Research Shows IQ Unrelated To Family Size; Birth Order Unrelated To IQ
Political Misapplication Of IQ Data
In the past, some authors and scientists used skewed findings of The Bell Curve to denigrate African Americans by using its data to label them and all persons of color as "slow", "less intelligent", and several other slurs that proved in accurate. Politically, a portion of the general public readily accepted these slurs to reinforce their bigotry and their sense of superiority.
Since the bell-curve intelligence plot of human IQs has been shown not to reinforce the slurs applied to racial minorities, a residue of hangers-on insist on accepting the inaccuracies as truth.
Other study findings and the body of research literature targeting other aspects of human intelligence are not so much incorrect as they are becoming outdated. and thus, inapplicable. They are becoming less correct, because of the changes that have occurred and are continuing to develop in the human nuclear and extended family since the 1980s.
This (Birth Order theory) is a pop psych thesis that’s sold a lot of books and filled a lot of talk show time, and many have assumed that it’s solid science. But according to the results of the largest study ever conducted on birth order and personality, it’s all much ado about nothing.— David DiSalvo, Forbes; about Damian et.al. study
Changes Among Generations X, Y and Z
By the time we reach the 2000s in our examination of the generations from the Lost Generation to Generation Z, we see that the family looks significantly different on average than it did in the ideal of the 1950s and early 1960s: mother, father, brother, sister, cat, and dog. The ideal was seen in grocery shopping ads, insurance commercials, and various memes of the era.
Add the LGBTQ population into the definitions of the modern family, and that family is alien to folks that hold fast to the earlier ideal and those people and families seem alien to many modern families as well. The family today has many definitions and in children's cartoons, it is called "the herd" and shows diversity of animal species as a proxy for diverse humanity. Further, a herd may comprise just two people or a person and a pet.
Political Misapplication Of IQ Score
Since the turn of the 21st century, after the successes of the Clinton Era's Welfare to Work programs that removed thousands of individuals from American public assistance rolls into gainful employment, some interest groups are still unhappy with the number of people of color, people of lower income, and refugees in the USA and wish to reduce their number.
IQ labeling is one method of targeting individuals for elimination.
Blue Plaque- World's First IQ Test, Haslingden Health Centre
Sponsor Of IQ Testing Was A Businessman
Sir William Mather (1838 – 1920) was a British mechanical engineer and textile manufacturer, and Liberal politician who served in the House of Commons. As a company owner, he reduced the work day to eight hours for his employees and was most interested in education.
Related Historic Roots Of IQ Labeling
The wish for reduced numbers in the target groups seems akin to the wish behind the staging of the Irish, Scottish, and Welsh Potato Famines that eliminated from the UK certain populations that the Crown and nobility deemed slow, less intelligence, inarticulate, drunk, shiftless, and worthless. I know this from familial experience --
Personal And Familial Experience
In the early 1800s my father's family in the UK were British and resided in England. Seeking a better economic life, a large portion moved to - off all places - Ireland and Scotland, but quickly sailed to America when they they saw the Potato Famines gearing up to sell potatoes abroad clear the lands of people in favor of sheep and such.
Unfortunately, the emigres brought with them a stereotypical hate of the Irish and Catholics that lasted until the late 20th century.
Today's Undercurrents Of Labeling And Discrimination
Currently, a few hold-out groups use Birth Order and IQ/Family-Size predictions politically to convince the public of the inherent evil of reproducing too often and of having more than one or two children per couple (or singleton).
The smallest group among the few mentioned wishes for 0 Population Growth among the "unworthies" - no reproduction at all, with a wish to have everyone who is or will be receiving public assistance cash benefits, SNAP food assistance, and/or Medicaid surgically sterilized.
As a child in 1965, when the national Public Assistance system and Medicaid were instituted under the Great Society of President Lyndon Johnson, I saw Ohio legislators propose the enforced sterilizations mentioned in the paragraph above. The legislation died in committee, because it would be too hard to enforce and likely unconstitutional.
Debunking The Incorrect Results Of Birth Order And Family Size Studies Of The Past
Previously held beliefs about Birth Order and IQ related to Family Size were debunked beginning in 2000, particularly in the following long study and follow-on:
"Resolving the debate over birth order, family size, and intelligence." Rodgers, Joseph Lee; Cleveland, H. Harrington; van den Oord, Edwin; Rowe, David C. American Psychologist, Vol 55(6), Jun 2000; American Psychological Association, 2014; Joseph Lee Rodgers, 2015.
