By Mal Enor
It is commonly thought that Rand was an INTJ. After all, even her closest followers called her Mrs. Logic. Unfortunately, I don’t see logic as being necessarily associated with a particular type. Developing a philosophical system is not relevant to the INTJ type.
I have read two biographies of Ayn Rand and most of her books. So my evidence comes from reading about Rand.
All quoted material below comes from Socionics Types: IEI-INFp to whom I am thankful for this helpful material.
Note: INFp in Socionics is functionally equivalent to the classic INFJ type in the MBTI.
“[T]hey sometimes can be prophetic, prescient, and profound in their visions, and sometimes reflect a far more rebellious, aggressive, or outspoken demeanor.”
INFJ Ayn Rand was a visionary. INTJs are not visionaries. And she rebelled against the mainstream of thought. She was more far more rebellious, aggressive, and outspoken than INTJs who prefer to watch from the sidelines before making observations. Although she mostly spoke through her novels and articles, she is reported to have reserved front row seats at stage plays so she could direct criticisms at the actors while the play was occurring.
“Often IEIs exhibit a dreamy and gentle demeanor. They can come across as fickle, indecisive and vapid, and their fantasies can be often esoteric; they often may seem idealistic and focused on unrealistic or other-worldly utopias.”
Her ideals and ideas are often considered to be unrealistic because she dreamed of a capitalistic utopian world, and considered capitalism to be the ideal economic system. She dreamed about finding the ideal man such as a real life Howard Roark or John Galt, but never did.
“IEIs typically have richly developed mental landscapes. They are highly attuned to trends, patterns, and conceptual connections of past behaviors, experiences, relationships, and their role in the world.” She drew connections between trends/patterns and philosophical concepts. Her political writings show all of these inclinations. She drew connections between past conditions into the present, and then into the future, and primarily dealt with socio-political conditions.
Which Subtype? Intuitive versus Ethical. Most likely she was the Intuitive subtype.
Socionics Types: IEI-INFp Subtypes
“The intuitive subtype appears as a calm, tactful, languid and diffident individual.”
Those descriptions sound almost exactly like heroes from her primary works, Howard Roark (The Fountainhead) and John Galt (Atlas Shrugged). But they were not diffident.
“He seems torn from reality, inert and poorly adapted to life.”
Ayn Rand never learned how to drive a car. She let her cats claw up her furniture.
“Usually does not aspire to leadership and finds it difficult and tiring to handle organizational functions.” Yes, which is why she allowed Nathaniel Branden to make all the calls, although he had to pass them through her first.
“Gravitates more towards intellectual sphere of activity than towards hands-on management and production.” Right.
“Exhibits tolerance towards the flaws and weaknesses of others.” Yes. However, those “others” had to show some kind of outstanding achievements in order for her to forgive their flaws and weaknesses.
“Does not break immediately those relationships that have been exhausted for he grows used to people.” This is true to an extent. But she would immediately break relationships with those she felt had betrayed her trust.
“IEIs often have a keen interest in interpreting their surroundings in terms of logical categories.” This is probably one reason some think she was an INTJ. But that is just the Ti-tertiary of the INFJ. And for years this has been among my considerations during my internal debate about Ayn Rand’s personality type. INTJs do not interpret their surroundings in terms of logical categories; that is neither the function of the type’s Te-auxiliary nor Fi-tertiary. Ti is the only function involved in creating, maintaining, and applying logical categories. Ayn Rand created and applied them to everything.