Personality Factors and Stress


  • Type A  describes someone who wants to achiece more and more in les and less time... three major characteristics:
  • 1) competitiveness and achievement striving
  • 2) Impatience and time urgency
  • 3) Hostility and aggressiveness
  • These would lead to raised blood pressure and raised stress hormones
  • Type B describes someone lacking these characteristics, being patient, relaxed and easy-going
  • Believed to decrease an individuals risk of stress-related illness.
  • Research On Type A Behaviour
  • 3000 men 39-59 in california were exmined for signs of CHD and thei personalities were assessed by interview.
  • It included questions about how they responded to everyday pressures e.g. asked how they would cope for having to wait in a long queue
  • Trying to elicit type A behaviour... interviewer may speak slowly and hesitantly for Type A to interrupt
  • After 81/2 years, twice as many Type A had a heart attack, compared to 6% of Type B.
  • Type A also had higher bllod pressure and cholestrol


  • Research support for the Type A/CHD link
  • follow-up study of Western Collaborative Group participants in 1982-3, 22 years after the start
  • 214 of men had died from CHD
  • Study confirmed the importance of the CHD risk factors but found little evidence of a relationship between Type A behaviours and mortality, challening the earlier conclusion that Type A behaviour was a significant risk factor for CHD mortality.


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