Smartest Personality Types

7 Mar, 2024
Smartest Personality Types

Intelligence is a complex and multifaceted trait that extends beyond traditional metrics like IQ tests. It's also not a one-size-fits-all quality, and different personality types may manifest intelligence differently. In our contemporary world, discussions around intelligence are often confined to test scores and academic success, leaving out other essential facets such as social or emotional intelligence. However, a thorough exploration of the 'smartest' personality types yields a richer perspective on what it means to be intelligent, highlighting that success in life is not determined solely by cognitive abilities.

Are You Ready?
Take this test and find out your type.

When it comes to personality, each of us embodies one of sixteen types as classified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI personality types). This article ventures into the realm of these types, exploring the nuances of intelligence they represent and the individuals who’ve exemplified their distinctive brand of brilliance.

Dispelling the IQ Myth

The long-standing emphasis on IQ as the definitive measure of intelligence is somewhat misleading. While IQ tests can provide a snapshot of an individual's cognitive abilities within the context of specific patterns of questions and problem-solving, they are far from capturing the entirety of intellectual prowess.

The limitations of IQ as an exclusive intelligence gauge are profound, especially when considering the areas beyond logical reasoning that contribute to smart behavior. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, which encompasses self-awareness, emotional management, empathy, and social skills, is a critical component of overall intelligence not measured by IQ tests.

In this light, we explore how the personality dimensions presented by MBTI types contribute to different expressions of intelligence.

Relevant Articles: Rarest Personality Type

Most Common Personality Type Male

Purpose Of The First Personality Tests

Ranking the Personality Types for Intelligence

Alt Text

This subjective ranking prompts a deeper inquiry into the criteria and biases that inform it. The intent here is not to validate a hierarchy but rather to understand the complexities of each personality type's intellectual profile.

Each type has inherent strengths and potential growth areas; therefore, it's more productive to view intelligence through the lens of the individual type’s unique capabilities and areas for development.

16. ESFP

Known for their spontaneity and enjoyment of the present, ESFPs excel in practical skills that demand quick reflexes and adaptability. While they may not conform to conventional expectations of 'intelligence,' their emotional attunement allows them to connect with others and read the room with exceptional accuracy.

15. ESFJ

ESFJs are the caregivers and pillars of their communities. Their intelligence shines through nurturing and support, often taking on roles that use their organizational skills. Their memory is often noted as remarkable, especially where they can leverage it in service of others.

14. ISFP

Independent and gentle, ISFPs are known for their creative talents and acute sensory awareness. Their intelligence is seen in their aesthetic sense and ability to notice subtleties others might miss, making them adept at non-verbal communication.

13. ENFP

ENFPs are visionaries who see the world through an idealistic lens. Their intelligence is in their ability to inspire and galvanize others toward their cause. They’re quick thinkers who can access a wide breadth of information, making them conversational polymaths.

12. ISFJ

Dependable and detail oriented, ISFJs are custodians of traditions and caretakers of those around them. Their intelligence lies in their dedication to duty, meticulousness, and unparalleled memory, often serving as the institutional knowledge of their various teams.

11. ESTJ

Confident and organized, ESTJs are natural-born leaders who excel at structuring environments for maximum efficiency. Their intelligence is practical and goal-oriented, ensuring that they manage to get things done with precision and foresight.

10. ENFJ

ENFJs are charismatic and influential, often finding their place in the service of others. Their intelligence is in their interpersonal skills and their profound insight into the motivations of people. They are the architects of vision and community, able to unite diverse groups under shared goals.


The quiet and observant ISTPs often have an excellent understanding of how things work. Their intelligence is seen in their mechanical and technical aptitude, dissecting systems and finding the most efficient solutions.


INFPs are the dreamers and mediators, their intelligence lies in their ability to empathize deeply and see the world in a way that transcends logic. They are often writers, artists, and visionaries, able to convey complex emotions and concepts in ways that resonate universally.


Bold and action oriented, ESTPs excel in the here and now. Their intelligence is tactical, always ready for the next challenge and able to find innovative solutions under pressure.


