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Author Topic: Birth Order Effects IQ
Leonide
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Birth Order Effects IQ

Thoughts? I think it's fascinating that IQ (a dubious test for intelligence in the first place, but nonetheless...) is more nurture and less nature.

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TomDavidson
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I think it's obvious that having to split parental attention during the first few years will result in the second child getting less total attention than the first did.
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steven
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Oddly, the largest family out of my group of close friends totally contradicts this data. The most intelligent child is the 4th of 4 boys. The dumbest is either the 1st or 3rd boy. My friend is the 2nd boy.
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brojack17
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I have two older sisters who are both underachievers. I know this is more about IQ and not success, but since we have not all taken an IQ test what else can I judge on. I am the oldest/only male. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Or not.

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rivka
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Are those differences even statistically significant?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Are those differences even statistically significant?

I was going to say the same thing.

We are talking about less then 5 points.

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Primal Curve
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Are those differences even statistically significant?

I'm a second-born child. I have no idea to what you refer.
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Xavier
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I am the middle child, and demonstratively more intelligent than either of my brothers.

*shrug*

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by steven:
Oddly, the largest family out of my group of close friends totally contradicts this data. The most intelligent child is the 4th of 4 boys. The dumbest is either the 1st or 3rd boy. My friend is the 2nd boy.

It's a statistical analysis. They're talking about averages. Certainly they aren't suggesting that their results apply to all cases. Simply most of them.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Are those differences even statistically significant?

I was going to say the same thing.

We are talking about less then 5 points.

Depends on the sample size. Even 20 points doesn't mean much with a small sample, while even a point can mean quite a bit if the sample is large enough.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
I am the middle child, and demonstratively more intelligent than either of my brothers.

*shrug*

Don't take this the wrong way, but would either of them have misused the word "demonstratively" the way you did?
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rivka
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Actually, that's not true either. Claiming that it is true on average need not imply that it is true in more cases than not. It could also mean that the difference is larger in those cases where it is true.

However, given that the differences are substantially smaller than the margin or error of the IQ test, I just don't buy that this study (one of many, conducted over the past 100 years, which has failed to really answer the question) actually means much of anything.

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Jhai
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I'm a bit dubious as to whether birth order affects raw intellectual power (well, there might be something happening in the womb, like with homosexual males). However, I wouldn't be at all surprised if birth order affected personality traits, which may have an effect on how well you take an IQ test.
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Amanecer
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quote:
well, there might be something happening in the womb, like with homosexual males
I have never heard of any theory regarding this. What do you mean?
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
I am the middle child, and demonstratively more intelligent than either of my brothers.

*shrug*

Don't take this the wrong way, but would either of them have misused the word "demonstratively" the way you did?

What's wrong with the way he used "demonstratively"? I don't think that the comma before the word "and" is necessary, and I would have used "demonstrably," but what Xavier said seems fine to my ear.
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Dagonee
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"Demonstratively" refers to the manner in which something is done - in a manner so as to demonstrate something. "Demonstrably" means capable of being demonstrated.
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Xavier
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quote:
Don't take this the wrong way, but would either of them have misused the word "demonstratively" the way you did?
[Razz]

I thought that perhaps that was wrong as I typed it, but frankly, I didn't really care to check. If you want to imply that misusing a word makes me less intelligent, you are welcome to do so. Thankfully, intelligence is one area in which I am not the least bit insecure [Wink] .

And to answer the original question, neither brother would probably even attempt to use the word, much less misuse it!

Thank you Dag for the correction, and I'll be sure to avoid making the mistake in the future.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
quote:
Don't take this the wrong way, but would either of them have misused the word "demonstratively" the way you did?
[Razz]

I thought that perhaps that was wrong as I typed it, but frankly, I didn't really care to check. If you want to imply that misusing a word makes me less intelligent, you are welcome to do so. Thankfully, intelligence is one area in which I am not the least bit insecure [Wink] .

Sorry... it's a kind of tic I have. When someone points out a typo and misspells "typo", or corrects my "grammer", or says I "mispelled" something, I feel the need to make the point. Same with someone talking about being smarter than someone else misusing a word in the process.

quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
And to answer the original question, neither brother would probably even attempt to use the word, much less misuse it!

<grin>
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NotMe
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Leonide - In this case, "affects" is better than "effects", but both are still wrong. The study only that there is a correlation between the higher status common to firstborn kids, and slightly higher IQ. Birth order is not as big a factor as status in the family pecking order is.

This really makes me wonder what would've been different if my older brother hadn't been born with Asperger's.

Amanecer - It has been shown that later sons are much more likely to be gay than the first one or two. This is true even if the boys don't grow up in the same household. The best theory right now seems to be that mothers build up some immunity or resistance to male hormones during pregnancy, and that has an effect on the boy's development.

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scholar
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In order to test gestational issues, they looked at children whose older sibling died before they were born, so that they were essentially raised as first born children. These children behaved the same as true first born children. Based on my limited experience and conversations with friends, developmentally, first born babies are ahead of their siblings (for when crawl, walk, roll, etc). I notice that with my baby, I tend to play with her and work on crawling and stuff a lot more than my friends with many children do with their babies (they are too busy chasing around the older ones).
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Samprimary
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Science proves I'm a genius and my brother is dumber than a rock, thus settling a contention we have had since we were both little kids.

Unfortunately science has yet to provide a refutation of his remarkable counterpoint, that I am glue and he is rubber.

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RunningBear
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I is smarterish then than the yyoung ones.
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Incidentally, shouldn't it be "affects" not "effects"?
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rivka
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Samprimary wins the thread.
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AvidReader
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Since the thread's been won anyway, what is the difference between affect and effect? I was just at dictionary.com today looking at that, and I still can't tell the difference.
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Teshi
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I was just about to say it's 'affect'.

