What is the personality type of Elon Musk? Elon Musk is an INTP 5wing4.
Elon Musk is an:
- INTP (Introverted — Intuitive — Thinker — Perceiver)
- 5wing4 (Enneagram Type 5 with a secondary 4-wing)
- Sp/Sx (Self-preservation primary and Sexual instinct secondary)
- Task/Project (His biofeedback system has a strong reward for executing tasks and a medium strength reward for starting projects)
- Social Trauma Person (His brain dumps all the emotional baggage in the social structures of his brain)
- Insecurity/Questioning fix (As opposed to a Confidence/Pleasure fix)
I outline how this entire personality type theory works in the following post. Here is a Youtube video I made on the subject. I also analyzed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The INTP 5wing4
Elon Musk is the combination of the nerdy geeky book smart INTP — and the calm, logical, cerebral, eccentric and creative 5wing4. The INTP 5wing4 is a very common type among great thinkers, philosophers, and authors — but tend too be a little too introverted and cerebral for business.
The INTP 5wing4 has the most powerful rational mind out of any personality type combination. But they can get so deep into their own mental landscape that they start to lose contact with reality (or the people around them). Magnus Carlsen is an INTP 5wing4. Garry Kasparov is an INTP 5wing4.
The INTP is the most gifted out of all 16 Myers-Briggs types when it comes to book smarts — science, analysis, objective reasoning, chess, so on. They have the highest IQ, on average. In the literature, they are described as “the most intellectually profound”.
I think of the INTP 5wing4 combination as “the ultimate nerd”, but through the grace of God, Elon Musk is the ultimate business man, as well. I actually think he might be the most productive person on planet Earth. Tesla is on track to becoming the biggest company in the world.
In the Assertive vs Tubulent system (long description), Elon Musk is an INTP-T. “T” stands for “Turbulent” — which basically means “neurotic”, “insecure”, or “self-conscious”.
Here are some resources:
- Assertive Logician (INTP-A) vs Turbulent Logician (INTP-T) (16 Personalities)
- INTP: The Thinker (Very Well Mind)
- Type 5 decription (Eclectic Energies)
- Type 4 description (Eclectic Energies)
- Myers-Briggs & Enneagram Explained (My own popular explanation of both systems)
I found an interesting chart with each types “basic desire” and “their distortion”. The Type 5 vice is “useless specilization” and the Type 4 vice is “self-indulgence”. Elon Musk doesn’t suffer from either of those. In a way, he has overcome his own peronality type.
But keep those vices in mind when we look at other INTP 5wing4s below. Most people who spend 5000 hours developing a fantasy world don’t end up making money on it. It is a huge gamble that almost never pays off.
My first example of a well known INTP 5wing4 will be “the smartest man in the world” Rick Rosner. He perfectly fits the Type 5 core desire “to be competent”, along with the Type 5 core vice (or deterioration), which is “useless specialization”.
He spent many years of his life going back to high school over and over again, and studying for the TV-show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The last time he went to high school, he was 27! Classic “useless specilization”.
Here is part 1, it goes up to part 6. He has that daredevil trait of some INTPs, which will be discussed below.
George R.R. Martin
My second example of a famous INTP 5wing4 is the author George R. R. Martin, who wrote Game of Thrones.
My third example is Robert Jordan, also called the American Tolkien, who wrote the fantasy series The Wheel of Time (which I’ve read both in Swedish and English!). Once they leave they village the story becomes insanely good.
My fourth example would be the great J.R.R Tolkien himself, who wrote the Lord of The Rings fantasy trilogi. A true INTP 5wing4, in every sense of the word. He created several languages, and an entire world, before writing one of the most well written stories of our time. A true genius.
I cannot recommend his book The Hobbit or the three Hobbit movies enough. I’m a little ashamed to say this, but I enjoyed the movies even more than the Lord of The Ring series. As far as the book, I listened to the audiobook.
The INTP is the archetypal Big Bang Theory nerd scientist. That’s an excaggeration, of course, but it is based on something real. The INTP temperament is extremely common among scientists, it might account for more than 90% of working scientists.
