Although studies of Type A behavior ceased in the early 1990s because of failures to replicate its connections with heart disease, the Type A behavior pattern of speed, impatience, perfectionism, drivenness, and hostility may nevertheless be important in understanding individual differences in the subjective quality of life. The present study tested the hypothesis that Type A behavior undermines the enjoyment of leisure time and that this detrimental effect is mediated by savoring responses that hamper enjoyment. Confirming hypotheses, analysis of self-report survey data (N = 764) revealed that: (a) higher levels of Type A impatience in social situations predicted significantly less vacation enjoyment; (b) social impatience predicted significantly lower levels of memory building and counting blessings, and higher levels of kill-joy thinking, as savoring responses to vacation experiences, which in turn predicted less enjoyment; and (c) variations in these three savoring responses significantly mediated the link between Type A impatience and enjoyment, and together explained 85% of the total effect of impatience on vacation enjoyment. Furthermore, Type A impatience significantly predicted kill-joy thoughts about how one’s vacation could have been better, but not kill-joy thoughts about other things one should be doing instead of vacationing, suggesting that A-B differences in dampening savoring responses reflect differences in perfectionism rather than time urgency. Finally, temporal awareness moderated the detrimental impact of Type A impatience on enjoyment, by weakening the negative relationship between impatience and enjoyment. Clearly, Type A behavior has implications for understanding the quality, if not the quantity, of people’s lives.
© Smith, JL and Bryant, FB, 2013.