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Intelligence And Birth Order Essay

2115 words - 9 pages

Intelligence and Birth Order: Are They Connected?

There have been many examinations of birth order and the effect it has on a person’s intelligence. Some researchers feel that first-born children have higher IQ’s than that of their younger siblings. It has been said that first-born children are natural leaders. Siblings of first-born children perceive them to be academically smarter. Eldest children are known to perform higher on standardize testing than younger children in the family. Other researchers have stated that family size/home life, age of mother and circumstances around the birth of each individual child determines where they are intellectually. Researchers need ...view middle of the document...

Their study resulted in individuals with higher birth order doing better on standardized testing than individuals with lower birth order (Belmont & Marolla, 1973).
Many psychologist and sociologist have done their best to explain why they think birth order is associated with intelligence through various models. The studies having the biggest impact also focused on how children interact with their family and intellectual favorable conditions (Kristensen & Bjerkedal, 2001). In 1996 researchers from Ohio State University at Mansfield and the University of British Columbia did studies on four separate groups of people in regards to birth order. This study asked participants to write down the birth order of their brothers and sisters, including themselves. They were asked to point out the sibling who had better overall academic achievement. Each study was done under different circumstances, like in the classroom or as a take home assignment. The outcomes were similar to other studies on this subject. “Our finding that first-born’s are perceived as more intellectually achieving than later-born siblings is consistent with previous work” (Paulhus, Trapnell, & Chin, 1999, p. 487, p. 2).
The findings from a study done in 2007 explained 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” (Kluger, 2007, pp. 1, 6). According to Kluger 2007, firstborns thrive and end up leading or taking charge of corporations. “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” (Kluger 2007, pp. 2, 9). Eldest born children are usually doctors and other important fields helpful to people. “Just 2.3 IQ points can correlate to a 15-point difference in SAT scores, which makes an even bigger difference when you're an Ivy League applicant with a 690 verbal score going head to head against someone with a 705” (Kluger, 2007, p 6).
Many factors are behind the reasoning birth order effects intelligence. “There is no genetic component to birth order; there may be biological differences by birth order resulting from differing experiences in utero” (Black, Devereux & Salvanes, 2007, pp. 11, 2) The expected mother’s quality of pre-natal care and their behavior may be different during each pregnancy. A study was done that showed a direct connection between birth weight, length and the size of the child’s head with their intelligence. In this study these birth characteristics positively correlated with birth order, which showed that later-born children do just as well (Black, Devereux & Salvanes, 2007). The idea is that the order in which we are born is no longer significant due to recent studies. A child’s IQ or level of intelligence depends on several factors such as...

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