The other types I see sometimes in scientific fields are ENTPs and INTJs (Richard Dawkins, here are five famous INTJs). In laboratory work the ISTP and the ISTJ is quite common. They seek positions that are less creative, that center around certain predictable tasks. They don’t mind routine that much (especially the ISTJ).
I do agree with the three famous people typings above, which is a relief. Check the professions on the right side. Many people actually think I am an INTP, and I have scored like an INTP in tests. It is because my Enneagram type (4wing5) enhances Thinking characteristics.
If there is something to say about INTPs, it is that they LOVE Star Trek and history. I haver never met an INTP that didn’t aboslutely adore those two things.
Some INTPs do have a thrill-seeking quality to them, they might go motorbiking or travel to dangerous places. This is otherwise known as an SP (Sensing + Perception) trait.
Elon Musk does have this trait. If you want an historical example of this, I would go with Ernest Hemingway, an INTP 4wing5.
The INTP has the strongest interest (and competence) in science out of all 16 Myers-Briggs types. The INTP is often called “The Scientist” for this very reason. It is also called “The Architect” and the “Wizard Philosopher”.
It might not come as a suprise that most librarians are INTPs. INTPs love documentaries, a good documentary gives them a mental orgasm.
The INTP has a reward-system built into their brain, that rewards them for absorbing information. Everybody has this to a degree, but it is much stronger in INTPs. Some INTPs get stuck at home triggering this mechanism again and again.
Let’s look at some INTP facts:
- On personality trait measures, score as Candid, Ingenious, Complicated, Independent, and Rebellious
- More likely than other types to study a foreign language
- Most frequent type among college students committing alcohol and drug policy violations
- One of types least likely to believe in a higher spiritual power
- Highest of all types in career dissatisfaction (with INFPs)
- In school, have lower grades than would be predicted from aptitude scores
- More likely than average to complete engineering programs
- Personal values include Autonomy, Freedom, and Independence
- Overrepresented among working MBA students
- Commonly found in science and technical occupations
INTP Values and Motivations
Interested in other INTPs?
Since the personality type community has actually typed Elon Musk as an INTJ (with Judging instead of Perception), it only seems logical to include some INTJs, as well.
- Adolf Hitler was an INTJ 3wing4 (very popular)
- Alex Jones is an INTJ 8wing7
- Howard Stern is an INTJ 8wing9
- Famous INTJs (somewhat popular)
I could actually tell from both of Elons appearances on The Rogan Experience that he is an INTP. He speaks like an INTP, he thinks like an INTP, and he acts like an INTP (taking all that risk, diving into the unknown). Don’t bother with the second one, number 1470, it was a horrible experience.
- Joe Rogan Experience #1169 – Elon Musk
- Joe Rogan Experience #1470 – Elon Musk
- Myers-Briggs Explained (click here if you can’t tell the INTP from the INTJ)
I also found this great Reddit post as to why Elon Musk is an INTP and not an INTJ. It references cognitive functions — but you can just ignore those and look at the descriptions themselves.
Elon Musk is an INTP, not INTJ
Elon Musk is an INTP, not an INTJ. I just love how people who only understand the dichotomy of the MBTI thinks he is an INTJ.
Ti — Elon concerns himself immensely with the principles of physics- to make decisions on fundamental truths, not analogy. That is Ti to a T. Albert Einstein, an INTP, did the same when formulating his theories.
Ne — Multiple possibilities for improvement in the world. He has worked/is working on Space X, Tesla, Solar City, NeuraLink, Open AI, Hyperspace, and The Boring Company. An Ni user could not possibly be engaging in so many ventures with its laser-focus Ni vision.
Si — Elon constantly makes jokes or post song he used to listen to in his Twitter account. Always remembering the past.
Fe — Elon’s aura is very childlike, innocent, easy-going. He never takes himself too seriously, and is constantly making jokes.
All of these are completely antithetic to what an INTJ would look like. Elon always explains to others in a non-aggressive way. An INTJ would reinforce their views on others because of Te. Ni would be much more focused on a single vision, rather than multiple ones. Te is MUCH more likely to reason through analogies and what others deem to be true, since it is much more based on a posteriori knowledge and group thinking.
