Type A and Type B Personality

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The type A and type B personality are two personality types which are used to classify individuals based on certain traits. This theory presents a distinct approach towards behavioral pattern.

Type A and Type B Personality Theory

This theory is quite well-known both in the medical community and pop culture. It was formulated by two cardiologists, Meyer Friedman and R. H. Rosenman, during the 1950s based on a research which was done to determine how different types of personalities can increase the risk of coronary disease. They came up with a theory where they classified people into three categories: Type A, Type B and Type AB personalities. Type A and B describe two unique sections of people who are polar opposite of each other in terms of attitude, thinking and understanding. Whereas type AB constitutes people who do not fall into both these categories.

Type A

According to this theory, people falling under the blanket term of this personality type have two major characteristics: time urgency and free-floating hostility. These people are go-getters who do not rest until they achieve their tasks. Usually, they take up more work than they can handle. They are driven by ambition and preoccupied by time management. Such individuals gain little or no joy after achieving their goals. They are in a constant race against time and quickly become impatient with delays, unproductive time and other inconveniences. It was also theorized that such individuals tend to lose their temper easily and harbor open or secret hostilities towards others. A good thing about these people is that they are achievers in everything that they get themselves into and have the ability to succeed even in ventures they know nothing about due to their competitiveness and challenging spirit. They are highly efficient, risk takers and have more persistent as well as practical approach to any problem.

Fields like business, entrepreneurship, management, etc. usually appeal to such personalities. However, keep in mind that certain jobs create more environmental stress which plays a major role in pushing these individuals towards achievement-driven thinking.

Type B

The type B personality people are quite the opposite of the type A personality individuals. These people are patient to a large extent, are easygoing and take things slowly and steadily. They do not believe in rushing into things, take time to think and ponder before acting and may also delay their work to the last minute. These people love to socialize and be in the company of both known and unknown people. They often manage to grab attention wherever they go, and seek comfort, more than success while working. They are also known to strike a balance between their professional and personal life. Known as the socializers, these individuals are predominantly ‘thinkers’ rather than ‘doers’. They are more in touch with their creative side and usually are not stressed by the lack of achievements.

You may find the type B personality in advertising, marketing, event planning, travel consulting and other creativity-oriented fields. However, these individuals are known to adapt themselves in any fields with considerable ease.

To sum it up, people falling under the type A are described as impulsive, workaholics, success-oriented, intelligent, practical, realistic and impatient. On the other hand, people falling under the type B are laid back, relaxed, creative, imaginative, artistic and friendly. They may take to deadlines in the very last minute, but not get stressed out even in such tense situations.

A few people may also fall under both categories, displaying characteristics of both these personality types. Knowing your personality type may be helpful in balancing out yourself and can act as the first step towards self-improvement.

Are You a Type A or B Personality?

Hard driving and competitive, or easy-going and laid back; which type are you? Why does it matter? Research in the 1950s (and through the 1970s) suggested that Type A personalities – hard-driving, competitive, status-conscious, and seemingly achievement-addicted – were more prone to coronary heart disease and heart attacks. Type Bs were apparently less likely to develop coronary disease.

This research seemed to support the common stereotype of the hard-driving business executive who rushes around, seemingly never having enough time in the day to get things done, working late hours, until he finally has a heart attack (the early studies were all done on men, by the way).

Subsequent research, however, questioned the original findings and suggested that only some elements associated more commonly with Type A personality, specifically hostility, aggression, and lack of positive emotional expressiveness, were associated with greater risk of heart attacks.

Reviewing some of the research on the Type A behavior pattern and combining it with what we know about management/leadership may lead to an answer. Perhaps it is the aggressive, irascible Type As that are coronary prone because they try to do everything themselves and become overloaded and overstressed? They are not good team players and rarely delegate work to others. The lack of emotional expression may suggest they hold everything in, and it is this combination, rather than the achievement-oriented part of the Type A personality, that leads to coronary disease.

Regardless of the connection to heart disease, there is a fundamental difference between Type As and Type Bs. Here are some adapted items from the interviews and questionnaires used to determine the Type A personality. Which are you?

(Affirmative responses suggest Type A personality)

• Are you pressed for time at and after work?

• Do you always take work home with you?

• Do you eat rapidly?

• Do you have a strong need to excel?

• Do you have trouble finding time to get your hair cut/styled?

• Do you feel or act impatient when you have to wait in line?

Hostility-related items:

• Do you get irritated easily?

• Are you bossy and domineering?

• When you were younger was your temper fiery and difficult to control?

On a more positive note, and not surprisingly, Type As do appear to be more successful in terms of work accomplishments, but Type Bs are better able to enjoy the moment (and there are plenty of successful Type Bs). In reality, however, the Type A-B personality is a normally-distributed continuum, with relatively few people being strongly driven and competitive (As) or totally laid back (Bs). Most of us are probably slightly on one side or the other of the A-B divide.

Type A and Type B

Type A personalities are typically defined as people who feel impatient and usually they are aggressive and tense, thus, they are constantly irritable. You will see these people of this type constantly on time for work and other schedules. Over achievement and competitiveness is actively promoted and they are usually under duress.

People with Type B personalities are typically laid back people and are generally lacking urgency and don’t really feel a need to hurry to do anything. They are generally nicer people and are less competitive. These are the people who are relaxed and take their time to stop and smell the roses.


Type A personalities often overstress their systems and bodies are prone to heart disease. Although, this is only a theory and is not scientifically proven, it is a factor.  Low self-esteem can arise from the failures of people with Type A personality and they cannot handle failure as well as Type B personality. Type B personalities generally take their failures with a grain of salt and slough it off as merely an unpleasant experience.

Advice for Type A

Having Type A personality can lead to loads of stress and one should educate themselves in how to properly handle the factors. If you have Type A personality, you should start by utilizing time management which will help reduce the impatience and urgency to do things at the last minute. This should give you more control over your time. Set reasonable goals and do not take on more than you can handle; most people with Type A personality can handle the rigid goals but find themselves enduring more stress than is needed. Exercise regularly to relieve some of the tension that results from the effects of this mindset.

Similarities and Differences

  • Type A and Type      B personalities can have benefits as well as negative effects on one’s      life. Type A personality is prone to strokes, depression, low self-esteem,      and inability to handle failure.
  • Type B      personality may find themselves unsatisfied with their achievements in      life in the long run because with low risk comes lower rewards.
  • Understanding      the hostility that goes along with a Type A personality is the first step      towards making changes to ease internal stress and stress inducers and to      making a conscious effort to find balance in everyday life.

Are certain personality types more prone to addiction?

Are certain personality types more prone to addictions?

Overcoming Stress

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your

hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard

your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 

Time Management

Ephesians 5:15-17 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Luke 14:28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

Ecclesiastes 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

James 4:13-17 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Psalm 39:4-5 O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!

Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.