AS Psychology Personality Factors stress notes

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Personality Factors Notes

Type A behaviour - A personality can be described as having an extensively competitive drive, being impatient and hostile, expressing themselves with fast movements and rapid speech. A very `intense` person who is more likely to suffer with coronary heart disease than a Type B person.

Characteristics of Type A behaviour:

  • excessive competitive drive
  • impatient and hostile
  • fast movements
  • rapid spech 
  • more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease

Relationship between Type A behaviour and heart disease:

  • Compared to Type B's, Type A individuals respond more quickly and more strongly in stressful situations, both in their behaviour and in their physiological responses (increased heart rate and blood pressure)
  • As a result, they experience more wear and tear on their cardiovascular system, making them more susceptible to heart disease than those with Type B behaviour.

Evaluation of Type A personality concept:

1. Assessing with certainty that someone is a Type A or Type B is very difficult. Questionnaires and scales designed to do it often give conflicting results.

2. Type A is a collection of characteristics (or traits), and some traits are better predictors of CHD problems than others.

3. Ragland and Brand (1988) carried out a follow-up study of the Western Collaborative Group participants in 1982-3, 22 years after the start of the study. They found that 214 of the men had died of CHD. This study confirmed the importance of the CHD risk factors, but found little evidence of a relationship between Type A behaviours and morality, thus challenging the earlier conclusion that Type A personality was a significant risk factor for CHD mortality.

4. Williams et al. (2003) found that hostility and impatience were the aspects of Type A behaviour that were particularly unhealthy, putting individuals at increased risk of developing high blood pressure (a


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