Formal speech stylistics and type A behavior in 38 subjects during nonstress interviews

Psychother Psychosom. 1981;36(2):86-91. doi: 10.1159/000287530.


Open-ended interviews of 90 min length of 38 patients were analyzed with respect to speech stylistics, shown by Schucker and Jacobs to differentiate individuals with type A personality features from those with type B. In our patients, Type A/B had been assessed by the Bortner Personality Inventory. The stylistics studied were: repeated words swallowed words, interruptions, simultaneous speech, silence latency (between question and answer) (SL), speed of speech, uneven speed of speech (USS), explosive words (PW), uneven speech volume (USV), and speech volume. Correlations between both raters for all speech categories were high. Positive correlations between extent of type A and SL (r = 0.33; p = 0.022), USS (r = 0.51; p = 0.002), PW (r = 0.46; p = 0.003) and USV (r = 0.39; p = 0.012) were found. Our results indicate that the speech in nonstress open-ended interviews of type A individuals tends to show a higher emotional tension (positive correlations for USS PW and USV) and is more controlled in conversation (positive correlation for SL).

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Coronary Disease / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Claudication / complications
  • Intermittent Claudication / psychology*
  • Personality*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology*
  • Speech*