The Relationship Between Birth Order and Intelligence Essay

The Relationship Between Birth Order and Intelligence Essay

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Debates on the relationship between birth order and intelligence have been remaining controversial. Birth order is considered as a person's ranking by age among his or her siblings. There have been numerous researchers studying about this subject to find whether firstborns generally have a higher IQ scores than their siblings. Some scientists conclude that birth order strongly influents intelligence; however, others oppose to this, claiming that birth order has no effect on intelligence. In this paper, my study deals with the birth order effects on intelligence.
Investigation about the birth order effects first started in the late nineteenth century. Several researchers have claimed that the relation between birth order and intelligence is significant. In 1973, Lillian Belmont and Francis Marolla conducted a study which tested the intelligence of Dutch nineteen-year-old men. The results of their study illustrate that higher birth order associates with higher intelligence, meaning that the scores on the standardized test decline when their position among their siblings decline. Moreover, there was a constant "intelligence gradient" down the birth order. In fall 1996, three researchers at University of British Columbia and Ohio State University at Mansfield conducted four studies on difference groups of people. In order for participants not to be influenced by previous birth order researches, they were not informed in advance that the result would be published or used in any textbook. Their first experiment asked participants to write down the birth order of their siblings, including themselves. Then, they were required to mark the sibling who has the best academic performance. The outcomes “are consistent with previous evidence th...


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...e Power of Birth Order - TIME." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com. 17 Oct. 2007. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.
Carey, Benedict. "Study Says Eldest Children Have Higher I.Q.s." The New York Times. 21 June 2007. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.
Trapnell, Paul D., Delroy L. Paulhus, and Chen David. "Birth Order Effects on Personality and Achievement within Families." 10.6 (1999): 482-88. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.
Rodgers, Joseph Lee, H. Harrington Cleveland, Edwin Van Den Oord, and David C. Rowe. "Resolving the Debate over Birth Order, Family Size, and Intelligence." American Psychologist 55.6 (2000): 599-612. Print.
Aaron, Wichman, L., Rodgers Lee Joseph, and MacCallum C. Robert. "Birth Order Has No Effect on Intelligence: A Reply and Extension of Previous Findings." 33.9 (2007): 1195-120. PsycINFO. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.

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