What Is Your Personality Type? Type A, B, C or D?
What Does Your Personality Say About You?
When it comes to human beings and their personalities, there are a lot of key factors that come into play. A major factor in getting to know one's self is to know one's distinct personality type.
In this article, you will learn about the characteristic traits and pros and cons of each personality type, a brief history of the theory of personality types and information about a couple of the most popular personality tests out there.
Continue scrolling to learn more about who you are!
Type A/B Personality Quiz
If you're wondering if you have a Type A or Type B personality, take this personality Type A/B questionnaire—a modified version of the Jenkins Activity Survey.
Scoring values are 35–380. A low score indicates a Type B personality and a high score indicates a Type A. But if neither of those results feels quite right, you may be Type C or D.
Type A Characteristics
Type A individuals are multitasking, ambitious, proactive, organized and status-conscious individuals. They set strict deadlines and achieve those deadlines because of their inner driving force. However, they also take on more than they can handle and spend hours upon hours "working" to compensate for the added workload (some might label them "workaholics"). Time is of the utmost importance to type A individuals (remember the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland), and they hate delays of any kind, yet "I'm late, I'm late . . ." could practically be their catchphrase.
They are sympathetic, sensitive, truthful and always eager to help others. Type A people are friendly and caring, but they cannot sit for long periods of time and chit-chat about "nothing". Lazy days are not a favorite of the Type A personality, as they are very goal-driven and motivated individuals. Type A people are also easily frustrated with others, and they have a low tolerance for incompetence.
Pros and Cons of Being Type A
Type A People Tend to Stress More
In the 1950s, many doctors believed that people with Type A personalities were more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease (CHD). This theory was based on the idea that people with Type A personalities tend to have traits (anxiety, stress, aggression, etc.) that are risk factors for many illnesses.
Although the theory about CHD and Type A personalities has since been disproven—this article from the American Journal Of Public Health is just one example—stress is a legitimate concern for people with Type A personalities (remember our stressed bunny). According to an article from the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences,
The morbidity and mortality due to stress-related illness is alarming. Emotional stress is a major contributing factor to the six leading causes of death in the United States: cancer, coronary heart disease, accidental injuries, respiratory disorders, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.
So while the correlation between CHD and Type A personalities specifically isn't very strong, the correlation between CHD and stress is.
Learning to Slow Down Can Help Type A People Stay Healthy
If you do happen to be a Type A personality, learn to relax, slow down and introduce stress-relieving techniques to your days. Not only will you learn to "smell the roses" along the way, but you will also be doing your health a huge favor. Keep in mind that not everyone or everything has to be "just so."
Type B Characteristics
People with Type B traits are laid-back individuals. They have the ability to relax, enjoy small accomplishments and "stop to smell the roses" along the way. They are rarely stressed and hardly ever become aggressive or frustrated with people or projects.
They tend to be calm, patient individuals and are generally uncompetitive as they often take the "win some, lose some" approach. Although Type B personalities are still planners by nature, they rarely complain or stress about the outcome of those plans should they not turn out exactly as anticipated.
Pros and Cons of Being Type B
Type B People Are Usually Tolerant and Social
Type B personalities are also tolerant and flexible when it comes to work and life situations. They easily adapt to change and consequently can kick bad habits sooner than their Type A counterparts. Change is no big deal to a Type B personality—they see it as just part of life and are able to roll with the punches, so to speak.
People with Type B personalities are social by nature and enjoy being in large groups. They are often fun individuals and people generally love being in the company of Type B's because of this. They have the ability to express their feelings and are not outwardly judgmental when listening or speaking with someone with opposing viewpoints.
Type B People Tend to Procrastinate and Be Overly Indulgent
However, people with type B personalities are often procrastinators, as they enjoy life rather than constantly focusing on a goal or project. Oftentimes, Type B personalities are the last ones to complete their work or studies because of this troublesome trait. They are also often considered too relaxed and are sometimes criticized by family, friends, co-workers, etc. for their laid-back approach to life.
So Tell Me . . .
Are You A Type A or a Type B Personality?
Neither A nor B? Maybe You’re a C or D
Surely I'm kidding, right? There's no Type C or D personality . . . is there? In fact, my friend, there is! Though Types A and B seem to get the most recognition, as people are often easily categorized into these types, Types C and D do exist.
