Type C Personality: Main Characteristics

· October 30, 2018

Type C personality or “cancer-prone personality” is characterized by two of its most consistent traits: the lack of expressing negative feelings and the need for harmony.

Demonstrating the influence of psychological aspects in the appearance and development of cancer has become really important nowadays. There are many studies related to stress and personality traits. Regarding the latter, Morris and Greer’s studies led to the first mentions of type C personality.

According to these authors, type C subjects can’t handle stress or anger adequately. In addition, they’re people who don’t express their negative emotions well (aggression, anger, rage, etc.). Also, psychologists have discovered that there are many more characteristics that complete the profile.

Type C personality compared to type B and type A personalities

People with type A personality are competitive. Their adaptability skills make them seem like aggressive individuals in their struggle for success. They often occupy positions of leadership.

In this regard, these people can’t stand being passive and fill their time with as many activities as possible. Friedman and Rosenman coined this term to refer to a personality type related to hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, and myocardial infarction.

On the other hand, people with type B personality are generally quite calm, confident, and open to emotions, including unpleasant ones. In general, this personality type is related to a better emotional balance, which is why many consider it the healthiest one.


Finally, type C personality is characterized by cooperative, complacent, conformist, perfectionist, and laborious behaviors. People with this personality avoid conflict at all costs and seek harmony. Also, they’re people who don’t let their guard down and don’t express negative emotions. They frequently use inhibition, denial, emotional repression, and self-aggression as coping mechanisms.

Type C personality is a set of attitudes and behaviors that manifest in stressful situations. In this sense, they manifest themselves as non-conformist attitudes and extreme cooperation. Also, people with this personality type are passive and don’t express negative emotions.

A man with type c personality.

What is the relationship between type C personality and cancer?

The interest in studying type C personality patterns has grown due to some cancer-related facts:

  • In 80% of cancer cases, there’s a link between consumption habits, like smoking or nutrition, to the appearance or development of the disease. For that matter, controlling risky habits and adopting healthier lifestyles could save many lives.
  • Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) studies have revealed the influence of stress and emotions on the prognosis of the disease. In addition, they can also predict the survival of cancer patients.
  • People with greater negative emotional inhibition are more predisposed to suffering from a type of neoplasia.

Therefore, psychological factors such as type C personality may have a direct or indirect influence on the development of cancer. So, identifying the personality traits of people with cancer can allow us to know and predict their coping strategies.

This provides a role for psychology in the identification of certain personality styles. With this, they can predict circumstances where these people can develop a self-sufficient behavior style. Consequently, patients can practice healthier behavior patterns, both physically and psychologically.

A sad woman with type c personality.

Furthermore, these discoveries can help us develop primary prevention strategies. They can decrease the risk of developing this disease in healthy people with type C personality and also help those who have already developed it and are in treatment.

At the same time, it’s important to recognize the work of psycho-oncology. Giving patients constant counseling will prevent confusion, lack of acceptance, and other psychological alterations that aren’t very beneficial for their recovery.