Type A? & PPS
William Carter & Eddie Bollenbach

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Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 12:36:28 -0700
From: "William Carter, Ph.D." <wc@CREATIVE.NET>

<<SNIP>> There seems to be a general misunderstanding of what this so-called "Type A Personality" is.

I'm sure equally compelling arguments for a singular PPS personality topology could be concocted from Enneagrams, Astrological signs, or Hippocrates' humors. But to be consistent with this theme, let's examine what qualifies for a "Type A personality".

The psychology department of the University of Alaska answers the question, 'What are the Central Components of the Type A personality?'

  1. Hostility

  2. Helplessness in Type A responses
      a) Desperate attempts to keep control
      b) When control is lost, give up totally

  3. Continual Emergency Reaction
      a) Increased heart rate
      b) Increased blood pressure

For the long list, refer to the following:

  1. Signs of personal tension

  2. Personal commitment to having, rather than being.

  3. Unawareness of the broader environment.

  4. Strong need to be an expert on a subject, otherwise lack of involvement.

  5. Compulsion to be with other type As.

  6. Speech characterized by explosive acceleration and accentuation of the last few words of a sentence.

  7. Chronic sense of being in a hurry.

  8. Polyphasic thoughts and actions.

  9. Impatience with normal pace of events.

  10. Doing everything rapidly.

  11. Feeling of guilt when relaxing

  12. Tendency to evaluate all activities in terms of measurable results.

  13. Belief that Type A attributes are what lead to success.

  14. Frequent knee-jiggling or finger tapping.

  15. Determination to win every game, even when playing with those that are less skilled or experienced.
NOTE: In 1987 Bruno & Frick conducted a study using a self-administered survey that was designed to ".. record demographic data, quantify "Type A" behavior, document psychophysiologic symptoms that are recognized as concomitants of chronic stress (including disturbed sleep), and identify the conditions that precipitated or exacerbated PPS."

They used modified scoring of a shortened version, [10 questions], of the original 65-question Jenkins Activity Survey, designed by Young & Barboriak [abstract] ".. in consultation with its authors.." because "..some of the post-polio respondents would not be able to complete all 10 questions.."

"Type A" was abandoned years ago as a valid category.

Stress and "Type A" Behavior as Precipitants of Post-Polio Sequelae: The Felician/Columbia Survey

Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 15:04:45 -0400
From: Eddie <edward.bollenbach@SNET.NET>

I just want to make two quick points about these discussions:

  1. Type A is behavior not a personality. It is Type A behavior that is measured.

  2. In the Columbia Felician survey Bruno et alia used a 10 question instrument to gauge type A behavior in Post-Polios and compared the number of points (10 points per question divided by the number of questions answered) earned by respondents.

From my memory the polio survivors averaged about 52 points. Earlier studies on normals showed a type A behavior quotient of 35 or so. I don't remember the number of polios questioned. I did the survey and came up 20 for myself. Some example questions were:

It's really important for you to get ahead (Y or N)..... and --- You set deadlines for yourself regularly (Y or N).

There is a longer instrument with many more questions but the short form was said to agree with the long form 86% of the time. I'm not sure if the survey was given to others without polio but with the same degree of pain or upset at new disability.

Eddie

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