Effects of Birth Order on Personality




There have been several investigations on the impact of a person’s birth order on their personality development. Children of the same parents who had different birth orders, according to psychologists like Alfred Adler and Sigmund Freud, might have distinct personalities (Hoffmann, 2004). Birth order, according to some researchers, does not have a significant effect in determining a person’s personality. There is no empirical proof that birth order has an impact on a person’s mentality, however, according to Adler and other researchers. This topic has enticed scholars to do more research in order to support this theory (Whitbourne, 2013). There is no conclusive evidence that birth order influences a person’s personality or conduct, according to a number of studies. Alfred Adler and Sigmund Freud came at this conclusion based on their comprehensive knowledge of human psychology (Hoffmann, 2004). We now know that birth order has little to do with individual differences in personality amongst people who share a mother and father. There are still a few more research being done to clear up the issue.


The position or order in which a child is born is called a birth order. That is to say, the first, second, third, and so on. People have long assumed that birth order has a significant impact on one’s psychological development. However, as previously stated, this claim has been disproved by several scientific studies. According to the vast majority of studies, there is zero to almost zero correlation between a person’s psychological development and their birth order. Theorists such as Alfred Adler, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung have all argued that birth order has an impact on a person’s personality (Hoffmann, 2004). Birth order, according to Adler, might influence a person’s choices and lifestyle. The fact that firstborn children are dethroned as soon as the second is born may have an impact on their personalities, according to Adler. Because parents lavish so much attention on their young children, their subsequent personalities are shaped by these actions and upbringing. A contentious issue in psychology since Alder’s time is whether or not birth order has an impact on one’s personality (Whitbourne, 2013). Despite widespread acceptance of Alfred’s notion by the general public, current psychologists who have rigorously studied it disagree.

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A lot of attention has been paid to claims that the birth order of a person affects the development of their personalities.

As far as the biggest and best-designed research organizations are concerned, there seems to be no correlation between the two (Harris, 2006). However, the capacity to control factors that are statistically linked to the birth order is what makes these studies and conclusions controversial. In many research, factors such as the size of the household and certain sociodemographic characteristics connected with birth order might be a limitation. For example, poor socioeconomic status and low-income households are often connected with big families. It follows that the third-born kid in such a family is more likely to vary in character from the last-born and first-born members of that family, according to Adler’s theory (Hoffmann, 2004).

Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and other psychologists had a theory that Ernst and Angst attempted to prove, and it was a waste of effort (Ernst & Angst, 1983). They compiled a list of all the birth order-related publications published between 1946 and 1980 and analyzed them. In addition, both researchers conducted their own research to determine whether or not the idea was correct. They also discovered that there was no association between birth order and personality development, much like in previous scientifically published studies. They rounded up 6315 Swiss troops for the mission (Ernst & Angst, 1983). They determined that the notion of birth order was a waste of time after analyzing their research. The same subject was examined in a new study. There were more than 9,000 participants in the research. Five personality qualities were studied: agreeableness, neuroticism, conscientious, extraversion, and open-heartedness. Contrary to Sulloway’s expectations, the findings of this investigation disproved them (Sulloway, 2001). The research also found no correlation between a person’s personality development and their birth order (Whitbourne 2013).

According to Adler and Sulloway, there are research that back up their assertion. According to Paulhus and coworkers, for example, there was a noticeable variation in several behaviors depending on birth order in their research (Paulhus, Trapnell & Chen 1998). In their research, they found that the conscientiousness, achievement orientations, and conservatism of first-born children were all significantly greater. Openness, rebelliousness, and agreementability were all high on the list of personality traits for those born later in life. It is only feasible to do this research in families. However, when comparing people from different families, these effects are modest. Although birth order may occur in the setting of a family, according to psychologist Judith Rich Harris (2006), birth order does not have a significant impact on the personality development of the various members of the family (Harris, 2006). According to Harris, the personality differences among members of a family are the result of each individual leaving the family and forging their own path in the world. When individuals study and re-analyze their conditions in light of their birth order, they are more likely to find the consequences of birth order (Harris, 2006). According to the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), first-born children do not have higher IQs than other youngsters. The study found no correlation between birth order and academic achievement or IQ. The results of the UK-based National Child Development Study cast doubt on and failed to support the concept.


The idea that birth order has an impact on a person’s personality development lacks sufficient evidence. Many investigations and researches by academics and major research organizations have shown that there is no significant association between birth order and personality. Famous psychologists including Alfred Adler, Sigmund Freud, Sulloway, and Carl Jung advocated for the birth order idea. They backed and advocated in favor of the idea. This notion has been challenged and denied by Judith Rich Harris, Ernst & Angst and other research institutions including the Research Development Theory, NLSY and National Child Development Study. ).

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