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Birth Order and Personality

As with birth order and intelligence, children’s personalities in terms of their birth order have long fascinated researchers. Carl Sagan, the world-famous astronomer, was a first-born. A researcher named David Swift published a paper in which he noted an “overabundance” of first-born children tend to be overachievers. Another researcher, Frank Sulloway, published what he called the Five-Factor Model of Personality.   Paper Masters can compose a custom written research paper on Birth Order and Personality that follows your guidelines.

Birth Order and Personality

Birth Order and Personality Models

The models components are as follows:
  ·  Conscientiousness – Firstborns are more responsible, achievement-oriented, organized and better planners

  ·  Agreeableness – Firstborns are more easygoing, cooperative, and popular

  ·  Openness – Firstborns are more conforming, traditional, and identify closely to their parents

  ·  Extroversion – Firstborns are more extroverted, assertive, and likely to exhibit leadership qualities

  ·  Neuroticism – Firstborns tend to be more jealous, anxious, neurotic, fearful, and less independent under stress    

Birth Order and Personality - Overachievers

Evidence tends to indicate that firstborns do indeed become overachievers because of their personalities, as well as because of their intellectual development. The fact they are usually more assertive, open, and willing to cooperate leads to success in life indicates that firstborns’ personalities – developed as a result of their being expected to be “leaders” for younger siblings – carries over into a lifelong pursuit of success.

This personality trait, however, does not carry over to female firstborns. Studies have found that later-born females tend to exhibit the attributes of the Five-Factor Model of Personality far more often than first-born females. They tend to be more creative and less risk-takers than their younger sisters. Research suggests this is because parents of girls – especially firstborns – become overprotective and teach them household and social responsibilities, instead of letting them take risks, as they let their sons do. Perhaps as a matter of compensation, first-born females with responsibilities for household chores and caring for younger siblings, become academic overachievers, since that is where they concentrate their efforts. But the over-socialization process also diminishes their desire to take undue risks.      

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