Type C and Type D personalities require more analysis and seem to be more emotionally driven, whereas Types A and B are driven by undeniable, easily recognizable, outward and consistent characteristics. For this reason, when people ask about your personality type, they are generally referring to Type A or Type B. But let's look at the typical characteristics of Type C and D personalities.
Most personality trait designations are oversimplified. In reality, people exist on a spectrum. These assessments are just designed to help you figure out what works and doesn’t work for you and your lifestyle.— Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain sciences at the UMass Amherst
What Is the Type C Personality?
Modern-day psychologists found the grouping of individuals to be a good indicator of one's complete personality. Therefore they have recently added a type C personality (and D—see below) to the ever-popular Type A and Type B personality subtypes.
Pros and Cons of Being Type C
Perfectionism and Deep Thinking Are Typical Type C Traits
To be brief, people with Type C personalities are perfectionists. They are consistent and will never break the rules. Unlike Type A's, Type C personalities tend to take their time with the details and often check and recheck their work for accuracy. Time management is not nearly as important to the Type C personality as it is to the Type A personality, however, the accuracy of the details is just as important (if not more so) as it is for the Type A personality.
Type C people tend to be deep thinkers and like to know every detail in regards to their work and life. They like to get to the bottom of things and are often asking "why" or "how" something works.
Type C People Are Seen as "Emotionally Repressed" and Meek
Type C people are considered emotionally repressed because they have a hard time sharing their emotions, feelings and/or needs with others. For this reason, they often come across as uncaring or have a similar "I don't care" attitude as that of Type B's.
The Type C personality is also very ho-hum and shows no assertiveness at all when it comes to standing up for what they believe in. For this reason, they often waver back and forth when making decisions (whether big or small). Natural people-pleasers, they like to avoid conflict and will often give in to avoid it regardless of their stance on any given issue.
After taking the quiz on Type A and Type B personality subtypes and reading a little information about the "new" Type C personality, do you still believe you are a Type A or B personality?
Type A, Type B or Type C?
What Is the Type D Personality?
The Type D personality is usually stressed, angry, worried, hostile and tense, all rolled into one. Not one for change, the Type D personality is seen as a creature of habit and prefers for their day-to-day surroundings to remain the same.
Common Challenges of Being Type D
Try introducing small changes to your routine and slowly working up from there.
Empty your mind of negative or anxiety-inducing thoughts by journaling or pouring your emotions into creative work.
Practice expressing yourself with your close friends until it starts to feel easier to open up to people.
Take one little risk each day (even something as small as trying a new flavor of ice cream) to help build your confidence.
Depression- and Worry-Prone
Increase your activities and exercise (even if that's the last thing you feel like doing) and try to reframe the way you think about and respond to potentially negative events in life.
Learn to accentuate the positive by writing down three good things about your day before you go to sleep each night.
Security and Routine Are Paramount for Type D People
In work and life, the Type D personality is constantly searching for security. If given job security, for example, the Type D personality will stay with a company for years to avoid change and enjoy his or her security there.
Type D People Are Compassionate, But They Struggle With Their Own Emotions
Type D people are often the ones who others turn to when looking for support. Compassionate individuals by nature, they tend to make some of the best friends and confidants.
They generally have a negative view of life and are always suppressing their emotions. Natural pessimists, they are always waiting for the worst to happen. With low self-esteem and a fear of rejection and/or not being liked, they tend to keep their emotions inside and are consequently highly susceptible to depression.
But if they are able to avoid the downfalls of their personality traits (e.g. depression and negativity), Type D people can be very happy individuals in their routine lives.
Now that you've read about all four personality types, you should have a better understanding of where you lie when it comes to your personality. So tell me . . . what is your personality type?
I'm Definitely Type
A Little History Behind Personality Types
The theory of personality Types A and B can be dated back to the 1950s. At that time, researchers believed that people with certain traits were at higher risk of developing certain sicknesses, illness, and/or diseases. Though this theory has since been disproven, some truth remains. The traits exhibited by certain personality types are, in fact, often stress related, and as we all know, stress is a large factor in one's health.
