Type A/B Personalities


The personality of the worker has often been used to explain on-the-job stress levels. Type A personalities, usually assessed using inventories such as the Jenkins Activity Survey (Jenkins, Zyzanski, & Rosenman, 1979), are typically characterized as hard-driving, ambitious, competitive, and over-involved in their jobs and life endeavors; their Type B counterparts are usually described conversely. Based on these characteristics, the Type A personality should experience greater levels of stress and burnout on the job than do the Type Bs. Though Type A personalities, particularly those scoring high on the competitiveness factor, have been significantly linked to coronary problems, the actual link between personality and stress and burnout as assessed by measures such as the TSI and MBI has yet to be adequately researched.