Term Paper: Birth Order and Extraversion Introversion

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BIRTH ORDER: EXTRAVERSION & INTROVERSION

Much study has been applied in the area of understanding that specific characteristics and genetic differences that may be assigned according to BIRTH ORDER of siblings. The objective of this work is to research and examine those studies in order to understand precisely what the effects of birth order have on the individual in terms of their development and their personality characteristics and specifically as related to introversion and extraversion. The theorist Alfred Alder stated the theory that the individual's personality is dependent to some extent on the individual's position in the family as related to the sibling birth order. Alder posited the argument that the older children are generally more oriented toward achievement and more traditionally oriented than are younger children. Second born children, according to Alder's theory are generally very competitive and ambitious but less concerned about power while children born last are generally sociable and more dependent. It was Alder's contention that only children were generally more mature earlier but tended to remain dependent for a longer period of time. Alder stated of the 'middle' child that this child often feels 'sandwiched in' and often does not feel significant and has a 'take it or leave it' attitude and often has trouble finding a place and may become a fighter of injustice. The following chart lists the 'Alderian Overview of Birth Order Characteristics' which was developed by Henry T. Stein, Ph.D.

Alderian Overview of Birth Order Characteristics

POSITION

FAMILY SITUATION

CHILD'S CHARACTERISTICS

ONLY

Birth is a miracle. Parents have no previous experience. Retains 200% attention from both parents. May become rival of one parent. Can be over-protected and spoiled.

Likes being the center of adult attention. Often has difficulty sharing with siblings and peers. Prefers adult company and uses adult language.

OLDEST

Dethroned by next child. Has to learn to share. Parent expectations are usually very high. Often given responsibility and expected to set an example.

May become authoritarian or strict. Feels power is his right. Can become helpful if encouraged. May turn to father after birth of next child.

SECOND

He has a pacemaker. There is always someone ahead.

Is more competitive, wants to overtake older child. May become a rebel or try to outdo everyone. Competition can deteriorate into rivalry.

MIDDLE

Is "sandwiched" in. May feel squeezed out of a position of privilege and significance.

May be even-tempered, "take it or leave it" attitude. May have trouble finding a place or become a fighter of injustice.

YOUNGEST

Has many mothers and fathers. Older children try to educate him. Never dethroned.

Wants to be bigger than the others. May have huge plans that never work out. Can stay the "baby." Frequently spoiled.

TWIN

One is usually stronger or more active. Parents may see one as the older.

Can have identity problems. Stronger one may become the leader.

GHOST CHILD"

Child born after the death of the first child may have a "ghost" in front of him. Mother may become over-protective.

Child may exploit mother's over-concern for his well-being, or he may rebel, and protest the feeling of being compared to an idealized memory.

ADOPTED CHILD

Parents may be so thankful to have a child that they spoil him. They may try to compensate for the loss of his biological parents.

Child may become very spoiled and demanding. Eventually, he may resent or idealize the biological parents.

ONLY BOY AMONG GIRLS

Usually with women all the time, if father is away.

May try to prove he is the man in the family, or become effeminate.

ONLY GIRL AMONG BOYS

Older brothers may act as her protectors.

Can become very feminine, or a tomboy and outdo the brothers. May try to please the father.

ALL BOYS

If mother wanted a girl, can be dressed as a girl.

Child may capitalize on assigned role or protest it vigorously.

ALL GIRLS

May be dressed as a boy.

