Traits of Attention Deficit Disorder,
"Highly Creative Individuals" and the ENTP (Inventor) Jungian Temperament
(note: I am focusing on the ENTP temperament rather than
the other three NP types because I found more information on the ENTP type. I'm sure the
same comparison could be made for INTP, ENFP and INFP).
- Inattention and daydreaming
- Task switching; many half-finished projects
- Creative and inventive
- Non-conformist and social deficiencies
- Poor planning, forgetful, unorganized, late, loses things
- Boredom intolerance
- Hyperactive (restless, fidgety, high energy, tense,
- Playfulness; turns things into games
- Easily frustrated
- Frequently recommended occupations
- Laugh frequently; good humor
- Challenges authority
Sources are referenced in parentheses and are listed at the
bottom of this page.
Inattention and Daydreaming
ADD: By definition must have difficulty
paying attention (12). This is typically identified in the classroom. BUT, when highly
interested, ADDers "hyperfocus" and can remain extremely focused for a long
time, such as in front of a video game (11). Example: Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes.
Creative: "Inattentive to teacher's or
classmates' comments and class discussions"(2). Creative people often focus on their
inner thoughts (3). Example: Robert Frost was expelled from school for daydreaming.
Task switching (described as short attention
span); many half-finished or open-ended projects.
ADD: By definition (12). "Many projects going
simultaneously" (11). Author's note: This page (one of many half-finished pages) may
be a good example (will it every be finished? Does it matter?). Hey, at least I'm not
watching TV like everyone else.
Creative: Often have many half-finished projects
involving highly disparate interests (3). Example: Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings (only 16
finished in 67 years of painting). Highly enthusiastic about the idea of the project, may
be less motivated as the idea gets old and the project becomes mundane, and then is prone
to being distracted by another project idea. May go back to first project later (or may
ENTP: "If a project in which they are engaged
is no longer challenging, they tend to lose interest in that project and fail to follow
through - often to the discomfort of colleagues...Inventors are likely to have all sorts
of hobbies" (4).
Creative and Inventive:
ADD: Groups with ADHD (ADD with hyperactivity) score
higher on creativity tests (3). "Adults with ADD often have unusually creative
minds. In the midst of their disorganization and distractibility, they show flashes of
Creative: By definition.
ENTP: By definition. "ENTPs are inventors,
innovators, explorers, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. ENTPs are always looking over the
next horizon, trying to push the edge of the envelope, and trying to do what other people
say can't be done" (10).
Non-Conformist Tendencies and Social Problems
ADD: Referred ADDers may have fewer friends and are
slower to pick up social skills (possibly because of inattention due to
disinterest). Peers often reject ADDers because of annoying hyperactive or inattentive
behavior (1). Chronic problems with self-esteem may be "the direct and unhappy result
of years of conditioning: years being told one is a klutz, a spaceshot, and underachiever,
lazy, weird, different, out of it, and the like...What is impressive is how resilient most
adults are, despite all the setbacks" (11).
Creative: So frequently non-conformist as to be a
stereotype. Often appear to be anti-social, although this may be a defense strategy in
many cases because peers often reject their differences (3). "Independent, Inventive
(non-conforming)....Withdraws because of strong goal orientation, peer group criticism and
ENTP: "ENTPs tend to be sociable -- they enjoy
interacting with interesting people and doing interesting things. The key word is
"interesting." ENTPs have a low boredom threshold and they have little desire to
be around other people simply for the sake of being around other people... While ENTPs
value their personal relationships, they find it easier than some other types to leave
those relationships behind" (10). "In terms of their relationships, ENTPs are
capable of bonding very closely with their loved ones...(and) are also good at acquiring
friends who are as clever and entertaining as they are. Aside from those two areas, ENTPs
tend to be oblivious of the rest of humanity, except as an audience" (10). Seldom are
Inventors conformists" (4). ENTPs "are the most reluctant of all the
types to do things in a particular manner just because that is the way things have always
been done. They characteristically have an eye out for a better way..."(5).
Poor Planning, Forgetful, Unorganized, Often Late,
ADD: "Often has difficulties organizing tasks
and activities...Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities" (12).
Successful adult ADDers typically have learned to become organized or can rely on a
secretary or spouse to keep track of events for them (1). "She's always late for
everything, except for every meal" (from the Sound of Music).
ENTP: "Orderliness in the routines of daily
living is not apt to inspire them...They may neglect very necessary preparation at times.
After repeated failures in situations where improvising has met with defeat, the Inventor
may develop ways of avoiding such situations as a substitute to thorough preparation"
(4)."Planning contingencies and marshalling forces...develop more slowly and are soon
left behind by the burgeoning of talent in engineering. However, any kind of strategic
exercise tends to bring added strength to both engineering and organizing skills"
ADD: "Boredom surrounds the adult with ADD like
a sinkhole, ever ready to drain off energy and leave the individual hungry from more
stimulation" (11). Inattention and restlessness do not occur when the ADDer is doing
something which interests them. Neurochemicals are thought to be below normal if the ADDer
is not mentally stimulated (1)(3).
Creative: Neurochemicals are thought to be below
normal if creative person is not mentally stimulated (3). "Bores easily and may
appear to have a short attention span" (6).
