Assignment 2: LASA # 1: Literature Review Paper **FOR SOLUTIONS PRO**

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The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with the opportunity to select a topic in the particular area in which you have an occupational or research interest, and to complete a literature review of the topic, using a minimum of ten scholarly references. This will allow you to demonstrate mastery of the program outcomes for the B.A. psychology program at Argosy University. A helpful Web site for organizing and writing a literature review is

You may also want to review the following documents that are available in the Doc Sharing area of the course:

  • A sample literature review,
  • a PowerPoint document illustrating how to set up your word processor for APA style
  • a “Guide for Writing a Literature Review”

Based on your review of the most recent, relevant research findings on your chosen topic, submit a final version of your literature review paper, integrating feedback received from your instructor. Be sure to include a research/focal question, synthesis of the literature you reviewed, well-established conclusions, and points of discussion and/or future research.

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  • Begin the review by defining the objective of the paper. Introduce the reader to your focal question. What is this question intended to address? You may state your “question” in the form of a problem if you like. Describe the topic for your literature review and why you chose this topic. Explain why you think it is important. It is also useful to tell the reader how the review is organized in your introduction section, before you the transition into the body of the review.
  • Organize your literature review paper by themes/theories/concepts, rather than article by article. If there is one major theme you want to highlight, state the theme. If there are three major themes or streams of thought on the topic, briefly name them—and then organize the balance of your literature review around those three streams. Think of themes, theories, concepts, lines of thought, and ideas as organizing strategies for your literature review. Your creativity in this assignment is not the content or findings but the clarity with which you organize the review and create a context for understanding the focal question.
  • When you are done introducing the first line of thought, create a new paragraph to discuss studies which present another line of thought or opposing view.
  • Your literature review should hit the high points of each article. You should not discuss a single article, one by one, like a grocery list. Zero in on the main theme or finding and then move on to the next theme. Remember, this is a synthesis, an integration of all the things you have learned. You are creating a discussion on paper, which in turn gives the reader a context for understanding where the scholarship has been, where it is currently, and where it likely will be heading next. Provide enough details to help the reader understand the significance of the studies you cite without “rebuilding Rome.” Be sure to evaluate the studies and offer critical comments on any shortcomings you’ve observed or that have been reported by the authors.
  • Discuss the main findings and their implications. Given the results of your literature review, what is/are the prevailing argument(s)? What research question could you ask in order to further develop this area of study and contribute to the existing body of knowledge? Complete your review by drawing conclusions about your body of research and identifying gaps in the research which still remain to be explored, maybe even by you! Make an argument as to why your research question is important and relevant to the current work being done on your topic.


Apply current APA standards for editorial style, expression of ideas, and formatting of the text, headings, citations, and references. Remember to use your own words to describe and evaluate the articles. Avoid quoting the material and also cite works when you are discussing someone else’s ideas. Your paper should be double-spaced and in 12 point, Times New Roman font with normal one-inch margins, written in APA style, and free of typographical and grammatical errors. It should include a title page with a running head, an abstract and a reference page. The body of the paper should be no less than 5–6 pages in length.

