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Korea: Blood Type and Personality

Researchers at Yonsei University’s graduate school announced that they just finished a research program on how personalities differ by blood type. Based on 50 research projects on the patterns of blood types by domestic and foreign scholars, they added scores if some reports show the same contents with generally known knowledge (or prejudice) in popular culture and they subtracted scores if others show the opposite contents.

Skillyou summarized it.

…논문에는 아주 경악할 만한 결과가 있습니다…바로…저주받은 B형이죠…사람들사이에는 B형이 성격 안좋다고 널리 알려져있습니다. 논문으로 쐐기를 박는군요.ㅎㅎ;
혈액형 내향성 논리성 안정성 리더쉽 사려성
A 14 10 10 -4 2
B -6 -7 -7 -1 -3
O -15 1 6 3 0
AB 5 -4 3 -7 0
A형은 내성적이지만 논리적으로 안정적이며 생각이 깊다…오…좋군요. O형은 외향적이고 안정적이며 리더쉽이 강하다! 지도자 타입이군요. AB형은 튀지않는 무난한 성격이군요.
B형을 봅시다. 내향성 -6, 논리성-7, 안정성 -7, 리더쉽-1, 사려성-3…
비논리적이고 불안정하며 리더쉽이 부족하고 생각이 짧다….ㅜㅜ

…There is an astounding result in the report. It’s the cursed blood type B. It has been widely known what a bad personality blood type B people have. And the paper showed that.
Blood Type Introversion Logic Stability Leadership Consideration
A 14 10 10 -4 2
B -6 -7 -7 -1 -3
O -15 1 6 3 0
AB 5 -4 3 -7 0
Blood type A is introverted, but they are reasonable, stable and thoughtful. Oh… it’s good. Blood type O is extroverted and stable, and has strong leadership. Blood type AB is nice and easygoing.
Let’s see blood type B. Internality -6, logicality -7, stability -7, leadership -1, consideration -3.
They’re illogical, unstable, and lack leadership and thought… ㅜㅜ

Not a few netizens like pk46 have criticized the obsession with this prejudice.

혈액형별로 성격을 분류하는 것은
한국과 일본에서만 유행하는 미신같은 겁니다.
그리고 재미삼아 얘기하는 거라면 모르지만
사람을 위축시키고 잘못 판단케 한다면 문제가 있지요.
실제로 서양사람들은 자기 혈액형을 모르는 경우가
대부분이고 입사서류 등 인적기록엔 아예 혈액형을
써 넣는 칸이 없습니다. 그리고 한국사람들이 혈액형으로
성격을 판단하는 것을 보면 신기해 합니다.
혈액형에 따라 성격이 결정된다는 가설에는 어떤 근거도
제시되지 못했습니다. 서양 학자들에게 물어보면
“그런 게 있나요? 라는 반응을 보일 겁니다.

Dividing personalities by blood types is like superstitions that are only popular in Korea and Japan.
It’s fine for fun, but it’s problematic if it makes people judge in wrong ways and lets people shrink.
As a matter of fact, westerners mostly don’t know what their blood types are and there is no blood type section to fill out on the resume. And they think it’s interesting to judge personalities by blood type.
There is nothing to prove that personalities are decided by blood type. If we will ask about this to foreign scholars, they will respond “Are there such kinds of things?”

Dcinside even assumes that the theory might be taken as wisdom in the future, even though he doesn’t believe it.

내가 만난 여자들 중 한 80%는 정말 혈액형 별로 성격이 구분된다고 믿는 것 같더라.물론 나는 당연히 개구라라고 생각하고 아직까지 혈액형에 관해서 찌라시 및 여성잡지를 본적도 없지만 5%정도의 확률로 내가 틀렸을 수도 있다고 생각한다….레이디경향이나 여성중앙 한권을 땅에 묻어놓고 수천년후에 누군가가 우연히 발굴하게 되면
“고대인의 지혜” 라면서 숭상하는 무리들이 생겨나고 나중엔 동의보감 수준의 권위를
인정받게 되는것도 가능하지 않을까?

