How Birth Order Can Affect Personality and Achievement Traits

Kaleigh M January 20th 2016 Lifestyle
An age-old phenomenon has been tested by a wide collection of scientists and psychologists - does one’s birth order effect their personality? There are several theories and contributing factors; however, let’s get down to the basics of what research has taught us. First of all, the eldest child tends to be the highest achieving. With a need to live up to the high expectations of the parents, the first born child is often more driven academically. In addition, oldest children are typically more mature than their siblings, leading to a strong sense of leadership. In other words, first born children follow what is known as the “Self-fulfilling prophecy.” This idea captures the idea that due to the increased amount of affection, attention, and pressure placed upon them from their parents, they do their best to live up to the expectations placed upon them. In fact, it is scientifically proven that parents tend to place higher expectations on the first born child than their following siblings.
Next up: the middle child. Scientific research has provided us with evidence that middle children tend to be more cooperative. With a more cooperative personality, they also tend to be more sociable and flexible. The reason that middle children tend to be more flexible is because they do not receive the same amount of attention from their parents as the other children do. Due to this lack of attention and affirmation, middle children tend to seek relationships outside of their family. In fact, the video refers to middle children as the “social butterfly” of the birth order. Even though they tend to be very successful at making and maintaining friendships, they tend to be less ambitious than their older siblings. Since parents tend to place fewer expectations on the middle chid as they do on the eldest, the middle child is more likely to work hard to achieve or maintain the ambitions of their parents.
Following the social middle child is the last child in the birth order. Youngest children tend to be more likable, creative, and charming than their siblings. In addition, they seem to be more confident and have stronger sense of security; however, they are typically less responsible and less mature than their older siblings. While the topic of personality and birth order is quite fascinating, one more question does arise. What if there is no birth order? Lone children are quite an interesting study subject as well. If an individual is an only child, they tend to receive undivided attention and affection from their parents, resulting in higher academic success, creativity, and a more resourceful individual. In addition, maturity spikes in lone children, due to the fact that they spend the majority of their time developing traits like their parents and other adults, rather than other siblings or a developing birth order.


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