Does it mean "a believer in perfectionism"?

"If you’re too much of a type A, you need to leaven that a little bit,” Obama said. “Being a little forgiving of yourself, knowing that nothing’s going to be perfect,” will ultimately allow you to get more accomplished, he said.

Source: CNBC

  • It's news to me, but apparently Blood type personality testing is commonly done to determine the characteristics of a person. And according to that link, Famous people with AB are Barack Obama, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Chan, and John F. Kennedy. And A personalities are careful decision makers, and they take their time before they can settle on any decision. Sounds about as meaningful as astrology to me - but if Obama believes it, I guess it must be true. Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 14:49
  • As far as I know, blood type as a window to personality is widely accepted in Japan (or at least as widely accepted as horoscope signs are in the west) but not much known in the US outside of references in Japanese media. Commented Dec 18, 2020 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


This is referring to a "Type A personality", which in turn comes from a rather simplistic theory of personality.

In general, "type A" personalities are extroverted, ambitious, proactive, organized, impatient, pushy, and aware of social status, while "type B" personalities are typically introverted, relaxed, creative types who don't care so much about whether they're achieving great things or being seen as important by others.

Type A personalities, based on the theory, tend to be perfectionists and get upset when things don't turn out exactly right.

The whole Type A/B theory has been largely discredited in scientific usage but it still hangs around in the general populace's memory. Realistically, personality is much too complicated to be boiled down to a simple binary.

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