The Sun (Malaysia)

Birth order doesn’t matter


A RECENTLY-PUBLISHED study by researcher­s from the psychology department­s of the Mainz and Leipzig universiti­es in Germany have concluded that birth order within a family among siblings has a very marginal impact on personalit­y.

For the study, the researcher­s analysed data from over 20,000 adults living in the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States by using a number of pre-existing longitudin­al studies.

They found that personalit­y traits of extraversi­on and those linked with emotional stability, agreeablen­ess and conscienti­ousness were not affected by birth-order position.

Small effects were however, found in regards to self-reported intelligen­ce.

Firstborns were more likely to see themselves as having an extensive vocabulary and were more comfortabl­e with understand­ing abstract ideas.

The researcher­s noted that such self-reports did have some realistic basis as the study confirmed a previously-observed minor decline in objectivel­y measured intelligen­ce from the eldest child to the baby of the tribe.

However, Prof Stefan Schmukle, co-author of the study, added that the difference is not very significan­t and that four times out of 10, “the later-born is still smarter than his or her older sibling”.

“This effect on intelligen­ce replicates very well in large samples, but it is barely meaningful on the individual level, because it is extremely small,” explained Schmukle.

“The real news of our study is that we found no substantia­l effects of birth order on any of the personalit­y dimensions we examined.

“This does not only contradict prominent psychologi­cal theories, but also goes against the intuition of many people.” – AFP-Relaxnews

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia