Are You Smarter Than Your Siblings?

By Staff

My two sisters and I fit perfectly into commonly held beliefs about birth order. As a middle child, I crave attention. My older sister, as the first born, is detail-oriented. My younger sister is adept in any social situation. The question is: Why? Are our personalities the result of genetics, or the environment we grew up in?

The study of birth order also could be “post hoc quasi-science is that it is a bit like astrology,” as Science magazine” href=”″ target=”_blank”>
Science magazine
, made headlines in
USA Today
and the
New York Times
. (And was subsequently emailed to me by my older sister.)

That media attention could be due to a bias toward birth order science, according to psychologist Judith Rich Harris, quoted in the Independent. Harris says that the only birth-order studies that get media attention are the ones that support “subjective impressions based on personal experiences,” of birth order.

So are middle children as “difficult” as research suggests? You’d have to ask my sisters.

Bennett Gordon

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