Even if you haven’t personally power-ranked your kids, you probably know deep down that at least one of them is smart. Not sure which one? Then you might be the youngest sibling in your own family, because a new study says that intelligence actually decreases with birth order. That’s why firstborn politicians are often presidents and last born Baldwins are often Stephen.
Researchers from the University Of Leipzig looked at 20,000 individuals and firstborns scored higher on objectively measured intelligence tests across the board. Scores decreased with each descending birth order positions, which begs the obvious question: what order did the researcher fall amongst their siblings? The researchers posit that increased attention paid to firstborns might explain the results, and point out that there’s a tradeoff in that parents tend to place greater demands on firstborns, as well.
The study also showed that younger kids were more likely to assess themselves as less intelligent outside of objective testing, which basically means you’re a terrible liar. Then again, it also means that you can mitigate your later kids’ apparent disadvantage by not making them feel dumb. That, plus the fact that the study found birth order had no effect on extroversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, or imagination means, even if your oldest is the smart one, you other kids are probably going to be a lot more fun to party with.
[H/T] Big Think