There are stereotypes out there about birth order, and very often those stereotypes are spot-on,” says Delroy Paulhus, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. “I think this is one of those cases in which people just figured things out on their own.” But have they? Stack up enough anecdotal maybes, and they start to look like a scientific definitely. Things that appear definite, however, have a funny way of surprising you, and birth order may conceal all manner of hidden dimensionswithin individuals, within families, within the scientific studies. “People read birth-order books the way they read horoscopes,” warns Toni Falbo, professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas. “I’m a middle-born, so that explains everything in my life’it’s just not like that.” Still, such skepticism does not prevent more and more researchers from being drawn to the field, and as they are, their findings, and the debate over them, continue to grow.
The Power of Birth Order