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There is one hierachy greater than Alpha
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Macro
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Post: #31
RE: There is one hierachy greater than Alpha
05-05-2022 8:55 AM

What's the difference between a sigma and an omega?

Googling seems to come up with a very similar definition to what I see above as "sigma":
"A confident and capable male that doesn't seek approval or abide by social hierarchy. He sets his own goals, and defines his own success."

Seems to me that the fundamental difference between Omega/Sigma and Alpha is that the latter seeks to lead others, whereas the former doesn't.

Also, I expect part of this conversation is corrupted by the false definition of Alpha which has taken over discussions of the topic. ie a definition more closely resembling a bully or tyrant than that of a leader. Whereas the originator of the term, Frans de Waal, saw alphas (in chimpanzee troops) as highly empathetic types playing mediator, enforcing peace and teamwork - not the often depicted overly violent tyrant. He saw that it was actually alliances and teamwork that brought about long standing leaders (alongside, of course, the threat of violence).

In relation to the above definition, an omega/sigma may have all these qualities but simply not wish to participate in society (not be led or lead). Then in my mind the alpha is always greater than the omega/sigma:

1. Because it is the nature of adults, grown ups, men to take responsibility over their society - parenthood is a microcosm of this. It is the nature of a child to not take responsibility over anything and nature of a immature adult to take responsibility over only himself.
2. Because taking responsibility only over yourself is a selfish, and hence unwise trait - our happiness is fundamentally derived from the well being of others (eg friends and family).
3. Because the group is more powerful than the individual. Even the many example of "individuals" who produced vast change or success did so because they were able to lead.

Sigma seems to be something lonely males / men without strong social circles or community / not leaders call themselves to feel better about their position in the world. This may not be a bad thing if it helps them push forward and accomplish their goals.
05-05-2022 8:55 AM
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metaltree
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Post: #32
RE: There is one hierachy greater than Alpha
05-05-2022 11:49 PM

(05-05-2022 8:55 AM)Macro Wrote:  What's the difference between a sigma and an omega?

From my understanding of this model, the sigma is not on the social hierarchy but the omega is on the lowest rung of the social hierarchy.

This article describes the brain structures involved in a person's role in the social hierarchy.
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10....2015.00154

Quote:In a group setting, individuals' perceptions of their own level of dominance or of the dominance level of others, and the ability to adequately control their behavior based on these perceptions are crucial for living within a social environment.

Within a group setting, I believe an omega will subconsciously perceive himself/herself as low ranked and will exhibit unconscious behaviors that reflect that perception.

Within a group setting, I believe a "sigma" (if sigmas even exist at all) would not feel these perceptions that normal humans feel. They would not exhibit subconscious behaviors that dominate others and they would not be affected by subconscious perceptions based on the behaviors of dominant people in that environment.

The whole alpha, beta, omega, sigma thing is amusing and interesting but who knows if this model actually works nicely with thee neural mechanisms of social dominance?
05-05-2022 11:49 PM
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Marcus Antonius
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Post: #33
RE: There is one hierachy greater than Alpha
05-06-2022 2:44 AM

According to Robert Sapolsky (to drop another behavioral biology superhero name after Frans de Waal) one difference in humans to other mammals is that we belong to multiple social structures/hierarchies, and that we can to a certain degree decide which hierarchy is important for us. He gives the example of a guy who has a low-ranking daytime job, but is the captain of his sport team or a respected and adored musician. The perception of the importance or unimportance of a individual hierarchy is than a key modulator for the stress response due to a subordinate position.

In general it seems important if you choose to be in a situation or not. Take the example of a solitary man in a crowd where he is completely unknown and there is a stressful competition for 'resources'. This generic description fits to a civil war refugee in a refugee camp as well as for a man going clubbing in dance clubs on his own. And in the same time they can't be more different. The first one would see it as extremely stressful, because it is unvolontary and a negative stress (distress). The second situation is for me extremely joyful. I'm also kind of stressed, but it's positive eustess, or excitement. To make it more complicated, for a different person even the dance club situation can be distressing.

