Does Birth Order Affect Intelligence?

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What exactly does the term intelligence mean? Intelligence is defined as the ability to gain and apply knowledge and skills. Does birth order affect intelligence? According to researchers, there have been some evidence that prove that birth order does in fact affect intelligence; however, critics remain skeptic about it and claim that the evidence are inconclusive and biased (Carey, 2007). The relationship of birth order and intelligence has been an ongoing scientific debate that goes back to the late 1800s Francis Galton, an English scientist, published a book in 1874 that recorded the lives of 180 men who were important in the field of science. Galton gathered the birth order data of 99 subjects and reported that 48% were “firstborn …show more content…

Researchers suggested that the “admixture hypothesis” is responsible for the connections between birth order and intelligence (Page & Grandon, 1979). Parts of the hypothesis argue that parental IQ and social status are responsible for large families and low IQ, which would make it seem that high birth order causes lower IQ. It would appear that parents with low IQs would have more children, but it this was proven to be true, the IQ scores would decrease given the population size. So why might birth order affect IQ? Well, in 1874 Francis Galton suggested that the firstborn sons are able to further their education due to the likelihood of being financially supported; Firstborns tend to have more responsibilities than the younger siblings; and lastly, he stated that firstborns were the main priority when dealing with attention and nourishment in a low income environment. Modern research includes the resource dilution model and the confluence model. The resource dilution model assumed that resources are limited; Parents with two or more children must divide their resources equally unlike parents of an only child. Parents may afford to send their child to college, but might not be able to send another. This is one reason as to why the “overrepresentation” of firstborns attending college (Schachter, 1963). Lastly, the resource dilution model suggests that a richer environment affects IQ. The higher

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