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Younger siblings funnier than elder ones

india Updated: Aug 17, 2006 18:58 IST

When it comes to being funny, chances are that younger kids will be able to entice a laugh out of you much faster than their elder siblings, a new study has found.

Based on the study of 1,000 people, psychologist Richard Wiseman found that a little over 50 percent of younger siblings found it easy to be funny, as compared to only a third of first-born kids.

Wiseman also found that only 11 per cent of only children had the skill of making people laugh.

The reason, he says is because younger kids need to be more ‘unconventional’ when it comes to getting the attention of parents.

"The youngest has to compete for parental attention, so they have to be a bit more unconventional. They are risk-takers, and also more humorous," the BBC quoted him, as saying.

"On the other hand, older children tend to take on much more serious roles. And only children don't feel the need to compete for attention," he added.

Dr Sandra Wheatley, a social psychologist, also agreed with the study.

"It is true that younger siblings tend to be that little bit more mischievous and more extroverted. They have to compete in what is a competitive market-place. They will therefore use a non-threatening, non-confrontational way of getting adults' attention," she said.

The new study adds proof to a University of California research which states that younger kids need to find new means to gain parental attention, and which shows that that gender also makes a difference when it comes to humour with 70 per cent of women finding it difficult to remember the punch line to jokes, as compared to 50 percent of men.

When it comes to making the opposite sex laugh, men also seem to upper hand with a success rate of 71 per cent while as compared to the 39 per cent of women.

"The study reveals humour is not inherited but is moulded by our individual experiences," Professor Wiseman added.