Birth order critical in forming personality, researcher says
October 14, 1996
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Children with older siblings are more likely to buck the system, and eldest children are more accepting of the status quo.
That's the conclusion of Frank Sulloway, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After spending more than a quarter century analyzing more than 6,500 people from history, he found that birth order is more important in shaping personality than gender, race, nationality or social class.
The study noted that Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin and abolitionist Harriet Tubman were all laterborns. Sulloway found that even a one-year separation made a younger sibling more likely to question authority.
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