You know the stereotypes when it comes to birth order – the oldest is bossy, the middle child is ‘neglected’ and quiet, and the baby is spoiled and lazier than the older siblings.
However, a new study suggests for the first time that birth order as nothing to do with the way our kids’ personalities develop.
For the study, which the authors have called “the biggest in history looking at birth order and personality,” researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studied 377,000 high school students to find out how their birth order affected their personality and their IQ. They found that most of what we thought we knew about birth order was just a myth.
The study did find that oldest children tended to have a higher IQ than their younger siblings. But the difference, which only amounted to about one IQ point, was considered significant from a statistical standpoint but meaningless in real life. One IQ point probably wouldn’t even affect which college these kids get into, so it’s hardly something that should shape their future.
Where are you in the birth order in your family? Are any of the stereotypes true?