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In our attempts to categorize people we often over simplify the situation As human beings we feel most comfortable if we place individuals into safe and familiar groups Once people have been placed in the appropriate slot we may then better understand and analyze their actions and behaviours We may even attempt to use these classifications to predict future behaviour Birth order theories are one such attempt to explain and forecast human behaviour Although birth-order studies have flourished in the past there has been a dramatic decline in birth-order research during the last twenty years As I began my research on birth-order I was initially excited about the links between birth position personality and personal outcomes People are often surprised by differences between siblings assuming personality develops as the result of social interactions alone Birth-order could be used to account for developmental differences between siblings Birth order studies tend to attribute differences in children to parenting style and sibling interactions However many of the studies in this area present contradictory and confusing information regarding this topic I am forced to conclude that while birth-order does offer some explanations for large differences between children raised together it is a narrow and ambiguous theory People are too complex to be explained by such theories Vast differences between siblings if they even exist must be the result of multiple factors not birth-order exclusively Interest in birth order studies comes and goes A book written in 1996 by Frank Sulloway called Born to Rebel proved very popular re-igniting interest Cowley 1996 While many people have interest in birth order relationships these assumptions about character and disposition should probably not be taken seriously nor can birth order be used to reliably predict behaviour Birth order studies have a history of being confusing flakiey and unscientific Birth order theory states that large differences between siblings are often present and that we should interact with people based on ordinal position Morales 1994
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