Difference between Type A and Type B Personalities

The idea to divide people into two types of personality – “Type A” and “Type B” emerged in the 1950s as a result of a heart disease studies conducted in The United States. After studies were done, and Type A and Type B personalities were defined, the distinction between the two types of personalities grew to be a popular distinction applicable to any person. We will discuss the differences between the two types of personalities further in this article.


Type A Personalities vs Type B Personalities
A humorous sketch illustrating the difference between the two types of personalities

An individual belongs to Type A personality if he is driven by ambition and characterized by the manner of doing everything fast and in efficient way.  The Type A individual is easily agitated, and as such he can be aggressive and even bring harm to the people around him, should they stand in his way for achieving a goal. The goal-achievement is in fact the sole purpose of the individual of a Type A personality. Type A persons are often workaholics and show some symptoms of obsessive compulsive personality disorder, such as a need to keep everything under their control, perfectionism and irritability.

A person is put in the category of Type B personality if he is laid-back, easy-going and enjoying what life brings him. A person with a Type B personality enjoys good company and is often a nice person to be around in society. He keeps a lot of people around and is usually very active on social networks, such as Facebook or Twitter. As far as job and career are concerned, Type B personalities do not invest much effort and time in pursuing higher goals. They are often unreliable and can easily miss a deadline. Needless to say, their career prospects are not very bright; but it doesn’t make Type B people feel bad.

Comparison chart

Type A Personalities Type B Personalities
Usually very successful Do not want much success
Less sociable More sociable
Participate in games in order to win; goal-oriented Participate in games to enjoy the process; team-players
Highly competitive Less competitive
Don’t care about other people and their opinions Care about other people as well as about their opinions

Type A Personalities vs Type B Personalities

What is the difference between Type A Personalities and Type B Personalities?

  • A person with a Type A personality usually succeeds in what he is doing. Type A persons often become top executives, Olympic champions and prominent politicians. It is not that a Type B person wouldn’t enjoy success. On the contrary, they enjoy almost anything, and success would surely bring more pleasures to enjoy, but they prefer to feel the moment and not to rush for things that need to be done in order to reach success.
  • Type A personalities are concentrated and focused on the current task list, which is a part of the plan to reach higher goals. That makes their social life very limited. A Type A personality would only go out if the party or a business meeting promises prospects for him personally. On the other hand, a person with a Type B personality enjoys parties and goes to the meetings to be in  good company. They wouldn’t mind the opportunities, but this is the good time-spending they value most.
  • A person of Type A loves games because they provide the opportunity to win. It doesn’t really matter what kind of game they play, the prize and the place on top is the goal. For a Type B personality games are also enjoyable, but as long they are team games, giving a chance to interact and enjoy the company of other team-players.
  • A Type A person is a highly competitive individual. The adrenaline levels of aType A personality are higher than those of Type B. That was in fact one of the reasons why Type A personalities initially were claimed to be prone to heart attacks. Though this theory proved wrong, the distinction is still there. Type A loves racing, competition for a partner and “climbing to the top,” both literally and figuratively. A type B person, on the other hand, would rather let someone else win, if someone else so desires. A competition is too stressful an engagement for a Type B personality to get involved with.
  • A Type A personality shares some traits with people with obsessive compulsive personality disorder. Being perfectionists and self-sufficient idealists, Type A persons can’t care less about what other people think of them and their achievements. Type B personalities are concerned with other people’s opinions. They would consider dropping the task, if their partner thinks the task is unachievable. A psychological balance and a good mood are more important for them. Type B personalities make much better family members than Type A personalities.


In this video you can see an analysis that reveals differences between Type A Personalities and Type B Personalities: