Does being born first help in life? Yes, but just a little bit

Credit: iStock
Credit: iStock

An analysis of a longitudinal study that tracked 3,763 Americans across 50 years found no evidence that birth order is linked to the jobs we end up doing, though there does appear to be a small correlation between birth order and status attainment, which includes academic achievement.

The popular idea that first-borns follow more scientific paths and other children end up in more creative roles isn’t backed up by the data, the researchers found.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Previous research puts forward two hypotheses: one is that children born later in a family try and find niches not already filled by the first-born child, so they end up taking more risks, and being more creative and sociable, which affects their career choices.

Related article:  DNA analysis shows ‘everyone had been wrong’ about mysterious Siberian unicorn

The second idea is that first-born children are usually more intelligent and do better at school and in their careers because the kids that follow afterwards have less intellectual stimulation – there’s just not as much adult-to-child time to go around.

The number-crunching done by [psychologist Rodica] Damian and her colleague, psychologist Marion Spengler from the University of Tübingen in Germany, found no support for the first ‘niche-finding’ model and a small amount of support for the second ‘confluence’ model, albeit with question marks over the causality of the relationship.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: The evolutionary history of the COVID-19 coronavirus

Infographic: The evolutionary history of the COVID-19 coronavirus

Reuters analysed over 185,000 genome samples from the Global Initiative on Sharing All influenza Data (GISAID), the largest database of ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend