I recently listen to a lecture by Professor Sohail Rashid from the Psychology Department at Ryerson University, on Alfred Adler's theories on how birth order affects personality.
Despite this lecture being a finalist in the TVO Best Lecturer 2010 competition, he made a number of (what sounded, to my ears, like) highly dubious claims, with ad hoc explanations and celebrity anecdotes with no supporting evidence.
Wikipedia explains that:
Adler never produced any scientific support for his interpretations on birth order roles.
That doesn't mean that psychology hasn't found some scientific evidence to support some of the ideas in the meantime - and I would like to think they have, before they would be presented as true by a professor in a psych class.
Rather than ask an open question like "Are Adler's theories true?" I have decided to pick one particular claim and ask about it.
Rashid claims that first born children (in a family of more than one child) are more likely as adults to purchase insurance. Is this true?
(The given reasons provided are irrelevant if the claim is not true, but are based on the early experience of the loss of attention when the second child is born.)