The Sibling Effect

Apr 16, 2015

Birth order has long been considered an indicator of personality, but the relationships we have with our siblings may have an even larger impact.

"Not only are siblings with us for the entire ride, [...] they're with us in our formative years. They're with us when our social software, our emotional software is still being booted up. And since they're there in those primal stages, they're also the people who help write those lines of code."

Jeffrey Kluger, Editor at Large at Time Magazine, wrote "The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us." One of four brothers, Kluger observed the impact his siblings had on him at a young age. Some 40 years later, he uses scientific studies to back up what many have found anecdotally.

"It's something laypeople came to even before the scientists did. It seemed intuitively obvious that birth order was a powerful driver of who we become. And in family after family, kids tend to fit that template of their birth order."

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to Kluger about the nuances and impacts of sibling bonds.