Striving For Success is a Double-edged Sword - TestYourself.psychtests.com Releases Results of Their Research on Type A Personalities
TestYourself releases results from their study on people with Type A personality traits, and reveals the downside of striving for success.
MONTREAL, CANADA (MARKETWIRE) -- May 19, 2011
TestYourself.psychtests.com, one of the web's foremost sources of personality, career, and IQ assessments, unveils some interesting results of their popular Type A Personality Test. Their study results indicate that some people who strive for glory may end up sacrificing their peace of mind, physical health, and sense of satisfaction with life in general.
Raise your hand if you've ever been told the following words of wisdom growing up, or at least some variation of them: "Success takes hard work - nothing is handed to you on a silver platter", "If you don't work hard and get good grades, you'll never amount to anything", "If you're not walking around with a destination in mind, you're wasting time", "Once I have my career and make my money, then I will relax and enjoy life" (this last one is something you may say to yourself after working overtime for the umpteenth time and blowing off your friends/family again). So what have these words of wisdom generated? Some very hard-working, high-achieving people who refuse to stop and smell the proverbial roses, and whose only time for relaxation is when they end up in hospital bed wondering why they feel so tired and stressed, and why their blood pressure is so high. These are what psychologists call "Type A Personalities".
People with a Type A Personality are characterized by two main traits: strong Achievement Striving (made up of competitiveness, perfectionism, and drive), and strong Impatience/Irritability (made up of hostility, time urgency, tough-mindedness, and reward orientation). While Achievement Striving can be productive and is conducive to success, it can be taken to an extreme (case in point: overachievers and workaholics). The Impatience/Irritability side of Type A people is often the most damaging; there is a constant need to get things done NOW, the inability to trust, depend on, or open up to others, and the intense desire to get more and more money, status, and power.
TestYourself collected data for their Type A Personality Test from a sample of over 7,500 people. Their analysis reveals a number of interesting differences in the traits that characterize Type A Personality. Gender comparisons indicate that while women have a greater sense of time urgency, men tend to be more competitive and tough-minded (rigid in thought and conduct; uncomfortable with expression of emotion), and motivated by external incentives like money and status.
Age comparisons reveal that the scores for competitiveness, hostility, tough-mindedness, reward orientation, perfectionism, achievement striving, and impatience/irritability tend to peak between the ages of 25-29, and then drop steadily.
Achievement in school revealed that top achievers scored highest on competitiveness, drive, and achievement striving, while below average students scored highest on hostility, tough-mindedness, and impatience/irritability. Interestingly, students with top grades and those with below average grades had almost identical scores on time urgency and perfectionism. Those with good grades (above average, but not in the top 5%) were the least likely to use or need rewards as a source of motivation.
"Success can come at a price," explains Dr. Jerabek, president of the company. "Type As can achieve great things if they channel their achievement orientation in a healthy way. The problem is, Type As spend so much time and energy on achieving one success after another that they don't actually have the time to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Not to mention the fact that personality-wise, they can often be seen as abrasive, impatient, and self-absorbed."
And if the world needed additional proof that more money doesn't necessarily make a person happy, TestYourself's data reveals that individuals in the highest salary bracket ($100, 000 or more) scored higher than the other income groups on all the traits related to Type A personality. Workaholics, not surprisingly, scored higher than non-workaholics on the Type A traits. However, when it comes to work satisfaction and performance, those who are not satisfied with their job and those whose performance has been rated poorly scored the highest on hostility, time urgency, tough-mindedness, reward orientation, perfectionism, and impatience/irritability. Remarkably, those who love their job and perform well and those who hate their job and perform poorly are equally competitive and driven - the difference between these two groups and their success orientation however, may be found in their definition of success and its implications.
"While the majority of our sample scored in the mid-range on the Type A traits, we can say with certainty that at least 8% of our population show strong signs of Type A Personality. This is not an issue to be taken lightly. For Type As, their lives become a vicious cycle of wanting more and more in so little time that they either lose their friends and family or their health - or both. Type A personalities don't know how to relax and enjoy life … they will even manage to turn the little time they do take off into a conquest. They hit the ground running - unfortunately, they just never slow down."
Those who wish to take the Type A Personality Test can go to: http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/2141
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