I finished binge-watching Mr.Robot on Amazon Prime all the way from season 1 through season 4 just in a matter of a week. It is a pretty good show, I must say. But one question which got in my mind is what MBTI type Elliot Alderson is? Well, even though I have written MBTI in the title, I would actually elaborate more in terms of Jungian Cognitive Functions on this post.
So spoiler alert (!), as I am about to give away some key points from the storyline. So if you have not watched the show all seasons already, do so before you read this post. So run!
And without any further ado, here we go-
Some people on Quora labeled Elliot as an INTJ.
Both INTJs and INTPs dominate the technical fields and both types are mostly lone wolves. Some of them can have social anxiety. But Cognitive Functions wise, they are vastly different people.
If you wish to learn about Jungian Cognitive Functions, check this answer I wrote on Quora or read my other answers about Jungian Types. You can also ask me questions there.
But let’s get back to the topic.
Well, first of all, he has a Dissociative identity (aka multiple personalities) disorder. So he is perhaps unable to fully utilize his dominant four functions. So even if he is an INTJ, he is not normal.
Out of his two distinctive personalities which co-exist the majority of the time- Elliot (himself) and his ideal parent figure Mr. Robot are INTP and ENTJ respectively. That is the only combo that makes sense to me in terms of cognitive functions. Let me explain to you elaborately:
INTP’s cognitive functions: Ti>Ne>Si>Fe
ENTJ’s cognitive functions: Te>Ni>Se>Fi
So as you can see, ENTJs and INTPs are opposite of each other in terms of cognitive function stacks.
To me, it seems clearly visible that, while his parent figures the imaginary Mr. Robot is the commander in chief, a true competitive go-getter just like an ENTJ should be, Elliot as a child is still quite analytical, hence he is an INTP.
The imaginary Mr. Robot always lectures Elliot about what is practical, at times treats him quite aggressively and even makes important decisions for him or carries out actions (even in his absence of mind). I am not saying that all ENTJs are aggressive like Mr. Robot. But Mr. Robot is too action-oriented to be any other type.
Most INTPs I know are gifted in cybersecurity and computer programming, etc. INTJs are great too, but not in the same way as INTPs are.
INTP’s first two functions are Ti and Ne which enable them to make, break or troubleshoot complex computer security systems.
Also, some fans in Quora and Reddit are saying how he uses Ni, he is a visionary, etc. But what he is using at least as Elliot is Ti. His inner dialogue with himself is Ti focused while what Mr. Robot suggests to him are basically Te (effective actions) out loud.
What this imaginary father-son duo is really good at is deciding what to do and using hacking as a means to get it done, not really at the vision. Because their collective vision as we can learn at different times seems to be proven flawed. Why and how? You have to really watch the show. If I tell you exactly at what point Elliot/Mr. Robots plans/visions seemed flawed and were later tweaked/corrected, then there is no point in watching the show at all. I cannot spoil it that much for you.
Is an INTJ’s vision ever flawed? INTJ’s are Ni- driven. Just like an INTP’s Ti, ENTJ’s Te is on point, an INTJ’s strategic vision is on point too.
Now, towards the end of the show, Krista tells her in his dream that how the mastermind self of Elliot has put the true Elliot in a loop.
Maybe if Elliot’s true self is an INTJ, because of his mental disorder, it has created many different shadow personalities like different windows, which is why his strategy had weaknesses since he even loses memory sometimes.
I know some of you might be thinking that a counter-argument to this is that Elliot is a mentally ill INTJ and his imaginary Mr. Robot is in fact an ENTP (just by going my yin yang father-son duo personality pair logic above). Yes, that is a possibility. But Mr. Robot doesn’t seem very ENTPish, in fact, I thought he is driven for accomplishing goals just like Tyrell Wellick is. Some might label Tyrell as an ENTJ as well, while others as an ISTJ (either way Tyrell is a Te focused achievement-oriented individual).
I read in another blog post that Elliot is an INTJ because of how he tries to discipline himself by putting himself into jail and creating an imaginary facade for a while to get rid of his imaginary Mr. Robot’s personality. But this process at the end doesn’t work! It is the same as if an INTP momentarily tries to frame himself in structure to accomplish something, but in the long run s/he cannot keep up with it since that is not who s/he is ( i.e not a judging type). The only habit which Elliot has autopiloted himself through is hacking almost everyone he comes into contact with to learn their secrets. This part seems like an INTJ thing (since INTJs have a tendency to autopilot through tasks which they believe work for them) but can also be viewed as an INTP Ti-Ne analysis process. Either way, this is a form of defense mechanism for Elliot! Why? Again, TMI. Go watch the show till the end.
