• Type D personality;
  • Cold pressor task;
  • Impedance cardiography;
  • Blood pressure;
  • Heart rate;
  • Autonomic nervous system;
  • Cardiovascular reactivity


Mechanisms relating Type D personality to poor health are largely unknown, with autonomic nervous system function being a candidate. This study examined the physiologic response to cold stress. Undergraduates (N = 101, 84% female) underwent a cold pressor test. An electrocardiogram, impedance cardiogram, and blood pressure were recorded. Type D personality was assessed by self-report questionnaire. Type D was associated with increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure reactivity. Exploratory analyses showed Type D men to respond with increased respiratory sinus arrhythmia (i.e., higher parasympathetic activity), and decreased pre-ejection period (i.e., larger sympathetic activity), while Type D women showed a reciprocal response pattern. In conclusion, Type D personality was associated with an exaggerated hemodynamic response to cold stress, which may contribute to an increased risk of hypertension in Type D individuals.