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Birth Order and Life Roles.

Am J Dis Child. 1970;120(2):171. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100070115026.
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Interest in the influence of a person's ordinal position in his family on broad areas of personality and life performance has a long and relatively barren history. In spite of well-conducted physiological, psychological, and sociological studies, clinical observations, and biographical analyses, the effects of ordinal position are still so little understood that no moderately plausible view can be rejected because of its conflict with better established theories. This is demonstrated in Dr. Forer's undifferentiated dependence for her views on all the kinds of sources just mentioned—including her own clinical analyses, personal observations of friends and others, and biographical explorations—and apparently on any idiosyncratic set of ideas that could get published, including theories of predestination. That no basis in either evidence or theory could be offered on which to judge the relative importance or plausibility of various statements indicates the conceptual barrenness of the field.

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