So at the end it might be this dichotomy: how someone perceives the lack of dominance. If the the lack of dominance is perceived as unvolontary and distressful and the subject is suffering from the situation, than it's an omega position. If possible the subject would seek to
improve the situation by gaining some degree of dominance.

If on the other hand the subject is enjoying the situation, is positively exited, sees the reduced social supervision as benefit, is free of fear and so on, than on his/her perception he/she is outside of this local and temporary social network, which can than described as sigma position. In this situation the subject is satisfied with the situation and doesn't work on a more dominating status.

And yes, this is just a model...

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(This post was last modified: 05-06-2022 2:55 AM by Marcus Antonius.)
05-06-2022 2:44 AM
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Post: #34
RE: There is one hierachy greater than Alpha
05-06-2022 5:45 AM

So from the both of you I'm getting a sense that omega is essentially am extreme beta. A beta comfortably accepts a follower role, but an omega takes the follower role in much more stressed/insecure mentality.

Happy to use that definition to differentiate with sigma.

Nonetheless, I still feel a sigma male is not something to be admired. In some sense they might be described as Nietzsche's ubermensch in their individualism and to not be influenced by the needs/values/traditions of society at large. But Alpha can have these same values except then choose to take responsibility and lead to accomplish a goal they have set themselves. Similarly a beta can have the same mentality but choose to follow in order to best accomplish a greater goal they have in mind (again, admirable). Whereas as a sigma does not take part in these hierarchies and so is destined to accomplish nothing except some hedonistic pleasures possibly (but even then it is simply not possible to operate in modern society without taking part in these hierarchies) - I'm struggling to see the value in such a person.

Somewhat reminds me of the ultimate Buddha- completely disengaged with the rest of world - it is not a realistic way to live life or be happy.

It
05-06-2022 5:45 AM
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Marcus Antonius
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Post: #35
RE: There is one hierachy greater than Alpha
05-06-2022 10:00 AM

I agree, a lot is about labeling. In here - and also by myself - the label 'beta' is used in the PUA lingo as something bad or weak. But actually the beta of a pack is the second strongest, still very up in the peck order.
If you are on a beta position of an international cooperation you are the COO while the alpha would be the CEO.

Second thought, if a human is part of different, often completely disjunct societies (workplace, family, sports team, religious group / church, circle of friends etc.) one can be on different levels. So for example, while I'm tightly connected in all the social structures mentioned above, where I take my role and the burden and the benefit of society, I volonterily impersonate the 'lone wolf' role for clubbing and gaming once in a while. And I'm surely not the only one. I read in the club/bar/mall reports quite often that the reporting forum members are on their own. Mostly you don't take your family/work team/gang to a 'pick-up' situation. What you can then display is actually not your leadership, but that you are comfortable to be on your own, which is a strength by itself.

So actually you can have both aspects, be part of social structures for 95% of your time, but beak-out of these social bounds from time to time.

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05-06-2022 10:00 AM
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metaltree
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Post: #36
RE: There is one hierachy greater than Alpha
05-06-2022 6:04 PM

https://www.amazon.com/Mammal-Peace-Anim...B01M8EZT3Z

In this book, the author talked about some of the concepts in this thread and their neurochemical basis. It's been a long time since I read the book so I might be getting the details wrong. But scientists gave a male chimp some sort of drug to make himself believe he was a higher status in the group than he really was. What ended up happening was the chimp behaved in a way that was not appropriate for his status and the other chimps murdered this unfortunate chimp for behaving incongruently.

My takeaway from this and other things that I read is the usefulness of trying to act like an alpha/sigma/beta consciously has limited usefulness because social hierarchies and status is driven by the subconscious mind. A person who is low on the hierarchy who tries to act "alpha" or act "sigma" will just end up making a buffoon out of himself or herself because all the subconscious expressions will be all wrong.
05-06-2022 6:04 PM
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Post: #37
RE: There is one hierachy greater than Alpha
05-07-2022 4:19 AM

I'm surprised no one mentioned gamma males. Gamma males also tend to be the lone types but they are below betas and they are much worse.

