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Type A behavior and achievement motivation in women in teaching and medical sciences.

The aim of the present study was to investigate Type A behavior and achievement motivation in professional women. The sample consisted of 170 professionals involved in teaching and medical field. The sample of the professional women was classified in Type A and Type B personality on the basis of scores they obtained on the Anjum Khalique Type A Scale (Anjum & Khalique 1991). The Achievement-Oriented Attitude Scale (Ansari, 1979) was used to measure achievement motivation of Type A and Type B women. Result showed that Type A women obtained significantly high mean score on chievement as compared to type B professional women.

Keywords: Type A behavior, achievement motivation, teaching, medical careers, professional women


The Type A Behavior Pattern (TABP) was defined by two eminent cardiologists Friedman and Rosenman (1974) more than 30 ago. Since then a large number of studies have been conducted by psychologists, psychiatrists, behavioral scientists, health care professional, and management researchers to understand the dynamics of coronary prone Type A behavior (Jamal, 2005; Jamal & Baba, 1991; Kunnanatt, 2003; Matthews, 1988; Schaubroeck, Ganster, & Kemmerer, 1994). One important reason for this interest is that people showing this pattern are more likely to suffer Coronary Heart Disease (CHD; Matthews, 1982; Price, 1982; Rosenman, 1986). TABP includes three elements: (1) a strong competitive orientation, (2) impatience and exaggerated time urgency, and (3) high level of anger and hostility (Jenkins, 1976; Rosenman, 1991). It is a stable, enduring, hard driving life style associated with risk of CHD. Smith and Brehm (1981) found that Type A individuals want to do things perfectly. Several researchers believe that Type A behavior pattern involves a strong need for productivity, hard work, and the most challenging and stressful work conditions (Feather & Volkmer, 1988; Kirmeyer & Bigger, 1988; Matthews, 1982). Some researchers have described Type A behavior as an anxious engagement; A negatively charged involvement in work fuelled by need for approval (Hallsten, Josephson, & Torgen, 2005). Sturman (1999) described Type A behavior as extrinsically motivated behavior to attain approval from others. Contrary to Type A, individuals classified as Type B, exhibit different coping styles. They are easy going, relaxed, non-competitive, sociable, and can cope with the stress easily. They may be more intelligent, more ambitious, and steady; they are likely to outperform Type A individuals on tasks, which require slow, careful responses with more attention (Glass, 1983; Matthews, 1982).

Although Type A behavior initially a global construct, in recent years a great deal of research has been focused on its two principle dimensions: achievement striving and irritability/impatience (Barling & Charbonneau, 1992; Day & Jreige, 2002; Spence, Helmreich, & Pred, 1987).

Evidence for the achievement motivation among Type A individuals comes from a number of sources. Burnam, Pennebaker, and Glass (1983) asked college students to complete a series of arithmetic problems and were given either an explicit deadline or no deadline. It was found that Type A's atterhpted more problems than did Type B's when there was no deadline. The mention of a deadline, however, caused A and B types to perform at the same high level. These findings suggest that Type As, do not need a deadline to work at their maximum capacity. Several researchers have examined relationship between Type A behavior and achievement motivation. Glass (1983) found a weak but significant relationship between scores on Jenkins Activity Survey (Jenkins, Zyzanski, & Rosenman, 1979) and measure of achievement motivation. Matthews and Saal (1978) studied relationship between TABP and need for achievement. Results showed that subjects with high achievement motivation and little fear of failure were found to have extreme Type A scores on the Jenkins Activity Survey (Jenkins et al., 1979). Glass (1983) reported that Type A college students earned more honors than their Type B counter parts and that more Type As' than Type Bs' planned to attend graduate and professional schools. Moreover, a reliable relationship is found between pattern A and educational attainments, occupational, and socioeconomic status (Mettlin, 1976; Shekelle, Schoenberger, & Stamler, 1976; Waldrom, Zyzanski, Shekelle, Jenkins, & Tannenbaum, 1977). Ovcharchyn, Johnson, and Petzel (1980) found that Type A characteristics of incoming freshmen were significantly related to higher grade points in their first semester of college. Current credits hours taken and amount of responsibility outside of school were also significantly greater among Type A's. They were more likely to increase their workload both in and out of school, they did not report feeling any more pressure in their school work. Friedman and Rosenman (1974) claimed that superior achievement of Type A individuals is not the result of higher innate intelligence; It is primarily work habits and attitudes that distinguish them from Type Bs'.

