Popular belief states that order of birth influences IQ, with the younger brother always being less lucky when it comes to the intelligence potential he or she has been privileged with. New study suggests birth order is not the all determinant of siblings’ characteristics. In fact, birth order has an almost insignificant effect on personality and IQ.
Researchers analyzed the personality traits and intelligence levels on more than 337.000 high school students. This is the largest study ever performed on IQ levels in young people, as the outcome of birth order. A Romanian researcher, Rodica Damian, professor of psychology at Houston University, lead the study which reveals interesting findings. The expert states that previous studies suffered from lack of information, relevance and consistency. The ultimate research offers a larger sample size, a more accurate analysis and a new research model used to compare personality and IQ. Comparing children from different families is the best point of analysis, the one which lead to all the innovative conclusions. After examining children from other families with one another, researchers were able to find consistencies between a range of first borns and a range of later-borns.
According to the familiar stereotypes, the first born is always the smart and responsible one. The youngest sibling is always the pampered rebellious, while the middle child is somewhere in between, easy going and a natural socialite.
The new study is here to contradict popular belief, as it showed a very small pattern of differing personality traits between first-borns and younger siblings. The oldest ones in the family are more extroverted, easy-going and conscientious, compared to their younger brothers. The differences are, however, infinitely small, said leader of the study.
Although the findings correlate on a large scale with the classic stereotypes developed by Alfred Adler some time ago, the present study shows that the differences in personality traits and IQ levels are almost insignificant. Hence the effects of birth order have been dramatically exaggerated.
Popular belief in this case has nothing to do with real life applications, as the differences in IQ levels are so little that they are not worth the mention. In terms of personality traits, we have a 0.02 correlation which doesn’t get us anywhere near an accurate differentiator. Birth order does not influence IQ levels nor other kinds of characteristics in siblings. There is nevertheless a common perception of differences that will most likely remain in the collective memory but we will always have the reality to contradict that.
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