Telic state and Type A behavior has each been associated with aspects of arousal thought to be related to heart disease and cardiovascular response. From Svebak's study, the hypothesis may be derived that telic state and Type A behavior, in combination, are related to blood pressure at rest, and to change in blood pressure from resting values whilst under stress. This chapter discusses a study to test this hypothesis in a representative sample of middle-aged men. Support is found for the hypothesis that the telic/Type A group would show a greater pressor response to stress with respect to diastolic pressure in the mental arithmetic condition. In the reaction time condition, greater elevation in diastolic pressure is shown for telic subjects, irrespective of Type A status. In showing associations of telic state and Type A behavior with blood pressure in a representative population sample, these findings are evidence of the relevance of reversal theory to cardiovascular response. © 1988, Elsevier Science & Technology. All rights reserved.
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