|Birth order Determines Intelligence. Image Source:Pixabay|
In a study that was published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, it was revealed that when given intelligence tests, firstborns scored an average of 1.5 points higher than second-born kids and the score dropped by 1.5 for each successive kid.
The researchers from the University of Leipzig were also quick to note that intelligence was the only characteristic determined by birth order. Imagination, emotional stability, agreeableness, extraversion and conscientiousness all remained unaffected by where a child falls in the family tree.
The most convincing hypothesis explaining the phenomenon is that if there’s only one child in the family, the parent’s attention is greater and the intellectual stimulation is higher, says the study author Stefan Schmukle, a professor of Psychology at the university of Leipzig.
Rodica Damian, a professor of psychology at the University of Houston agrees with this hypothisis explaining that firstborns are exposed to a larger vocabulary and high level ideas as the parents have more time for them. This stimulates them intellectually. The more children a family has, the more diluted the intellectual environment is, younger kids spend most of their time with other children who have less intellectual ideas. Instead of learning words from their parents, they learn from their brothers and sisters.
Parents should however not expect their younger kids to be less than smart. There are of course exceptions to this rule but this is not even important; what parents should take from this study is that they should strive to spend the same amount of time interacting, talking and reading stories to all of their kids.
Until we see each other again,