Affect is a verb, effect is not.

This affects that.
This produces an effect on that.

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rivka
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Affect is usually a verb. The main occupation that would tend to use affect as a noun is psychiatrist/psychologist.
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Teshi
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Well, for the purposes of the confusion that usually arises from these two words.
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AvidReader
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quote:
Affect is a verb, effect is not.
You're kidding. There's a short, easy rule to distinguish the two (for general purposes)? You'd think dictionary.com would point that out.

Thanks for that, Teshi. I should be able to keep them straight now.

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Dagonee
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Effect is a verb sometimes, as well. For example:

"The best way to effect change is affect the opinion of the average person."

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rollainm
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Yeah, but that's just awkward.
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AvidReader
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And now I'm all confused again.
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ClaudiaTherese
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Generally, you will use "affect" as a verb and "effect" as a noun. That is the best rule to follow, and you will be right most of the time with the word choice if you follow that rule.

There are less common circumstances in which each can be used differently:
1) "effect" can mean, roughly, "to bring into being" (as in out of nothing) as a verb
2) "affect" can mean, roughly, "visible behavior relating to emotions" as a noun

However, as noted above by many very smart people, these are not the common usages. Stick to the general rule of If it's a noun, use "effect," and if it's a verb, use "affect," and you will do much better than most.

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Teshi
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Hm

Other than "effect change", is there any common usage for effect as a verb?

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
Hm

Other than "effect change", is there any common usage for effect as a verb?

Not what I'd call "common," but some you may run into:

quote:
[from Purdue University]

effect (transitive verb)

1: to cause to come into being <the citizens were able to effect a change in government policy>

2a: to bring about often by surmounting obstacles; accomplish <effect a settlement of a dispute>

2b: to put into operation <the duty of the legislature to effect the will of the citizens>

Usage: The confusion of the verbs affect and effect not only is quite common but has a long history. The verb effect was used in place of affect (1, above) as early as 1494 and in place of affect (2, above) as early as 1652. If you think you want to use the verb effect but are not certain, check the definitions here. The noun affect is sometimes mistakenly used for the noun effect. Except when your topic is psychology, you will seldom need the noun affect.

Would you like to try an interactive exercise on using affect and effect correctly?


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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Science proves I'm a genius and my brother is dumber than a rock, thus settling a contention we have had since we were both little kids.

Unfortunately science has yet to provide a refutation of his remarkable counterpoint, that I am glue and he is rubber.

(*laughing aloud)
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rivka
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M-W suggests "to effect a peace settlement."
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Teshi
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I personally have never had a problem with affect and effect, I don't know why, so I can't teach what I know to others.
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AvidReader
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I got 14/16 on the quiz with the affect=verb, effect=noun rule. One I should have know was an exception fromt he word psychology, but I messed up on this one:

This plan will surely affect/effect significant improvements in our productivity.

I'm not sure why effect is a verb there. At least I was usually right.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
This plan will surely affect/effect significant improvements in our productivity.

Here the most tenable interpretation is: This plan will surely <bring about> significant improvements in our productivity.

That's a verb use of "effect."

----

Edited to add: 16/16 on quiz. *pumps fist

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Dagonee
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quote:
Edited to add: 16/16 on quiz. *pumps fist
High five!
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Olivet
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Samprimary rocks. [Big Grin]

As long as we're discussing grammar, allow me one small indulgence.

Please, for the love of all that is holy, use "than" for comparison.

As in, "Despite being born last, I have a professionally tested IQ higher than my eldest sibling."

A liter of water weighs less than two liters.

*shakes fist*

*leaves to cleanse herself of the Grammar Demons*

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rivka
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Take me with you!
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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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*pluralize's*
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rivka
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Given that you're already impaled and on fire, I suppose you've already been punished enough.
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Tatiana
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I think the younger siblings are usually smarter, and my theory of why is that they have a much more interesting environment, they are exposed to their older siblings' toys, books, games, and entertaining play. Grownups are horribly boring compared to other kids. Everyone knows that. And the poor oldest/only children don't have anyone to play with (until younger siblings get old enough to play with the oldest). They sit at home with their huge pile of toys and are bored.

Middles and youngers ftw!

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AvidReader
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My baby sister might not have hit the benchmarks as early as I did, but she's just as smart as I am, pretty in a more exotic look, and she's an artist. I got robbed.
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Paul Goldner
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1) Its not birth order. The study talks about whether one is raised as the oldest or not... not whether you are the first born. Important distinction, I think.

2) The sample size is humongous, with an average IQ that is 2.3 points higher for the "oldest" compared to siblings. While this is smaller then the error on a normal iq test, its also very statistically significant given the sample size.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
The sample size is humongous, with an average IQ that is 2.3 points higher for the "oldest" compared to siblings. While this is smaller then the error on a normal iq test, its also very statistically significant given the sample size.

Indeed. *nods
With a large enough sample, any difference can be shown to be statistically significant. However, statistically significant is a technical term that is far different from clinically significant.

All "statistically significant" means is that you can be reasonably assured that the difference you found in the sample is representative of the difference you would find if you assessed that entire population. That difference could be a millionth of a percent, but you could be pretty darn sure about it. It's about the representativeness of the sample -- that's all, even though people often get confused by the terminology and treat it as more.

Doesn't mean the difference is important or that it's worth concern or attention. That's a separate judgment to make.

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fugu13
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Yes. One statistician whose blog I read finds studies that report significant findings that are tiny very amusing. He's a very practical sort, so to him the cutoff for 'interesting, publishable' result includes 'significant and meaningful'.
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