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Type A and Type B Behaviour

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

Type A and Type B behaviour is a theory of personality which describes two ends of a continuum of personality which is linked to stress levels. Individuals often have elements of both personalities.

This theory was developed from work by cardiologists Freidman and Rosenman (1959)

Type A behaviour is exhibited by being ambitious, organised, impatient, and like to be punctual. They can also be irritable. Type A personalities are hard workers and career orientated.

Type B behaviour is essentially the opposite from type A. Type B personalities are relaxed, not competitive and generally not as ambitious as their Type A peers.

Individuals with a type B personality are therefore less likely to experience high levels of stress and will generally score lower on stress levels measurement. This is because they experience none of the urgency and competitive pressure that someone who is Type A will feel.

This means that the stress response does not occur in the body. As a consequence of this, it is argued that Type B personalities are less likely to suffer from stress related illness such as heart disease and illnesses resulting from a depleted immune system response.

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