Thursday, May 29, 2008

Alpha Girls & Sociopaths

I've been pondering the overlap between sociopaths and alpha girls. Based on the article here, alpha girls seem to have quite a bit in common with sociopaths. Trying to hurt other people as if it's some kind of game, without remorse or conscience is very much a sociopathic trait.

Al Gore and the Alpha Girls - The Enduring Power of Cliques in a Post-High-School World


Alpha Girls, Talbot wrote, armed with intelligence and cunning, devote considerable time and energy to waging complicated, intricate, and highly personalized battles with other girls of similar age, the intent of which is to damage the other girls’ friendships, relationships, and reputations, all in an effort to enhance and sustain their popularity and status.

The Alphas accomplish their goals through a wide variety of means, including spreading rumors -- some true or at least based on truth, others wildly false -- using the power of information and the means of its distribution to assault their prey. With an uncanny ability to identify and exploit their victims’ weaknesses, their opponents’ most vulnerable Achilles’ heels, the Alphas mercilessly exclude from membership -- or “merely” reduce the social standing of -- those who don’t make the cut...

...Alliances, many of them temporary and fleeting, are a critical element of the Alphas’ strategy. When it suits them, Alphas will befriend a girl with whom they would not ordinarily be associated with the sole intent -- not always apparent to the newly befriended girl -- of inflicting revenge and retribution on their latest victim. Although Alphas can be mean and cruel, they aren’t physical; catfights aren’t their thing. Rather than engaging in physical altercations, they rely on words, insults, rumor, gossip, innuendo, and manipulation. And the Alphas use others who are not members of the clique, including girls aspiring to this lofty status, and boys, naturally the most popular boys whenever possible, in their campaigns to ruin the reputations of others they find threatening or morally, intellectually, socially, or physically superior.


What I'm very curious to know is what percentage of these alpha girls are sociopaths. Apparently sociopaths are not uncommon at all - so much so that pretty much everybody knows one, but without knowing it - they usually blend in.

I've read that it may be possible to identify sociopaths in the future through brain wave analysis. That should be useful.