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 The Power of Birth Order

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Rose
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PostSubject: The Power of Birth Order   Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:59 pm

What's your birth order?
I'm the youngest of two. I did go thru a rebellion period where my family would say I was a 'wild child' but I always got better grades than my older sister. I'm also taller than my older sister (tho she weighs more).

Time It's an interesting article, you should read it. But here are some highlights for those of you afraid to click links.
Quote :
The importance of birth order has been known—or at least suspected—for years. But increasingly, there's hard evidence of its impact. In June, for example, a group of Norwegian researchers released a study showing that firstborns are generally smarter than any siblings who come along later, enjoying on average a three-point IQ advantage over the next eldest—probably a result of the intellectual boost that comes from mentoring younger siblings and helping them in day-to-day tasks. The second child, in turn, is a point ahead of the third. While three points might not seem like much, the effect can be enormous.
Quote :
Studies in the Philippines show that later-born siblings tend to be shorter and weigh less than earlier-borns. (Think the slight advantage the 6-ft. 5-in. [196 cm] Peyton Manning has over the 6-ft. 4-in. [193 cm] Eli doesn't help when he's trying to throw over the outstretched arms of a leaping lineman?) Younger siblings are less likely to be vaccinated than older ones, with last-borns getting immunized sometimes at only half the rate of firstborns. Eldest siblings are also disproportionately represented in high-paying professions. Younger siblings, by contrast, are looser cannons, less educated and less strapping, perhaps, but statistically likelier to live the exhilarating life of an artist or a comedian, an adventurer, entrepreneur, GI or firefighter. And middle children? Well, they can be a puzzle—even to researchers.
Quote :
the birth-order effect may only be getting stronger. In the past, girls were usually knocked out of the running for the job and college perks their place in the family should have accorded them. In most other ways, however, there was little to distinguish a first-, second- or third-born sister from a first-, second- or third-born brother. Now, with college and careers more equally available, the remaining differences have largely melted away.

Quote :
Firstborns do more than survive; they thrive. In a recent survey of corporate heads conducted by Vistage, an international organization of ceos, poll takers reported that 43% of the people who occupy the big chair in boardrooms are firstborns, 33% are middle-borns and 23% are last-borns. Eldest siblings are disproportionately represented among surgeons and M.B.A.s too, according to Stanford University psychologist Robert Zajonc. And a recent study found a statistically significant overload of firstborns in what is—or at least ought to be—the country's most august club: the U.S. Congress. "We know that birth order determines occupational prestige to a large extent," says Zajonc. "There is some expectation that firstborns are somehow better qualified for certain occupations."
Quote :
But there are low-power strategies too, and one of the most effective ones is humor. It's awfully hard to resist the charms of someone who can make you laugh, and families abound with stories of last-borns who are the clowns of the brood, able to get their way simply by being funny or outrageous. Birth-order scholars often observe that some of history's great satirists—Voltaire, Jonathan Swift, Mark Twain—were among the youngest members of large families, a pattern that continues today. Faux bloviator Stephen Colbert—who yields to no one in his ability to get a laugh—often points out that he's the last of 11 children.
Quote :
while firstborns score especially well on the dimension of temperament known as conscientiousness—a sense of general responsibility and follow-through—later-borns score higher on what's known as agreeableness, or the simple ability to get along in the world.
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Later-borns are similarly willing to take risks with their physical safety. All sibs are equally likely to be involved in sports, but younger ones are likelier to choose the kinds that could cause injury.
Quote :
Stuck for life in a center seat, middle children get shortchanged even on family resources. Unlike the firstborn, who spends at least some time as the only-child eldest, and the last-born, who hangs around long enough to become the only-child youngest, middlings are never alone and thus never get 100% of the parents' investment of time and money.
Quote :
The birth-order effect, for all its seeming robustness, is not indestructible. There's a lot that can throw it out of balance—particularly family dysfunction. In a 2005 study, investigators at the University of Birmingham in Britain examined the case histories of 400 abused children and the 795 siblings of those so-called index kids. In general, they found that when only one child in the family was abused, the scapegoat was usually the eldest. When a younger child was abused, some or all of the other kids usually were as well. Mistreatment of any of the children usually breaks the bond the parents have with the firstborn, turning that child from parental ally to protector of the brood. At the same time, the eldest may pick up some of the younger kids' agreeableness skills—the better to deal with irrational parents—while the youngest learn some of the firstborn's self-sufficiency. Abusiveness is going to "totally disrupt the birth-order effects we would expect," says Sulloway.
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PatDaddy77
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PostSubject: Re: The Power of Birth Order   Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:20 pm

I'm not saying anything this time. you guys go ahead.
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ImShiny
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PostSubject: Re: The Power of Birth Order   Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:50 am

I'm a first born of two. Generally this artical is correct in everything; I'll point out the differences in my case:

1. Even though I get better grades than my younger brother, according to an online IQ test, he has a higher IQ by about 2 points I think it was. The credibility of the test I do not know.

2. My younger brother weighs more than I do, and he's taller by a fraction of an inch.

3. I'm going to an excellent college that's nationally famous for its research in some fields of science and plan to be a pharmacist, while my brother doesn't know where the hell hes going and wants to be a graphic artist. Dunno how that's going to turn out tho. :/

4. I'm definitely funnier than my younger brother... Most people would agree with me on that.

5. "while firstborns score especially well on the dimension of temperament known as conscientiousness—a sense of general responsibility and follow-through—later-borns score higher on what's known as agreeableness, or the simple ability to get along in the world."

Both of these say "me" more than my brother. I really do worry about my bro sometimes.

6. We weren't abused.

Wow, soooo, ok. Maybe the study doesn't explain me and my brother, and because my bro is so sad (and I don't mean that to make fun of him), maybe I inherited most of the traits younger siblings are supposed to have? Just a theory anyways...

Damnit, now I'm worried about my brother because I don't see him going anywhere in life. I'm going to end up supporting my parents and him.
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Rose
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PostSubject: Re: The Power of Birth Order   Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:43 am

I don't anyone has agreed in full with the studies conclusions yet. It's interesting that almost everyone has noted that 'they' are the smartest, lol.
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PostSubject: Re: The Power of Birth Order   Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:03 pm

Sassenach wrote:
I don't anyone has agreed in full with the studies conclusions yet. It's interesting that almost everyone has noted that 'they' are the smartest, lol.

Well, my IQ tests and my mommy said that about me. I'm not sure that I think so.
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PostSubject: Re: The Power of Birth Order   Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:03 pm

I'm the middle child with an older brother who was an absolute hell-raiser and a younger sister who was pretty easy-going. They are both very intelligent, but I'm the one with the brains, supposedly. Ironically, I'm the one without the college degree. Older brother finally got his life together - got a pretty good job, married after 30 and has 3 kids. Younger sister has 8 kids which she home schools and she got religious.

I still have no idea what I want out of life - only what I don't want - and I can't seem to not have it. lol
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PostSubject: Re: The Power of Birth Order   Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:00 pm

Sassenach wrote:
I don't anyone has agreed in full with the studies conclusions yet. It's interesting that almost everyone has noted that 'they' are the smartest, lol.
My bro probably is smarter than me, he's just lazy and doesn't apply himself.
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PostSubject: Re: The Power of Birth Order   Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:08 pm

That's not very first born of you. Or is it?
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PostSubject: Re: The Power of Birth Order   Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:10 pm

He is definitely more creative.
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