The present study was undertaken to investigate Type A behavior and achievement motivation in professional women. The research hypothesized that Type A women will show significantly high need for achievement than Type B women, professionals.



The sample consisted of 170 professional women selected from two different occupations, namely, teaching and medicine profession. All these women are residing in Peshawar, the capital city of the Khyber-Pakhtoon Khuwa province, Pakistan.

Convenient sampling technique was used to select the professional women according to predetermined criteria. Demographic characteristics of the sample are shown in the Table 1. From the total sample, 54.1% were from women colleges and higher secondary schools while remaining 45.8% were selected from hospitals. The age range of the sample varied between 30 to 55 years, but majority of them fall in the 30-42 years


Anjum Khalique Type A Scale is an indigenous scale developed by Anjum and Khalique (1991) at the Department of Psychology, University of Karachi, Pakistan. The scale is designed to measure behavioral style of Type A people. The scale contains 12 pairs of statements, designed to assess competitiveness, time urgency, and aggressiveness/hostility. Each pair has one item characteristic of Type A people, whereas, the other item is characteristic of Type B people. The higher the score the more the subject has Type A personality. The maximum score on the scale is 12. The reliability of the test was determined using temporal stability and internal consistency methods. Temporal stability was assessed by administering the scale twice on 200 and 150 students with an interval of three and five months between two sessions. The correlations computed were .74 and .66. Internal consistency was determined using Kuder Richardson method (K-R formula 20) on the scores obtained by the same sample. The computed index of reliability was .81 and .73.

Achievement-Oriented Attitude Scale was developed by Ansari in 1979. He determined the internal consistency as well as the discriminatory power of the items. The intercorrelations of the items were positively correlated with each other except item number one. Consequently,, it was discarded. According to the author remaining nine items has satisfactory discriminatory power (Ansari, 1979). The scale is internally consistent, possesses a moderate degree of reliability, and can be used with confidence for measuring achievement oriented attitudes.


The researcher visited each institution and individually contacted the sample. A time schedule was followed to administer the scales. Scoring of the Anjusm Khalique Type A Scale and Achievement-Oriented Attitude Scale was done according to the standard scoring procedure given with the scale.


Table 2 shows reliability obtained by the internal consistency technique for the present study. The results reveal that alpha coefficient computed for the Achievement-Oriented Attitude Scale is .96 and for Anjum Khalique Type A Scale is .94 which are quite high. The validity of both scales was established. The correlations range from .61 to .94 for Achievement Oriented Attitude Scale and .80 to .92 for Anjum Khalique Type A Scale and are statistically significant (p < .01). These findings provide adequate evidence concerning validity of the scales.

The results shown in table 3 reveal that Type A women have scored significantly higher than Type B women on Achievement-Oriented Attitude Scale (Ansari, 1979). These findings suggest that

Type A women have higher achievement motivation as compared to Type B women.


