What Is The Type A Personality?

What is the definition of a Type A Personality that a Psychologist or the field of Psychology might give?

What is the type A personality, fundamentally?

Two personality types were developed by the psychological profession in order to define people's behaviors. Each of these two types has a set of criteria by which those who belong to one type or the other are discovered. These types are type A, the strict and rigid, perfectionistic type and type B, the relaxed individual's personality type. The type A personality is a very flat personality, very strict. Fundamentally this personality grows out of having had to earn acceptance rather than being bestowed with it unconditionally. This person as a child was probably given conditional love, had a role model who was raised on conditional love or both. There was a standard to be met and if it was met there was acceptance and reward; if the standard wasn't met then there was neither reward nor acceptance.

Let's look at type A people in more detail.

Type A folks have major issues around three key areas: time, money and dirt.

Type A's and Issues surrounding time.

Type A people have limitless problems with time. Type A's need to be on time, they need to avoid running out of time, they need to have a watch or clock handy so they can measure time, they invest time, measure the value of time spent and time left available. These folks have issues with deadlines, as they are restricting, yet they feel they must have them and they must be met. Time is a tool for measuring and a means of limiting, confining and defining. As such, time is important to someone who has always had to meet standards and deadlines for acceptance.

Issues with money.

Type A people have esteem issues, as they don't base their value on solid ground but rather on meeting standards. As such, rather than by their inherent value as people, they value themselves and what they do by money. What's it worth, what did it cost, how much do they earn, have and spend? They spend or give money as a way of showing love or affection. It is their empowerment and security. In relationships there is a medium of exchange and of acceptance with others and it is money.

Issues with dirt.

As the type A individual is perfectionist and of low self esteem they don't want to have any association with dirt. Getting dirty makes them feel cheap and worthless. They need neat surroundings.


Something like remission or over compensation can occur in which the type A personality may swing to the extreme opposite to cope. They may give away money to show they can, get dirty or do dirty jobs to confront their fears and may throw caution about time to the wind to set themselves free. Still you can see that they still are tied heavily to these issues.


Type A personalities may deny emotion or not know they have any. They may feel guilty for having or showing emotions as this would take them away from the source of real value for them which is to meet standards like a perfectly performing machine.

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