Tuesday, August 02, 2005

J. Research in Personality, 22, 252-253, (1988)

A-B PERSONALITY TYPE AND DOMINANCE: A Comment on Yarnold and Grimm


University of New South Wales, Australia

A recent paper in this journal (Yarnold & Grimm, 1986) has elaborated an earlier finding by the same authors (Yarnold, Mueser, & Grimm, 1985) to the effect that high scorers on A type personality as measured by the JAS (Jenkins. Zyzanski, & Rosenman, 1979) tend to be dominant. Before more papers on this theme appear, therefore, it seems useful to point out that this is a very low-level discovery (cf. Smedslund, 1978). The JAS contains many items similar to those that occur in ordinary dominance scales (e.g., the dominance scale of the Jackson, 1967, PRF). Furthermore, Ray and Bozek (1980) confirmed this feature of the composition of the JAS when they showed in a factor analysis that many items from the JAS loaded on the same factor as most of the items from the Jackson Dominance Scale. In other words, scores derived from the JAS predict dominance because they measure dominance -- albeit with a bit of noise from other sources thrown in.

One component of noise is the speed and impatience factor. It may be worth noting that the test manual of the JAS (Jenkins et al., 1979) shows that this factor does not predict coronary heart disease (CHD). Dominance alone, however, does (Ray, 1984b; Ray & Simons, 1982). Jenkins and Zyzanski (1982) have objected to this dissection of their JAS but their objections have been shown to be groundless (Ray, 1984a).


Jackson, D. N. (1967). Personality research form manual. New York: Research Psychologists Press.

Jenkins. C. D., & Zyzanski, S. J. (1982). The type A behavior pattern is alive and well when not dissected. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 55, 219-223.

Jenkins, C. D., Zyzanski, S. J., & Rosenman, R. H. (1979). Jenkins Activity Survey Form C. New York: Psychological Corp.

Ray, J.J. (1984a) Confusions in defining A-B personality type: A rejoinder to Jenkins & Zyzanski. British Journal of Medical Psychology 57, 385

Ray, J.J. (1984b) Authoritarianism, A-B personality and coronary heart disease: A correction. British Journal of Medical Psychology 57, 386.

Ray, J.J. & Bozek, R.S. (1980) Dissecting the A-B personality type. British Journal of Medical Psychology 53, 181-186.

Ray, J.J. & Simons, L. (1982) Is authoritarianism the main element of the coronary-prone personality? British J. Medical Psychology
55, 215-218.

Smedslund, J. (1978). Bandura's theory of self-efficacy: A set of common-sense theorems. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 19, 1-14.

Yarnold, P. R., & Grimm, L. G. (1986). Interpersonal dominance and coronary-prone behavior. Journal of Research in Personality, 20, 420-433.

Yarnold. P. R., Mueser, K. T., & Grimm, L. G. (1985). Interpersonal dominance of type A's in group discussions. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 94, 233-236.


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