Luck of the Draw?

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Are our lives decided by the second we enter the world? Some scientists believe so. Not only because of what you do but because of who is alive when you are born, your siblings. There is controversy on whether birth order traits actually exist. According to these traits first born are more likely to be the leaders of the family as well as somewhat close minded. Middle children are the peace makers and very diplomatic. Lastly the youngest is most likely to be a risk taker and to be more open to everything. These claims are not supported very well in the scientific community, however, they hold a big place in modern pop psychology. My brother and I do not fit into this birth order at all. I am more of the leader and also the risk taker but I am younger and my brother is more of a peace maker even though he is the oldest. What about you? Does your family fit this mold?


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Great blog! My family does actually fit this mold pretty well, but I am not surprised to hear that this isn't completely accepted in the scientific community. I was actually a little surprised to learn that this extensive of research had been done on this topic in any scientific field. I am excited to learn about further research done on this topic.

Very interesting topic! My sister and I are similar to you and your brother. She is two years older than me and has always been the "risk taker." Even though it is just the two of us, I feel as though I have the same qualities that you mentioned the middle and oldest child having. For example, I have always been the "peace maker" in the family, always wanting everything to be OK and everyone to be happy. I think growing up, I always tried to learn from my sister's mistakes so that I wouldn't get into trouble with my parents like she did all the time.

Nice job with this blog. It is interesting to look at siblings when studying psychology. I wonder if common traits in first born, second borns, so on and so forth, are due to some genetic factor? Or if they are more nurture based? It would be a great topic for psychologists to study once the science of genetics is more advanced and we are able to pinpoint certain genes and their purposes.

I really liked your blog and I think that birth order can have effects on the child's personality and traits. This might be because siblings influence each other and play a big part on what their siblings turn out to be personality wise. The first born may be the leaders and somewhat close minded because they have to figure things out for themselves as they do not have a role model to look at. The second born may be the peace makers because they have learned a lot from their older siblings and have decided how to act from watching them.

I think that the older child is always the leader just due to age. My oldest sister was always leading us while my middle sister was more adventurous and I more of a peace maker. As we've grown older I've seen these traits switch around in us which makes me wonder if it is something they believe is held constant?

My family totally fits this mold. My older sister is definitely very driven and a natural leader. I am much more of a peacemaker. My little sister is also more open to new experiences and a little bit more of a risk taker.

I do not think all families fit this mold, but it is interesting to see how these patterns are consistent with so many families when we look in to them.

My sister and I don't really fit the mold. I am more of a risk taker but am also more of a leader but am also more open minded. My sister is shy and reserved and not adventurous and can be closed minded at times. It it interesting how some families fit this stereotype and others don't, and it is very hard to prove.

I think to some extent, my brother and I fit into the birth order characteristics. I am the oldest and I'm more of a leader than him and more set in my ways while he is much more rebellious, as in, is willing to take more risks if he wants.

I've heard about this theory for many years, and I think for the most part it seems to fit the description for me and my brothers. My older brother is definitely the achiever and does only exactly what he thinks is right. I'm in the middle, and while i'm a little more reserved, i'm not the 'lost soul' that many other theories make us middle kids out to be, especially not because i'm the only girl. My little brother is nuts, the extrovert and the crazy one. Definitely fits the stereotype. Great post!

Way to keep this blog short, sweet, and to the point! I am the youngest of three children and I would definitely say my family fits this mold pretty well. My brother is the oldest and is pretty stubborn and close minded, while my sister, who is in the middle, is very calm. I would say I am the most outgoing of all three of us and tend to take more risks. So weird how some families fit the mold and others do not at all. I feel like some of it has to do with parenting styles!

I am the oldest of my siblings and I have two younger sisters. We do not fit these characteristics, however. One of my friends, who is also the oldest, has a younger sister as well. I have found that, also that model does not fit us, we see the same personalities between ourselves and our younger sisters, which I think is very interesting. Although those traits might not be proven, I believe that there are definitely differences pretty consistently between siblings, whether they are the oldest, middle, or youngest. Both my sister, my dad, and my grandma are the middle siblings, and I see many similar personalities between them.

