Does Birth Order Affect Personality?

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Personality is identified as a combination of behaviors, perceptions, and mental patterns that develop through time due to environmental and biological influences. The field of humanistic psychology, often known as personality psychology, aims to understand the principles that underpin behavioral distinctions. One of the factors considered possible to influence the formation of a human personality is the order of birth. In order to discuss the effect on personality, it is essential to select several factors that are connected with its concept. Birth order can impact the development of intellect, emotional maturity, and overall well-being, but it does not influence life satisfaction, locus of control, interpersonal trust, reciprocity, risk-taking, and impulsivity.

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The birth order determines the rank of a person in the sibling group. The researchers divided the birth orders into four groups: firstborn, middle born, lastborn, only born, and twins (Joy & Mathew, 2019). It is generally regarded as the science of comprehending a person’s role within a family. Scholars have suggested that a person’s birth order has an irreversible impact on their lifestyle (Joy & Mathew, 2019). In addition, they applied that notion to explain a person’s individuality in life (Joy & Mathew, 2019). Academics also considered that a child’s chronological position in the family significantly impacts the personality (Joy & Mathew, 2019). This is due to the belief that parents treat their children differently depending on their birth order.

The first psychological factor that impacts the formation of the human personality and which should be considered in the paradigm of the influence of the birth order on it is life satisfaction. Life satisfaction refers to how individuals express their emotions, sentiments, and moods and how they realize their prospective orientations and alternatives. It is an internal capacity to manage one’s ordinary routine measured in terms of happiness, relationship quality, objectives attained, and self-concepts.

Rather than an analysis of present feelings, life satisfaction entails a positive attitude about one’s existence. Life happiness can be examined in connection to various factors, including economic status, level of education, accomplishments, and place of living, to mention a few. Subjective well-being is considered to be mostly determined by life satisfaction. According to the researchers, it can be stated that birth order has no meaningful effect on life satisfaction (Rohrer et al., 2017). Therefore, it can be concluded that the order of birth does not affect the possible future sense of pleasure from life and satisfaction from the performance of assigned tasks. In general, a person experiences a sense of satisfaction from his life when his inner goals, mental desires, and imaginations occur in reality. Whether a person in his family is the eldest, the youngest, or the only child does not have a practical impact on his perception of the ideal existence.

Another personality factor that should be considered regarding the probable influence of birth order is the locus of control. The extent to which individuals assume they, rather than external factors beyond their authority, have control over the result of situations in their life is referred to as locus of control. The concept was first proposed in 1954, and it has since become a part of psychological science in terms of personality (Kesavayuth et al., 2020). An individual’s “locus” is possible to be internal, which means a conviction that one can manage one’s lifestyle.

Furthermore, “locus” can be external, a belief that one’s life is directed by outside elements that one cannot regulate or that one’s life is ruled by coincidence or fate. People with an internal control locus realize that occurrences in their lives are mostly the product of their activities (Kesavayuth et al., 2020). For instance, individuals with an internal locus of control prefer to compliment or criticize themselves and their talents. What concerns the studies on the locus of control, scholars revealed no real influence of birth order on this phenomenon (Rohrer et al., 2017). In this case, it can be emphasized that the position of children in the family hierarchy does not significantly affect their assessment of their actions and life events.

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Assurance in another individual, or between two people, and a readiness to be transparent for him or her or to each other is how interpersonal trust is generally defined. In interpersonal connections, trust exists in order to establish various levels of interactions. Humans have a natural tendency to trust and appraise the trustworthiness of others (Sisk & Baker, 2019). This may be linked to the human brain’s natural form and composition. In psychology, trust is defined as the belief that the person to whom one is entrusted will perform as expected. One of the most considerable predictors of emotional well-being is a person’s attitudinal inclination to trust others, which may be called a personality feature. Since trust improves the performance of one’s interpersonal connections, it increases one’s perceived well-being; happy individuals are competent at maintaining good relationships. Trust is central to the concept of social power: it is easier to convince or influence someone who feels trust (Sisk & Baker, 2019). Since the interpersonal sense of trust is one of the fundamental aspects of socialization and the establishment of communication, this phenomenon is important from the point of view of forming a personality.

The influence of birth order on an important social component, which is a person’s level of trust in the conditions of the environment, cannot be determined without proper research. Using sociological research tools and studying a large number of people and their behavior in various situations, scientists have analyzed the relationship between birth order and the level of trust. According to scholars, birth order and the position of children within their family system do not significantly impact the future level of interpersonal trust (Rohrer et al., 2017). Therefore, it is feasible to state that the level of a person’s trust in the environment is mainly formed by actions and situations that are not associated with his seniority among brothers and sisters. A person gains confidence in his friends, relatives, and random people due to his inner conviction in how the minimum acceptable level is determined at which it is possible to trust another person.

