Psychology of Birth Order
The study of birth order began over a century ago with Sir Francis Galton. A nineteenth century British anthropologist, geographer and statistician--- who believed that human species was ultimately improvable. In his research, he concluded that first born and only born children become well known scientists (Kluger, 2011). His findings resulted from the the fact that the nation still followed Primogeniture, when the first born son inherits the family’s fortunes. In today’s society, several families still put most, or all of, their first born son on a pedestal compared to their other children. Shortly after Galton’s discovery, Alfred Alder and Frank Sulloway came along and decided to take a deeper look into the relationship between a child’s birth order and their personality.
Alfred Alder was one of the first theorist to suggest that birth order influences personality. He argued that birth order can often leave a lasting impression on a child. Alder analyzed other birth order factors such as the spacing in years between siblings, the total number of children, and the changing circumstances of the parents over time. Theorist; Frank Sulloway, proposed that birth order has strong and consistent effects on personality. Sulloway analyzed birth order by using the Five Factor Model of Personality; a model based on the analysis of psychological questions and natural language. The model is based of the “Big Five” or the five basis of personality dimensions: conscientious, agreeableness, openness to experience, extraversion, and neuroticisms. Sulloway concludes that birth order affects a person’s personality and creative achievement.
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