“These types of personality refer to how people respond to everyday situations, as well as extreme situations, translating into stress. However, these personality patterns type A, B and C are used to assign individuals with different ways of manifesting thoughts and behaviours.”
Personality and stress expression
Friedman and Rosenman, cardiologists, after investigating the relationship of different types of personalities and cardiovascular diseases, revealed a direct correlation in the coping of stress, personality type and disease.
They made different studies. In a first study they were able to differentiate the types of personalities of the patients, highlighting those who waited quietly and those who could not sit for a long time and manifested restless movements through the arms, hands and legs or feet. These results were not accepted in the beginning by the medical community; the change of said interpretation occurred after the results obtained in his formal investigation as explained below.
After this study, Friedman and Rosemann (1976) named a first behavior as Type A, and indicated that they had a higher risk of heart disease and corresponding high blood pressure compared to Type B,
Friedman and Rosenman conducted a longitudinal study to demonstrate the correlation between personality type and incidence in heart disease. It was published in the Western Collaborative Group Study, in which 3154 healthy men between 39 and 59 years were studied over eight and a half years.
They completed a questionnaire with questions developed by Friedman & Rosenman, such as:
- Do you feel guilty if you use your free time to relax?
- Do you need to win in enjoying games and sports?
- Do you move, walk and eat fast?
- Do you often try to do more than one thing at a time?
After obtaining the answers, they concluded and differentiated the types of behaviors exposed type A and B.
Both personality patterns were prone to develop coronary heart disease. But after differentiating certain habits such as smoking and certain types of life, it was possible to see how Type A personality people had practically the same portability to develop heart disease as Type B people.
After these data, and after eight years, the results obtained from the members in the study were that 257 of them had developed a coronary disease. The final result was decisive, since 70% of the men who had developed coronary heart disease were type A personalities.
How are the personalities type A, B and C?
After all this we can define the different types of personalities and traits that differentiate not only the behavior but also the repercussion of the anxiety in the organism.
Type A individuals tend to be very self-demanding, competitive and self-critical. They are great fighters, they are not patient, they try hard to achieve their goals, and once they are achieved they do not produce great satisfaction.
They tend to be ambitious, manifesting a great involvement above all at the work level. They tend to be impatient, which in the long term makes them unproductive, after this last they try even harder and this turns this pattern of behavior into a vicious circle, manifesting great demands and even being able to manifest itself in aggressiveness.
On the other hand, a longitudinal study conducted by Ragland and Brand (1988) also found that, as indicated by patients with Friedman’s Type A, they were more likely to suffer coronary heart disease.
People with Type B behavior patterns tend to be more emotional, patient and more reflective, manifesting lower levels of anxiety, greater creative aptitudes and imagination. They are not usually competitive.
On the other hand, patterns of Type C behavior do not usually express emotions easily, omitting feelings, especially negative ones, such as anger. They can be extremely friendly, to avoid conflicts, prevailing compliance with social rules and patience.
The incidence of coronary heart disease
The main problem with type A and type B is the diagnosis of coronary disease. Some investigations (for example, Johnston, 1993) have focused on hostility, arguing that the type of behavior is an important factor that leads to coronary heart disease.
The type C personality is characterized by people who tend to omit their feelings and repress their emotions instead of facing and looking for solutions. Manifesting greater susceptibility or behaviors or personalities associated with certain pathologies such as asthma, colds or cancer.
Dr. Gianaros, associate professor of Clinical and Biological and Health Psychology programs in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, investigates the mind-body connection and how psychological and social factors impact on a physical level. In 2017 in the journal the Biological Psychiatry magazine, published a study on the subject.
In his study he used a combination of psychophysiological methods combined with brain images to determine the neuronal correlations to cardiovascular stress reactions situations of stress, depression, anger, anger, etc.
In this study, Dr. Gianaros sought to analyze the neuronal responses caused by psychological stress and emotional regulation, and establish the possible relationship of preclinical atherosclerosis levels, heart attacks and cerebrovascular accidents are the effect of a progressive deterioration to blood vessels through the accumulation of plaque in arteries or atherosclerosis, which over time, reduces blood flow can cause serious problems such as stroke and death.
After these studies and other evidences, it is seen how the permanent negative emotions and the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases correlate positively, possibly by increasing the levels of inflammatory chemicals that originate in the organisms. Nowadays we continue with the research of the University of Pittsburgh, which studies the relationship of the specific neuronal circuits that underlie this development, as well as the regulation of negative emotions related to pathologies such as atherosclerosis and cardio-vascular diseases.
Dr. Gianaros believes that these findings show that the same areas of the brain used to regulate emotions also regulate inflammatory responses, resulting in greater brain activity and the regulation of emotions.
The vital attitude counts a lot
Optimism, laughter, full awareness and relaxation techniques and meditation, rich social connections and coping strategies can help reduce the risk of heart disease and other pathologies.
The daily practices of laughter, conscious meditation, equanimity and maintaining strong social connections can be part of a prevention strategy based on the brain and the body that will improve psychological and physical well-being in the long term.
It would be interesting to keep these studies not only in the behavioral pattern of type A, but also in B and C.