Why the brain provokes us to fight for status


Status is not just the word, behind which you can see a man from expensive alcohol commercials. Status is not such a simple mechanism.

Let’s remember that the only main function of our body is a reproductive one. And two other important functions proceed from it: survival and the desire for a high status in society.

Status, like survival, increases the chances of a quality and more numerous offspring.

Further there are many points of view, which can vary depending on the fact, whether we are considering a modern, advanced society or simpler society structures.

The desire for justice is regulated by testosterone. But if we start peering into the way testosterone can affect human behavior, all becomes somewhat complicated.

In a simpler society, testosterone played a great role. A high testosterone level could significantly increase the chances of getting a higher status in society. This happened both due to testosterone’s influence on a body structure, and its influence on behavior.

However, when the structure of society began to change, it turned out that it was far more important and useful to compromise. As a result, society has come to the point when men, holding positions of top managers and diplomats, have testosterone levels lower than those of blue collar workers.

Empathy has become more important for success. At the same time, however, there has been reported an effect of decreasing in the empathy level on achieving a certain status.

Let’s make a distinction between the words “leader” and “CEO”. In the first case, you surely picture to yourself someone charismatic, whereas in the second case you picture a typical top manager wearing a suit and displaying no emotion.

When a man occupies a leadership position (we focus on the word “leader”), a testosterone level will be high. At the same time, there is a rather high chance that the leader we define as charismatic is a psychopath, that is, a person with unhealthy psyche. More and more specialists are inclined to this opinion.

Now let’s understand a very simple logic: a human body (especially a male’s one, since testosterone plays an important role in this) with the help of hormones provokes a response to someone’s desire to lower the status of this person. Due to the fact that the male understands that he may face serious consequences for his reaction, he restrains himself.

But this is perfectly illustrated by experiments: when a person restrains himself/herself in a specific behavior or desire, his/her brain then ceases to allow spending energy on control. The control is gradually turning off. What’s next? And next is the value of the criminal code or other negative consequences (the perception of punishment is a separate topic that is also embedded by evolution in our brain) starts to become less and less influential in decision-making.

We are talking here about a developed society, in which it is customary to seek compromises. And yet there are societies and cultures, in which they encourage a rather harsh defending of one’s status.


What conclusion can we draw? In a more developed society the empathy and a lower level of testosterone are more important for achieving a status, though, in the context of nature, in isolation from the existing civilization, it is the high level of testosterone that is an important condition for achieving a high status.

And even with the encouragement to lower testosterone level, it still does not stop existing. Therefore, when you negatively affect (even unintentionally) the status of another person, the consequences can be extremely negative.

For а human body, the impact on one’s status is a stressful situation. And the fact that our organism really forces us to a very serious opposition is proved by increased cortisol level, which in its turn brings our body into a state of battle readiness.

It is really a rather underestimated problem, which needs to be discussed, and everything should be explained from the point of view of hormones. Society must understand that the consequences of the lack of empathy and respect for others can be very serious. And from the point of view of nature these consequences will be justified.

That is, if we want to live in a truly comfortable society, we have to seriously work on it. At the same time, various campaigns (though using another understanding of the problem) function in different states quite successfully.


How can it be used in sports? For example, the ready-made options for using in the case with fans were described by me under the #AlienForMLS heading on the example of the San Jose Earthquakes and David Beckham’s club.

Status can be used in different ways. The main thing is not to cross the ethical line.

This topic can be used in game moments as well. For example, when a miracle is needed to be done in the game, one can in this way influence the motivation of players far more effectively.

If you want to receive a detailed consultation or get a ready-made strategy, we along with a group of professionals from different areas will develop the most effective strategy for you. Just write to us at E-mail We will contact you within 24 hours.


Best regards,

Leon The Alien


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SEE ALSO: 3 ways to use the evolutionary power of a smile to grow your brand


Images: Aziz Acharki, Giphy, Tumblr