If Elon were a Te user, he would not dare to challenge the automobile industry solely on LOGIC (Ti). If he were an Fi user, he would be much more opiniated than he is. It is also important to mention that Elon himself said that he has a problem with punctuation, in regards to his timing.
Therefore, he is an INTP. Not an INTJ.Reddit post by ceazeus
The person who wrote this was very insightful, I am impressed. The INTJ has superior executive functions — speaking, acting, opinions, making rapid decisions. But the INTP is more objective and less narrative driven. Slower. Softer. Bill Gates is an INTP. Steve Jobs was an INTJ. See? Steve Jobs would always “overpower” Bill when they met each other.
The 5wing4 has Type 5 as its main type, and Type 4 as a secondary wing.
- The 5 is calm, logical, cerebral, focused, fact-based, and oriented around the conscious, problem solving mind.
- The 4 is emotional, sporadic, spontaneous, creative, intuitive, unstable, often bi-polar, and heavily influenced by the subconscious mind.
Simply put, the 5 is calm and logical while the 4 is emotional and creative.
They are both independent and anti-authoritarian. Most revolutionaly ideas or inventions came from one of these types. They are idea-oriented, and live inside their head. Look at this interesting diagram of the 5, and then the 4, and imagine a fusion of both.
Also, Type 5s have a deep seated fear of exposure. When I get a camera in my face, all the energy is drained from my body and I look like the living dead. I think this comes from the type 5, I am an INFP 4wing5. Weird, huh?
Every living person on Earth have a primary and a secondary instinct. There are three instincts. Clich here for a brief description of all three. Elon Musk is a Self-preservation primary and a Sexual instinct secondary. Click here for a detailed description of all three.
The Self-presevation instinct
People of the self-preservation variant are generally trying to be comfortable and independent. Their well-being is very important to them, so they pay much attention to their health, house and financial position. They are less interested in interpersonal contact, and are typically less spontaneous and don’t show as much emotion as people of the other two subtypes of their enneagram type.Eclectic Energies
So how do I know Elon Musk is a Self-preservation primary? He’s way too calm to be a Sexual instinct primary, and he isn’t self-conscious enough to be a Social instinst primary. He is also extremely focused and apt at long term thinking, which are telltale signs of the Self-preservation trait. Self-preservation primaris have a more narrow attention field and are better at hitting goals. They are also the calmest (or “slowest) out of the three instincts.
The Sexual instinct
People of the sexual variant are very much interested in one to one contacts. They are looking for intimacy and this may show in sexuality, though not necessarily. Being in a relationship is very important to them. They are the most passionate of the subtypes, being temperamental and having more energy. They have less of a problem with getting into a fight and care less about rules and responsibility.Eclectic Energies
Once we establish he is a Self-preservation primary, there are only two instincts left. The Sexual instinct and the Social instinct. The Social instinct makes you self-conscious and brings on a strong fear of not being aligned with the overall group, or upstream authority.
Elon Musk does not demonstrate this at all. The “vice” of Social instinct is “groupthink” and an overly strong adaption to the environment. Elon Musk has been under strong pressude from the mainstream media, more so than other famous billionaries, but he appears to stand strong. He’s very productive and Tesla is on track of becoming the largest company in the world.
The Sp/Sx combination is very common among famous people. It brings long term thinking — and yet a type of explosive energy from the Sexual instinct (which brings “intensity”). Below is a high quality article on both the Enneagram and the Instinctual variants.
- How the Enneagram System Works (Enneagram Institute)
This section is based on something I found on the Personality Café forum many years ago. Someone had figured out that you could be a primary and secondary in any of the following three things:
- Task execution (as in performing tasks)
- Self-discovery (as in self-discovery, self-improvement)
- Project (as in starting up a new side project)
I do believe Elon Musk is a Task execution primary and a Project secondary. Elon Musk is known for his relentles task execution. Is he the only CEO that would sleep on the factory floor before upcoming deadlines?
I am not certain of his secondary. I’m assuming Project since I haven’t heard anything that points towards him being interested in Self-discovery. Self-discovery primaries are overrepresentated among psychonauts.
Remember his flamethrower? Called: Not a Flamethrower? He also built that “submarine” to help free the kids in Thailand? He didn’t have to do that. That was extra work on top of what he was already doing.
