My older brother doesn’t need the new Norwegian study to bolster his assertion that he has a higher IQ than I have. He has been telling me and my younger brother that for years. I always suspected it was true anyway.
My older brother doesn’t need the new Norwegian study to bolster his assertion that he has a higher IQ than I have. He has been telling me and my younger brother that for years. I always suspected it was true anyway. He is a very bright and accomplished guy with a competitive streak that makes seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong look like he needs training wheels.
To have the IQ issue quantified by a legitimate scientific study is depressing for us younger siblings. The research focused on 241,300 Norwegian men and found that first-borns score three points higher on IQ tests than their younger brothers. First-born children reportedly receive more time, money and energy from their parents and this extra attention, they claim, accounts for the additional three IQ points.
Researchers are also quick to point out that although three points may seem small, it can mean the difference between a B-plus and an A-minus average, or between getting into an elite college or one that is second-tier. It can also mean the younger brother has to mow the lawn more so the older brother can have more time to read.
After all, he is the first one to go to college and he needs the extra preparatory time.
This new development will take some getting used to, I’m sure. I already have trouble acting appropriately deferentially to my brother as it is, but now in our debates I am going to have to listen more carefully to his point of view. Maybe he sees something I don’t with my lower IQ.
What do those Norwegians know anyway? Aren’t they the very same people who suffer from the effects of long, dark winters and experience some of the highest rates of depression in the known world? And isn’t it very cold in Norway? Maybe there is a cold equivalent of the hanging-chad problem. Did those No. 2 pencils malfunction in the sub-zero temperatures and fail to cover in the ovals on the answer sheet? I want a retest. Is Al Gore an eldest child? Is the issue of higher IQs for eldest children just an inconvenient truth?
I can always fall back on my long-established excuse of not doing well on standardized tests because of my anxiety issues and my non-standardized way of looking at the world. I demand an essay-type IQ test, one that would be graded solely by younger siblings or by Woody Allen. By the way, can someone find out if the head Norwegian researcher is an eldest child?
So overnight I have been saddled with a minus-three handicap and this isn’t golf. I guess I won’t be so haughty waiting in the morning coffee line and maybe I will slump a little, with my Neanderthal-like brow, now that I have been scientifically and irrefutably cast as second best.
“You say my brother was just in here? Okay, then. I’ll have whatever he ordered. I know it will be a smarter choice than what I normally get. Oh, I’ll still take the chocolate-glazed donut. I hear sugar is good for the brain – especially before test-taking.”
(Peter Costa is a senior editor with Community Newspaper Company. His book, “CostaLiving: Laughing through Life,” a collection of his humor columns, is available at amazon.com and at Barnes & Noble bookstores.)