iNTj Rational Mastermind & Analyst Style of Thinking in InQ

This is a follow-up to my earlier post about the MBTI personality type – iNTj Rational Mastermind.

I want to move further and explore how MBTI contrasts with InQ, the Inquiry Mode Questionnaire, more popularly known as “Styles of Thinking”. The InQ was developed by Allen Harrison and Robert Bramson, who wrote a book on it: “The Art of Thinking“.

The fountainhead of the InQ is the premise that most people tend to think, most of the time, in only one way.  And it has been proven empirically:

  • 50% prefer a single Style of Thinking
  • 35% prefer two Styles of Thinking
  • 2% prefer three Styles
  • 13% show no preference

The Five Styles of Thinking

Synthesists are integrators. They delight in finding relationships in things which, to others, have no apparent connection. In a group discussion, they are likely to champion an opposite point of view, and are therefore valuable in avoiding “group think.” Synthesists tend to be highly creative people, very interested in change and highly speculative.

Idealists take a holistic view of things, are typically future-oriented and concerned about goals. They care about social values. They are the “big picture” people. Correspondingly, they tend to dislike detail.

Pragmatists’ motto is, “whatever works”. They are action-oriented. They like to get things done and their approach is often flexible and adaptive. Unlike idealists, their solutions do not have to be the most elegant.

Analysts see the world as logical, rational, and predictable. Their thought process is prescriptive – look for a method, a formula, or procedure to solve any problem. Analysts like to find the “one best way” to solve any problem.

Realists take an empirical view. Their world consists of what can be felt, smelled, touched, seen, heard, and personally observed or experienced. Their motto is “Facts are facts”. They are interested in concrete results. The realist resembles the analyst. Both are factual and focused on concrete facts, but unlike the analyst, the realist will grow impatient with the deductive, drawn-out procedures and endless search for data of the analyst.

Rational Mastermind and Styles of Thinking

Given the above, which InQ Style of Thinking do you think is best represented by the MBTI iNTj Rational Mastermind?

As far as I know, no such correlation has been drawn before. The fact that there are 16 MBTI personality types, compared with 5 InQ Thinking Styles may compound the problem. (This is not an aberration, simply a logical result of the fact that “personality” has many additional dimensions apart from just “Style of Thinking”).

I venture to say that the Analyst Style of Thinking would most closely correspond with the introvert, intuitive, thinking types (ISTJ Inspector, INTP Architect, and INTJ Mastermind). This is most certainly true in my case – I am an iNTj, and have a very strong preference for the Analyst Style of Thinking.

I wonder what the others out there think – the Composers, Teachers, Champions, and so on?

Some More Good Stuff on iNTj

If you want to know more about the typical daily life of an iNTj – see this blog post. Let me warn you, it’s quite long, but the fact that it has more than 600 comments, should tell you how it resonates with a lot of iNTjs!

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  • cheree

    I am speculating here, but I think these tests might not be comparable at all. I was not able to take the test without a fee, however from what they are saying this test measures intelligence, not preference for personality. While I understand that the Myers/Briggs assessment focuses on preference for learning and development patterns, I think this second test may be measuring specific types of thinking only. Does this sound like bull shit to you, or do you believe that these tests may be measuring a person on different levels?

  • Hi Cheree,

    The InQ does not ‘measure’ anything. It does not measure intelligence. All it does is ‘quantify’ your preferences for specific Thinking Styles.

    You are right, that it does not identify preference for personality. It is not a test for personality. It does not ‘measure a person on different levels’. It restricts itself to “Thinking Style”. Note that Thinking Style does not have anything to do with ‘Intelligence’. The book NEVER rates one thinking style higher than others, nor does it suggest a preference for a particular thinking style over others.

    There is one exception to this, in regards to discussion about specific situations, where the book helps you identify which thinking styles may be more ‘appropriate to the situation’ than others.

    While again you are right that these tests are of a completely different nature, the point of my post was to try to draw some parallels. Wouldn’t it be true that people with a certain MBTI personality would prefer a certain InQ Thinking Style? I have a strong belief that this would be the case, because after all, one’s personality would be significantly influenced by one’s thinking style. Do you tend to agree or think that such an attempt to draw parallels is a futile exercise?

    Finally, thanks for sharing your views!

  • Anon722

    Good day.

    I am a fellow INTJ too, but in my case, I think the synthetic thinking is the one that matches better with my preferences. I am much more on my field in abstract theorization than in logical description. I had read before, in an article about the diferences between Intj and Intp, a mention to this issue ( I don’t really know if the writer was familiar with the InQ theory ).

    Quote: “In their penchant for logic, the INTJs resemble the INTPs. The logic of an INTJ, however, is not confined to the expressibly logical. Unlike INTPs, INTJs need only to have a vague intuitive impression of the unexpressed logic of a system to continue surely on their way. Things need only seem logical; this is entirely sufficient.”

    It is from “Please Understand Me, Character and Temperament Types”
    by David Keirsey & Marily Bates.

    In the case Mr Keirsey is familiar with InQ, then this correlation you found, has been found too by Mr Keirsey.

    But take a look a your post, hey! Are not you finding here a “relationship in things which, to others, have no apparent connection”?


    Best Regards.

  • John

    This is probably a dead thread by now. The InQ thinking types seems to be splitting hairs as to how people think. Some people rely on facts, others experience, others don’t care about either and use whatever fantasies they come up with in their heads. Also, Keirsey / Myers-Brings / Jung Typeology is not an exact science people should treat it as more of a guideline than an absolute.

  • Mahendra, why do such tests, like Myers-Briggs, always have wonderful people to illustrate their categories? You see Einstein, Gandhi, Churchill etc., but how about Hitler, Goebbels, Charles Shobraj, and other criminal masterminds? Shouldn’t such tests also mention people like them, because I’m sure that criminal masterminds can also be analysts, idealists, pragmatists and so on? Or, do such people fall outside the purview of Myers-Briggs? 😉