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  1. #1
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    Default Birth Order and Intellectual Independence

    A hypothesis has just occured to me:

    First-borns and only children have greater intellectual independence, leading to conviction in judgment and higher skill in such things as debate.

    Younger siblings rely heavily on older siblings for judgments, thus, on average, have reduced ability to think on their own.

    This is purely concerned with environment, thus if children are raised separately, it doesn't apply.

    What say you?

  2. #2
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    I am a first-born, and I like to debate. I have two younger sisters, with the younger one being less outspoken than the middle one.

    I'm not sure how childhood social life might effect this, I had a big group of friends as a kid, but think it had no effect on mental independence.

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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I can back it up anecdotally. I pretty much idolized my older brother and had to consciously form my own identity apart from him as a young adult. I had to decide whether I really liked music because I liked it, or because he liked it, things like that.

    I have always kicked ass at debate (don't really do it much anymore because it's exhausting and I don't care to be right so much anymore), but even that was in part because he liked having a scrappy little sister who kicked ass.
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    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    A hypothesis has just occured to me:

    First-borns and only children have greater intellectual independence, leading to conviction in judgment and higher skill in such things as debate.

    Younger siblings rely heavily on older siblings for judgments, thus, on average, have reduced ability to think on their own.

    This is purely concerned with environment, thus if children are raised separately, it doesn't apply.

    What say you?
    I'm the oldest and obviously love to debate, but I have 7 younger siblings and 3 of them love to debate, as well...and they're the three youngest. That doesn't necessarily contradict your hypothesis, but I'd have to think on it for a while to figure out exactly why.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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    Older siblings don't have the cute factor so they have to try to convince parents on their level. I know I was the only one who could compel my dad to do anything. He would sometimes remark to my mom later "I don't know how she got me to let her do such-and-such, I was going to say no."
    I don't wanna!

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    A hypothesis has just occured to me:

    First-borns and only children have greater intellectual independence, leading to conviction in judgment and higher skill in such things as debate.

    Younger siblings rely heavily on older siblings for judgments, thus, on average, have reduced ability to think on their own.

    This is purely concerned with environment, thus if children are raised separately, it doesn't apply.

    What say you?
    It's not a bad idea for a research project; but I think the conclusion is so broad as to be meaningless if it's only going to be abstractly/informally debated, and that there is also a multiplicity of factors that can impact intellectual independence.

    What strateg(ies) would you use to properly isolate the variable you're theorizing about?

    Right now, the responses here -- while interesting anecdotes -- are mostly just begging the question.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #7
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    I think first-borns might end up arguing with their parents more partly because since they are their parents first kid, they don't really know what they are doing, so the first-born will seize upon their child naivety and unsureness with argument to get what they want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It's not a bad idea for a research project...What strateg(ies) would you use to properly isolate the variable you're theorizing about?
    None. I've no interest in conducting a study, nor discovering a purpose for the resulting data. I'll leave that to an ENTP.

    If my idea and the resulting contemplation by others results in a greater awareness of the nuances of the human psyche by anyone, I consider my mission accomplished.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It's not a bad idea for a research project; but I think the conclusion is so broad as to be meaningless if it's only going to be abstractly/informally debated, and that there is also a multiplicity of factors that can impact intellectual independence.

    What strateg(ies) would you use to properly isolate the variable you're theorizing about?
    Can I take credit for this? I so want to take credit for this Bah, I know I can't

    (I actually have no idea how to isolate the environmental factors here! Perhaps age gap, assuming that older-older didn't step in like closer siblings... but that's weak, and you get into the resource issues again, etc.)

  10. #10
    Earth Exalted Thursday's Avatar
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