Tag Archives: Family

Birth Order Matters—Marginally

That’s the finding of a large study by Julia Rohrer, Boris Egloff and Stefan Schmukle.


… Empirical research on the relation between birth order and intelligence has convincingly documented that performances on psychometric intelligence tests decline slightly from firstborns to later-borns. By contrast, the search for birth-order effects on personality has not yet resulted in conclusive findings. We used data from three large national panels … In our analyses, we confirmed the expected birth-order effect on intelligence. We also observed a significant decline of a 10th of a SD in self-reported intellect with increasing birth-order position, and this effect persisted after controlling for objectively measured intelligence. Most important, however, we consistently found no birth-order effects on extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, or imagination. On the basis of the high statistical power and the consistent results across samples and analytical designs, we must conclude that birth order does not have a lasting effect on broad personality traits outside of the intellectual domain.

ScienceDaily report.

Family Constellations

documentary on (German-language TV channel) SWR looked into “family constellations,” a

method which draws on elements of family systems therapy, existential phenomenology and Zulu attitudes to family…. a Family Constellation supposedly attempts to reveal a previously unrecognized systemic dynamic that spans multiple generations in a given family and to resolve the deleterious effects of that dynamic by encouraging the subject to accept the factual reality of the past. (Source: Wikipedia)

The documentary covers one session. It does not report on the substantial controversy surrounding the method and its proponents.

Some information in German: therapie.de; Wikipedia.