You just can't be as smart as your sisters and brothers

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Birth order seems to be a universally interesting topic. People tend to believe that firstborns are smaller, youngest siblings are much more likely to depend on others, those in between are mediocrities, and the only children are selfish. In my hometown, women prefer boyfriends are the first born children and men like girls who are the youngest of the family. According to recent results of Norwegian researchers, firstborns' average IQ is three points more than the next child of the family while the smallest children are more likely to be more humorous. It seems that the research partly confirms the common believes. However, important alternative explanations do exist. The firstborns enjoyed a period of time to be the only children of the family, and their parents focused solely on them. In addition, the firstborns are usually tutors of their younger brothers and sisters so they may learn better by teaching younger siblings and explaining problems more than once. Also, if the firstborns are doing well, they become role models of the youngsters. As a result, later-borns are under much more pressure when they grow up while their elder sisters and brothers are encouraged and do even better. Furthermore, firstborns are the only children have the chance to go to school and be educated, and as we have studied, education contributes to higher IQ. More researches should be done to make sure birth order, not interaction among children or children and parents, influences personality. Otherwise, the correlation between personality and birth order is an extraordinary claim. Since few scientists replicated Sulloway's finding, the evidence of birth order impact is not enough for now.


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Birth order is an interesting topic. I grew up in a large family with six brothers and sisters so for me order doesn't seem relevant. I am curious to find out whether the first born would still have a higher IQ if the second child was born close to in age or very far apart. The focus on the first born from the parents seems to make sense. The first born is a big time for parents to learn and care for their infant.

I think that birth order does play a role. Not so much as the genetics behind it, but the social interactions and differences in lifestyles within the same household. Even if there is a difference between IQ's, I don't think it would ever be large. There just seems to be so many different factors to be taken into account, that it makes it hard to pinpoint IQ simply to birth order.

When it comes to birth order there are many topics with many answers and answers left to be found. In terms of IQ I don't know how big of a difference birth order can make. Studies show that the first born might have a slightly higher IQ. I would say that maybe that is because they need to figure things out on their own more. When you have an older sibling to help you with things maybe that would lead lower IQ's. I don't know if that's true at all I'm just kind of guessing.

I think I agree with your idea that it wasn't birth order exactly they were testing, but the interaction they had with their siblings. Some would beg to say these were the same things, but this is an obvious nature vs nurture situation. I do think that they only get the results because of the nature aspect of being whatever number in the order rather than firstborns are automatically born 3 IQ pts smarter.

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This page contains a single entry by xuxxx784 published on April 21, 2012 9:44 PM.

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