What is Type A personality like?

What is Type A personality like?

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There are different types of personalities marked by a stable behavior pattern with which the reactions and behaviors of people can be predicted to a greater or lesser extent. These behavior patterns are Type A, B, C or D personalities and are closely linked with the stress responses of each person and with certain associated health problems. Today, we talk about personality Type A and of the possible problems linked to this form of behavior.


  • 1 Type A personality and stress
  • 2 How are people with Type A personality?
  • 3 Possible risks associated with this type of personality

Type A personality and stress

In the 50s, cardiologists Friedman and Rosenman They were surprised to notice that the chairs in their waiting room had to be upholstered again much earlier than planned. When the upholstered hired man proceeded with his work, he informed the doctors that the chairs were worn in an exaggerated and unusual way: “There is something different about their patients. I never saw anyone wear chairs like that. ”

At that time and in a totally accidental way, the cardiologists realized that their patients did not sit quietly in the chairs while they waited for their turn, but used to rest on the edge of these, making constant nervous movements, which caused this wear . This detail remained an anecdote for doctors and was not taken into account until five years later when they proposed to investigate this type of behavior.

By studying healthy men between 35 and 59 years old for eight and a half years, the cardiologists found a clear pattern of behavior that they called Type A personality. This type of personality was associated with certain heart problems and a higher incidence of coronary heart disease.

How are people with Type A personality?

Type A personality is a stable behavior pattern characterized by a tendency to ambition, impatience, anxiety and a need for time control and urgency. People with this type of personality often experience great stress at work and seek success with tenacity. They are also characterized by great rigidity in their organization and low tolerance for ambivalence and uncertainty. Next, we show the most common characteristics in this type of behavior:


People with Type A personality are often competitive and self-critical. Achieving goals is paramount for them, although they do not do it with a sense of joy or well-being, but with a personal need to achieve success, sometimes obsessively. People with this type of personality are often commonly known as "workaholics" and tend to get bored easily in repetitive and uncompetitive environments.

Feeling impatient

The feeling of impatience It is also a characteristic of the type A personality pattern. By feeling so much need to achieve goals, and achieve more productivity, these people often take schedules and delivery dates very seriously, sometimes embarking on urgent projects, so the feeling "lack of time" can generate great anxiety and obsession with their control.


People with Type A personality are usually shown easily irritable. The feeling of impatience described above and the need to feel productive can fill them with hostility, especially with people who tend to do things more slowly or differently as they would, sometimes showing even little empathy with others. People with this pattern of behavior do not tolerate any minor incident that could put their plans or strategies at risk.

Possible risks associated with this type of personality

In their research, Friedman and Rosenman found that people with Type A personality were more than twice as likely to develop a coronary heart disease than those of Type B, a personality type less prone to stress. In fact, among all the people studied who developed a coronary disease over time, 70% had Type A personality.

In addition, this type of personality is associated with problems in personal relationships, since sometimes they can put their ambitions above relationships with others, in addition to not being tending towards relaxation and socialization.

These behaviors that describe Type A personality, are related to a high stress response and associated complications, such as hypertension, or heart problems. Other subsequent research has shown similar data, although not completely determinant, since some people follow different behavior patterns when the context changes from more to less stressful.

In addition, other factors such as lifestyle, habits such as tobacco or obesity, as well as how to cope with stress should always be taken into account.

Awareness of this problem as well as learning psychological tools to achieve relaxation is very important to reduce these harmful effects.

Links of interest

What is stress? // blog / what-is-the-stress /

Type A and B Personality. Saul McLeod. //

Understanding the 4 Personality Types: A, B, C, and D. //

Personality types A and B. //