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4) Type A Personality as a cause of Stress

There are two types of personality, Type A and Type B.

People with a Type A personality are often driven, ambitious, competitive, impatient, hostile and aggressive.

These characteristics can lead to stress due to an increase in stress hormones released. Also because they are so ambitious and confident, if they don’t feel their skills are being used fully they can become stressed.


Friedman and Rosenham (1960)

AIM – To classify 3000 men between 39 and 50 in personality types, and the effect this has on health

PROCEDURE – Carried out natural experiments and a structured interview to assess the personality of 3000 men between 39 and 59. The results would suggest which personality type the men were.

FINDINGS – 8 years later 12% of those with Type A personalities died from cardiovascular problems (twice as much as Type B). They also has higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

CONCLUSION – Type A personalities normally lead to poorer cardiovascular health


Ragland and Brown used the same participants 22 years on and found that the Type A personality was not the cause of the high CHD death rates, so the Type A personality isn’t a real risk factor.

Myrtek carried out a meta-analysis of 35 studies and found that only hostility, one component of Type A personality, caused CHD, none of the other component showed any link.


About Sam Cook

A blog set up to help A Level students revise Sociology


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