Elon Musk spends most of his time on Tesla. Then it’s SpaceX and then The Boring Company. It’s almost like SpaceX and The Boring Company are his funny little side projects, huh?
Social Trauma Person
This section is based on the idea that our psyche stores unprocessed negative emotions in a certain section of the brain.
The brain can place trauma and negative emotions in three different regions of the brain:
- The problem-solving network (or task execution, or default mode network)
- The social network (activated when interacting with people)
- The performance network (also called “hightened state” network).
I guess these three types could be called the:
- Task Trauma Person (unwarranted anxiety over executing tasks, especially if boring and forced)
- Social Trauma Person (unwarranted anxiety over interacting with people)
- Performance Trauma Person (unwarranted anxiety over high stress adrenaline fueled situations)
You have excactly one of them. Your brain selectively dumps all of its extra emotional garbage in one of these categories.
Since you experience pain when you enter one of these states, you start avoiding them. This creates a negative spiral where the pain creates failure, and the failure creates pain. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, a snake biting its own tail.
The only efficient way to deal with this, that I know of, is to blast the brain with psychadelics and process all those old emotions. Your main focus should be to process the negative emotions you experience during the trip. I have personally done this! I have tried Ayahuasca, Ketamine, but what did the job was a high quality dried magic mushroom powder.
I believe that the emotional component of Elon Musks negative memories are stored in the social network of his brain. This makes him a “Social Trauma” person.
This actually came out in his second appearance on Joe Rogans podcast. I listened to the whole thing, and it was painful. Elon Musk is not able to control his internal state in social interactions.
When it drops, he isn’t able to get it back to normal. I’m also open to the idea that this is the result of a bad childhood and horrific bullying. Link to article here:
It’s pretty rough in South Africa,” he says. “If you’re getting bullied, you still have to go to school. You just have to get up in the morning and go. He hated it so much.” Elon suffered very badly at the hands of cruel children while growing up in South Africa.
Musk was severely bullied throughout his childhood, and was once hospitalized when a group of boys threw him down a flight of stairs, and then beat him until he blacked out.
Musk’s first wife, Justine, says, “I don’t think people understand how tough he had it growing up. He was a really lonely kid.”
For the reasons outlined above, I believe Elon Musk is a Social Trauma Person.
Last but not least, I believe that every person has one of the following two “fixes” at the deepest layer of their psyche.
- Confidence/Pleasure fix
- Insecurity/Questioning fix
I am convinced Elon Musk has a Insecurity/Questioning fix, that will always be there and can never go away. This will prevent him from becoming a narcisisstic asshole, no mather how rich he gets.
My “Core Fix” system actually mirrors the “A vs T” system where “A” stands for “Assertive” and “T” stands for “Turbulent”. Assertive basically means “confident” and “Turbulent” basically means “neurotic” or “insecure”. Here is a really good article that discussed both types of INTP (Elon Musks Myers-Briggs type). In this system, Elon Musk would be an INTP-T.
Here as a description of the Insecure/Questioning core fix that I outline in this long post:
People with a “Insecurity/Questioning fix” have insecurity, second-guessing, and self-consciousness built into their very personality type. This makes them naturally insecure high achievers. Because they don’t “like” themselves, or think they are enough.
These people have a higher fear of confrontation, are less individualistic, and more group minded. They have a built-in protection against arrogance, narcissism, and delusional confidence.
But the stress of second-guessing oneself all the time can become unbearable. When things go wrong, they tend to blaim themselves instead of others. They are more likely to stay in dysfunctional relationships (because they don’t think they deserve better).
Motivation and adaptability are the two biggest advantages of this fix. There is an overemphasis in our society on “confidence”, everybody are just supposed to be confident all the time. But if that actually was a large advantage — evolution would have weeded out all the insecure types a long time ago (didn’t happen).The Six Layers of Human Personality Type (my own article)
Top 5 Pages
- Elon Musk: INTP 5wing4
- Johnny Depp: INFJ 4wing5
- Adolf Hitler: INTJ 3wing4
- Michael Jordan: ISTP 9wing8
- Joe Rogan is an INTP 7wing8