Is Human Personality Dependent on Birth Order?11:49 PM
Most of us are probably familiar with the middle-child syndrome which is a prevailing notion that a child or children sandwiched in between the eldest and the youngest are usually "forgotten" by parents in the matter of attention, privileges, and identity. In terms of personality, they tend to go this way and that, having no clear idea of what he or she is expected to do in life. Before this "condition" has been fully explored, pop psychologists has again recently identified another - the first-born child syndrome.
Pop psychologists or Popular psychologists are not necessarily professional medical psychologists but may include people who project the image of being such, including lecturers, authors, and even entertainers, tackling topics pertaining to human psychology. Some of the more popular examples of these are providers of self help books, advice columns or TV shows, urban legends and myths, and public perception. Most of these have been offered in an effort to provide explanations of why people act or react in a certain way.
The syndromes mentioned above are related to a person's ranking by age in relation to his or her siblings. There seems to be an existing belief that birth order affects psychological development to a large degree and this is sought to be proven by certain statistics provided by studies conducted on the subject. Some of those worth mentioning include:
- The eldest child will be the most likely to succeed academically because of high expectations set by parents. The extreme opposite which is the eldest being the biggest failure is also seen as a possibility due to the inability to respond well to the pressure.
- The eldest child is seen as the most serious and least likely to have fun while the youngest is the most likely to be relaxed and fun-loving.
- The eldest child will most likely be given either the most privileges or the most responsibilities which will set the tone for either bossiness or leadership among siblings.
- The middle child will always be an underachiever in all aspects of his life because of lowered expectations from parents as compared to expectations on the eldest child.
- The youngest child will always have his or her way because parents are usually tired of setting rules by this time.
The above statements are just some of the results obtained from real-life parents but none has been proven to be generally conclusive so far. While most are based on actual experiences, there is yet no clear scientific evidence that birth order per se, will determine a child's personality and destiny. The environment in which a child is raised and how he or she is raised by parents still remain the major determinant of a child's future. Even so, there is much emphasis placed on helping a child or person go beyond the limitations set by less-than-favorable family situations.