Our nation is more divided than ever before. This has become a common theme in America. Some people believe division is caused by race, religion, gender, orientation, or even political affiliation. 

On a micro level we see democrat vs. republican, pro-choice vs. pro-life, and on, and on, and on. Researchers suggest that the divisions within this country are much more simple than they appear. 

On a macro level researchers seem to think that society naturally creates two categories of people. Alphas and betas. 

What is a beta? 

Beta’s make up a majority of our population. Experts believe betas socially follow a passive life pattern. They often place priority on the opinions of others rather than themselves, as approval is the most important aspect in a beta’s life. Beta’s tend to be reluctant to participate in activities that require engagement, vulnerable, or daring situations. Beta’s oftentimes chose to observe others engage in risk behaviors and instead imagine themselves in the place of others participating. 

Research has shown that beta’s are less likely to receive an equal amount of pay in the work force compared to their alpha counterparts. In addition to these findings betas are more prone to health risks and depression. 

What is an Alpha? 

Alphas make up a minority of the population. They tend to favor controlling situations rather than delegating control to others. This group of society is considered to have a tendency towards participation rather than observation. Alphas have shown to be more physically fit and increased life expectancy. In addition alphas typically achieve more financial success and responsibility than betas. 

The most glaring difference between alphas and betas is the ability to follow through on commitments. Commonly, betas will appease others temporarily by cloaking their intentions. After a beta initially commits to an obligation, the beta will then neglect, or go back on their word. Researchers refer to this as the 'hangover effect'. The term was coined to compare what one might say at the bar, versus what they may do the next day. 

On the other hand, an Alpha will be more transparent in their intentions. In the world of an Alpha, his or her word is gospel and a strong backbone is mandatory. The alpha comes off as less compassionate, but in reality is more trustworthy and valuable to society. 

Are you an alpha or a beta?

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