‘Jeopardy!’ Celebrates ‘National Sibling Day’ Dropping Theory That Everyone With Siblings Can Relate to

by Emily Morgan

In honor of National Siblings Day, “Jeopardy!” posted a piece of information that may have siblings feuding. 

On Saturday, the show posted a quote from Mental Floss detailing that a child’s birth order may be more critical than one might think. 

“Psychologist Alfred Adler proposed that birth order influences siblings’ personalities in the early 20th century,” began the caption. “Among other theories, he suggested that oldest children would be most neurotic, the youngest would be overindulged and spoiled, and middle children would be well-adjusted— but also rebellious.” 

In the caption, the quiz show wrote, “Happy #NationalSiblingsDay! Do you agree with psychologist Alfred Adler’s theory?” In the comments, fans were anything but shy about giving their opinion on the subject. 

“I’m the oldest and gosh, this makes a lot of sense,” one person confessed. While someone else wrote I’m the oldest of three, but I think I have all three traits.” 

‘Jeopardy!’ Drops the Science Behind Siblings

Adler was an Austrian psychiatrist around during the era of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung and was one of the first theorists to suggest that birth order influences someone’s personality. According to the Alfred Adler Institute of Northwestern Washington, someone’s birth order has more significance to a person’s personality.

For example, if you’re an only child, the institute concludes that the child “likes being the center of adult attention. Often has difficulty sharing with siblings and peers. Prefers adult company and uses adult language.”

As for the oldest, the child “may become authoritarian or strict.” They may also “feel power is his right.” In addition, they “can become helpful if encouraged.”

If you’re the second oldest, you may find that you’re “more competitive, wants to overtake older child.” You “may become a rebel or try to outdo everyone.” Those labeled as the middle child could have an “even-tempered personality, take it or leave it attitude, and may have trouble finding a place or become a fighter of injustice.”

For the youngest, the psychologists attribute that the child “wants to be bigger than the others, but has huge plans that never work out.” They also remain known as “the baby.” Child and family therapist for over 20 years and author of Birth Order Blues, Meri Wallace, says that “some of it has to do with the way the parent relates to the child in his position, and some of it actually happens because of the spot position. Each position has unique challenges,” she explains.