Past Research Efforts

For many decades, the idea that birth order could be related to quantifiable measures of success was a foreign concept.  Only as of recently have studies been done on the effects of birth order on ideas such as financial success, athletic success, and general lifetime achievement.  What makes such studies difficult is that families can vary amongst each other immensely in the way that they raise their children, so not only is it difficult to draw solid conclusions, but also the utmost respect must be considered in judging the raising of individual children. 

Recent studies regarding the effects of birth order have focused on academic achievement.  The general consensus in these new research efforts is that the earlier born children are on average more likely to find academic success than those later born in their family (Black et al. 2006). 

Similar studies have focused on the effect of birth order in relation to extracurricular involvement.  This suggests that on average, that first born children are significantly more likely to participate in more extracurricular activities than their younger siblings (Argys et al. 2008).  The next few pages explain the results of studies such as this one and the one above.

In studies such as these and the many related areas of study, the variable of interest is quantifiable, and therefore relatively easy to measure.  It is in measuring the intangibles that it is difficult to see exactly how birth order has an effect (if any).  In accordance with past research efforts, this project looks at the underlying cause of some of the quantifiable measures presented above.  This cause is the personal level of motivation that a person feels in his or her everyday life.