Child may capitalize on assigned role or protest it vigorously

Source: Henry T. Stein, Ph.D

I. The EXTROVERT

Carl Jung, also a theorist is well-known for the theories of 'extraversion' and 'introversion'. The work of Cranton and Knoop states: "Jung identified two basic types of people, two contrary attitudes, and two mechanisms of adaptation and defense: introversion and extraversion. He saw both modes of psychic reaction as operating alternatively in the same person. One, extraversion, moves toward objects, people or things; the other, introversion, moves toward the subject, one's own mind, and inner being." (Cranton and Knoop, 1995; p.253) it was the belief of Jung that extroverts are fascinated by objects and that through objects extroverts find the ability to define themselves and to interact with their environment. According to Jung extroverts enjoy those who are: "...open, sociable and jovial, or at least friendly and approachable..." And are individuals who are: "...on good terms with everybody, or quarrel with everybody, but always relate to them in some way, and in turn affected by them." (Jung, 1921/1971 in Cranton and Knoop, 1995; p. 253) Extroverts are highly adaptable and tend to be the "life of the party" and enjoy "being in the spotlight." The extroverts are most comfortable when in a group of likeminded people and attract people to themselves. The extrovert has the "need to join in and 'get with it', the capacity to endure the bustle and noise of every kind, and actually find them enjoyable." (Jung, 1921/1971 in Cranton and Knoop, 1995; p.253)

II. The INTROVERT

The 'Introvert' has the tendency to define themselves through their own individual revelations and look inside of themselves instead of outside of themselves to others to define themselves. These individuals tend to be more serene in nature and may appear aloof to the extraverts in their lives. Cranton and Knoop (1995) state of the introverts that: "Their emotions, passions, and powerful impulses lie dormant under the surface of their equanimity. They try to hold their ground against outside influences by giving them low value, by letting in only flashes and snippets of what is happening, or by staying aloof from them altogether." (p.254)

III. JUNG'S FOUR PERSONALITY FUNCTIONS

It was the belief of Jung that it is not possible for the introversion or extraversion to exist solely without function types and that attitude and function coexist in determining the individual's personality. The four specific function types as posited by Jung in the application of the attitude types of introverts and extroverts are as follows:

1) Thinking: "This is the process of connecting ideas by means of concepts. It is activated when people subject what happens to them in consideration and reflection. Thinking types stress what to them is logical, reasonable, and correct to guide them in life," (Cranton & Knoop, 1995, p.255).

2) Feeling: "Feeling is the subjective process that imparts a value to conscious content. Whatever comes to mind, even a mood, is valued: accepted or rejected; liked or disliked; considered good, bad, or indifferent. Unlike in thought, in Jung's definition no conceptual connecting of ideas takes place when feeling is involved," (Cranton & Knoop, 1995, p.255).

2) Sensation: "Sensing is one of the basic psychic functions. It is the process of conscious sense perception. Perception is mediated by sense organs and body senses; it conveys to the mind images of the external and internal world," (Cranton & Knoop, 1995, p.255).

4) Intuition: "This is the process of the unconscious and indirect perception of inner and outer objects. Either something presents itself whole and complete to the mind, without any indication of where it came from, or ideas and associations are added to what is perceived in a kind of instinctive apprehension," (Cranton & Knoop, 1995, p.255).

IV. The IMPORTANCE of BIRTH ORDER

The work of George C. Morgan entitled: "The Importance of Birth Order" states the fact that "the first-born son often grew up with the expectation that he would work with his father and share the responsibility of providing for the family, and he was most often designated as the person who would inherit the farm or business. In most cases, he was groomed to assume this role and given heavy responsibilities to help manage the family affairs. Depending on his age at the time of his father's death, he was usually the person who took over, settled the estate, cared for his mother and sibling, and performed other functions." (2000) According to Morgan the older female children "were often enlisted to share the household duties. These certainly included caring for younger siblings, sewing, cooking and performing many essential tasks. However, eldest daughter also tended to receive gifts and inherit from parents. A father might bestow a dower gift of land at her marriage, and the wills of both the father and the mother often reflect bequests." (2000)

V. REVIEW of the LITERATURE

The work of Beck, Burnet, and Vosper entitled: "Birth Order Effects on Facets of Extraversion" reports a study that investigated the reasons "for consistent findings concerning birth-order effects and extraversion. According to Sulloway (1995,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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