The Differences in Type A & B Personalities

Your personality type can determine your work ethics.
Your personality type can determine your work ethics. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Created in the 1950s by Dr. Meyer Friedman and Dr. Ray Rosenman, was the theory about there being two personality types: A and B. In its time it was considered a highly controversial study. Since then these personality types have been used in relationship compatibility tests, management ability testing and even psychological treatment assessments.


Everyone deals with time, whether it's making it to an appointment, deadlines at work or the time you wake up in the morning. Although time impacts your life, the way you deal with it depends on your personality type. Personality A individuals are usually rushed for time. They find a sense of urgency to get things done and often create high stress levels to meet those time goals. A Personality B type individual is aware of time and deadlines -- however, they are more relaxed on how they go about reaching that goal and do not cause high stress in the process.

Achievement of Goals

Human beings are programmed to set and achieve goals. You typically will feel a sense of reward when you reach that goal, but the way in which you reach it or react to reaching it will also depend on your personality type. Personality A types will typically set more difficult goals and feel excitement upon reaching those goals, even with a high amount of stress added to the process. Even when a Personality A type reaches their goal, they find it difficult to stop and will continue to work past that goal. When an A type does not reach their goal they can sometimes feel devastated. A Personality B type will work hard to reach goals, but will not go above and beyond to reach it. If a goal is not achieved by a Personality B type they are not upset and they simply try to reach the goal in another way.


Everyone has a need for a little competition in their life -- it's a matter of how much competition and how it controls you also determines your type of personality. Personality B can be faced with a competition, for instance, but goes into it with the decision that win or lose, they will be okay. Many B types have no issues with backing down from a competition and do not let themselves feel defeated when they do lose. Personality A, on the other hand, is very competitive and thrives on competition. Often these types of individuals will even create competition in order to drive themselves toward further success. In the event an A type loses a competition they can take the loss very hard and failure is often not an option.

Stress, Health and Anxiety Levels

Competition and the rush for time to achieve goals can be valuable Type A traits -- but the process often causes a high amount of stress in these types of individuals. Since B personalities are more relaxed, they will typically have less stress or anxiety about their work, schooling or even daily lives. Personality B is more care-free and can focus on the quality of life, rather than what they do not have. Individuals with a type A personality are often hostile, aggressive and cause anxiety when they are struggling for control. Type A personalities can exhibit self-destructive behaviors such as smoking, alcohol abuse, use of stimulants, clenching of the jaw, teeth grinding and insomnia.

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