Type A Personalities and Academic Achievements

Influence of Personality Types on Academic Achievement

A large body of academic work suggests that Type A personalities are more likely to express higher academic achievement. The personality type is usually defined by competitiveness, increased drive, impatience, and hardworking habits. As such, while these may be the contributing characteristics that allow Type A’s to be more advantageous within academic fields, it is integral to analyze the extent and a number of factors that correlate with academic achievements. It is essential to recognize the drawbacks certain individuals with Type A personalities may feel in academic spaces, which have been cited as depression, anxiety, and relationship issues (Strong, 2022). Similarly, another issue becomes prevalent, as the success of Type A individuals in academics may be related to their saturation in such fields and not their inherent superiority within the areas.

General Characteristics of Type A Personalities

Prior to ascribing certain characteristics as potential influences on academic achievement, it is vital to uncover the primary factors that formulate the Type A personality. A bibliometric analysis of 1288 papers has revealed a number of recurring features and key themes that relate to the psychological and behavioral indicators of Type A individuals in workplaces. Overall, categorical measurements provided that Type A individuals exhibited increased impatience, focus, and achievement orientation at the organizational, individual, and social levels (Chen et al., 2019). A higher correlation was observed between the organizational management issues, such as stress, and health issues in the forms of anxiety and depression among Type A individuals as well. Overall, the majority of works suggest that the saturation of Type A personalities in high-intensity workplaces and academic fields are higher. As such, the recurring characteristics that contribute to the completing higher workloads such as speed, longer work hours, and competitiveness that are typically found in Type A individuals are likely not only advantageous to academic work but also prevalent in related fields.

It is vital to consider the implications the Type A personality has in regard to health, both physical and psychological. Both decreased and increased health states are likely to indirectly but significantly influence the performance of an individual within their academic sphere. As such, it is important to consider the health concerns that Type A personalities may exhibit or be more vulnerable to. A study divided groups of men into three categories, ranging from those that manifested intense, driven, and achievement-oriented behaviors to those that held opposing traits. The identical sample sizes of 83 men each depicted contradicting results, with the more driven group presenting results of higher frequencies of serum cholesterol, arcus senilis, and coronary artery disease (Friedman & Rosenman, 1959). In fact, the study had assessed that individuals in the first group, those that share traits with Type, presented coronary artery disease seven times more frequently than men in the other groups. While the study does not conclude that the sacrifice of health for improved achievement in the workplace is a potential factor for the advantage of Type A personalities in such fields, there is a noticeable correlation between the behaviors and health concerns of such individuals.

Certain characteristics of Type A personalities can be drawn from existing literature, especially in regard to the relationship between professional improvement and health. Stress has an extensive history in regard to numerous health concerns, with coronary heart disease developments being especially major. Type A behavior pattern, or TABP, has been cited in connection with coronary artery disease for half of a decade but research in the 1990s suggested that additional negative emotional determinants were the source of related stress (Espnes et al., 301). Essentially, while Type A individuals may exhibit higher frequencies of illnesses, it is more likely due to underlying psychological factors. This is significant in understanding the relationship between these personality types and academic achievement, as the decrease in health and the seemingly correlated academic success may be due to unobserved causes.

General Predictors of Academic Performance

Academic performance offers a more diverse and individual determination of success than many other professional facets. However, through a more traditional lens that would be frequently implicated in the perception of a Type A personality, academic success can often relate to leadership, high-grade performance, and professional success. A study observed the relationship between engagement, psychological capital resources, and academic performance. Of the characteristics selected for the capital resources, resilience and efficacy are of special importance as they correlate with a number of Type A attributes. Two school samples indicated that higher ratings in engagement and psychological capital held a positive relationship with increased Grade Point Average scores (MartĂ­nez et al., 2019). The study emphasizes the importance of psychological predictors as more relevant measures of potential academic success than more traditional scales currently utilized.

Further studies implicated that motivation and traits that prioritized learning have become more significant in relation to academic performance. A majority of academic works have proven to a substantial margin that a variety of attributes that are prominent among Type A personalities do impact the higher success of students within academic settings. However, it is vital to analyze existing variables such as income level, years of study, methodology of attributing personality types, gender, sample size, and more (Nauzeer & Jaunky, 2021). All the aforementioned variables have been known to dictate not only the academic but even the professional success of individuals across all personality types. Barriers may be systematic, physical, or personal, but despite personality types, a significant portion of individuals may have not been exposed to academic facilities and therefore not included in the currently existing literature.