Assignment 2: LASA # 1: Literature Review Paper **FOR SOLUTIONS PRO**
THE EFFECTS OF BIRTH ORDER 11 The Effects of Birth Order on A Person’s Personality Michele Jackson Argosy University PSY492 The Effects of Birth Order on a Person’s Personality For more than a century now, questions about whether one’s position among siblings has a lasting impact on his or her personality have been puzzling the general public and the scientific community. In fact, in 1874, Sir Francis Galton suggested that birth order is associated with a broad range of significant effects on individual’s personality. Some research endeavors have demonstrated that birth order affects one’s level of extraversion, agreeableness, imagination, conscientiousness, and emotional stability (Beck, Burnet & Vosper, 2006; Harris, 2000). Birth order greatly influences a person’s personality. Key birth order positions, such as the oldest, the second child, the middle child, the youngest, and the only son can influence how different developmental tasks are accomplished, especially as one grows up to become a healthy, mature adult in these positions. However, this should not limit one from exploring the topic further by reviewing already existing findings. By studying the selected topic, the paper will allow psychologists to gain a more in-depth understanding of the impacts on birth order on personality, thus, making it easier to help children with personality disorders as recommended by Rohrer, Egloff, and Schmukle (2015). Literature Review Buunk (1997) affirms that “jealousy has since long been linked to personality characteristics such as insecurity and low self-esteem” (p. 997). In a study seeking to examine the relationship between personality, jealousy (reactive and anxious) attachment styles and birth order Buunk (1997) enrolled 200 participants, who comprised of 100 Dutch men and 100Dutch women. The study found out that the three types of jealousy were not associated with egoism and dominance, but significantly related to social anxiety, neuroticism, hostility, and rigidity. So, according to Buunk (1997), with regards to birth order, it is described that later borns have a high likelihood to express the three types of jealousy. It is interesting to note that the study also found that last-borns were less jealous than firstborns, and this could be attributed to the findings that “the experience of exclusive love and attention in one’s childhood, leads to a lower level of jealousy among firstborns” (Buunk, 1997, p. 997). Consequently, the love and attention experienced by a child significantly influence the child’s tendency to exhibit personality traits associated with jealousy. It is imperative to point out the fact that one’s birth order significantly impacts his/her ability to express reactive and anxious jealousy as accentuated by Buunk (1997). The findings of another study Michalski and Shackelford (2001) seem to concur with those by Buunk (1997) since both affirm that birth order significantly influences the development of a child’s personality. In their study, Michalski and Shackelford (2001) used the within-family design to investigate the impact of birth order on personality, and preliminary findings indicated that the way children relate to each other could end with the kids treating each other differently. The different ways in which they treat each other is defined by their personalities, which are a function of their birth order (Michalski & Shackelford, 2001). However, a major weakness with this article is the fact that it does not provide a rationale for how personality is a function of birth order as stress by other study findings reviewed. Sociability is considered to be one of the five personality traits of the Big Five personality theory, and it is primarily associated with how outgoing and social a person is. A study by Beck, Burnet, and Vosper (2006) sought to examine the effects of birth order on facets of extraversion. They focused on the findings of Sulloway’s (1996) meta-analysis of 196 birth-order studies, which affirmed that “one would expect first-born siblings to rate higher on one of the facets, dominance, and later-born siblings to rate higher on the other facet, sociability” (Beck et al., 2006, p. 953). This can be attributed to how first-borns use their strength to gain a competitive advantage over your later-borns, besides establishing niche differentiation that defines the roles and social attitudes or personalities within the family (Beck et al., 2006). Using empirical evidence and a group of 47 undergraduate and graduate students from University College London, mainly comprising of 47 first-borns (20 males and 27 female) and 49 later-borns (25 men and 24 women), who completed extraversion and birth-order questionnaires, Beck et al. (2006) found out that birth order affects personality development. Using a within-family analysis, the researchers discovered that firstborns appear to rate higher in dominance and later-borns seem to rate higher in sociability. This demonstrated that later-borns are more likely to exhibit diverse facets of extroversion. The study also indicated that the theory of niche-establishment within a family affects extroversion, and it is unlikely to be expressed in more established niches like those of first-borns. It goes without saying that the studies by Marini and Kurtz (2011) and Beck et al. (2006) acknowledge the finding that the ultimate effects of birth-order effects on extraversion are inconclusive. Unlike the research by Beck et al. (2006), an earlier by Harris (2000), which sought to determine the effect of personality and context specific learning on birth order, it has been acknowledged that a majority of earlier studies have highlighted that birth order had no formative influence on the development of a person’s personality. Maintaining that the development of personality is greatly influenced by the context in which a child learns new behaviors, Harris (2000) notes that there is need to investigate the influence of factors like the presence of a parent. Children dominated by others at home do not run the increased risk of developing dominant behaviors as an adult. Likewise, those who are timid in their families are not shy with their peers outside the family setting. Therefore, the researcher seems to imply that the differences in personalities of persons