Characteristics of Type A Personalities

Complete the self-assessment on p. 93 of the text and review the scoring key found on p. 115. This test is used as a general guide to assessing Type A personalities. It is in no way a valid psychological test. What are some of the characteristics of a Type A personality? How could having a Type A personality affect a person’s reaction to stress? What would you view as some advantages or disadvantages of a Type A personality?

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Well, first of all, I had 15 “Yes” and 9 “No” answers. I guess that puts me somewhere in the middle where I think most of us would fall. I lean more towards Type A of course. I do not believe that the nature vs. nurture debate is an either/or question. I think it could be a unique mixture of both at different levels for different people. For instance, I think that I was born a Type A personality but through social adjustment has softened the jagged ends of my personality, if you will. In fact, I would say that my mother would score overwhelmingly Type A on this test. She exhibits some of these habits in the extreme. I guess that I genetically inherited and/or learned this behavior from her. For instance, my mother and I both use our drive to accomplish goals in our lives but at the same time, our drive can become a negative attribute when we expect others to do the same. We both react to stress differently probably because I am more sanguine than her. She reacts to stress in a severely proactive manner. As she puts it, “When I am backed into a corner I come out fighting”. (an actual quote) I am more of a pragmatists always looking for the silver lining. As with any personality Type A comes with both negative and positives. I think the challenge lies in the balance, as it usually does. Every attribute of a personality can be a net positive but only if we are willing to moderate and understand the way that our personalities affect our behavior.

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Nevid, J.S., Rathus, S.A. (2005). Psychology and the challenges of life: Adjustment in the new millennium. Danvers, M.A.: Wiley.


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