ENTP: "ENTPs have a low boredom threshold"
(10)."Inventors can succeed in a variety of occupations, as long as the job does not
involve too much humdrum routine. At this point, they become restless" (4).
Hyperactivity (restless, fidgety, high energy, tense,
ADD: Often hyperactive (ADHD) but not always (1)(8).
Creative: Most creative third in group score
significantly higher on scale of hyperactivity than least creative third. Most famous
inventors, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, were extremely active.(3)
"Excessive Amounts of Energy" (6). "Cannot sit still unless absorbed in
something of his or her own interest" (2).
Intuitive (Discerning patterns
and relationships on a subconscious level before conscience understanding develops, such
as with grammar and music. Intuition is a mysterious type of intelligence characteristic
of the right-brain which allows people to solve complex problems and learn certain types
of skills more rapidly. Akin to learning through "absorption").
ADD: Highly intuitive (7 and 11). Often quick to
learn computers and other topics without instructions (1).
Creative: "Intuitive: Seeing conclusions
without displaying knowledge of sequential concepts." (2)
ENTP: By definition (the "N" stands for
ADD: Extremely enthusiastic when
doing something which is of interest. "Like the child with ADD in the classroom,
the adult with ADD gets carried away in enthusiasm. An idea comes and it must be spoken,
tact or guile yielding to child-like exuberance" (11).
Creative: "Eager: Resents periods of classroom
ENTP: "Usually enthusiastic, Inventors
are apt to express interest in everything, and thus are a source of inspiration to others,
who find themselves caught up in the Inventor's enthusiasm. This type is delighted
over many things and so is easy to please" (4). "ENTPs are more likely to have
bursts of inspiration that are translated into reality through intermittent periods of
extremely intense activity" (10).
Playfulness; turns things into "games";
ENTP: "Inventors enjoy outwitting the system
and use rules and regulations within the system to win the game - whatever it may be... As
an employee, an Inventor may work against the system just for the joy of being
one-up" (4). "Enjoyment of complex problems" (5). "Both at work and at
home, ENTPs are very fond of "toys"-- physical or intellectual, the more
sophisticated the better. They tend to tire of these quickly, however, and move on to new
ones." (10). ENTPs have a need to "have areas of expertise/excellence/uniqueness
in which one is second to none" (10).
Learns on an exploratory level, even as an
adult: All young children learn very rapidly at
the exploratory level, through play, games and curiosity. Once reaching grade school,
however, children are expected to be good passive learners, and this is often where the
problems for ADD and creative children come to a head.
ADD: Difficulties focusing on blackboard
memorization, but quick to teach self computer skills (1). Narrow tolerance range for new
material: Too slow and he/she becomes bored. Too fast and he/she becomes frustrated (9).
Exploratory learning accommodates delicate tolerance for new material because the learner
sets his/her own pace.
Creative: "Learns from an exploratory level and
resists rote memory and just being a listener" (6).
ENTP: "It is so natural for these individuals
to practice devising gadgets and mechanisms, that they start doing it even as young
children. And they get such a kick out of it that they really never stop exercising their
inventive bent" (5).
Easily Frustrated and Impatient
ADD: Easily frustrated (1, 11). "The impatience
has to do with the need for stimulation and can lead others to think of the individual as
immature or insatiable" (11).
Creative: "May become easily frustrated because
of his/her ideas and not having the resources or people to assist him/her in carrying
these tasks to fruition" (6).
ENTP: "They are not, however, the mover of
mountains....[they] may be rather easily discouraged" (4). "They tend to become
extremely petulant about small setbacks and inconveniences. (Major setbacks they tend to
regard as challenges, and tackle with determination)" (10).
Frequently recommended occupations
ENTP: Inventor (by definition). Design work (e.g.
engineering), but only as a practical means to an end."Inventors can succeed in a
variety of occupations, as long as the job does not involve too much humdrum routine"
(4). "Good at functional analysis" (5). "ENTPs have a strong and early
interest in science and technology" (10)."They usually are outstanding teachers,
continuously devising new participative ways to make learning exciting for the
Challenges authority; trouble following
established channels or procedures
ADD: "Contrary to what one might think, this is
not due to some unresolved problem with authority figures. Rather it is manifestation of
boredom and frustration: boredom with routine ways of doing things and excitement around
novel approaches, and frustration with being unable to do things the way they're supposed
to be done" (11).
1. Classic ADD trait identified by many, many sources.
Problems with Gifted/Creative Children," posted by The National Foundation for
Gifted and Creative Children, originally from a paper by Marcella R. Bonsall (attached to
the Division of Research and Guidance in Los Angeles, CA)
3. "The Coincidence of Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Creativity," by Dr. Bonnie Cramond, The
National Research Center for the Gifted and Talented, 1995.
Portrait of the Inventor (eNTp)"
of Gifted/Creative Children" (National Foundation for Gifted & Creative
7. "The Hidden Gifts of ADD," by Ned Hallowell,
8. "Attention Deficit Disorder" (The Harvard
Mental Health Letter, May 1995)
9. "Beyond ADD," (Thom Hartmann),
iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving (three more web descriptions of the ENTP temperament)
11. Suggested Diagnostic Criteria For
ADD in Adults by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, MD
12. DSM IV Criteria - Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity