Hard-driving and speed-impatience components of the type A behavior pattern as predictors of physiological arousal, subjective arousal and challenge seeking


Male and female subjects first worked on a cognitive task under conditions of either low or high challenge followed by a physical exercise task. Heart rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, subjective arousal, subjective fatigue, and preferred levels of challenge for subsequent tasks were assessed. The results indicated that subjects with high Hard-Driving scores reported lower subjective arousal while working on the cognitive tasks and preferred to work on more challenging cognitive and physical exercise tasks in a subsequent phase of the experiment. In contrast, subjects with high Hard-Driving scores, high Speed-Impatience scores, or high overall Type A scores did not evidence higher physiological arousal in response to either the cognitive or the physical exercise tasks. Utilization of the components of the Type A pattern yielded greater specificity of results and suggests that Type A's are at greater risk from coronary disease for reasons other than those that have been traditionally hypothesized. © 1987.

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Journal of Psychosomatic Research