New study shows birth order has no effect on personality

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How Birth Order Affects Who You Are

As shown in the video above, people have been attributing personality to birth order since the 1800s, but a recent study shows that doing so may have been a waste of time.

Through conducting research on a group of 377,000 high school students, the study proved that the difference in personality and IQ between first-born children and "later-born" children is so small that it's actually irrelevant. The thorough analysis of this study was reported in the Journal of Research in Personality.

University of Illinois psychology professor Brent Roberts led the analysis alongside Rodica Damian, a professor of psychology at the University of Houston. Roberts said, "This is a conspicuously large sample size. In fact, he even went as far as to say:

With that being said, although the differences are nearly irrelevant scientifically and statistically, researchers did find a handful of cases where some of the stereotypes proved to be true, such as first-borns being more extroverted and less anxious than later-borns. Still, Roberts says the differences were "infinitesimally small."

Damian made sure to point out the goal and motivation behind this study, too: "The message of this study is that birth order probably should not influence your parenting, because it's not meaningfully related to your kid's personality or IQ," she said.


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