Birth Order and Divergent Thinking: A Meta-Analysis

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This article is a meta-analysis examining the association of birth order and divergent thinking (DT). The main purpose was to examine how ordinal position (only, first, middle, or last-born) is related to creativity. Results showed that first-borns had higher DT scores than later-born children.

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16 p.

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Abdulla Alabbasi, Ahmed M.; Tadik, Harun; Acar, Selcuk & Runco, Mark A. April 20, 2021.

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This article is a meta-analysis examining the association of birth order and divergent thinking (DT). The main purpose was to examine how ordinal position (only, first, middle, or last-born) is related to creativity. Results showed that first-borns had higher DT scores than later-born children.

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16 p.

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Abstract: This meta-analysis examined the association of birth order and divergent thinking (DT). The main purpose was to examine how ordinal position (only, first, middle, or last-born) is related to creativity. The results from 27 studies (k= 222; N = 4,690) were analyzed using a multilevel approach. Because some previous studies compared first- vs. later-born children whereas others compared different ordinal positions, three datasets were analyzed: (a) first-born vs. later-born children, (b) only children vs. children with siblings, and (c) middle-born vs. later-born children. Results showed that first-borns had higher DT scores than later-born children (g = −0.165, 95% CI [−0.012, −0.318], p = .046). Moderator analysis showed a significant interaction between gender and task modality with later-born males scoring lower on figural (but not verbal) DT than first-born males. No significant difference was found between only children and first-born children with siblings. In addition, the results showed a non-significant difference between middle- and later-born children; however, moderator analysis indicated that gender and age significantly explained some of the variability in the mean effect. Limitations and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

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  • Creativity Research Journal, 33(4), Taylor & Francis, April 20, 2021, pp. 1-16

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  • Publication Title: Creativity Research Journal
  • Volume: 33
  • Issue: 4
  • Page Start: 331
  • Page End: 346
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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  • April 20, 2021

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  • Oct. 21, 2021, 11:18 a.m.

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  • Nov. 27, 2023, 12:49 p.m.

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Abdulla Alabbasi, Ahmed M.; Tadik, Harun; Acar, Selcuk & Runco, Mark A. Birth Order and Divergent Thinking: A Meta-Analysis, article, April 20, 2021; (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1852178/: accessed June 17, 2024), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Education.

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