Psychology Research on Type A & Type B Personalities

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  • 0:02 Personality
  • 1:05 Type A
  • 2:20 Type B
  • 3:30 The Deadly Trait
  • 4:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

What makes a person who they are? And can your personality affect your health? In this lesson, we'll examine two common personalities - type A and type B - and how they are linked with stress and with a person's health.


Annie is very driven. She's focused and ambitious and wants to be the best version of herself. She's also very organized and competitive! On the downside, she tends to be impatient and gets angry easily.

Barry is nothing like Annie. He's easy going and laid-back. He's creative, and his only ambition is to find more time to hang out at the beach and catch some waves.

How can two people be so different? Personality is who you are and what makes you unique. Annie and Barry, for example, have very different personalities!

Psychologists have been trying for a very long time to define personality and what the different personality types are. Unfortunately, there's not really a consensus. That is, there are many theories about different personality types. One common personality theory compares type A to type B personalities. Let's take a look at the differences in the two.

Type A

Remember Annie? She's ambitious and competitive and organized but also impatient.

Annie is a classic type A personality, which is often described as driven, focused, impatient, ambitious, organized, and competitive among other traits. Annie's name starts with an 'A,' so you can remember that she is the stereotypical type A personality.

Type A people tend to be really successful. Take Annie, for example. She's president of her student council and gets all A's in school. Everyone says that she'll be a big shot doctor or lawyer one day.

But type A personalities also experience higher stress levels than their peers. Because of that, they tend to have more stress-related health issues. For example, last year, Annie had an ulcer from all the stress of school.

In fact, type A personalities were first identified in a study that showed that type A people, like Annie, are more likely to have heart disease related to high levels of stress. So, Annie might end up really successful, but she also might end up in the hospital!

Type B

But let's not forget about Barry. Remember that he's the opposite of Annie. He might be disorganized, and he definitely doesn't get straight A's but he's laid-back and can enjoy games without having to win.

Barry is a type B personality, which is often described with traits like easy going, creative, not ambitious or competitive, and disorganized. Remember Barry's name, which starts with a 'B,' and you can remember that he's a stereotypical type B personality.

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