Type A Personality

Type A Personality

In this article we are going to gain a greater understanding of behaviour and personality types; in particular Type A personality and how this differs from Type B.

A style of Type A behaviour and Type A personality type can be characterised by hurried activity, impatient, ambition and competitiveness. This type is generally associated with the AHA triad of traits, which include anger, hostility and aggression. This type of behaviour can manifest in characteristics such as, irritable tapping of fingers or feet and blenching of fists or teeth, and a tendency to try to do more that one thing at time.

The term Type A personality was introduced by the US cardiologists Meyer Friedman (1910-2001) and Ray Harold Rosenman (1920-2013) in a article in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1959 and within their popular book, Type A Behaviour and Your Heart (1974).

Friedman and Rosenman presented their first evidence indicating a significantly increased risk of coronary heart disease associated with Type A behaviour, which is why the corresponding personality type is sometimes called the coronary prone personality.

On the other hand the Type B personality is an easy-going style of behaviour and personality type lacking the characteristics or the Type A and thus associated with the lesser predisposition to coronary heart disease.

  • Competitive
  • Angered easily
  • Hostile
  • Feel pressure
  • Impatient
  • Highly motivated
  • Live at a higher level of stress
  • Time conscious
  • Driven by success
  • Enjoy being in control
  • Strive for success
  • Relaxed
  • Easy going
  • Live at lower levels of stress
  • Enjoy achievement but will not get stressed out over a loss
  • Creative
  • Reflective
  • Not highly competitive
  • Enjoys meditating and appreciates the arts

A Type C person will find it difficult to express emotions, especially negative emotions such as sadness or anger. They are likely to suppress negative emotions and display characteristics such as avoiding conflict, become over compliant, overly nice and patient.

Read next an introduction to attachment theory.

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