About 80 percent of women whom I met believed that blood types decide personalities. Of course I think it doesn’t make sense at all and I have never seen female magazines or tabloids talking about this. I might be wrong by about 5 percent. It might have more authenticity than traditional Korean medicine….. Several thousand years after those women magazines are buried under the ground, someone could dig them out by chance and might worship it as ‘ancients’ wisdom.’ It could get prestige equal to Dong-eui-bo-gam (the most prestigious traditional Korean medical book).

There are even personal characteristics by your blood type and by which order you are born among your siblings. Here is the example of the first sibling’s personality by each blood type.

* 혈액형 & 형제.자매만 알면 성격이 보인다 *

A형_ 공상파 로맨티스트
예민한 성격의 당신은 작은 일에도 상처받기 쉽고, 필요 이상으로 민감한 반응을 보이는등 마음
대로 생각하고 해석하여 오해를 사기도 한다. 그러나 본심을 숨기고 상대를 배려하고 주변을 잘
살피므로 친절한 사람으로 보인다.
로맨틱한 분위기를 좋아하고, 현실을 잊고 공상의 세계에 빠지기도 하며, 의외로 완고한 완벽주의
자이기도 하다.

B형_ 인생을 즐기는, 꿈꾸는 낙천주의자
인생을 즐기기 위해서 산다는 낙천주의자. 실패도 웃어넘길 수 있는 사람이다.
로맨티스트이기도 한 당신은 현실과 약간 동떨어진 생각을 하기도 한다. 그러나 자유로운 생
활이 지나치면 생각지 않던 적을 만들 수도 있다. 또 될 때로 되라는 식의 성격은 고쳐야 한다.

너무 빨리 포기하는 것은 아닌지, 다시 한 번 생각해볼 것.

O형_리더십이 넘치는 자신감
행동력이 있는 당신은 리더십이 강한, 밝은 성격의 자신만만한 사람. 친절한 성격이라 곤란한
처지에 있는 사람을 그냥 지나치지 못한다. 인생을 드라마틱하게 연출하고 싶어 하기 때문에
주위에서는 다소 부담스러워하기도 한다. 평범함 속에 행복이 있다는 것을 잊지 말도록.
프라이드가 높고 타인에게 간섭받는 것을 싫어하기 때문에 자기 마음대로 살고 싶어 하지만
작은 일에 너무 신경 쓰지 않도록 주의하자.지나친 자신감은 나중에 독이 되기도 한다.

실패했을 때 자신감 때문에 심한 슬럼프에 빠질 수 있으니 조금은 여유를 두고, 나도 실패할
수 있다는 것을 염두에 두자.

AB형_끈기와 집중력으로 무슨 일이라도 해내는 사람
끈기와 집중력이 강해서 한번 정한 일은 끝까지 해내는 타입.
공동 작업이나 팀플레이로 해야 하는 과제가 주어졌을 때 재빨리 자신이 해야 할 일을 찾아 실
행에 옮기기 때문에 일이 순조롭게 풀리도록 뒷받침해주는 스타일이다. 정치나 환경 문제에 관심
이 많고 교양이 풍부하여 자신보다 다소 떨어지는 사람을 바보로 만들거나 그에게 고압적인 태도
를 보이기도 한다.
사람을 얕보는 것은 금물. 남의 가치관이나 살아가는 방식을 수용하여 존중하는 것이 중요한 교양
덕목 중 하나라는 것을 기억하자.

You can read another person’s personality through their blood type and sibling relations.