Very interesting post! I feel that though these results may be true, I think that this could be another case of correlation vs. causation. I do not believe that one's personality is determined genetically by their birth order, but these consistent behavior is more likely due to the situations that these children are put in do to their ages.

Your post is very interesting. I have a younger brother. I feel that I am more as a leader but also more as a risk taker. He is more open-minded and a peace maker. I guess individual's personality is influenced by their surroundings and by how they were raised. I am the older child so I have to be a role model for him, leading him in the right path, while he is the younger kid, who should be open-minded for advises from older kid.

Great Post! I would have to say that my family fits the typical birth order model to tee. My older sister is a born leader, loves to be in control, and can be very close minded at times. I consider myself a very even-keeled person who is wiling to listen to both sides but will still make the tough call at the end. My younger sister is very social and is far more willing to try new things that my older sister and I. Even though it may not be scientifically proven, the birth order concept fits my family perfectly.

It's interesting that you compare this part of psychology to you and your siblings because I was thinking about my sister when I was reading this topic as well. We are just like you and your brother. My sister, who is two years older than me is much quieter than me. She is very open-minded, very nice and very caring. I, on the other hand, and much more outspoken than my older sister. I am much more of a leader than her as well. When I read this topic, I got very confused because my sister and I are literally the exact opposite of what they talk about. Well done!

Very interesting topic! I have always been interested in birth order and its affects on people's behaviors. My family doesn't fit this mold perfectly by any means but there are definitely some similarities. I am definitely the leader, but also the peace-maker (I am the oldest). My brother (youngest) is definitely the risk taker and also open to many things. I think these birth order stereotypes definitely hold some truth but are more just tendencies and aren't rock solid.

I think that the concept of birth order playing a role in personality is very interesting. I think that for a majority of people it may deem true. However, there are always those people whom are the exceptions to the rule. I think that the parenting styles has an impact on how birth order can affect personality. If parents do not loosen up and allow more freedom to the younger children, I think it could be avoided.

As far as my family goes, this representation is played out in the exact opposite. I would say that I am more of the leader and my younger sister is more of the risk taker in our family. I think it is anecdotal cases like this that make this not accepted in the general scientific community.

I am the youngest of four brothers, so even if I cannot speak for everyone I can speak for myself and how I fit in this description. I think even if I am the youngest, I am more like you: a leader as well as a risk taker. Nice post!!

Great topic and post! While I understand that this particular theory may not be scientifically supported, I can definitely see this to be true in my own family. I also have seen it to be true in my friends' families, but I have also seen many contradictions to the idea - like yourself!

Very great topic and the picture here is interesting! It shocked me when you talk about character may affect by birth order traits actually exist. I always feel so sad I am the only one child in my family.:(

Great post! I am the middle child and probably considered the rebellious one. My older brother is definitely the peace maker. He's way more relaxed and laid back than I am. And my younger sister is also very chill, but she gets kind of emotional sometimes. Love this post!

Interesting post. I have only one sibling, my brother, who is older. In our family, he is the peace maker and the diplomat, while I believe that I am more of a leader. I don't think either one of us is much of a risk taker. I don't know how much I believe that birth order influences our personality traits. I think its just a big mixture of nature and nurture, not sibling order.

Very interesting topic, there is definitely a norm for how siblings behavior might turn out. I think this comes more from how each child might be raised, it isn't a physiological or psychological trait, but something that is learned by the child through their life. Because of their interactions with the siblings or lack off, i think that is the main factor for shaping their personality. As you say, these classes of children isn't true for all so i have a hard time believing this is a majority for families. Still very interesting.

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This page contains a single entry by note0033 published on April 22, 2012 10:32 AM.

Altruism: Are Your Relative's Lives More Important Than Yours? was the previous entry in this blog.

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