I really don't think that this would be a valid study at all.
First, correlation does not equal causation. Just because some trend was found that demonstrates this supposition, there are too many lurking variables for it to ever be considered. For example, it is safe to assume that the majority of individuals who have taken an IQ test report different scores every time. Does this mean that their intelligence changed each and every time? What about test scores that went down? Did the individual become less intelligent?
Furthermore, if we do take the assumption that intelligence is genetic and not taught, then Mendel's laws of segregation should immediately give rise to question. Birth order has absolutely no impact on what genes are inherited.
However, we must remember that this was testing for IQ which may or may not be a fair test for actual intelligence. As another example, look at those who suffer from Autism. Autistic people can have just as much of an understanding of anything you put in front of them and yet fail miserably at an IQ test. Does this mean they aren't as intelligent?
Personally, I would bet that nurture wins out when it comes to intelligence.
This was very interesting, though I disagree. I'm the eldest in my family. I feel you must know that my little brother is a genius. He always got strait A's effortlessly throughout his school years; while I had to study my butt off to get above a B average. So, we are liveing proof that this story is non-factual.
Is anyone really stupid enough to believe this? Its only a difference of three points! Besides, for every older and younger child there is a different situation, it all depends on how you were raised, not when you were born. These results are inconclusive. Besides, IQ tests or Grade point averages doesn't mean you're dumber, it could just mean you're less interested in school.
Well I know one thing for sure, personality is not determined by genetics; it's determined by upbringing and the mind's interpretation on how one should act. Now on IQ, that's a hard one...I believe I once heard that genius can be born from two average people if that's the case than I do not believe that genetics has the most significant reasoning behind IQ. On the life expectancy I can believe that though, just because I think that a fetus that is developed in a more fit body will give more nourishment and oxygen to the fetus, I suppose this can be applied to the IQ as well.
oh god another scientific discovery to set us all on the right path and throw society into a whirl! lets see how many people actually pay attention to this one. I'm the youngest of four let me just say I'm smarter more charming and going to live to 150 where as all my siblings are done for. Ha take that scientists.
I love StuntBunny's pancake anaology. My first pancake is always sort of greasy, kind of weird, wants to stick, shaped funny...
I am the first born of two - and definitely whey smerter tehn me sister. I have two sons and they are equally bizarre, though the first one has some jacked up toes-hence the pancake theory...boy #2 has normal looking ones.
Wonder if it works the same if you are the only baby of your parents relationship. Like I have brothers and sisters but from different parents, just either same mom or same dad. But I find this study so interesting, sort of like hey you guys gave all the good genes to your first kid, can you imagine reading this if you were like your mom and dad's 12th kid...Sorry you were 12 kid, good luck in life! ;-)
There should be studies about children with half-siblings. I am the oldest of 5 children, but I have a different father than the rest of my brothers and sisters. I have the highest IQ, but the third oldest is only trailing me by 2 points. Science should study the more non-traditional family arrangements and see if there's any correlation between IQ and birth order there.
I think this would be more about breeding vs. genetics or birth order. All my siblings have strengths in different areas. My oldest sister is the most academic and ambitious, but the rest of us make up for it in other areas.
There is no way that genetics have anything to do with birth order. It's not like you body screams 'Hey! This is the first kid- make it smart!' The way you are raised has everything to do with it! The first kid has to be the smartest because the parents have NO idea what they are doing. The first born is the first to do chores- and almost always the one to do the hardest chores as parents view each consecutive child as too young to do such hard things. I have told my mom about what she had me do at 10 ( lack-key kid, babysat 2 younger siblings, cleaned the house) She adamantly denies this because after three kids she now understands that a 10 year old is NOT supposed to be doing these things. The lower on the birth order totem you are, the better the parents and therefore the need to have a higher IQ is lowered. As a first born child you need everything you have at your disposal to survive first time parents- and that includes a high IQ.
Interesting. I also read in my psychology text book that birth order also affects the degree to which a person is creative. I wonder whether nature or nurture has a more profound effect on this disparity...
StuntBunny, as a third child I must agree, I'm the pancake who was left on a little too long. My parents have not disciplined me as much as my older brothers and I have picked up more severe cases of my brothers' bad habits. I'm sure my brothers also have higher IQs than me, though I work harder, so I get the best grades.
This study over-generalizes too much. I'm a first born and I find that I have traits from all 3 generalizations. I'm the least religious of the three (as in not at all!) and probably the most rebellious - always itching to upend the rules. The middle sister of my family is the joker and the most extroverted. The youngest sister is the most studious, quietest, sticks to rules and the peacemaker. As a family, we're all over the place. We're proud that we don't fit neatly into stereotypes!
As for the IQ thing, I suspect it's because I spent half of my formative years in Asia before my family and I immigrated to the states. The schools are a lot harder there. I think if my sisters had the same schooling as I did, they would do just as well on IQ tests. Which calls into question the effectiveness of the IQ test itself: Does it really measure genetic capability when so many environmental factors can influence the test taker's outcome?
As the youngest of three I have to say I disagree on the grounds that, thats just ridiculous! There are so many factors involved in assessing ones IQ also mannerisms, social status, experience, so does that mean just because their older they know more basically? I know a 4 year old thats just starting to read a habit my 67 year old grandmother failed to obtain.
I'm the youngest of four, and my IQ is 143, which is pretty good, especially if this study is true. But then again, my eldest brother is a pure, unadulterated genius. I'm talking next level smart - way smarter than me, so maybe there's something to this. Surely diet, exercise, environment, peers, schooling and so on have some sort of effect as well?
They can't have tested all (for the sake of keeping things simple, I'm gonna use 3 kids) 3 of the kids as the same time, because it would be obvious, if you had, say, 2 years between each child, then clearly the 6 year old oldest childs gonna be smarter than the 4 year old middle child who'll be smarter than the 2 year old youngest.
You'd have to test them individually at a set age, so like, you wait for the oldest to reach 10, then test him, wait 2 years and test the middle child, wait 2 years then test the youngest child. If they carried out the test in any other way, then the research is flawed.
Not that proffessional scientists are dumb enough to not think of that.
Being the first born, my mom was a bit stricter with me so I agree with stuntbunny in the fact that the first is sort of a testing ground. I think my parents wanted to see how much they could do for me. 2nd child came along and they sort of slacked. Not too much to become a bad parent, but not too little that my younger sister would become a tyrant. I think 2nd child around, they were just exhausted from trying to raise me to the best of their ability.
My younger sister is quite smart though (her grades don't show it but she is) but I think it's because I'm 8 years older than her. It doesn't hurt that the person you look up to is in college and living on their own in a new and different city. She wants to do everything I do so I'm sure that helps steer her in the right direction.
Well...I'm first born, and at least half of the words describing first/ middle/ last children are applicable to me, and the other half to my sister.
Perhaps this study speaks of vague connections, but I can't see how it's anywhere near dead on.
I am a middle child of three and I've always had the feeling that having kids is like making pancakes. The first one is kind of soft and its your test pancake. Mistakes were made and you have to live with it. Second pancake comes out pretty good and you're liking what you're seeing; however, third times a charm? Third pancake you leave it on the heat a little too long, walk out of the kitchen, and it comes out burnt due to not paying close attention to the stove. So while the second isn't perfect, it does have almost all the things you're looking for in a pancake.
I am the second of three children, and my IQ is considerably higher than those of my two brothers - by eleven and fifteen points. My son and my daughter, born four years apart, both have exactly the same high IQ as myself. So there is no absolute in the levels of intelligence according to the order in which children are born, by any means.