Blood Type A, the dreaming romantic
Sensitive person. You’re easy to be hurt from even a small matter and you are unnecessarily sensitive. You think in your way, interpret, and misunderstand. But hiding your own thought, you look like a nice person considering others and take care of your surroundings. You like the romantic mood, forget reality, and are indulged in fantastic world. Unexpectedly, you are a stubborn perfectionist…

Blood Type B, enjoyable optimist
Optimist who enjoys life. You can even laugh facing your failure. Having a romantic tendency, you sometimes have thoughts distant from reality. But if you enjoy liberal life way too much, you might make enemies unexpectedly. You should change your easy-to-give-up personality.
You should think over whether you give up way too fast…

Blood Type O, leadership filled with confidence
You have a bright personality and lead others well. Your kind personality doesn’t let you leave people in trouble. You want to make your life dramatic, so people around you might not be so comfortable. Don’t forget there is happiness in ordinary life. You are proud of yourself and don’t like other people’s interruption. You would like to live in your own way, but over-confidence might return to you as a poison. When you fail you will feel in a slump due to your confidence. Take it easy and don’t forget even you might fail.

Blood Type AB, consistency with your patience and concentration.
With your strong patience and concentration, you can do anything. You can back up to let work go smoothly and easily when you are involved with projects with others. Being interested in politics and environment, you are full of intelligence. You make others who don’t know as much as you do look foolish and show an authoritative attitude. Don’t look down on others. Remember you should respect others’ values and the ways they live.

There are more personalities by blood type and what order you’re born among your siblings in this blog.

Others comment “Please do this just for fun, not be like crazy religious believers” and “it’s like witch hunting for blood type B.” Do you believe this theory?

There is even a video clip showing how each blood type fights differently.


  • […] reading? I like this paper because it’s translated from Korean to English and it features some modern native beliefs […]

  • my2cents

    I’m not a big fan of blood type personality, but I do believe that they provide a very convenient way to classify people into largely four groups with very distinct traits. As a student studying psychology, it’s certainly unfair of a treatment to make sense of individuals this way (I mean, most likely these personality traits are in a continuum, and not in four discrete spheres that are fixed), but yet it’s entertaining to see ourselves in these ways, and most likely we’re operating on self-fulfilling terms when we unconsciously/consciously accept and endorse about our blood type personality.

  • tomboyz

    the blood types don’t necessary describe everyone b/c there are also subtle differences
    like in korea i know for a fact some are considered double A or Double B (and they believe that it makes a difference b/c blood types aren’t just A, B , O, AB…blood form in AO,BO,AA,BB,OO,AM but b/c o is recessive you are considered a or b blood type and koreans believe that it makes a difference in your character depending on that structure

    now i don’t 100% believe in blood types define who you are but there have been some interesting research to how blood types relate to your overall diet and how some foods are better for you then others based on your blood type

  • TP

    I am a type O and the personality description does not describe me very well. I like to be behind the scenes rather than at the front of everyone’s attention. Personality inventories based upon genetics just seems like another way we can discriminate against people. Great. :(

    •  Yeah, I’m O but A describes me much better. I don’t fit the O description at all.

  • AB

    i knew that my blood type was either A or AB, and by reading this, i can pretty much clearly see that im an AB, thanks for the this ^^

  • Pravz

    HaHa!!!!!! I don’t know y they call type B is cursed…..haha!!!!!!that sooo funny cause I’m type B…..I don’t think its a curse to be type B…….I just got to know blood types exist after watching the U-kiss Vampire thing……..It’s interesting that how they judge personalities by blood type(specially eastern)….but it’s always not the same for every1……people have different personalities whether they have type A or B or O…..

  • […] Global Voices in English » Korea: Blood Type and PersonalityIt's the cursed blood type B. It has been widely known what a bad personality blood type B people have. And the paper showed that. … […]

  • Tiffany

    Can you post a link to the blood type and birth order article(?) please? I went to the site linked but my Korean isn’t strong enough for me to navigate well enough to find it. Thanks~^^

  • Tiana

    This blood type superstition is just like the Western astrology. Some people just enjoy reading things that have to do with personality…. “Oh my Gosh, my horoscope says this and it was totally correct!” It’s all for fun, even if some people take it a bit seriously.
    Hey, I fit as an A type ;)

  • […] into his personality.  The belief is so pervasive that prestigious Yonsei University released a study purporting to quantify the effect exactly.  Turns out, we B-blood types are “illogical, […]

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