- The Effect of Birth Order -   

Ψ  You should note that the influence of birth order on the development of personality is a controversial issue  
in psychology. Most of the claims about birth order have not been supported  by scientific research. In any case, for 
your information here are four birth order types & some of their proposed characteristics:

Ψ  First born – the leaders, the drivers & the responsible types. These people like to manage others but first 
they need to manage themselves. They love to feel in control & can feel uncomfortable with surprises or feeling out 
of their depth. They are conservative in their outlook, which is both a strength & a weakness. Their ability to focus 
on a goal & their propensity to organise others means they can achieve whatever they put their minds to.   

Ψ  The first born tendency toward perfectionism can mean they can be low risk-takers but they can be the rock 
around which organizations can be built. Approval of authority is important for this group so don’t expect them to rock 
the boat too much. First born, above all else, want to forge ahead.
Ψ  Second born – the ‘people’ people, the compromisers, & the flexible operators. They are likely to motivated 
by a cause and will enjoy working alongside people. They will often choose tasks or even a job that will give them a 
feeling of belonging. Friendships are important to this group so they will learn to get along and will help keep the peace 
in a group or organization. They often need others to drive them but they are the glue that holds groups together. 
Relationships are important to this group so make sure they included in all activities. Seconds, above all else, put 
people first.  

Ψ  Only Children – the quiet achievers, the finishers, they expect nothing less than the best. This group will raise 
the bar for everyone around them as nothing but the best will do. Their great strength is their ability to work for long periods 
of time on their own so they make great project finishers & strategic thinkers but they can be secretive & don’t deal well 
with conflict. Recognition is important to this group. Only children, above all else, aim to please.  

Ψ  Youngest – the initiators, ideas people & the challengers. This group are the creative, live-for-the moment types 
who can put some fun & verve into activities. While the message for first born is to lighten up it seems that this group need 
to take things more seriously sometimes. Great initiators & very impatient doers, they persevere to get something started 
but often are not the greatest of finishers. This group will often do anything to be noticed so make sure you pay heed to 
their efforts. Youngest, above all else, will blow your mind.  

                                                                   Psychology Topics
                                                                      Robert C. Gates