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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1984 Jun;46(6):1328-34.

Challenge seeking and the type A coronary-prone behavior pattern.


The present investigation sought to further delineate the Type A coronary-prone behavior pattern and to elucidate the psychophysiological process through which this behavioral disposition is translated into heart disease. Type A and Type B male subjects engaged in tasks that required varying degrees of activity before an assessment of challenge-seeking tendencies. Type A participants sought greater degrees of challenge than did their Type B counterparts. In addition, the more active the person with Pattern A had been immediately before the challenge-seeking opportunity, the greater the degree of challenge sought. Precedent activity level did not significantly influence challenge seeking in the Type B population. The Type A subjects also had significantly faster heart rates during performance of a challenging task. Pattern A behavior may be translated into heart disease through the cumulative deleterious effects of chronic and excessive challenge-induced cardiovascular excitation.

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