Jeffrey Kluger

  • Aired:  09/20/11
  •  | Views: 24,161

Author Jeffrey Kluger discusses the effect of sibling dynamics on people's lives and explains why Stephen is such a charmer. (6:26)

>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

OUR GUEST TONIGHT HAS WRITTEN A

BOOK ABOUT THE BONDS BETWEEN

SIBLINGS.

IF I DON'T LIKE HIS ANSWERS, I'M

TELLING MOM.

PLEASE WELCOME JEFFREY KLUGER.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

THANK YOU, MR. KLUGER, THANKS SO

MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT, SIR, YOU

ARE A SENIOR WRITER FOR "TIME"

MAGAZINE, YOU ARE ALSO THE

AUTHOR OF "LOST MOON" WHICH IS

WHAT THE APOLO 13 MOVIE WAS

BASED ON AND YOU HAVE A BOOK

CALLED "THE SIBLING EFFECT, WHAT

THE BONDS AMONG BROTHERS AND

SISTERS REVEAL ABOUT US."

OKAY.

WHAT CAN YOU... WE NEVER MET

BEFORE.

>> UH-HUH.

>> Stephen: WHAT CAN YOU KNOW

ABOUT ME BASED ON MY BIRTH ORDER

IN A FAMILY OF 11?

>> WELL, FIRST OF ALL, IN A

FAMILY OF 11 THERE WAS A

FEROCIOUS BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL IN

YOUR NEST.

>> Stephen: THERE WAS.

>> EVERY CHILD IN THE FAMILY IS

COMPETING FOR MOM'S AND DAD'S

ATTENTION, LOVE, RESOURCES.

AND THINK OF THAT, IF MOM HAS 11

CHICKS IN THE NEST AND ONLY TEN

WORMS, SOMEONE'S GOING HUNGRY.

NOW, THE YOUNGEST IS THE ONE

WHO'S THE LIKELY TOAST GO HUNGRY

SO WHAT THE YOUNGEST DOES IS

DEVELOP A SENSE OF CHARISMA, A

SENSE OF CHARM, AN ABILITY TO

DISARM AND AMUSE AND THAT WAY

IT'S A LOW-POWER STRATEGY, IT'S

CALLED.

YOU'RE THE LITTLEST ONE AND YOU

FIND WAYS INTO THE MINDS AND

HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU.

>> Stephen: THIS IS A VERY GOOD

BOOK.

IS

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

VERY GOOD BOOK.

SO LET'S GET BACK TO HOW

CHARMING I AM.

SO I USE MY CHARM HOW?

WHAT DID I DO?

YOU SAID LOW POWER

>> YOU'RE THE SMALLEST AMERICAN

THE ROOM SO YOUNGEST CHILDREN

ARE ABLE TO DO A BETTER JOB OF

PUT INTOING WHAT'S GOING ON IN

SOMEBODY ELSE'S MIND.

IF YOU'RE NOT ABLE TO INTUIT

WHAT'S GOING ON IN YOUR BIG

BROTHER'S MIND, YOU ARE ABOUT TO

GET SLUGGED.

>> Stephen: LET'S TALK ABOUT THE

SLULGING BECAUSE IN THE BIG

FAMILY THERE'S A CASCADE EFFECT

IN WHO GETS BEATEN UP.

>> THAT'S RIGHT, YES.

>> Stephen: AND YOU SAY THAT WE

ACTUALLY... WE MIGHT LEARN MORE

SOCIAL SKILLS FROM OUR BROTHERS

AND SISTERS THAN ANYBODY ELSE IN

OUR LIVES.

>> Stephen: THAT'S RIGHT.

YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS ARE

WITH YOU THE ENTIRE RIDE FROM

THE BEGINNING TO THE END.

YOUR PARENTS LEAVE YOU TOO EARLY

YOUR WIFE AND KIDS COME ALONG

TOO LATE.

YOUR SIBLINGS ARE THE DRESS

REHEARSAL FOR YOUR LIFE.

IT'S A LITTLE BIT LIKE KITTENS

WRESTLING.

TWO KITTENS WRESTLE, THEY BITE

EACH OTHER'S NECKS, NOBODY'S

TRYING TO KILL EACH ANYBODY.

BUT WHAT YOU LEARN BITING A NECK

WILL BE USED KILLING A MOUSE.

>> Stephen: SO WHAT SOCIAL

SKILLS WAS I LEARNING WHEN MY

BROTHER PINNED MY SHOULDERS DOWN

WITH HIS KNEES AND THEN PRETENDS

TO SPIT ON MY FOREHEAD BUT THEN

SUCKED IT BACK AT THE LAST

MINUTE.

(LAUGHTER)

WHAT WAS THE SKILL?

WHAT WAS THE TERROR AND THE

DISGUST DOING FOR ME AT THAT

MOMENT?

>> I'M NOT SURE SCIENCE HAS

OPENED THAT DOOR.

BUT WHAT IT WAS DOING, THOUGH,

WAS TEACHING YOU HOW...

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: TRUE STORY.

TRUE STORY.

>> IT WAS TEACHING YOU HOW TO

SURRENDER.

IT WAS ALSO TEACHING YOU....

>> Stephen: REALLY?

