Sep 21, 2017
Pre-Occupational Therapy
hey guys I am currently studying for the GRE and wondering if I can get some feedback on the analytical section Thanks:)
"A recent study of eighteen rhesus monkeys provides clues as to the effects of birth order on an individual's levels of stimulation. The study showed that in stimulating situations (such as an encounter with an unfamiliar monkey), firstborn infant monkeys produce up to twice as much of the hormone cortisol, which primes the body for increased activity levels, as do their younger siblings. Firstborn humans also produce relatively high levels of cortisol in stimulating situations (such as the return of a parent after an absence). The study also found that during pregnancy, first-time mother monkeys had higher levels of cortisol than did those who had had several offspring."

Write a response in which you discuss one or more alternative explanations that could rival the proposed explanation and explain how your explanation(s) can plausibly account for the facts presented in the argument.

My Response:

It's not a surprise that the assumption of personality can be determined from birth order. Based the researcher's study, 18 rhesus monkeys were tested on the birth order effect depending on stimulation levels. The author makes valuable points on the effects of cortisol on first born versus second born. While the author proposes that the first born are mostly stimulated, it leaves some vague assumptions about the findings and the outcome of the recent study.

First the author mentions that first born humans naturally have high activity levels than their second born siblings. The effect of the author making this assumption is that due to the first born having higher levels of cortisol, assuming they are more stressed. In contrast to previous studies on birth order, children born first are more cautious in their environment. While the study indirectly relates to humans, the number of monkeys tested does not represent an accurate representation of society. If the number of monkeys increased to 100 it would reflect the population.

Furthermore, the age of the monkey would be more accurate to the study as well. The author focuses on the first born and second born behaviors. The author should test on monkeys that were recently born and compare their behaviors. the effect of the author doing this would best describe birth order and support the assumed findings. Therefore, possibly testing if there is statistical significance among the population tested.

The importance of personality through birth order is popular to come across. The study goes by testing 18 monkeys to interpret personalities. While the author is knowledgeable on cortisol causing stress in the first born and first mothers, the study could be more believable in terms of statistical significance and the amount of participants studied for the study.
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