Type A Personality

One of the most popular Typology in personality is Type A and Type B personality developed by Friedman and Rosenman in 1974. Two psychologists began the study of personality typology to check whether or not personality types were related to the risks of heart diseases. In this article, we will discuss the characteristics of one of the types of personality, Type A.

Type A and Type B, differences

Major symptoms of Type A behavior

According to the 1996 book, Type A Behavior: Its Diagnosis and Treatment, Friedman illustrates three major symptoms that shows the presence of Type A behavior.

  • Free floating hostility – triggered by even minute incidents.
  • Impatience and Time Urgency – causes irritation and exasperation. Individuals with such personality trait are often described as being “short-fused”.
  • Competitive Drive – achievement driven mentality, also causes stress.

First of the three major symptoms is believed to be covert and therefore less observable, while the other two are more overt.


  • They are high achievers. Multi-tasking comes naturally to them and they mostly perform beyond par.
  • Accepting failure is not their strong suit. In their mind, rest of the world fails, they don’t.
  • They just cannot stay relaxed, which in turn makes them quite edgy.
  • They are self-driven, and highly driven at that. This also results in high stress levels.
  • They have high competitive drive. They constantly need to be competing. That means, whenever they don’t have a competition, they simply create one.
  • Their high achievement is largely influenced by their need to chase and achieve higher goals. Even when those goals are attained, they fail to stay at bay, and they are constantly on the pursuit of new goals.
  • They are obsessed with time management, and continuously push themselves with deadlines. They enjoy the feeling of being in a race against time, so, they work their butts off to exhaustion.


Researchers have found people with Type A personality traits to have higher risk of coronary heart diseases. Research suggested that Type A behaviors lead to more stressful life, which increases blood pressure. Thus, coronary heart diseases and similar stress-related diseases are found to be common among people with Type A personality.

Another study carried out by Ragland and Brand (1988) reported that Type A people who survived the coronary events died at a much lower rate when compared to Type B people.