Birth Order and Happiness

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THE EFFECT OF BIRTH ORDER ON HAPPINESS

Happiness is sought after by many: inspirational speakers and motivational writers have made millions of dollars just by telling people how to reach their desires and how to achieve happiness. People crave step by step instructions and personal insight on how to save their marriage, friendship or even their career. Happiness can be measured in many different aspects such as: marriage, success, extraversion, self-esteem, optimism and a sense of self control (Myers 2007). So, there are many ways researchers can attempt to measure happiness. In addition to the mentioned, there is also happiness in relation to birth order. This relation has been of interest to many researchers, but few have successfully attempted to measure its correlation. To those who did succeed, the research shows that different birth order ranks show some common personality traits. They correlated birth order with personality types: first born, second born, middle/later and last born. Paulhus, Trapness, and Chen (1999) theorize that birth order effects come from the competition that siblings feel when trying to find their place in the family. Such as how the first born is usually stereotyped as the “responsible, competitive and traditional (Jefferson, Herbst & McCrae, 1998). The first born has no competition to fit into the family, so their only goal is to please the parents through the normally expected like college and responsible behavior (Paulhus, Trapnell &Chen, 1998). The second born has a high level of competition with the first child so they tend to be characterized as a rebel or ‘open-minded’. Bossard and Stoker 4

Boll (1995) say that it has to do with how they gain their recognition and build their self esteem. There has also been some research that has tried to determine if similarity in personality traits that influence relationship satisfaction, therefore, influencing their over all happiness level (Shiota &Levenson, 2007;Gattis &...
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