Reciprocity is a cultural convention in social psychology that rewards kind deeds by reacting to good action with another positive deed. Reciprocity is a key aspect of human social interaction, accounting for a considerable portion of community cooperation (Hilbe et al., 2018). From a sociological perspective, reciprocity means that individuals are generally considerably friendlier and more collaborative in reaction to pleasant behaviors than expected by the self-interest approach (Hilbe et al., 2018). In contrast, they are typically much more unpleasant and even cruel in response to acts of aggression. Reciprocity allows for the development of long-term partnerships and exchanges that are mutually beneficial (Hilbe et al., 2018). It is an effective strategy for getting one’s acquiescence with a request, as well as a major deciding element of human behavior (Hilbe et al., 2018). Even when presented with an unsolicited favor and regardless of whether or not someone likes the person who performed the favor, the law of reciprocity has the capacity to elicit sentiments of indebtedness.

It is possible to differentiate ideal altruism, which means providing without expecting anything in return, and reciprocal altruism, which is described as giving with the hope of receiving something in return, expecting potential rewards. Beneficial reciprocity happens when one person’s activity positively impacts another person and is reciprocated with an action that has a similar positive impact. Negative reciprocity happens when an activity that has a bad impact on someone is reciprocated with an action that has a negative impact on the same person.

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It is essential to examine the probable influence of birth order on the reciprocity phenomenon. According to numerous studies based on the specification-curve method of analysis, scientists did not find a direct relationship between the factor of birth order and reciprocity (Rohrer et al., 2017). Based on the details described above, reciprocity is closely related to the concept of altruism and the ability to do good deeds, not only for personal gain but also from sincerely positive motives. In this situation, it can be emphasized that a person’s ability to do good deeds in exchange for a positive from the outside world has deeper causes and conditions for occurrence. Environmental and psychological factors of influence are stronger than the order of birth in a family.

Risk-taking refers to the factor of human personality, which describes an individual’s behavior from the side of the ability to perform actions with an unknown result. People who take risks participate in actions that may result in undesirable outcomes, such as bodily harm, social rejection, legal issues, or economic difficulties (Ciranka & van den Bos, 2021). Riskier behaviors are more probable to occur in such results than those that are less likely to result in such effects (Ciranka & van den Bos, 2021). Nevertheless, regardless of the associated risk level, every activity can have both good and bad outcomes. The first type includes being aware that conduct may have both positive and bad repercussions. Yet, individuals engage in the practice since they believe the positive outcomes are more possible than the adverse consequences. People who think about repercussions in the second method, on the other hand, do not appear to weigh both positive and negative outcomes when considering engaging in the action.

Considering the potential impact of the order of birth on the future risk-taking feature of character, it can be defined that there are different studies dedicated to this aspect. What concerns the researchers they determined that it is impossible to find the exact dependability between birth order and the extent of risk-taking behavior (Rohrer et al., 2017). Human personality is arranged so that not all decisions are made with the help of adequate weighing and calculation. It happens due to the fact that individuality is subject to both the influence of external factors and the impact of internal mental characteristics. Based on practical examples, it was determined that birth order and age authority among children in a family have no direct effect on a person’s ability to be more or less risky in the future.

In psychology and social sciences, impulsivity, commonly referred to as impulsiveness, is a propensity to act immediately, with little or no planning, contemplation, or concern about the consequences. Impulsive behaviors are frequently ill-considered, prematurely expressed, overly dangerous, or unsuited to the context, resulting in unfavorable outcomes that jeopardize long-term objectives and methods for success (Herman et al., 2018). Bipolar illness, borderline personality illness, and antisocial personality disorder all include impulsivity as a feature of their effects and a fundamental component of this disease (Herman et al., 2018). Although many activities have impulsive and compulsive characteristics, the two aspects are functionally separate. Both impulsivity and compulsivity have an intention to respond early or without giving it much consideration, and both have negative consequences (Herman et al., 2018). Positive eagerness, negative urgency, openness to experience, lack of preparation, and lack of endurance are five attributes that can contribute to impulsive behavior (Herman et al., 2018). What concerns personality is impulsivity is an important trait of a human character because it determines by what method a person will perform actions and what behavior will be demonstrated in all life settings.

