Birth Order Doesn’t Affect Your Personality— Just Your Intelligence

For centuries, humans have been curious about the effect that birth order has on personality, possibly because eldest children in ruling families typically inherited the seat of power. A new study published in PNAS finds that firstborn children tend to score higher on objective measures of intelligence and self-reported measures of intelligence. But it finds that there are no birth-order effects on other personality characteristics.

Source: Birth order doesn’t affect your personality—just your intelligence

Older by minutes or even seconds, makes no difference… 😉

Pregnancy and birthing are very taxing on women, I’ve read studies that claim a woman’s body does not return to normal for 4-5 years after a pregnancy. I wonder if there is some correlation between the intelligence gap and the age difference of the siblings. Would not surprise me to find that pregnancies that happen before the body has fully recovered means that the woman’s body cannot give as many resources to the subsequent children during those critical developmental stages.

TLDR: Got older siblings?  If so, here’s something shiny to play with.  …but you missed the squirrel.

Your Friends Know When You’re Going to Die

There’s a troubling truth about self-knowledge and its limits: alarmingly often, when you’re faced with a big decision, you’re better off trusting the judgment of a friend – or even a stranger – than your own. To put it bluntly, you may be especially badly suited to figuring out whom you should marry, where you should live or what job you should do – precisely because you’re you.

For instance, according to a new study entitled “Your Friends Know When You’re Going To Die”, published in Psychological Science, if you want to predict the date of your death, you could do a lot worse than ask your friends. I don’t mean you should literally ask them to name a date. (That could cause some awkwardness at the restaurant table, I imagine.) But the things they know about you could still be the basis of the best estimate available.

Source: Your friends know more about your life than you do, including when you might die

Researchers found that your peers can predict your mortality, not because they’re psychic, but because a.) they know you—the real you, and the personality traits you possess (or don’t) that tend to affect longevity, and b.) there really is such a thing as crowd wisdom, if the crowd is comprised of people you know.

The study itself notes that it was conscientiousness and openness among men that predicted long life, but emotional stability and agreeableness (as rated by friends) that predicted many sunsets for women. And, in both cases, friends were better at predicting these traits than the self-reported assessments of the people themselves.

Personality Influences Where You Live, and How Happy You’ll Be There

Criteria like housing prices, population density, and crime rates are often emphasized when people consider the desirability of living in an urban area. These “livability” factors are associated with higher life satisfaction, both directly (by making the lives of residents better) and indirectly (because more affluent and satisfied people live in these neighborhoods).

However, according to a recent PNAS paper, these livability factors can only account for two-thirds of the difference in life satisfaction, with a large portion of the difference being attributed to something more surprising: a match between personality and neighborhood. In London, personality traits cluster in different neighborhoods and contribute to the life satisfaction of the residents there.

Source: Your personality influences where you live—and how happy you’ll be there

In other news: Your personality influences where you work—and how happy you’ll be there.

A majority of people tend to take their own conclusions about things and project them onto others, equating what they think they need and want and believe into what other people need and want and believe. Happiness, as a transitive emotional state, is the most relative thing in the world to try to measure.

People tend to adapt and don’t want to live in an unsatisfied state. Mankind is a tribal creature, and tends to emulate the behaviors of others when in crowded situations (such as a large city like London) in order to “fit in”. Most people tend to stay in a relatively small geographical region and will then emulate the behaviors of that region. Not wanting to seem “outside the tribe” they may even think that they’re “happy”. It’s not that their personality influences where they live, or how happy they are there. At least not for most people, which is what the study concludes. It may well be that the opposite occurs due to man’s tribal nature.

Using Social Media, Algorithm Predicts Personality Better Than Friends

The idea for the study came together last year when psychologist Youyou Wu and computer scientist Michal Kosinski, then both at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, watched Her, a 2013 science fiction film in which a man falls in love with his computer operating system. “By analyzing his digital records, his computer can understand and respond to his thoughts and needs much better than other humans,” Wu says, “including his long-term girlfriend and closest friends.” Wu and Kosinski wondered: Is that possible in real life?

… a team led by Kosinski showed that the pattern of people’s likes on Facebook is enough to predict their personal traits such as gender, race, political persuasion, and even sexuality.

Source: Your computer knows you better than your friends do

It was never a matter of “if”, but “when”.  Social media is a sociologists dream come true.  All the demographics, all the data…  If the service is free, the product is you.