MBTI ISTP (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving) Learning Styles

ISTP (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving) Learning Style


Tolerant and flexible, quiet observers until a problem appears, then act quickly to find workable solutions. Analyze what makes things work and readily get through large amounts of data to isolate the core of practical problems. Interested in cause and effect, organize facts using logical principles, value efficiency.

~Excerpted from Introduction to Type®

by Isabel Briggs Myers





ISTP – 5.4% of the total population
8.5% of the male population
2.4% of the female population


Introversion (I) 50.7% of the total population
Sensing (S) 73.3% of the total population
Thinking (T) 40.2% of the total population
Perceiving (P) 45.9% of the total population



 The estimated frequency table was compiled from a variety of MBTI® results from 1972 through 2002, including data banks at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type; CPP, Inc; and Stanford Research Institute (SRI).MBTI ISTP (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving) Learning Styles


Learner Keyword: analytical and pragmatic1

Learner Question

ISTPs, while learning, address the question, “How does this work?”2

Learning Style

ISTPs are most interested in learning how the information will help them to achieve their goals and how things work. They learn best through practical application as well as active application. However, they are independent learners. ISTPs enjoy complex challenges and problem solving.

ISTPs like to investigate the small details and look at sequential information. They are most intrigued by logical and linear learning.

ISTPs are quick to apply learning and knowledge to their situations. The will devote themselves to learning until they master the content. Yet they are highly critical of themselves.

ISTPs are driving by a desire to learn skills and to be actively it to use.

MBTI Learning Styles - A Practical Approach Cover
For other learning styles: MBTI Learning Styles – A Practical Approach Available in paperback; Kindle; and pdf versions

Cognitive Environment

ISTPs need an active, hands-on learning environment. They enjoy detail work and independent working environments. However, clear guidelines are needed. Small group and partner work are effective for ISTPs but prefer to work independently.

ISTPs need opportunities to ask questions during class and to have a variety of activities. They are effective and efficient researchers.

ISTPs are most comfortable:

  • Observing
  • Being independent learners
  • Creating relationships with the new knowledge
  • Reflection
  • Hands-on experiences and practical applications
  • Reviewing knowledge
  • Facts and figures over theory and abstract knowledge

ISTPs are least comfortable:

  • Participating in group work
  • Being the center of attention
  • Any activity related to building interpersonal relationships
  • Theory and abstract knowledge
  • Seeing no immediate need for the information
  • Lack of lesson objectives and guidelines
  • Pointless or circular discussions and reasoning
  • Being detail-oriented

Teacher and classroom tips

ISTPs prefer to learn from highly knowledgeable instructors, preferring knowledgeable teachers over personable educators. Be sure to have a high command of information before teaching ISTPs. They may even require the instructor to proof their command of the knowledge

Provide real-life examples.

Give opportunities and encouragement for scaffolding. The more connections the ISTP learner will make, the greater the memory of the new knowledge.

Set up challenges and problem-solving opportunities.

ISTPs need Q&A times during instruction. Encourage their questions and meet these questions with sincerity.

Give ISTPs time to reflect.

Learner tips

ISTPs are effective learners, desire proficiency and mastery over topics. Take time to find real-life applications.

Take time to reflect and organize ways to build and scaffold knowledge.

Organize your learning. Use charts, goals and journaling as needed.

Create your own challenges. Don’t wait for instructors to provide challenges as they may let you down.

Have patience with others and especially instructors who may have a command and be experts in the field but lack the ability to convey their expertise.

Be sure to find time to meet with instructors. Emphasize the need for clear objectives.

Instructional Strategies:

  • Active learning
  • Assess and Identify.
  • Cause/effect.
  • Choice board.
  • Classroom Setting Learner
  • Close relationship with instructor.
  • Experiential Learning
  • Field trips
  • Hands-on Activities
  • Imaginative options
  • Independent Work
  • Modeling
  • Objectives
  • Observation
  • Pace of instruction: moderate
  • Partnership
  • Practical Application
  • Pre-assess/Preview
  • Problem-Solving
  • Reflection time.
  • Relationships/Patterns.
  • Review
  • Rubrics
  • Scaffold to prior knowledge
  • Self-instruction.
  • Teamwork activities.
  • Visuals

Assessment Strategies:

  • Annotate Reading.
  • Annotated bibliography
  • Apply new information to life.
  • Brainstorm -webbing
  • Categorize
  • Compare/contrast
  • Concept maps.
  • Create a cause/effect chart.
  • Create a chart using PowerPoint.
  • Create a Gantt Chart
  • Create a list of valid sources from the internet.
  • Create a relationship chart
  • Create a simulation.
  • Create and maintain a learning journal.
  • Create associations using color.
  • Design a graph.
  • Design a timeline
  • Develop a homework assignment with key.
  • Develop a list of …
  • Develop a sequence
  • Develop interview questions.
  • Diagram and label.
  • Experimental method.
  • Find a unique method to use … technology.
  • Find sources to support a belief
  • Graphic Organizers.
  • Hands on Activities.
  • Identify likes and dislikes.
  • Identify patterns.
  • Make a chart demonstrating the relationships
  • Make a diorama
  • Memorization
  • Observe and record the behavior
  • Outline reading.
  • Problem Solving.
  • Record findings.
  • Reflection time.
  • Set goals.
  • Show a process chart
  • Strategize a method to complete a project.
  • Write a critique.
  • Write a process essay.

Click on one of the sixteen personality types for more information:

Click on one of these dimension for more information:

MBTI Learning Styles - A Practical Approach Cover
For other learning styles: MBTI Learning Styles – A Practical Approach Available in paperback; Kindle; and pdf versions

For other learning styles: MBTI Learning Styles – A Practical Approach Available in paperbackKindle; and pdf versions


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Tracy Atkinson is certified in Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) by CPP, Inc. The findings on learning styles derive from research, experience and observations.

Tracy Atkinson, a mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband and spirited dachshunds. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education and a master’s in higher education. Her passions include researching, studying and investigating the attributes of self-directed learners. She has published several titles, including: The Art of Learning JournalsCalais: The Annals of the HiddenRachel’s 8 and Securing Your Tent. She is currently exploring the attributes of self-directed learners: The Five Characteristics of Self-Directed Learners.





Tracy Harrington-Atkinson

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the mid-west with her husband. She loved storytelling and sharing her stories with her children. As they grew, she started writing her stories down for them. She is a teacher, having taught from elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education, masters in higher education and continued on to a PhD in curriculum design. Her husband, Kerry and Tracy breed miniature dachshunds and love to spend time with their growing family. She has published several books including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Rachel's 8 and Securing Your Tent.

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