If he is an INTJ then his INTJ self might be divided into many different subconscious levels because of his mental health issue.
Do you think an INTJ with ADHD is able to perform at his peak level? Then why would an INTJ with multiple personality disorder be their true INTJ self? Usually, Ne function users are prone to ADHD or multiple personality disorders because Ne function is responsible for the knack of mental exploration. Ne diverges from one point to many possibilities, while Ni converges from many perspectives to one point or a single goal. So while Ne users are prone to ADHD, Ni users (especially INTJ/INFJ) can develop OCD which is quite the opposite of ADHD.
So for now, I would go with “true” Elliot typed as an INTP, and not INTJ.
If you understand Jungian Cognitive Functions- just try to pair the true Elliot and his imaginary guide Mr. Robot as other opposite types which have not been discussed in this blog post.
For example- try to imagine Mr. Robot as an INTJ and Elliot as an ENTP or even ENFP. It doesn’t make sense. You might type Mr. Robot the dad as either INTJ/ENTJ since both are basically intro/extroverted version of each other in terms of cognitive functions, but it doesn’t make sense that Elliot is peppy and spunky like an ENTP/ENFP.
You might say that Elliot might be an INFP (a lost puppy child). INFP is the opposite of ENTJ in terms of letters. But even for a lost puppy child, he seemed pretty on point in terms of logic and skills.
I constantly see him using the Ti function and thinking through everything. So Elliot for me is an INTP. You are welcome to present your argument against mine in the comment section of this post.
Now, who is an INTJ in the show? I think FBI Agent Dipirro is a good example of a female INTJ. She could be an INFJ too, but unlikely. But she is Ni-dominant for sure. The first scene of her breaks out like how she is a lone wolf and secondly, she already connects the dots intuitively ten steps ahead in Romero’s murder scene. She has been correct with her hunches all along. She is alert, honest, driven, and investigative- most of these qualities are INTJ qualities. She also seemed to figure out the entire chain of people behind the five/nine attack and other ongoing E Corp targeted massacre.
If Agent Dipirro or Sherlock Holmes were in Elliot’s place and imagine they had normal mental functions, did they actually have to hack each individual to see what is in their personal records? Or would they already intuitively sense a lot of things about some people?
I am not saying that INTPs have the need to hack someone but INTJs don’t. Both Elliot and Dipirro have problems socializing. But they are dealing with the problems differently using their respective cognitive skills. Over time what worked for Elliot is hacking each person that he comes in contact with because he is not naturally hunch driven. He needs to analyze everything with his Ti. He is mostly lost in his mind due to his disorder. So he auto-piloted himself into certain types of things he normally does, hacking people and when almost getting caught burning any evidence.
If he really is an INTJ though he must have been using his shadow stacks all along since his Ni no longer works well. Since Ni comes with Se in a functional stack. For Ni to work properly one needs to be mindful. So an unhealthy INTJ can be just like him (a confused NT type).
Even the show narrated in a very ADHD (but albeit in a creative) way. The author, as I have read somewhere loosely based on Elliot’s character on his own.
He tied all the loose ends drawing a very detailed picture of the entire narrative. But his writing approach is very similar to how I once learned art in a fine art class. I used to have this hobby sketch/painting class, where the teacher taught me that if I struggle at one point drawing a picture, I should momentarily leave it and come back for it later. And at later attempts, it seemed easier as by now I had gained other perspectives by drawing other parts.
Even if Elliot himself is not an INTJ, the show writer might be a Fi developed INTJ who I am not sure if have had his own personal struggle of mental health issues. Regardless, he did a great job very carefully weaving and crafting the whole story of the show called Mr. Robot on Amazon Prime.
I think the real mastermind here is the show author Sam Esmail. He might be an INTJ, but not Elliot Alderson the protagonist.
Thanks for reading. If you want me to review other shows/movies/videos or type some other characters, feel free to recommend me in the comment section. Also, read some other reviews I had done in the past like GoT.
Image Courtesy: Mr. Robot