The material points out serious flaws in the studies whose findings presented and reinforced the beliefs previously held related to Birth Order and IQ/Family-Size. The absolute effect size of some of these studies was found by the Rodgers group to be only 0.01 and 0.02, where 100.00 means total relatedness and 0.00 means no relation. The significance of those small numbers is "0.00" or no relation found.
Other troubling elements were discovered as well and are available in the journal article online or in your local university library.
- "It appears that although low-IQ parents have been making large families, large families do not make low-IQ children in modern U.S. society. The apparent relation between birth order and intelligence has been a methodological illusion."
A Scientific Amen
In 2015, the largest study into Birth Order was conducted and reinforces the Rodgers findings:
"The associations of birth order with personality and intelligence in a representative sample (377,000) of U.S. high school students." Damian, Rodica Ioana and Roberts, Brent W. Journal of Research in Personality. Elsevier; October 2015.
- The average absolute association (not significance score) between birth order and personality was .02 (negligible or none)
- The average absolute association between birth order and intelligence was .04 (negligible or none)
- Controls were age, sex, sibship size, socioeconomic status, and family structure/size.
- The effects did not differ across different social categories.
"It’s tempting to credit and blame a child’s personality traits, characteristics, and fate on birth order. The reality however is so much more complex; each child’s character and fate are based on biology and environment and encompass hundreds of thousands choices in and out of his control."
Birth order probably should not influence your parenting because it’s not meaningfully related to your kid’s personality or IQ.— Scientist Rodica Damian
Inaccuracies Corrected In Past Research
1. Families having more than two children, or many children, no longer indicates low parental IQ Scores.
2. The children in larger families indicated in #1 above no longer are destined to have low IQ Scores.
2. Birth Order is no longer (was perhaps never) linked to IQ Score.
It appears that although low-IQ parents have been making large families, large families do not make low-IQ children in modern U.S. society. The apparent relation between birth order and intelligence has been a methodological illusion.— Rodgers, et.al.
Damian et.al. Findings
>>It has been tempting to credit or blame child and adult personality traits, characteristics, and fate on birth order.
>>Rather, each child’s personality and success or lack of it, are based on biology and environment and encompass hundreds of thousands choices in and out of his/her control.
Additional Information And The Future
Prior to the 20th century, personalities and intelligence were determined by feeling the bumps on the head of a human subject, client, patient, or accused law breaker; and by examining unrelated physical attributes like beady eyes, jaw size, high or low ("ape-like") foreheads, and physical stature depicted as endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph.
Skin color and other demographics were added to the mix for diagnosis, also inaccurate, even though the Bible was used to uphold them.However, most of these all seemed to become passe - the last one, hard-fought against by the Reverend K.C. Price over months of televised presentations from his church in Los Angeles, California in the 1980s and 1990s.
I hope that today's public will not be seduced into accepting previous, inaccurate, or false study results presented in an attempt by a few individuals to perform politically motivated social engineering in hopes of reducing demographic groups through sterilization or genocide.
The few may also have as motivation 1) failing to keep up with scientific information and/or 2) bolstering their own feelings of worth by denigrating others, but I cannot say with certainty.
I can say with certainty that hate groups do exist in America and in the world at large and that I hope to see them disintegrate.
I cannot accept the statement that the highest IQ individuals in America or elsewhere are all of one particular faith or lack of same, income range, political party, educational attainment, birth order, marriage status, and family size -- Or that a high IQ Score is a mountaintop acheivement that leads to further success. The evidence is against it all.
© 2015 Patty Inglish
More by this Author
Suicide rates have changed by age and gender since 2008 and the beginning of the Great Recession. The greatest increases do not appear in the cohort of workers, despite loss of jobs and homes.
Two of the most visible examples of successful careers combined with "introvert" personality descriptors are actors Steve Martin and Johnny Carson, who have been extroverts onstage.
California experienced financial setbacks in the 2000s, but aerospace began to grow. California is home to more aerospace companies in NASA's Commercial Crew than any other US State. Go Mars! Go Moon!