Type A and Type B personality theory was devised by doctors Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman in the 1950s. They claimed that a certain type of people, “Type A”, were much more likely to get heart disease, because of their high stress lifestyle, than other people, “Type B”. However, A/B personality theory never became widely used in cardiology, the claim that A/B type predicts risk for heart disease is disputed, but the distinction between type A and type B has become a popular one in non academic terms. Generally, “Type A” and “Type B” personalities are labels under which people can be classified depending on their regular lifestyle and hence predicting the likelihood of being successful and ‘big’ in the long run. I, personally, do not believe in this theory but it would be wrong to not admit that the process of identifying personality types is fun.
Type A individuals tend to be very competitive and self-critical. They strive toward goals without feeling a sense of joy in their efforts or accomplishments.Interrelated with this is the presence of a significant life imbalance. This is characterized by a high work involvement. Type A individuals are easily ‘wound up’ and tend to overreact. They also tend to have high blood pressure (hypertension).
Type A personalities experience a constant sense of urgency: Type A people seem to be in a constant struggle against the clock. Often, they quickly become impatient with delays and unproductive time, schedule commitments too tightly, and try to do more than one thing at a time, such as reading while eating or watching television.
Type A individuals tend to be easily aroused to anger or hostility, which they may or may not express overtly. Such individuals tend to see the worse in others, displaying anger, envy and a lack of compassion. When this behavior is expressed overtly (i.e. physical behavior) it generally involves aggression and possible bullying (Forshaw, 2012). Hostility appears to be the main factor linked to heart disease and is a better predictor than the TAPB as a whole.
In simple words Type A people are more likely to be successful given their workaholic nature and the thirst for being occupied the whole time.
People with Type B personality tend to be more tolerant of others, are more relaxed than Type A individuals, more reflective, experience lower levels of anxiety and display higher level of imagination and creativity.
Type B individuals tend to accomplish one task at a time compared to being tightly stretched to get around things. They more expressive human beings, they have a good control over their emotions and they are able to channel their thoughts well in circumstances of urgency and/or physical/verbal conflicts.
Given their more ‘laid-back’ attitude, Type B people are less likely to succeed as they lack dedication. (Really? Is that what they have to say about people who are more ‘chilled’ than ‘no chill’. I think this is disappointing.)
So what personality type are you?
If by now you haven’t figured out what personality type are you, here’s a quick few questions you can ask yourself. If your answer is yes to any of them, then that’s a point to the Type A in you. Alternatively, I found this quiz online which seems accurate enough to give you a more logical idea of yourself.
- Do you feel guilty if you use spare time to relax?
- Do you need to win in order to derive enjoyment from games and sports?
- Do you generally move, walk and eat rapidly?
- Do you often try to do more than one thing at a time?