That said, nowadays the theory of personality is used more widely by psychologists, college professors and career centers. They are also used as employee screenings. In short, personality tests are no longer used as a diagnostic tool, but rather as a tool of understanding.
Other Personality Tests
Myers-Briggs Personality Test (MBTI)
An even more in-depth personality test known as the Myers-Briggs Personality Test has 16 categories. These categories are composed of four-letter combinations of the following four dichotomies:
- Extroversion (E) vs. Introversion (I)
- Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (I)
- Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
- Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
After you answer the questions on this test (usually quite a few questions), you are given a four-letter result and a set of percentages. For instance, my results are ISTJ, 89 % Introversion, 25% Sensing, 50% Thinking and 11% Judgmental. The in-depth meanings behind the letters and percentages will become clearer if you take the Myers-Briggs (or Briggs-Myers; the name is often interchanged) yourself.
With this quiz, you can get an even better understanding of who you are (e.g. are you an extrovert or an introvert?) and what drives you (assuming you're truthful). This test is often used in school career centers and psychology courses and is known as one of the best personality tests available.
Is the MBTI Free?
No. This test is usually not free, as many other personality quizzes and/or tests are. The pricing of this test ranges anywhere from $20.00–$90.00, depending on the depth of the test and how fast you want the results, and supplemental guides and more in-depth analyses can rack up a hefty fee on top of the initial cost.
Where Can I Take the MBTI?
You can take the quiz on the MBTI website. This paid option ($49.95 as of October 2018) requires less solo research, as you will receive a detailed explanation of your results.
If you don't want to pay for the MBTI, this free quiz is similar. It will give you your four-letter personality type, and from there you can do more research on the Internet to read about yourself.
You may also take the test with a counselor, therapist, coach, or other person who has been certified to administer the MBTI instrument. The benefit of taking the MBTI this way is that you will be able to discuss your results individually or in a group rather than having to rely on a computer-generated analysis.
How Common Is My MBTI Personality Type?
Frequency in Population
Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS)
While closely related to the Myers-Briggs test, there are several key differences. These tests differ in that:
- Keirsey grouped types based on temperament rather than "function attitudes."
- Keirsey places greater emphasis on the sensing/intuition dichotomy, whereas Myers focused on Jung's extraversion/introversion dichotomy.
- Keirsey focused primarily on behavior rather than how people think and feel.
What Are the Personality Types According to the KTS?
The Keirsey Temperament Sorter, like the MBTI, has sixteen types split into four groups. Below are the 16 types according to the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and their corresponding four-letter MBTI types.
Where Can I Take the KTS?
The KTS quiz on the official Keirsey site allows you to take the test and receive your basic results (i.e. which overall group you belong to) for free, but for a more detailed interpretation, you must purchase one of their packages.
The choice of which personality test(s) to take is yours, but no matter what you opt for, I hope you enjoy your self-exploratory searching.
Cunningham, L. (2012, December 14). Myers-Briggs: Does it pay to know your type? Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-leadership/myers-briggs-does-it-pay-to-know-your-type/2012/12/14/eaed51ae-3fcc-11e2-bca3-aadc9b7e29c5_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.84fd00098168
Holmes, L. (2018, July 20). Not A 'Type A' Or 'Type B' Person? Maybe You're 'C' Or 'D' Instead. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/signs-youre-a-type-c-or-a-type-d-personality_n_5b51f3e5e4b0de86f48c59f8
Keirsey Institute. Learn about the four temperaments. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://keirsey.com/temperament-overview/
MBTI Basics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/home.htm?bhcp=1
Psychologenie Staff. (2018, March 26). A Layman's Guide to Personality Types A, B, C, and D. Retrieved from https://psychologenie.com/personality-types-b-chttp://understandmyersbriggs.blogspot.com/p/description-of-8-letters.html
Petticrew, M. P., Lee, K., & McKee, M. (2012). Type A Behavior Pattern and Coronary Heart Disease: Philip Morris’s “Crown Jewel.” American Journal of Public Health, 102(11), 2018–2025. http://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2012.300816
Salleh, M. R. (2008). Life Event, Stress and Illness. The Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences : MJMS, 15(4), 9–18.
© 2012 Rebecca Fiskaali