The debaters and innovators, ENTPs thrive in bouncing ideas and challenging existing paradigms. Their intelligence is in their creativity and their ability to see connections and possibilities that others often overlook.


The protector and counselor, the intelligence of INFJs is often considered enigmatic. Their strong moral compass and deep understanding of human nature allow them to strategize and act with remarkable insight, often foreseeing the implications of events long before they unfold.


Commanders by nature, ENTJs are assertive and visionary, using their intelligence to drive toward their ambitious goals. They are strategic thinkers who possess an exceptional ability to see the big picture and marshal resources accordingly.


Responsible and realistic, ISTJs are committed to upholding time-honored institutions and methods. Their intelligence is practical and often seen in their clear-sighted problem-solving, rooted in their deep respect for tradition and order.


The archetype of the intellectual, INTJs’ intelligence can often be perceived as intimidating. They are strategists and visionaries with a keen insight into systems and the possibilities for change. Their independence of thought and self-confidence often lead to innovative solutions and foresight.


Finally, according to the ranking, the INTP type is considered the ‘smartest’ personality. Their strengths lie in their quest for understanding and their open-minded approach to problem-solving. They are relentless in their pursuit of knowledge, often excelling in fields that demand theoretical depth and innovation.

It's clear that the valuation of intelligence is subjective, influenced by societal norms and, often, the traits of the assessor. While these rankings can serve as a starting point for a discussion on MBTI and intelligence, it's crucial to approach the topic with nuance and an open mind.

Read more: Can You Trust Personality Tests

How Accurate Is DiSC Assessment

How DiSC Profiles Work

Notable Figures

Alt Text

To humanize these personality types, it's illuminating to examine notable figures who embody the intellect and success associated with each MBTI category. These individuals are not mere stereotypes; they're complex and multifaceted, illustrating the diversity within each type.

  • Albert Einstein, often thought to be an INTP, is a symbol of intellectual achievement, contributing to fields beyond his initial domain of physics.
  • Bill Gates, seen as an INTJ, is renowned for his visionary style, seeing the potential for a computer on every desk long before it became a reality.
  • Mother Teresa, commonly believed to be an ENFJ, is a paragon of emotional intelligence and selfless service to humanity.
  • Mark Zuckerberg, associated with the ISTJ type, displays the conventional traits of an introverted thinker in his resolute and principled approach to building Facebook.

Looking beyond these exemplary individuals, a comprehensive understanding of intelligence and personality traits necessitates considering the multitude of factors that inform an individual's success and fulfillment in life.

Learn more: Leaders Who Changed The World And Their DiSC Style

How To Use Behavioral Profiles

How To Take A Free Personality Test

Alt Text

Beyond the List: True Intelligence

Lists and rankings serve a purpose in organizing information and guiding discussion, but they should never be taken as gospel, especially in the nuanced realm of human intelligence. The true essence of intelligence lies in the capacity of each personality type to contribute uniquely to society. This contribution takes various forms, from the book-smart scholar to the emotionally astute mentor, from the daring explorer of new frontiers to the meticulous caretaker of community well-being.

The discussion prompted by ranking intelligence within the context of personality types is valuable, but it is not definitive. It should encourage a broader, more inclusive dialogue about the ways in which we recognize and celebrate the diverse expressions of intelligence within our shared humanity.

The Significance of IQ Tests

It's worth noting that the MBTI and its corresponding intelligence rankings are not scientifically proven or universally accepted. While IQ tests have been used historically to measure intelligence, they have also been widely critiqued for being culturally biased, favoring certain types of intelligence over others, and lacking in predictive power.

Furthermore, placing too much emphasis on a single number as a measure of intelligence can be limiting and even harmful, as it fails to recognize the vast spectrum of human potential and downplays the importance of emotional intelligence, creativity, adaptability, and other valuable traits.

Wrapping Up

In closing, what truly makes a personality type 'smart' is their nuanced understanding of the world and their unique ability to impact it positively. It's the diversity that comes from combining the various strengths of the 16 types that yields the richest collective intelligence, advancing our society and our collective understanding.

What's Your DiSC Type?