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? 😉