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Berserker's avatar

Is alpha/omega/everything in between real in humans?

Asked by Berserker (33454points) September 3rd, 2012

A lot of pack animals have leaders called the alpha male or female. Like for wolves, you have the alpha male who gets first dibs on food and mating partners. Apparently, this works for humans too, at least on a societal basis, carried by mankind’s need for maintenance. It seems that dominance and power can take many forms in order to maintain the human race, whether it’s from some dude in a bar sleeping with all the girls, or someone who owns a computer company. Question is, is there truly some order like this which dictates natural selection? seems kind of unfair and sexist, but who am I to argue science lol
I found this online which seems to describe all the ’‘classes’’. Most of the replies to the finding say that this sort of study lacks proof and credibility due to the studies themselves being rather inconclusive when it comes to actually proving anything. But it sure does exist in some animals. Is this true for people too? How legitimate is this thing I found? Women also belong to the same classes, and how exactly does this work out? I can find plenty of stuff about this regarding men, but very little for women. So, is all this true or not? What do you think/know?

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7 Answers

ninja_man's avatar

The thing to remember here is the flexibility involved. An animal that is acting as ‘Alpha’ is constantly competing with every male or female that is close. They can be supplanted at any time. For instance, the nerd in high school might end up starting the next Microsoft. Bottom to top.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t know about women. I’m the alpha male in my family. Not that I like it, but no one else wants the job. It sucks sometimes. I want to curl up in a ball in the corner sometimes. And yes it exists in animals. We had up to 80 dairy cows, and yeah, they had a pecking order.

wundayatta's avatar

There are many typologies of humankind. We see people here often talk about the Myers-Briggs personality types.

As far as I know, the Myers-Briggs are most well-studied. They have tests to determine your type and these tests seem to to work fairly consistently. As to whether the results are useful for much of anything, I don’t know. Supposedly it can help people understand how they relate to others and to do a better job of it.

I don’t know if there are tests for the alpha-omega dominance typologies. If you can’t accurately identify these types of people, then it’s hard to argue it’s a real thing. Also, you have the gender differences, which complicate things.

Is it true? Well, it’s true that some people think this stuff is important. I don’t know if it’s actually true that people can be sorted in this way in an objective manner.

If you want to use it as a metaphor for personality types, you probably could. It wouldn’t do much harm. If you want to use it as a way to find a man to mate with, I think you could do better on your own. You probably know who you want, anyway. Though you may not know exactly where that person is.

ucme's avatar

Might be, i’m not telling.

nebule's avatar

Well, I’m definitely ‘gamma’ ... but I think that the important thing to remember is that whilst we might naturally fall into one category, we are not fixed in that category and can move about…if you really want to! I’m currently writing an essay on personality traits and it’s a very complex area indeed. There needs to be a mix of quantitative and qualitative research into this area and rigorous analysis of ‘old’ personality tests, which were at times just built on ridiculous, meaningless questions… but they do seem to work better nowadays…

Berserker's avatar

From what I’m getting, it would appear that if this is real, people must fluctuate in between all classes, or some perhaps more than others. The thing about this with animals is rather straightforward, from what we know, and it dictates who dominates. But with people, as mentioned, someone who might belong to the lower classes can become the head of some company, and therefore, have power which may be a significant influence in their society. Which kind of contradicts the entire idea, if our ’‘classes’’ are similar to what it’s like for animals.

nebule's avatar

I think the difference between us and animals is that we make meaning out of life and experiences, so we interpret our interactions and act upon them in a more advanced fashion. The language we use of course also contributes. The subject is so complex though… there are all sorts of factors that go into how we act/ personality type at any one point in time; biological, emotional, social, cognitive, historical, cultural…

Whilst people might be considered to be relatively stable in a personality type I am sure there are research studies out there of people that have dramatically changed in character. I know of one prisoner that my tutor worked with who entered prison in his mid teens and ten years later doesn’t even consider himself to be the same person. He just simply cannot accept that the man he was is still part of him this is not a psychiatric disorder either he has genuinely ‘changed’. So I think it depends..we have the fluidity to change but perhaps most of us don’t question ourselves enough. Furthermore, we live in a world where these type of psychometric tests tell us that is how the world works… the knowledge we have and accept is reliant upon science and we all too often accept that as given truth.

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