal. They step away from situations in order to analyze and make adjustments. ISTPs are flexible and not keen on organization. They adapt easily and are able to change tracks midway.
ISTPs are very direct and say what they mean. They sometimes have difficulty with emotionally charged situations or conversations. They do not read between the lines and do not understand why others do. ISTPs usually have a few close friends. They enjoy uncomplicated people with whom they can share adventures.
"I love what I do. I take great pride in what I do. And I can't do something halfway, three-quarters, nine-tenths. If I'm going to do something, I go all the way." — Tom Cruise
Craftsmen are concrete learners. They are mechanically gifted and are often attracted to technical trades. They learn by doing and by experimentation. They are active and find passive learning boring. Craftsmen learn by problem solving.
Describing an ISTP
ISTPs can often be described with these words. They commonly posess the following strengths and weaknesses.
Characteristic of an ISTP
- Problem solver
- Good at listening
- Handles conflict well
- Positive outlook on life
- Excellent at problem solving
- Long-term planning can be difficult
- Uncomfortable in emotional situations
- Feels trapped easily, needs personal space
- Can get in trouble when instigating action
- ISTPs make up 6% of all 16 personality types. Of the SP types, ISTPs are the least common (along with ISFPs). ISTPs are the third most common type among Introverts.
- 1 in every 12 males is an ISTP (8.5% of all males). 1 in every 28 females is an ISTP (3.5% of all females). Female ISTPs are one of the least common type-gender combinations.
- There are significantly more male ISTPs than there are female ISTPs, with males outnumbering females by more than 2 to 1. One reason there are more male ISTPs is that males tend to be Thinkers (T) while females are more often Feelers (F).
Introversion is characterized by a preference to focus on the inside world. As introverts, ISTPs are energized by spending time alone or with a small, familiar group. They find large group gatherings draining because they seek depth instead of breadth of relationships. Like other introverts, ISTPs process information internally. They are often great listeners.
Thinking prioritizes objectivity. As Thinkers, ISTPs make decisions based on facts. They are ruled by their head instead of their heart (but are not without emotion). ISTPs judge situations and others based on logic. They value truth over tact and can easily identify flaws. They are critical thinkers and oriented toward problem solving.
Sensing focuses on the present. As sensors, ISTPs are "here and now" people. They are factual and process information through the five senses. They see things as they are because they are concrete and literal thinkers. They trust what is certain. ISTP value realism and common sense. They like ideas with practical applications.
Perceiving refers to a person's adaptability and flexibility. Craftsmen are random thinkers who prefer to keep their options open. They thrive with the unexpected and are open to change. They are spontaneous and often juggle several projects at once. They enjoy starting a task better than finishing it. Craftsmen play as they work.
ISTP Cognitive Functions
Every person engages the world through four Cognitive Functions. The ISTP's primary function is Introverted Thinking and secondary is Extraverted Sensing.
Introverted Thinking (Primary)
ISTPs use this function most often. While Thinking (T), Craftsmen make decisions based on logic and reason. The Introverted Thinking function enables them to categorize and analyze information that they receive. It is the ability to identify inconsistencies and know how things work as well the ability to solve problems.
Extraverted Sensing (Secondary)
ISTPs use of this function is somewhat high. Through Sensing (S), ISTPs process data with their five senses. The Extraverted Sensing function allows them to process life through their experiences. It is being aware of what is seen, smelled, touched, heard and tasted. It is being energized by experience and living "in the moment."
Introverted Intuition (Tertiary)
ISTPs use this function but to a lesser degree. With Intuition (N), ISTPs process data through impressions, possibilities and meanings. Introverted Intuition enables Craftsmen to have a sense about the future. It is the ability to grasp a pattern or plan. Information that is hard to understand and dissect is more easily processed through Introverted Intuition.
Extraverted Feeling (Least)
ISTPs use this function least of the four. When Feeling (F), ISTPs make decisions based on feelings. The Extraverted Feeling function allows ISTPs to tune their behavior to the needs of others. Is it the ability to relate and the desire to connect with others with warmth and consideration as well as draw others out and responds to expressed or unexpressed needs.
ISTPs and Work
Craftsmen enjoy mastering a technique. They analyze and adjust until they are able to accomplish their goals. They do not like to just do things. Instead, they desire to make a contribution and have an impact. They are focused on the present and they like to see results. They are always looking for ways to improve their skills and are very adept at problem solving. ISTPs usually prefer to work alone.
ISTP Career Matches
People with the ISTP personality type may find satisfaction with the following careers which tend to match well with their Craftsman personality.
- Construction Worker
- Forensic Pathologist
- Police Officer
- Probation Officer
- Electrical Engineer
- Transportation Operative
- Human Resources
- Computer Programmer
- Computer Specialist
- Project Manager
- Sales Agent
- Systems Analyst
- Technical Specialist
- Business Analyst
- Zachary TaylorAmerican President
- Charles BronsonActor
- Tom CruiseActor
- James DeanActor
- Clint EastwoodActor, Director
- Burt ReynoldsActor
- Keith RichardsEnglish Guitarist/Singer
- Frank ZappaGuitarist
- John MalkovichActor
- Judy FinniganBritish TV Star
- Robin CookBritish Politician
- Katharine HepburnActress
- Avril LavigneSinger
- Chuck YeagerU.S. Air Force Officer
- Antony Worrall ThompsonBritish Celebrity Chef
- Alan ShepherdAstronaut
- Michael JordanAthelete (Basketball, Baseball)
- Bruce LeeMartial Artist, Actor
- Rocky BalboaRocky Films
- John MilnerAmerican Grafitti
- Archibald "Harry" TuttleBrazil
- VernaMiller's Crossing
- Maggie FitzgeraldMillion Dollar Baby
- Butch CoolidgePulp Fiction
- BlondieThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- Elvira HancockScarface
- Han SoloStar Wars
- Boba FettStar Wars
Craftsmen love to master a skill and are gifted with their hands. The ISTP's greatest contribution is their ability to get things done and problem-solve.