Type A Personality vs Type B Personality

Type A Personality vs Type B Personality

Type A and Type B personalities represent two contrasting personalities of human behaviour. Type A personalities are characterized by their competitiveness, ambition, impatience, sense of time urgency and propensity for multitasking. The personality Type A, tends to be highly organized, driven, and goal-oriented. Type B personalities, on the other hand, are generally easygoing, relaxed, patient, and less stressed. They are content, operating at a slower, less intense pace. 

However, there is controversy around categorizing people into "types." There are positives and negatives associated with both personality types. Type A and Type B personalities have their strengths and weaknesses depending on circumstances.

Related: Type C Personality

Type A personalities vs Type B personalities: Empirical Research

Friedman and Rosenman conducted a longitudinal study to test their hypothesis that Type A personalities could predict incidents of heart disease. They followed a group of healthy men for eight and a half years, assessing their personalities through questionnaires and interviews. According to the research results, Type A personalities were nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease as Type B personalities, even after considering factors such as smoking and lifestyle.

However, later research has questioned these findings and suggested that specific aspects of Type A personality behaviour, such as hostility, may be more closely linked to heart disease than the overall Type A personality. On the other hand, some studies have found no significant difference between Type A personalities and Type B personalities individuals regarding heart disease risk among women. This emphasized the need for further research and a more in-depth understanding of personality and health.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About the Type A and Type B Personalities Now

Type A personalities vs Type B personalities: Theoretical Evaluation


The Type A personalities/Type B personalities personality framework has been critiqued for being too simplistic in capturing human behaviour and failing to account for nuances within each category. Depending on the situation, some individuals may exhibit traits from both types, making it challenging to claim which Type is superior for success and wellness. Instead, scholars have proposed that other factors like coping mechanisms and hostility levels may be more impactful indicators of health outcomes than rigid classification as Type A or Type B personalities.

A more nuanced model may be needed to precisely forecast health consequences and comprehend personality's effect on a person's life. The contrast overlooks that:

  • People operate on a spectrum rather than falling into two extreme groups.
  • Situational and cultural influences also shape behaviours.
  • Unique strengths and weaknesses exist within each Type.
  • Individual traits matter more than broad personality types.

It is important to note that there is a need for extensive research that moves beyond binary labels. A refined approach accounting for grey areas, blending traits and specific characteristics may yield clearer insights into human diversity and what drives health, performance and happiness.

Related: Personality and Career Interests: Everything You Need to Know

Type A personalities vs Type B personalities: Differences.

type a vs type b personalities

1. Drive

Type A personalities are driven to achieve goals and work hard for success, recognition, and promotion. They often derive self-worth from accomplishments. Type B personalities are less motivated by external rewards and work more for intrinsic enjoyment.

2. Pace

Type A personalities operate rapidly, desire immediate results, and minimize idle time. They prioritize efficiency. Type B personalities work at a steady, relaxed tempo and aren't as concerned about maximizing output or minimizing delays.

3. Competitiveness

Type A personalities are very competitive and seek faster results and higher performance than others. Type B personalities are less ambitious and focused on "beating" other people.

4. Interaction style

Type A personalities interrupt others, speak rapidly, and become easily annoyed during interactions. Type B personalities are more easygoing and patient communicators.

5. Stress response

Type A personalities become frustrated, impatient, and emotionally reactive when under pressure or facing delays. Type B personalities remain calmer and are less stressed by hassles and obstacles.

6. Multitasking

Type A personalities prefer a fast-paced routine full of tasks and activities. They juggle many responsibilities at once and often strive for peak efficiency. Type B personalities prefer a less hurried, more concentrated work style and don't seek to multitask as much.

Related: Type D Personality

7. Deadlines

Type A personalities find it difficult to relax without firm deadlines and pressure from others. They thrive in high-pressure situations with tight deadlines. Type B personalities prefer a more flexible deadline structure and are comfortable operating without external pressure.

8. Leisure

Type A personalities tend to have difficulties relaxing and disconnecting from work. Leisure activities often feel like another "to do." Type B personalities generally enjoy leisure time for its own sake and compartmentalize work and non-work spheres.

9. Self-identity

For Type, A personalities, work and productivity are closely tied to self-worth and identity. Type B personalities see work as simply one part of who they are and don't derive as much meaning from achieving high performance.

Related: Why Your Personality Matters When you Choose a Career Path

Type A personalities vs Type B personalities: Frequently asked questions

Research indicates that Type A personalities may be at increased risk for health problems linked to stress due to several factors. Their inclination towards impatience, irascibility and taking on more tasks than reasonable can make Type A personalities more prone to feeling overburdened and overwhelmed. Over time, this persistent stress response may contribute to developing medical issues like hypertension, heart conditions and anxiety disorders. Both personality types have strengths and weaknesses that can be more or less suited to certain situations and life stages. Some of the most common questions around which Type include:

Q: Is Type A personalities or Type B personalities better for success?

A: While Type A personalities tend to be more driven, ambitious and motivated to achieve, Type B personalities can also be successful depending on their definitions of success. Type A personalities may have an advantage in careers requiring constant urgency, competitiveness and multitasking. But for less intense roles that value creativity, collaboration and balance, Type B personalities can also thrive. Success depends more on skills, abilities and fit within a role than personality Type A.

Q: Is Type A personalities or B healthier?

A: Studies have shown that Type A personalities may be more prone to stress-related health issues because they tend to be impatient and irritable. Their competitive drive and high standards often leave them feeling overextended and overwhelmed, which can contribute to conditions like high blood pressure, cardiac issues and anxiety disorders over the long term. However, Type B personalities individuals who lack discipline and prioritize leisure over self-care can also face health issues. Healthiest personalities exhibit traits that allow for balance, limit-setting and adequate downtime.

Q: Which personality type is happier?

A: Happiness comes down more to an individual's ability to manage stress, cultivate social connections and find fulfilment in activities versus their personality type. Type A and Type B personalities are capable of experiencing high or low levels of happiness depending on various factors such as resilience and self-esteem.

In summary, while research points to differences in health, performance and interpersonal styles between Type A and B personalities, neither Type should be considered inherently "better." The most important factors for well-being, success and happiness cut across personality types and relate more to balance, self-awareness and to cultivate positive mindsets.


In conclusion, determining which personality type is better, Type A personalities or Type B personalities, depends on individual circumstances and personal preferences. Type A personalities individuals may thrive in high-pressure environments and excel in their careers, but their high-stress levels and aggressive behaviour patterns can lead to potential health issues. On the contrary, Type B personalities may experience less stress daily due to their easygoing nature. However, their lack of a strong internal drive could mean they are not as motivated to accomplish major ambitions and achieve significant milestones at the same rate as Type A personalities.

By recognizing and accepting the positive and negative aspects of Type A and Type B personalities, individuals can devise strategies that play to their strengths while minimizing potential pitfalls that could impact their health, happiness and overall quality of life.

Nadezhda Maisvoreva
This article was written by Nadezhda a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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