Birth order personality vs.

This topic submitted by Nick, Nikki, Kristy, Lindsey (sabola@muohio.com) at 10:58 pm on 9/30/99. Additions were last made on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Section: Myers

Kristen Antos, Nick Burns, Lindsey Sabo, and Nicky Ziomek
NS SGL proposal
Section G-Myers
9/30/1999
Introduction
For years, society has assumed that one's personality can be determined by examining his or her birth order, and there have
been countless studies to support this claim. Birth order is an interesting phenomenon that attempts to explain how a child
achieves the personality characteristics that he or she exhibits, but it is scientifically difficult to determine and support. However,
we believe that there is more to it. We contend that a variety of influences, both inside and out of the family and specific birth
order roles, contribute to individual differences in personality, and we are not the only ones who argue this. Our hypothesis
departs from the traditional family order model in that we believe that dominance and aggressiveness, or lack there of, is not
solely a factor of the first born, but a result of one's geographical origin.
We believe that children who were raised from the age of two to ten in an urban setting will have characteristics of a first born
child. We further believe that those born and raised in a more rural setting will have characteristics of a second born child. In a
study performed at Northwestern University, it was concluded that, "Any child with high achievement motivation who grows up
in a supportive family has the potential for successÖ." This further supports the idea that not just birth order affects a child's
personality.
Studies have developed some stereotypical characteristics of each of the roles of the child in the family. The first is that of the
first born child. These are seen to be goal setters, high achievers, perfectionists, responsible, organized, rule keepers,
determined, and detailed people. These studies conclude that as soon as the first born child becomes the older sibling, he or she
is left with an exchange of feelings. He or she finds himself or herself no longer to be the center of attention in the household,
and he or she is no longer loved. This creates feelings of jealously. The second/middle child usually has characteristics such as
flexible, diplomatic, peacemaker, generous, social, and competitive. The
origins of these characteristics stem from the fact that the second child constantly feels the need to 'catch up' or 'out do' the
older sibling. Finally, the characteristics of the third child are as the risk taker, outgoing, an idea person, creative, humorous,
and a questioning of authority. Picked on by the second child, the third usually feels a sense of vulnerability, as if anyone could
hurt him or her. It him or her against the world. These are just some of the generalizations that have evolved from personality
and birth order studies.
This topic has found a great deal of interest today for the simple fact that it is so universal that it is interesting because everyone
has been a child at one time or another. Examining physical and psychological birth order and the living environment gets us one
step closer to answering the questions of "Who am I?" and "Where do I fit in?".

Materials

~Student subjects for personality tests
~Personality quiz*
~Stat View computer program to create graphs and organize data

Methods

The design of our experiment is to ask a group of different students of different birth orders questions specific to researched
birth order personality characteristics. From this information we plan to determine whether or not their personality corresponds
to their actual place in their family. From our data, we will prove our hypothesis that personality is more a result of several
factors rather than just birth order. We plan to incorporate the students of our Natural Systems class as part of our methods for
this experiment. The students will be given a personality quiz which they will complete and note their birth order at the top of the
quiz. Results from each student will be collected. We will ask several other students outside of the class to complete the
personality quiz as well. The data from students in our class will be compared to the data collected from students outside of the
class. In essence, the students will be creating their own data. Results from the experiment will be presented in a graphical
manner. We will use several graphs to visually present our data. Graphs comparing to their birth order as well as graphs
comparing the results of the two groups of students will be created. This experiment is statistically sound because we are asking
real students real questions concerning birth order and personality characteristics. Through the design of this experiment and our
planned methods, we will prove our hypothesis, that several factors including family life, peers, and living environment and
atmosphere determine one's personality. We will begin our experimental procedure in the next two weeks.

Bibliography

1). Birth Order Characteristics
http://www.ncn.net/~cliffi/birtho.htm

2). The Dilemma of the Only Child
-Northwestern University
http://galton.psych.nwu.edu/greatideas/papers/eischens2.html#trzop

3). Birth Order and the Nurture Missassumption: A Reply to Judith Harris
-by Frank Sulloway
http://www.edge.org/3rd culture/sulloway harris/index.html

4). Introduction to the Birth Order
-by Clifford E. Isaaceson
http://www.ncn.net/~cliff/intro.htm

5). *Birth Order Personality Inventory (to be used later)

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