Personality implications of adaption innovation: V. Birth order as a determinant of cognitive style

Nicholas F. Skinner1, Courtney A. Fox-Francoeur1
1King’s University College, The University of Western Ontario, Canada
Cite this article:  Skinner, N., & Fox-Francoeur, C. (2010). Personality implications of adaption innovation: V. Birth order as a determinant of cognitive style. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 38, 237-240.

Volume 38 Issue 2 | e1979 | Published: March 2010 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2010.38.2.237

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According to Kirton’s (2003) theory of cognitive style, adaptors thrive on structure and prefer to use well-established procedures or rules to solve problems, whereas innovators eschew structure and prefer to solve problems in novel ways. In a sample of 168 undergraduate university students, support was found for the hypothesis that adaptors would be primarily firstborn children. This result is explained in terms of (a) the preference of first-time (i.e., inexperienced) parents for “tried and true” approaches to problem solving, and (b) the tendency of firstborns to identify with and readily obey their parents.

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