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?

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.


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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