It is essential to observe characteristics that may occur not only among individuals with Type A personalities and their correlation with academic success. For instance, hope and optimism have often been cited to be as influential in academic performance as drive and a good work ethic but are not strictly Type A attributes. A recent study had suggested that hope had a greater influence on grade expectancy which directly impacted the prediction of final grades. Hope predicted increases in positive affect and life satisfaction throughout the semester (Rand et al., 2020). The current body of literature regarding academic performance does not significantly account for contributing variables, including personality variations and non-personality factors such as income, gender, and others. While Type A attributes present a higher propensity for academic achievements, this may still be an effect of the saturation of Type A personalities among academic fields.

Ethnic factors are often not observed when measuring academic success and personality factors but are likely to play a noticeable role in the outcome. A study observed students from Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, and Denmark and self-measurements of personality, competitiveness, motivation, and academic performance. The study found that extrinsic and intrinsic causes are likely to dictate the performance of students. As such, individuals with higher frequencies of traits such as agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness would correlate with levels of competitiveness, a primary Type A trait (Baumann & Harvey, 2018). As such, certain ethnic backgrounds were more likely to prioritize competition and positively associated with higher academic performance. This can suggest that ethnicity, potentially like other extrinsic factors, contributes to the development of Type A personalities and the pursuit of academic achievement.

Similarly, studies have observed that the complexity of personality is often substantially influential on academic performance. However, in a setting with both Type A and B personalities, a study observed that Type A personalities would present higher Grade Point Averages than Type B counterparts. Additionally, a divide existed between female and male Type B students, whereas Type A individuals of both genders performed similarly (Lateef et al., 2019). Stress, a health concern often cited to be prevalent among Type A personalities, has been frequently associated with decreased academic performance and even the risk of dropping out (Pascoe et al., 2019). As such, it may not be the extensive determination and time investment of Type A individuals that is the likely contributor to academic achievements. It is vital to acknowledge that the academic setting has been prone to change, and professional opportunities following studies have grown in importance. Certain studies suggest the existence of an entrepreneurial personality among young individuals. A study observed traits related to Type A behavior such as aggression, leadership, and eagerness in relation to entrepreneurship propensity in later adulthood. The results have depicted that increased leadership is likely to influence an individual’s later role and success as an entrepreneur (Viinikainen et al., 2017). Overall, these results suggest that Type A personalities hold a larger number of attributes that directly contribute to higher academic achievements.

Current literature suggests that there is an obvious correlation between the appearance of Type A personalities and higher academic achievement. However, modern research lacks the observation and implication of other contributing factors such as underlying emotional and psychological attributes and external characteristics such as ethnicity, gender, income, and others. Additionally, modern literature does not account for the potential of academic pursuits affecting health among Type A personalities, especially when ongoing research indicates a number of health detriments. Overall, future research must assess the influence of additional factors outside personality manifestations and the significance of personality attributes and health concerns.


Baumann, C., & Harvey, M. (2018). Competitiveness vis-Ă -vis motivation and personality as drivers of academic performance: introducing the MCP model. International Journal of Educational Management, 32(1), 185-202. Web.

Chen, H., Feng, Y., Li, S., Zhang, Y., & Yang, X. (2019). Biometric analysis of theme evolution and future research trends of the Type A personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 150, 1-11. Web.

Espnes, G. A., Moksnes, U. K., and Byrne, D. G. The Type A Behavior Pattern. In C. Cooper & J. C. Quick (Eds.), The handbook of stress and health: A guide to research and practice (pp. 299-311). Wiley. Web.

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Rand, K. L., Shanahan, M. L., Fischer, I. C., & Fortney, S. K. (2020). Hope and optimism as predictors of academic performance and subjective well-being in college students. Learning and Individual Differences, 81, 1-9. Web.

Strong, R. (2022, February 4). Why type A personalities are more successful in life but also some of the most stressed and depressed. Insider. Web.

Viinikainen, J., Heineck, G., Böckerman, P., Hintsanen, M., Raitakari, O., & Pehkonen, J. (2017). Born entrepreneurs? Adolescents’ personality characteristics and entrepreneurship in adulthood. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 8, 9-12. Web.

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1. ChalkyPapers. "Type A Personalities and Academic Achievements." April 15, 2023. https://chalkypapers.com/type-a-personalities-and-academic-achievements/.


ChalkyPapers. "Type A Personalities and Academic Achievements." April 15, 2023. https://chalkypapers.com/type-a-personalities-and-academic-achievements/.