silviu / CC BY NC 2.0

Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

According to a poll out of the U.K., eldest siblings feel more responsible and successful than their younger siblings.

By Lauren Zima | January 30, 2015

More evidence that birth order affects personality. (Video via Buena Vista Pictures / "The Lion King")

New research out of the U.K. polled people on how they compare to their siblings. 

For example, 54 percent of firstborns said they were more responsible than their siblings. Only 31 percent of youngest siblings said they felt the most responsible in their families. Of the youngests, 46 percent of them said they're funnier than their elders. 

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Another notable trend: 38 percent of eldest children felt more successful than their siblings, though the researchers note that could simply be because they're older and have had more time to develop in their careers.

So this research was all about self-reporting, but it speaks to a larger trend. Birth order has long been thought to have some effect on personality — it's just hard to prove. 

Medical Daily also recently explored how birth order affects children, noting firstborns tend to be less risk-taking than younger siblings. 

The Guardian spoke to a clinical psychologist about this new study out of the U.K. Her take? "There is a lot of clinical evidence [about birth order]. ... But you can't clone people and put them in different birth order positions. So there isn't much of what we call hard evidence."

About 1,700 British adults were surveyed for the poll. 

This video includes music from Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0.

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