are primarily as a consequence of various environmental factors, and not the individual’s birth orders (Harris, 2000). While a study by Harris (2000) was designed to demonstrate that one’s birth order does not influence personality development, Dixon, Reyes, Leppert, and Pappas (2008) utilized a sample size of 361 sibling members to examine the effect of birth order on personality development in big families. The participants belonged to 42 large families and were tested for personality traits of Psychoticism, Extraversion, and Neuroticism using the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (Dixon et al., 2008). This was a major strength of the study since the questionnaire has been proven to be effective when it comes to the assessment of personality traits of a person. The research findings established that the youngest siblings differed from the oldest siblings regarding extraversion, hence affirming the findings by a study by Beck et al. (2006) highlighted above. The study maintained that first-borns are more dominant, the younger siblings are more sociable, and thus, tend to exhibit some facets of extraversion (Dixon et al., 2008). Courtiol, Raymond, and Faurie (2009) studied how birth order affects personality by analyzing the behavior of children in an investment game. It was established that firstborns are less trustful and reciprocate less compared to later-borns. Therefore, unlike later-borns, firstborns are less likely to develop trusting relationships with others, and thus exhibit an introverted personality as opposed to the extroverted personality of a later-born that often arises from their better sociability (Courtiol et al., 2009). The findings by Bleske-Rechek and Kelley (2014) contended the findings by Courtiol et al. (2009). In their research, Bleske-Rechek and Kelley (2014) used within-family testing based on independent self-reports to determine the influence of and individual’s birth order and the effects on the personality of both first born and later born siblings. In this study, the Big Five personality data on 69 young adults first-born–later-born sibling pairs were collected and analyzed, and it emerged that “birth order does not have enduring effects on personality” (Bleske-Rechek & Kelley, 2014, p. 15). Rohrer, Egloff, and Schmukle (2015) conducted a study aimed at examining the effects of birth order on personality and presented the conclusions from a series of research findings obtained from the German Socioeconomic Panel Study (SOEP), a truly multidisciplinary household panel study. After exhausting the findings, it was noted that no definitive results have affirmed that birth order effect one’s personality development. In this regard, the research study concludes that they could not find similar birth order effects on personality aspects like extraversion, emotional stability, conscientiousness, agreeableness, or imagination (Rohrer et al., 2015). However, the report opposes the previous findings by Pollet et al. (2010); a study that found out that firstborns not more extroverted in the sense of being dominant compared to later-borns. Conclusion The findings of the selected articles are consistent with what I know about personality; I am aware that social people tend to be more extroverted. Therefore, this is a personality trait associated with birth order. This is the explanation I can think of, and based on the findings; I can hypothesize or postulate that a person’s birth order substantially affects the development of his personality. The hypothesis that can be tested is: “Firstborns are less extroverted than later borns.” Now that the findings on the topic have been described, the subject does not require further refinements as it is current in importance. References Beck, E., Burnet, K. L., & Vosper, J. (2006). Birth-order effects on facets of extraversion. Personality and Individual Differences, 40(5), 953-959. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2005.09.012 Bleske-Rechek, A., & Kelley, J. A. (2014). Birth order and personality: A within-family test using independent self-reports from both firstborn and laterborn siblings. Personality and Individual Differences, 56, 15-18. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2013.08.011 Buunk, B. P. (1997). Personality, birth order and attachment styles as related to various types of jealousy. Personality and Individual Differences, 23(6), 997-1006. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(97)00136-0 Courtiol, A., Raymond, M., & Faurie, C. (2009). Birth order affects behaviour in the investment game: Firstborns are less trustful and reciprocate less. Animal Behaviour, 78(6), 1405-1411. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.09.016 Dixon, M. M., Reyes, C. J., Leppert, M. F., & Pappas, L. M. (2008). Personality and birth order in large families. Personality and Individual Differences, 44(1), 119-128. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2007.07.015 Harris, J. R. (2000). Context-specific learning, personality, and birth order. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9(5), 174-177. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.00087 Jefferson, T., Herbst, J. H., & McCrae, R. R. (1998). Associations between birth order and personality traits: Evidence from self-reports and observer ratings. Journal of Research in Personality, 32(4), 498-509. doi:10.1006/jrpe.1998.2233 Marini, V. A., & Kurtz, J. E. (2011). Birth order differences in normal personality traits: Perspectives from within and outside the family. Personality and Individual Differences, 51(8), 910-914. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2011.07.019 Michalski, R. L., & Shackelford, T. K. (2001). Methodology, birth order, intelligence, and personality. American Psychologist, 56(6-7), 520-521. doi: Pollet, T. V., Dijkstra, P., Barelds, D. P. H., & Buunk, A. P. (2010). Birth order and the dominance aspect of extraversion: Are firstborns more extraverted, in the sense of being dominant, than laterborns? Journal of Research in Personality, 44(6), 742-745. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2010.10.002 Rohrer, J. M., Egloff, B., & Schmukle, S. C. (2015). Examining the effects of birth order on personality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(46), 14224-14229.

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