Who’s the smartest among your siblings? If you’re the first born, then you are, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh, the Analysis Group and the University of Sydney found that children who were born first typically scored higher on IQ tests than their younger siblings.
First-born children may have better thinking skills than their siblings because they received more mental stimulation during their early stages of development, researchers said.
For the study, researchers used data from the U.S. Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth on nearly 5,000 children who were monitored from pre-birth to age 14. Every two years, the children in the survey were assessed on a variety of categories, including reading, vocabulary assessment and matching letters.
The research found that firstborn children typically perform better than their siblings as early as age 1, which could be due to how parents treat subsequent children. According to the study, parents were less likely to partake in mentally stimulating activities with their younger children, meaning they may not have developed the same thinking skills as the older sibling.
The results from this study are similar to other studies that have looked at whether birth order plays a role in IQ level and personality traits.
While the study has similar findings as other studies along this line, siblings may beg to differ as to who is actually the smartest in the family.
The study was published in the Journal of Human Resources.