The present study was designed to examine the Type A behavior and achievement motivation in professional women. The results show that there is a significant difference between Type A and Type B professional women in terms of achievement motivation. These results parallel those of previous findings, which demonstrated that Type A persons show a greater manifest orientation toward achievement motivation (Glass, 1977; Kriger, 1972; Rosenman, 1986). According to several studies (Barling & Charbonneau, 1992; Perez, Garcia, & Sanjuan, 1996; Spence et al., 1987) Type A individuals appear as more achievement striving than individuals not displaying typical Type A behavior patterns. Based on these findings Preckel, Von Kanel, Kudielka, and Fisher (2005) argue that the most likely explanation to why Type A individuals excel are to be found in theft over commitment, they try harder, hence maximize their chance for a successful outcome. Empirically, the achievement striving component of Type A behavior has been related to performance and high job satisfaction but no associations with health deterioration has been established (Day & Jreige, 2002; Mellan & Espnes, 2003; Spence et al.).

The Type A construct first defined by two cardiologists, Friedman and Rosenman (1959) described Type A individuals with a highly competitive drive for achievement and recognition, together with a tremendous sense of time urgency impatience and a tendency toward hostility and aggression. Numerous studies have reported its intense and competitive drive for achievement and advancement in Type A individuals (Burnam et al., 1975; Glass, 1977; Matthews & Saal, 1978; Mettlin, 1976). Greenglass (1990) studied Type A behavour and achievement motivation of female faculty member of a large Canadian University. The results revealed a significant relationship between Type A behavior and achievement motivation in these women. Spence et al. found that scores of Type A students on the achievement striving were significantly associated with grade point average. Helmreich, Spence, and Pred (1988) studied relationship between Type A pattern, achievement motivation, and scientific attainment among social psychologists. The data revealed that Type A scores were significantly correlated with their academic performance in terms of number of publications and citations.

Numerous studied have shown that Type A individuals consciously disregard their fatigue if it interferes with their achievement (Carver, Coleman, & Glass, 1976). VanEgeren (1979) examined the competitive aspect of achievement motivation of Type A people in two studies. He paired Type A and Type B male and female subjects in mixed motive games. The goal of such game for the subject is to gain as many points as possible by behaving in competitive manner with another person (via push-buttons). The results showed that Type A pairs gained significantly more points by behaving in competitive manner than Type B pairs.

Several studies reported that Type A people as compared to Type B, choose to work an problems of greater difficulty (Holmes, McGillym, & Houston, 1984; Ortega & Pipal, 1984). They set higher standards for themselves than Type B people (Grimm & Yarnald, 1984; OKeeffe & Smith, 1986), and report less satisfaction with a given level of performance (Ovcharchyn, Johson, & Petzel, 1980). The results of the present study demonstrate a marked difference in the achievement motivation of Type A and Type B professional women and support our research hypothesis.


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Received June 19, 2009

Revision received October 27, 2009

Nighat Shaheen

Jinnah College for Women

University of Peshawar

Peshawar, Pakistan

Farhana Jahangir

Frontier Women University Peshawar

Peshawar, Pakistan

Saima Andaleeb

Department of Psychology

University of Peshawar

Peshawar, Pakistan

Asad Bano

N.W.F.P. Public Service Commission

Peshawar, Pakistan

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Nighat Shaheen, Jinnah College for Women, University of Peshawar, Pakistan. e-mail:
Table 1
Demographic Characteristics of the Sample (N = 170)

Professions     Age Levels        Educational Levels

Teaching      30-42   43-55   BA/BSc   MA/MSc   MPhil/PhD
(n=92)         47      45     21       19          12

Medicine      30-42   43-55        MBBS           FRCS
(n=78)         34      44           66             12

Table 2
Reliability of the Instruments (N=170)

Instruments                            [alpha]

Achievement--Oriented Attitude Scale     .96
Anjum Khalique Type A Scale              .94

Table 3
Mean Difference between Type A and Type B Professional Women on
the Achievement-Oriented Attitude Scale (N = 170)

Personality type   n      M      SD    SEM      t

Type A             71   35.20   4.36   .52
                                             13.86 *
Type B             99   28.84   1.14   .11

* p <.0001
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Article Details
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Author:Shaheen, Nighat; Jahangir, Farhana; Andaleeb, Salma; Bano, Asad
Publication:Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 22, 2010
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