You must have heard from someone that the oldest kid in a family tends to be very responsible, while children who have no siblings are far more likely to be selfish and demanding. Are these merely stereotypes, or is it really true that our birth order can shape our personality?
Today we at WeGoRo have decided to find the answer to this intriguing question.
The birth order theory began in the late 1920s with Alfred Adler, Sigmund Freud’s friend and colleague. Adler believed that the order in which you are born into a family inherently affects your personality.
The theory saying that the order in which you and your siblings are born has an impact on your personality and IQ level has become very popular recently. However, it has also created quite a divide among researchers. Some dismiss the theory entirely, while others are convinced it plays a crucial role. Researchers from the University of Leipzig and Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (both in Germany) studied more than 20,000 adults from the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany. In this study, they compared siblings within families and the order of their birth.
They found that older children generally show higher performance on intelligence tests. However, the scientists found no birth-order effects on emotional stability and imagination.
Another study provided more evidence that birth order affects one’s personality. The researchers analyzed personality traits of 377,000 high school students in the USA.
What they found is that firstborns generally tend to be more honest and dominant. However, they are also less sociable and less resistant to stress. Middle children tend to be more conscientious and diligent. The youngest child in a family is more likely to be open and sociable. Kids who have no siblings are often nervous, but they are also quite outgoing and social.
But you have to admit that the results of these studies have a number of inaccuracies. The research does not take into account such important social factors as ethnicity, education, parents’ welfare, and relationships within a family. While birth order may have a certain impact on one’s personality or intelligence, we shouldn’t forget that parent-child relationships and the upbringing that children receive in their homes are much more important factors in shaping their lives as individuals.