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Image / Editorial

Good News For Eldest Sibling: You’re The Smartest


by IMAGE
22nd Oct 2015

Girl with thought bubble

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As the youngest member of the family, I take this study with a pinch of salt. What will come as great news to some, no doubt, new research suggests that the first born sibling in any given family is bound to be smarter than the second or third (or how many you add to your brood). Preposterous hypothesis, we say.

If the statistics are to be believed, this German study confirms that the eldest sibling has a higher IQ than their younger brothers and sisters, which can be attributed to the significant amount of attention in learning and development that a first born will get in their first few years. Gathering the data from three national surveys involving 20,000 people, these researchers noticed a 1.5 IQ difference between each sibling in a family, which is a considerable difference if you’ve got four or five kids under one roof.

Rather insensitively (to the younger siblings reading about it, ahem), this study’s lead researcher says that subsequent siblings wind up ‘diluting’ their parents resources. Well, sorreeee for being BORN *throws toys out of pram.

Dr Julia Rohrer explains ?One theory is that following children ‘dilute? the resources of their parents… While the firstborn gets full parental attention, at least for some months or years, late-borns will have to share from the beginning… Another possible factor is described by the tutoring hypothesis: A firstborn can ?tutor? their younger siblings, explaining to them how the world works and so on… Teaching other people has high cognitive demands – the children need to recall their own knowledge, structure it and think of a good way to explain it to younger siblings, which could provide a boost to intelligence for some firstborns.?

As the Irish Independent point out, (and we guess the writer of their article is a fellow second or third-born) while the eldest sibling may be the smartest, they may also be fatter, because they get all of the food. So there.*

*Disclaimer: IMAGE.ie would like to point out that all children are equally loveable, smart, creative, beautiful etc., no matter who popped out first.

Via The Independent