Considering birth order, it is important to analyze the relationship between the age of authority among children and the extent to which a person depicts impulsive behavior. According to scholars, the order of birth has no meaningful effect on the impulsivity of the individual’s character (Rohrer et al., 2017). Furthermore, it should be noted that the researchers studied the influence of birth order on the inverse impulsivity aspect of human personality, which is called patience. Based on the results of these works, it can be concluded that the level of patience in a person is also not affected by the order of birth (Rohrer et al., 2017). Consequently, the level of impulsiveness of the character of an individual is determined by external and internal factors, which can include family education, but is not subject to the effect of birth order.

Emotional maturity and overall well-being are significant factors that should be explored in terms of personality. Emotional maturity refers to an individual’s authority to regulate emotions, including emotional growth, autonomy, social adjustment, mental stability, and interpersonal harmony (Joy & Mathew, 2019). General well-being is personal well-being connected to bodily state but not reliant on an individual’s physiological condition. Emotional stability refers to achieving an adult degree of emotional evolution, which includes impulse stability in social situations. Emotional maturity is seen as a key influence in the development of an individual’s personality, conduct, and perspectives, and it aids in the enhancement of interpersonal relationships as well as self-worth (Joy & Mathew, 2019). These aspects of human personality are important since they largely determine the emotional state of a person and his satisfaction with events that occur in life. Considering the researchers, it is possible to state that between single-born, firstborn, and lastborn teenagers, there is a considerable variation in emotional development and general well-being (Joy & Mathew, 2019). Consequently, birth order has the potential to influence the emotional stability of individuals and the overall well-being of living conditions.

In understanding the human mind, intelligence is related to, characterizes, and recognizes the human mind’s capacity to make accurate judgments about what is true and incorrect in reality and how to solve difficulties. As a subset of intelligence, intellect is concerned with the logical and reasoning operations of the human brain and is often restricted to facts and information (Jach & Smillie, 2021). A conceptual framework of truth based on perception and comprehension of life’s material universe gives rise to an individual’s intellectual perception of things (Jach & Smillie, 2021). Authentic experience is essential for a person’s intellectual growth since, in addressing life’s difficulties, a person may cognitively grasp a social situation and alter social conduct. According to scholars, it is possible to conclude that birth order can impact the development of intellect among people since studies demonstrate intellectual differences between children of various age groups (Rohrer et al., 2017). Based on the results, it can be emphasized that birth order in the family can affect the child’s ability to absorb information and potential success in the educational process.


To summarize, a person’s rank in the sibling group is determined by birth order. The researchers divided the birth orders into four groups: firstborn, middle born, last born, only born, and twins. It is generally regarded as the science of comprehending a person’s role within a family. Birth order can impact the development of intellect, emotional maturity, and overall well-being, but according to the researchers, it does not influence life satisfaction, locus of control, interpersonal trust, reciprocity, risk-taking, and impulsivity. Therefore, it can be concluded that birth order can influence certain aspects of life activity; however, other internal and external aspects form the overall picture of human personality.


Ciranka, S., & van den Bos, W. (2021). Adolescent risk-taking in the context of exploration and social influence. Developmental Review, 61. Web.

Herman, A. M., Critchley, H. D., & Duka, T. (2018). Risk-taking and impulsivity: The role of mood states and interoception. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. Web.

Hilbe, C., Chatterjee, K., & Nowak, M. A. (2018). Partners and rivals in direct reciprocity. Nature Human Behaviour, 2(7), 469-477. Web.

Jach, H. K., & Smillie, L. D. (2021). Testing the information‐seeking theory of openness/intellect. European Journal of Personality, 35(1), 103-119. Web.

Joy, M., & Mathew, M. A. (2019). Impact of birth order on emotional maturity and general well-being of adolescents. International Journal of Education and Psychological Research, 7(4), 26-33. Web.

Kesavayuth, D., Poyago-Theotoky, J., & Zikos, V. (2020). Locus of control, health and healthcare utilization. Economic Modelling, 86, 227-238. Web.

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Sisk, B., & Baker, J. N. (2019). A model of interpersonal trust, credibility, and relationship maintenance. Pediatrics, 144(6). Web.

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"Does Birth Order Affect Personality?" PsychologyWriting, 17 Nov. 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Does Birth Order Affect Personality'. 17 November.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Does Birth Order Affect Personality?" November 17, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Does Birth Order Affect Personality?" November 17, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Does Birth Order Affect Personality?" November 17, 2022.