+
4 Tutorials that teach Type A and Type B Personalities
Take your pick:
Type A and Type B Personalities

Type A and Type B Personalities

Description:

This lesson will compare and contrast Type A personality traits and Type B personality traits.

(more)
See More
Try a College Course Free

Sophia’s self-paced online courses are a great way to save time and money as you earn credits eligible for transfer to over 2,000 colleges and universities.*

Begin Free Trial
No credit card required

25 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

221 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 20 of Sophia’s online courses. More than 2,000 colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.

Tutorial


What's Covered

This lesson is going to cover the type theory of personality by examining:

  1. Type A and Type B Personalities
  2. Criticism

1. Type A and Type B Personalities

Personality type theories try to put people into sort of fixed categories that are based on aspects of personality that group together. This particular theory of Type A and Type B personalities was first developed in the 1950s. Surprisingly, this theory was not developed by a psychologists but rather two cardiologists, Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman.

Friedman and Rosenman were looking at what types of people were at higher risk of developing heart disease and having heart attacks. They came up with were two categories: those which are the types of people that were at high risk of developing heart disease, and those who are at low risk.

  • Terms to Know
    Type A
  • Group of individuals who are driven, responsible, competitive, timely, ambitious, tough, and hostile if their goals are blocked; run a high risk developing cardiovascular disease.
  • Type B
  • Group of individuals who are relaxed, resilient, adapt well to new situations, and do things at their own speed; run a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Friedman and Rosenman identified the characteristic and patterns of behavior for each type. Type A personality is:

  • Very competitive
  • Driven to try to achieve things they want to succeed in
  • Generally have a sense of urgency and impatience
  • Proactive, as opposed to being reactive
  • Tends to multitask and take on more tasks than they might be able to do
  • They are highly organized and efficient with time management

Research shows that oftentimes the driving force behind these Type A personalities is a sort of anger or hostility, which isn't necessarily directed at anyone or anything, but it helps to motivate them to achieve. However, this sort of anger or hostility can also lead to hypertension and high blood pressure, that can lead to an increased risk of heart disease due to the stress that's being caused by this.

Type A personalities were twice as likely to develop heart diseases and to have heart attacks. A lot of Type A personalities need to learn strategies to deal with stress to help out with these physiological issues.

Type B personality is the exact opposite of a Type A. Type B personalities tend to be:

  • Very patient, easygoing, and relaxed
  • Very calm
  • Tend to be apathetic or unmotivated
  • They're very unorganized

2. Criticism

It's important to realize that the descriptions here of Type A and Type B are extreme types of personalities. They're on the far end of the spectrum. Ideally, a person could use a little bit of both: a drive to achieve, but not be stressed out.

There is a lot of criticism about type theories like Type A and Type B personality theory. One is that the categories tend to be overly simplistic. It's trying to put people into one category or the other, when sometimes the traits that are being talked about don't necessarily fit into either one of them. Other variables could also have an effect on these sorts of things.

Example A person's diet might affect the way that they behave.

Another criticism is that these type personalities don't necessarily distinguish between fixed sorts of personality and variable or situational. A person could be a Type A personality in one situation and a Type B personality in the other.

ExampleThe type of job an individual has might influence them and make them feel very stressed out in trying to achieve or get things done. In general life, however, they might be a very relaxed person.


Summary

Two cardiologists, Mayer Friedman and Ray Rosenman, developed the theory after looking at what personality traits lead people to be at risk for heart disease. Type A personalities have a strong drive to achieve coupled with anxiety, while Type B personalities tend to be more relaxed but apathetic. Therefore, Type A personalities are more prone to heart Attacks, but for this theory to say that it is too simplistic. However, there has been a lot of criticism about this theory as it does not take other factors that can affect personality into account, and doesn’t address people who may be a different type depending on a situation.

Good luck!

Source: This work is adapted from Sophia Author Erick Taggart

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Type A

    Group of individuals who are driven, responsible, competitive, timely, ambitious, tough, and hostile if their goals are blocked; run a high risk developing cardiovascular disease.

  • Type B

    Group of individuals who are relaxed, resilient, adapt well to new situations, and do things at their own speed; run a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.