The impact of birth order on character has for some time been a subject of interest and interest. Many people wonder if their individual traits and characteristics have been influenced by the order in which they were born in their families. Numerous theories and studies have attempted to investigate the possibility of connections despite the fact that the influence of birth order on personality is a complex and contentious subject.

We will examine the various findings and theories regarding birth order and personality in this discussion. We will investigate normal characteristics related to various birth request positions and shed light on the potential impacts that birth order might have on one’s character improvement. However, it is essential to keep in mind that birth order is only one component of a person’s personality, which is a complex trait shaped by a variety of factors.

By looking at the current examination and speculations, we expect to give an extensive outline of the possible effect of birth order on character.

Birth Orders

Several theories and studies have investigated the possibility of associations between birth order and personality traits, despite the lack of a conclusive consensus. Consider these important points:

Firstborns: Responsiveness, achievement orientation, and dependability are frequently seen in firstborn children. They are more likely to abide by rules and authority and have a strong desire for approval. Additionally, they might exhibit leadership qualities and a propensity to take charge.

Middleborns: Middle children frequently are regarded as family peacemakers and negotiators. They frequently possess adaptability, social skills, and ability to maintain relationships. Middleborns may develop a need for uniqueness as a result of their desire for independence and the sense that they are overshadowed by their older sibling.

Lastborns: The most sociable, charming, and outgoing children are typically the youngest. They may have a playful and humorous nature and frequently enjoy receiving attention. Lastborns may strive to distinguish themselves from their older siblings by being less conformist and more rebellious.

Only child: It is a unique birth order to be an only child. Being goal-oriented, responsible, and conscientious, for example, are traits that only children frequently share with firstborns. Because they interact more with adults than with siblings, they typically have strong relationships with adults and may have advanced communication skills.

It is essential to keep in mind that one of many factors that can influence personality development is birth order. Personality is also shaped by a variety of other factors, including genetics, parenting styles, family dynamics, and individual experiences.


Speculations and concentrates on the effect of birth order on character have been proposed by different clinicians and scientists. While no single hypothesis gives a total clarification, they offer alternate points of view on how birth requests might impact character improvement. Here are a few remarkable hypotheses and studies:

Alfred Adler’s Birth Order Theory: One of the earliest and most powerful speculations was proposed by Alfred Adler, an Austrian clinician. Adler accepted that birth order assumed a critical part in forming character. As per his hypothesis, firstborn kids will generally be mindful, aggressive, and adjusting, while later-conceived youngsters take a stab at consideration, might be insubordinate, and look to outperform their more seasoned kin.

Sulloway’s Born to Rebel Theory: Straight to the point Sulloway, an American clinician, proposed the “Destined to Radical” hypothesis, which recommends that birth request impacts character through kin contest for assets and parental speculation. Sulloway contended that later-conceived youngsters are bound to rebel and take on unpredictable convictions and ways of behaving as a way to separate themselves from their more established kin.

The Swiss Study of Angst and Ernst: In the 1980s, Ernst and Angst conducted a comprehensive study in Switzerland to investigate the connection between birth order and personality traits. The study found that first-born children scored higher for conscientiousness, perfectionism, and obedience, whereas later-born children scored higher for rebelliousness and willingness to try new things.

The Meta-Analysis by Paulhus and Trapnell: Paulhus and Trapnell did a meta-analysis of studies on birth order in 1998. They looked at 503 different samples and found that birth order only had a small impact on personality traits. The study came to the conclusion that other factors, such as genetics and environmental factors, played a larger role in personality than birth order.

Meta-analyses and contemporary research: The influence of birth order on personality has been the subject of a variety of recent studies, with varying results. Some studies propose specific associations between birth order and certain traits, such as agreeableness or extraversion, while others suggest that birth order effects on personality may be weaker than previously thought. The effects of birth order on personality have generally been found to be modest in meta-analyses that combine data from multiple studies.

It is essential to keep in mind that birth order research is still in its infancy and that numerous studies have produced contradictory results. Understanding the connection between birth order and personality can be difficult because of factors like cultural differences, family dynamics, and individual variation.

Interesting information about personality and birth order

High achievers are frequently more likely to be firstborns: Firstborn children are more likely to hold leadership positions and have higher educational attainment, according to Judith Rich Harris and Frank J. Sulloway.

Children born later typically have a greater propensity for taking risks: According to research conducted by Richard H. Zweigenhaft and G. William Domhoff, younger children, particularly the youngest ones, are more likely than older siblings to engage in risky and adventurous behaviors.

Career choices may be influenced by birth order: Sandra L. Merz and her colleagues conducted a study and found that birth order can affect career choices. While later-born children were more inclined toward artistic and investigative fields, firstborn children were more likely to choose conventional occupations like law.

Personality traits may be influenced by birth order: According to the findings of a study conducted by Boris Egloff and Julia M. Rohrer, birth order has a small but significant impact on personality dimensions. For instance, conscientiousness tends to be higher in firstborns, while openness to experience is higher in later-borns.

Interactions between gender and birth order: Gender may have a different impact on personality than birth order, according to some studies. Researchers like Catherine Salmon and Katrin Schumann have looked into how male and female birth order has different effects on personality traits.

Traits that are common to people of different birth orders
FirstbornsMiddlebornsLastbornsOnly Children
Conscientious and Responsible Negotiators and PeacemakersSocial and outgoingHave a desire for uniqueness
High achieversHumorous and PlayfulHumurous and PlayfulGood bond with adults
Scalability and AdaptabilityHave desire for uniquenessIndependent and RebelliousIndependent and Mature
Follow Rules
  1. Judith Rich Harris:
    • Harris, J. R. (1998). The nurture assumption: Why children turn out the way they do. Free Press.
  2. Frank J. Sulloway:
    • Sulloway, F. J. (1996). Born to rebel: Birth order, family dynamics, and creative lives. Vintage.
  3. Richard H. Zweigenhaft and G. William Domhoff:
    • Zweigenhaft, R. L., & Domhoff, G. W. (2006). Birth order and social status: Some explanations for the conventional wisdom. Political Psychology, 27(3), 297-316.
  4. Sandra L. Merz et al.:
    • Merz, S., Lüdtke, O., Staudinger, U. M., & Lüdtke, O. (2009). Predicting career success across the life span: A life-span perspective on successful aging. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 6(4), 436-452.
  5. Julia M. Rohrer and Boris Egloff:
    • Rohrer, J. M., Egloff, B., & Schmukle, S. C. (2015). Examining the effects of birth order on personality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(46), 14224-14229.
  6. Catherine Salmon and Katrin Schumann:
    • Salmon, C. A., & Schumann, K. (2007). The benefits of being an only child: An exploration of perceptions and relationships in parent-child dyads. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 24(2), 297-317.