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The Birth Order Effect: How to Better Understand Yourself and Others Paperback – Apr 2002

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A new approach to sibling psychology focuses on birth order, offering readers a quiz to determine where they fit in the family pecking order and discussing the meaning of this placement.

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
interesting, but not really about birth order 11 Mar. 2008
By B. Cannon - Published on
Format: Paperback
Interesting information, and I recognize people I know and have worked with in these "birth order" profiles, but it isn't really about birth order. The author says so himself - that these profiles are based on five "scripts" from Transactional Analysis that he then compared to his five children, and that you don't have to be a first-born (for example) to fit the first-born profile. If so, then why not call them what they are? As "birth order" personalities, they're worthless and misleading, and don't really fit anyway.

I have a master's degree in counseling psych, have studied Alfred Adler (who pioneered the theory of birth order), read a lot on the subject, and have used it a lot in my work and relationships. Isaacson's "new theory of birth order" isn't new, it's not his, and it is not about birth order.

Even as a layman, this has almost no use. Just for fun, my son and I both took Isaacson's quiz to see what birth order we would be identified as, and the scores were unenlightening. Both of us had almost equal numbers for each of the five profiles, meaning we couldn't conclude which was our true "birth order" according to his quiz. We both fit all five, even though my son and I are quite different in some important and obvious ways. I'm a true second-born of four, my son - though also second-born and having a few of the characteristics - is a classic youngest child. By the way, Isaacson claims there is no "youngest" personality.

And as if this weren't enough, there are typos all over the place.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Well written book on a fascinating subject. The insights will blow you away. 18 Dec. 2007
By Idontknowjack - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have read quite a few books and magazine articles on the subject of birth order dynamics, and this is the one that stands out for me. Isaacson began noticing birth order effects in his work as a counselor. As he studied what other researchers had come up with on the subject, he had the perfect vehicle in his counseling practice, day-in-and-day-out, to refine the theories. Very down to earth and practical. I like the fact that he keeps birth order dynamics in perspective, always acknowledging the many other variables in life that affect our personalities.

Where some other writings about birth order are too general and only categorize into only child, first born, middle born, and last; Isaacon is very specific in his identification of five personalities: only child, first born, second, third, and fourth born. An important element in his book is the idea that these labels, based on chronological birth order, usually correspond with a person's birth order -- but not always.

If you've never read anything on the birth order effect you'll be blown away. It's fun to look at yourself, your siblings, parents, and grandparents with a new level of understanding. Understanding bosses, co-workers, marraige mates will be easier. You'll find yourself noticing the birth order effect with everyone you meet and deal with. For me, it's one of those insightful books that once you've read it, you can't imagine going through life without having read it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good information, but presented in boring fashion 23 Nov. 2010
By N.R.S. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although the information may be true, the manner of writing, in the third person all the time, "Isaacson says...., Isaacson found..., just puts one to sleep. The book by Lehman is written in the first person and is much more entertaining.
The book is highly accurate 11 Nov. 2012
By Rich alternate history since 1958 - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have studied various personality systems like Myers-Briggs , the Enneagram, Oldham's Personality Styles, and DISC, and still learned some new and interesting things about my wife and my self. The book is based on 5 very sound mini-scripts of Transactional Analysis by Dr Taibi Kahler. So the book goes far beyond the usual cobbled together models/theories, which attempt to explain just about everything with just one model....

This is a very good way to get a basic idea of what drives and motivates you, and the people around you. Like all the other models/theories, while it is very good at what part of the personality it is dealing with, the parts not dealt with, still can have a powerful effect on you. I'm a first born, but " You don't understand others an you know you don't. ", and " You cannot predict what others will do. ", does not apply to me because of my Ennea type. Just as my Ennea type is greatly influenced by the first born trait of placating other people.

This book is well worth your time and effort, and is very easy to use and understand.
Explains a lot... 24 April 2015
By Laurie T. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...for me, a 4th-born. I feel validated about my anger> I also understand better that I EXPECT life to be hard at an unconscious level. I'm starting to work on consciuosly changing my beliefs about that. I've had a LOT of hardship in life. Birth order probably has contributed to it. Thank you< Clifford Isaacson for going the distance and addressing birth order beyond '1st-born, middle, youngest child'.
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