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05-07-2022 4:19 AM
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Post: #38
RE: There is one hierachy greater than Alpha
05-07-2022 5:42 PM

I always wonder who invented/patented this classification of males in a hierarchy, such as if we were wolves...? Is this labeling derived from some sort of research? Are there any literature sources?

Of course, there are traits of character that make certain ones among us more likely to be followed by others and regarded as leaders... but! For me, this classification is somewhere at the same level as rating women on a 1-10 scale.
05-07-2022 5:42 PM
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Marcus Antonius
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Post: #39
RE: There is one hierachy greater than Alpha
05-08-2022 2:58 AM

It's a coarse model, and describe of course only a tiny bit of of human interactions. It also not limited to males. And yes, wolves are as human and other primates highly social mammals. In these societies hierarchies exist, and it makes sense to understand these hierarchies.
So one can see an discuss this on a PUA level "alpha fucks, beta bucks" or try to bring it to a more scientific version which includes understanding of domination and subdomination, dependence and independence, stress, risk seeking vs. risk avoidance behavior, sexual hormones and their influence on neurotransmitters, the existence of multiple parallel hierarchies in humans etc. [1]
Or one completely negates it and say we are no animals, every one is a special little snowflake and so on.

In this forum the description of a pheromone product as "alpha status" or another one as "betafier" is common lingo which helps to describe and communicate the effects a product has.

Even the 1-10 scale makes some sense. It describes in a report the perceived attractiveness of a woman. You could do it in words, but using the scale is shorter. And I'm sure it's for everybody different. For me perceived personality traits (openess, extrovertion, agreeableness etc.) are definitely parts of the total attractiveness (I mentioned it in my journal some time ago). It is as coarse as to state the ethnicity of a person as 'Asian' or 'Caucasian'. Does it include all ethnic aspects of that person? Of course not, but it helps to describe a situation.

"BW made me feel very alpha and so I approached that HB9 Asian girl."

vs.

"BW increased my risk taking behavoir probably by increasing my testosteron level in this bar setting where I knew nobody and had only the social bonds that strangers have in such situation in a mid-to-upper level bar in LA, so I approached - friendly yet confident with a bit of cheekiness - this to me highly attractive, 5'5" girl, approx. 25 years old, BMI 20, nice facial and body features as well as an open and friendly personality of probably north Indian ethnic background, but she most certainly grew up in southern California, while her first generation US immigrant parents might still have a more traditional north Indian middle class world view and are still cultural Hindus"

The first is much shorter, and of the second most of the stuff I made up you would not know at this point in time, nor would most people perceive all the different aspects. You would feel attracted to a woman and act on it.

So what I wanted to say is that scales and some sort of quantification is not a bad thing as long as you see firstly that the other is a respect-deserving human being and secondly that the same scales are applicable to yourself as well.

Footnote:
[1] In that way the whole - partially controversial discussion - helped me to distinguish the both terms of this hierarchy model 'alpha' and 'sigma' :
Common features: high openness, high assertiveness, high risk seeking, high independence, lower agreeableness, high resilience to stress, especially social stress.
Different features:
- one is domination seeking with a certain degree of offensive aggression to obtain dominance (label alpha)
- one is not domination seeking, the aggressiveness is only defensive to maintain independence (label sigma)

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(This post was last modified: 05-08-2022 3:30 AM by Marcus Antonius.)
05-08-2022 2:58 AM
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Post: #40
RE: There is one hierachy greater than Alpha
05-08-2022 9:37 PM

(05-07-2022 5:42 PM)campoviejo Wrote:  I always wonder who invented/patented this classification of males in a hierarchy, such as if we were wolves...? Is this labeling derived from some sort of research? Are there any literature sources?

Not just wolves and humans. All social animals have brain regions that monitor the organism's position in a dominance hierarchy and alters the organism's brain chemistry based on the organism's position in the hierarchy.
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10....00154/full

What differentiates humans from other animals is well developed frontal lobes in our brain. But the brain structures involved in the social hierarchy are not in the frontal lobes but in a more primitive part of the brain. Sometimes we humans like to think of ourselves as more developed than other animals but we are animals and instinctual behavior can affect us humans more than we like to admit sometimes.
05-08-2022 9:37 PM
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