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Are older siblings more intelligent?

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Are older siblings more intelligent?
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This is the eternal debate for brothers and sister around the world.  Not who is going to be the most beautiful, or the strongest: no, instead we are interested to know who is the most intelligent.  Well German researchers have already discovered the answer. To the disappointment of the younger siblings (not to worry I’m with you here), it seems that the oldest sibling is slightly more intelligent than their little brothers or sisters… 

Siblings and their varying intelligence

A German university wanted to understand the link that might exist between our IQ and our family rank (youngest or oldest).  Researchers analysed tests of more than 20, 000 people, from families with siblings of varying age ranges in order to carry out their research. Their results are surprising.  They noted a difference of 1.5 in the IQ between each child. In other words, the oldest sibling had on average, an IQ that was higher than their younger brother or sister by 1.5.

enfant à la plage t-shirt
© Pixabay

How are these results explained?

The “intelligence difference” between siblings can be explained by rank. In general, people assume that parents pay more attention to their first child. They pay more attention to their academic success, their homework and encourage them to learn new subjects or hobbies. In some ways, the firstborn uses up the attention of their parents.
Another theory focuses on how younger brothers and sisters look up to their older sibling. The oldest child usually takes the place of “tutor” for their younger siblings. The older child therefore needs to breakdown concepts so that they can explain and teach things to their brothers and sisters.  This learning process allows the greater development of cognitive functions, which leads to higher quality intellectual development.

Other factors

Many factors can influence the cognitive functions of a child.  Many researchers and child development specialists believe that the environment plays an important – even major – role in a child’s intellectual development. 
If a child is brought up in an environment that is stimulated by games, culture and reading their cognitive abilities will develop more easily as a result.  What’s more the exclusive attention of parents is necessary for intellectual development.  There is also a link between the parents education and their child’s intelligence.  As a result,  the more educated the parents are, the more likely their children will have good IQ results. 

enfants PC
© Pixabay

IQ and intelligence tests

It is important to remember that intelligence tests don’t really show your exact level of intelligence.  Currently IQ tests often regroup several types of tests such as:

  • Completing a scenario;
  • Imagining a scene;
  • Speed of processing information;
  • Remembering scenarios, etc

Nowadays, many believe that intelligence is ultimately a person’s ability to adapt to their environment. Therefore, IQ tests essentially help to understand how you are able to reason and think things through logically.

If you are the older sibling, feel free to pass on your wisdom to your younger brothers and/or sisters!

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