(LAUGHS)

>> WELL, YOU HAVE TO GIVE UP.

>> Stephen: YOU HAVE TO GO

RUBBER AT A CERTAIN POINT.

>> EXACTLY RIGHT.

AND A.

>> Stephen: AND IF A LOT OF YOUR

BROTHERS WERE ALL-STATE

WRESTLERS AND THEY USED YOU AS A

WRESTLING DUMMY TO PRACTICE

ILLEGAL CHOKE HOLDS ON?

>> YOU LEARN WEEPING.

>> Stephen: HOW TO SHARE MY

EMOTIONS WITH SHAME.

(LAUGHTER)

WHAT OTHER IMPORTANT BIRTH

ORDERS... LET'S TALK ABOUT THE

OLDEST.

WHAT DOES THE OLDEST GOT THAT

THE YOUNGEST AIN'T?

>> THE OLDEST HAS... IT'S SORT

OF LIKE CORPORATIONS, FAMILIES.

FAMILIES INVEST MORE IN THEIR

OWN ED CHILD.

THEY HAVE TWO OR THREE YEARS

BEFORE THE NEXT ONES COME ALONG.

SO THINK ABOUT HOW CORPORATIONS

OPERATE.

IT'S CALLED SUM COST.

THE FURTHER ALONG A PROJECT IS,

THE LIKELIER THEY ARE TO SUPPORT

THAT AS OPPOSED TO A YOUNGER

PROJECT.

OR A LESS DEVELOPED PRODUCT.

(LAUGHTER)

SO THE OLDEST ONE WILL GENERALLY

BE THE ONE MOST DEEPLY

EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN.

>> Stephen: AND THE OTHER KIDS

ARE WHAT?

SPARES?

(LAUGHTER)

>> SORT OF REPLACEMENT PARTS.

>> Stephen: REPLACEMENT PARTS.

ARE THERE FAMOUS EXAMPLES OF,

LIKE, OLDEST CHILDREN/YOUNGEST

CHILDREN?

>> WHO THRIVE....

>> Stephen: LIKE WHO ARE

EXAMPLES OF YOUNGER BEHAVIOR OR

EDER?

>> SURE, IF YOU LOOK AT JOE

KENNEDY AND TEDDY KENNEDY.

TEDDY HAD CERTAIN BEHAVIORAL

ISSUES AS HE WAS GROWING UP.

NOW HE BECAME THE PATTER A MILL

I CAN'T SAY, HE BECAME THE

AUTHORITATIVE ONE IN HIS FAMILY

AND THIS IS CALLED THE

FUNCTIONAL FIRST BORN.

MY OLDER BROTHER WENT TO PREP

SCHOOL SO I BECAME THE

FUNCTIONAL FIRST BORN IN MY

FAMILY.

SO YOU STEP IN WHEN THE OLDEST

ONE ISN'T ABLE TO EXECUTE THE

DUTIES OF OFFICE.

>> Stephen: DOES SEX MATTER?

BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, MY SISTERS

ARE BOSSY.

(LAUGHTER)

AND MY SISTER MARY IS NOT THE

OLDEST BUT SHE IS THE BOSS OF

THE FAMILY.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> Stephen: WE ALL LOVE HER AND

ARE AFRAID OF HER.

(LAUGHTER)

AND DO GIRLS DO THAT MORE OFTEN?

>> GIRLS DO THAT MORE OFTEN IN

THE DOMESTIC SETTING.

IT'S WHAT'S CALLED FAMILY

DOMAINS, WHAT HAPPENS ON THE

SOCCER FIELD AND MAYBE YOUR BIG

BROTHER WOULD THRIVE THERE.

THERE'S WHAT HAPPENS AT HOME AND

YOUR BIG SISTER WILL BE THE

AUTHORITY.

ALSO GIRLS SERVE AS CIVILIZING

FORCES FOR BOYS.

IT IS TRUE WHAT COLLEGE GIRLS

SAY THAT THEY CAN TELL A BOY WHO

GREW UP WITH SISTERS AND COLLEGE

BOY CANS SAY THEY CAN TELL A

GIRL WHO GREW UP WITH BROTHERS

BECAUSE THEY KNOW A LITTLE BIT

HOW THE TURN THE TUMBLERS OF THE

OPPOSITE SEX AND GET INSIDE

THEIR MIND.

>> Stephen: YOU SAID THAT

YOUNGEST CHILDREN ARE SORT OF

INTUITIVE AND CHARMING AND

CHARISMATIC AND OLDER SIBLINGS

FEEL CONFIDENT AND INVESTED IN

AND HAVE THEIR OWN DYNAMISM.

WHERE DO YOU FALL?

>> I AM A MIDDLE CHILD SO

THERE'S A CINDERELLA QUALITY TO

THAT.

>> Stephen: DO YOUR OLDEST OR

YOUNGER BROTHERS HAVE A BOOK?

I'D LOVE TO READ ONE OF THOSE.

(LAUGHTER)

THEY SOUND FASCINATING.

>> SADLY, THEY DO HAVE VERY GOOD

BOOKS.

>> Stephen: PLEASE GET ME THEIR

NAMES.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

JEFFREY KLUGER, THE BOOK IS "THE

SIBLING EFFECT."

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.