新东方时时彩送38彩金平台游学

新东方网>长春新东方学校>国内考试>考研真题>正文

考研英语阅读来源及文章解析:Who's the Smart Sibling

2019-04-04 10:16

来源:新东方在线

作者:

  Who's the Smart Sibling?

  Ten weeks ago, Bo Cleveland and his wife embarked on a highly unscientific experiment-

  they gave birth to their first child. For now, Cleveland is too exhausted to even consider having

  another baby, but eventually, he will. In fact, hes already planned an egalitarian strategy for

  raising the rest of his family. Little Arthur won't get any extra attention just because he's the

  firstborn, and, says his father, he probably won't be much smarter than his future .siblings; either.

  It's the sort of thing many parents would say, but it's a bit surprising coming from Cleveland,

  who studies birth order and IQ at Pennsylvania State University. As he knows too well, a study

  published recently in the journal Science suggests that firstborns do turn out sharper than their

  brothers and sisters, no matter how parents try to compensate. Is Cleveland wrong? Is Arthur

  destined to be the smart sibling just because he had the good luck to be born first?

  For decades, scientists have been squabbling over birth order like siblings fighting over a toy. Some of them say being a first-, middle- or lastborn has significant effects on intelligence. Others say that's nonsense, The spat goes back at least as far as Alfred Adler, a Freud-era psychologist who argued that firstborns had an edge. Other psychologists found his theory easy to believe—middle and youngest kids already had a bad rap, thanks to everything from primogeniture laws to the Prodigal Son. When they set out to confirm the birth-order effects Adler had predicted, they found some evidence. Dozens of studies over the next several decades showed small differences in IQ; scholastic-aptitude tests and other measures of achievement So did "anecdata” suggesting that firstborns were more likely to win Nobel Prizes or become (ahem) prominent psychologists.

  But even though the scientists were turning up birth-order patterns easily, they couldn't

  pin down a cause. Perhaps, one theory went, the mother's body was somehow attacking the later

  offspring in uterus. Maternal antibody levels do increase with each successive pregnancy. But

  there's no evidence that this leads to differences in intelligence, and the new study in Silence,

  based on records from nearly a quarter of a million young Norwegian men, strikes down the

  antibody hypothesis. It looks at kids who are the eldest by accident-those whose older siblings

  die in infancy--as well as those who are true firstborns. Both groups rack up the same high

  scores on IQ tests. Whatever is lowering the latterborns' scores, it isn't prenatal biology, since

  being raised as the firstborn, not actually being the firstborn, is what counts.

  The obvious culprits on the nurture side are parents. But it's hard to think that favoritism toward firstborns exists in modem society. Most of us no longer view secondborn as second best, and few parents will admit to treating their kids differently. In surveys, they generally say they give their children equal attention. Kids concur, reporting that they feel they're treated fairly.

  Maybe, then, the problem with latterborns isn't nature or nurture-maybe there simply isn't a problem. Not all the research shows a difference in intelligence. A pivotal 2000 study by Joe Rodgers ,now a professor emeritus at the University of Oklahoma, found no link between birth order and smarts. And an earlier study of American families found that the youngest kids, not the oldest, did best in school. From that work, say psychologist Judith Rich Harris, a prominent critic of birth-order patterns, it's clear that “the impression that the firstborn is more often the academic achiever is false."

  Meanwhile, many of the studies showing a birth-order pattern in IQ have a big, fat, methodological flaw. The Norwegian Science study is an example, says Cleveland: "It's comparing Bill, the first child in one family; to Bob, the second child in another family." That would be fine if all families were identical, but of course they aren't. The study controls for variables such as parental education and family size. But Rodgers, the Oklahoma professor, notes that there are "hundreds" of other factors in play; and because it's so hard to discount all of them, he's "not sure whether the patterns in the Science article are real."

  No one is more sensitive to that criticism than the Norwegian scientists. In fact, they already have an answer ready in the form of a second paper. Soon to be published in the journal Intelligence, it's, similar to the Science study except for one big thing: instead of comparing Bill to Bob, it compares Bill to younger brothers Barry and Barney. The same birth- order pattern shows up: the firstborns, on average, score about two points higher than their secondborn brothers, and hapless thirdborns do even worse. "The purpose of the two papers was exactly the same," says Petter Kristensen of Norway's National Institute of Occupational Health, who led both new studies. "But this second one is much more comprehensive, and in a sense it's better than the Science paper." The data are there--within families, birth order really does seem linked to brain power. Even the critics have to soften their positions a little. The Intelligence study "must be taken very" seriously" says Rodgers.

  No one, not even Kristensen, thinks the debate is over For one thing, there's still that argument about what's causing birth-order effects. It's possible, says UC Berkeley researcher Frank Sulloway, that trying .to treat kids in an evenhanded way in fact results in inequity. Well-meaning parents may end up shortchanging middleborns because there's one thing they can't equalize: at no point in the middle child's life does he get to be the only kid in the house. Alternatively, says Sulloway; there's the theory he has his money on, the "family- niche hypothesis Older kids, whether out of desire or necessity axe often called on to be "assistant parents," he notes. Getting that early- taste of responsibility may prime them for achievement later on. "If they think Oh, I'm supposed to be more intelligent so I'd better do my homework,' it doesn't matter if they actually are more-intelligent," says Sulloway,"It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy." If the firstborns' homework involves reading Science and Intelligence, there'll be no stopping them now.

       以上就是本文的全部内容,更多精彩请随时关注新东方长春学校官网。


相关推荐

考研资讯

考研专业课

考研公共课

考研无忧计划

考研集训营

考研内容咨询

新东方长春学校官方微信:新东方长春学校 (微信号:ccxdfcn

最新考试资讯、考试政策解读、真题解析,请扫一扫二维码,关注我们的官方微信!

相关推荐

  • 中学辅导
  • 大学辅导
  • 出国辅导
  • 热门活动

版权及免责声明

凡本网注明"稿件来源:新东方"的所有文字、图片和音视频稿件,版权均属新东方教育科技集团(含本网和新东方网) 所有,任何媒体、网站或个人未经本网协议授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他任何方式复制、发表。已经本网协议授权的媒体、网站,在下载使用时必须注明"稿件来源:新东方",违者本网将依法追究法律责任。

本网未注明"稿件来源:新东方"的文/图等稿件均为转载稿,本网转载仅基于传递更多信息之目的,并不意味着赞同转载稿的观点或证实其内容的真实性。如其他媒体、网站或个人从本网下载使用,必须保留本网注明的"稿件来源",并自负版权等法律责任。如擅自篡改为"稿件来源:新东方",本网将依法追究法律责任。

如本网转载稿涉及版权等问题,请作者见稿后在两周内速来电与新东方网联系,电话:010-60908555。

博聚网