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The causes of birth order and family size on IQ and personality - Research Paper Example

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The causes of birth order and family size on IQ and personality Name of the customer Name of the Institution December 23, 2012 The causes of birth order and family size on IQ and personality Introduction The relationships among birth order, family size, Intelligence Quotient and personality have attracted the attention of researchers, scholars and psychologists for decades…
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Download file to see previous pages Similarly, the relationship between personality and birth order has assumed new dimensions with Alfred Adler’s postulation that each birth position has its own personality traits. In the same way, previous literature has clearly shown the potential power of family size to influence the personality as well as the IQ of children. This paper seeks to unearth the relationship between birth order and IQ, birth order and personality, family size and IQ, and family size and personality; in doing so the paper also deals with the major counter arguments for each of these relationships. Relationship between IQ and birth order Black, Devereux and Salvanes (2011) conducted some remarkable studies on the effects of birth order on IQ; they identified a strong and significant effect of birth order on IQ as earlier born children develop more of IQs than the younger ones. However, the authors identified that no genetic component could be associated with birth order. The quality of pre-natal care and the behavioral pattern of the mothers can considerably get changed with the passage of time. There are a number of theories and models that support the relationship between IQ and birth order. For instance, the resource dilution model holds that the later born children may lack those parental resources offered to the firstborns. It has been pointed out that “firstborns may benefit from having the exclusive attention of their parents, while later borns have to share time with their earlier-born siblings” (Black, Devereux and Salvanes, 2011, p. 114). The Resource Dilution Model proposed by Blake postulates that parental resources are quite finite and parents with more than one child have to divide these resources among their children (Esping, 2003). On the other hand, the first born unlike the late born receives the complete attention of the mother which has a positive impact on the cognitive development of children. The resource dilution model best explains why firstborns form a large majority of the college population of the nation. In the same way, the Confluence Model proposed by R.B. Zajonc & Markus also highlights the firstborn IQ advantage as they receive the maximum share of parental attention and experience better intellectual environment at home (Esping, 2003). The model also holds that firstborns from smaller families are better equipped than those from larger families to develop higher IQ scores. In the same way, the theory of standard diminishing utility also echoes the diminishing resources and care shown by mothers towards younger childen. For Kristensen and Bjerkedal (2007, p. 1717), prenatal or gestational factors have the potential to affect the fetal brain. This has also been pointed out by Spiker et al (2001, p. 456) that “maternal antibodies are sensitized to fetal brain tissue and affect the neuronal substrate of cognitive abilities in the secondborn or laterborn sibs” (Spiker et al., 2001, p. 456). Similarly, a study on nonverbal IQ scores conducted by Spiker et al. (2001, p. 449) among a sample of 144 autism multiplex families clearly demonstrated that “nonverbal IQ scores were significantly lower in secondborn compared with firstborn siblings with autism.” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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