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Theory of birth order effect on personality debunked

The idea that sibling birth order affects personality has been around since the early 1900s, and became entrenched after Dr. Frank Sulloway published his book Born to Rebel in 1996.

A new study has debunked this theory. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has found “no birth-order effects on extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, or imagination”. The study has, however, confirmed that first-born siblings have a higher IQ across a wide study sample, but the effect is slight and not universal.

This leads the study authors to conclude that:

On the basis of the high statistical power and the consistent results across samples and analytical designs, we must conclude that birth order does not have a lasting effect on broad personality traits outside of the intellectual domain.

Source: ABC Science.


Also published on Medium.

Bruce Boyes

Bruce Boyes (www.bruceboyes.info) is editor, lead writer, and a director of the award-winning RealKM Magazine (www.realkm.com) and currently also teaches in the University of NSW (UNSW) Foundation Studies program in China. He has expertise and experience in a wide range of areas including knowledge management (KM), environmental management, program and project management, writing and editing, stakeholder engagement, communications, and research. Bruce holds a Master of Environmental Management with Distinction and a Certificate of Technology (Electronics). With a demonstrated ability to identify and implement innovative solutions to social and ecological complexity, Bruce's many career highlights include establishing RealKM Magazine as an award-winning resource for knowledge managers, using agile and knowledge management approaches to oversee the implementation of an award-winning $77.4 million river recovery program in western Sydney on time and under budget, leading a knowledge strategy process for Australia's 56 natural resource management (NRM) regional organisations, pioneering collaborative learning and governance approaches to support communities to sustainably manage landscapes and catchments, and initiating and teaching two new knowledge management subjects at Shanxi University in China.

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