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.
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The author of this article tries to imply that birth order determines level of simulation.He presents 3 cases in order to prove the point:
i) Firstborn infant monkeys get more stimulated more than their younger counterparts .
ii) Humans also show the same tendency shown by the infant monkeys.
iii)First time pregnant monkey's have higher level of cortisol than those who had multiple pregnancies.
These explanations on closer scrutiny seem fallible and the reason for so is mentioned in the subsequent paragraphs.
The author tries to infer that the first born infant monkeys are having higher level of stimulation due to their birth order .This idea fails to take into account that the elder infant might have his/her senses more developed to perceive a situation and hence the higher levels of activity.As the first born spends more time with his parents he tends to recognize them and hence panics when a stranger is encountered whereas the siblings are yet coming into their own.
The second point by the author mentions similar observations in humans as well but this observation is not substantiated by any statistics or studies
moreover in humans it is totally possible that two offspring might show different stimulations to either parent for eg;one might argue that the infants would be more stimulated to see their mother than their father as his/her mother takes care of them or vice-versa.
The suggestion about first time maternity in monkeys seems to suggest that the stimulation maybe more due to the anxiety in the mother as she is having a completely new experience whereas old timers are habituated to it and hence this could account for their low level of cortisol release/stimulation.
The explanations provided by the author seem unsatisfactory as they need to be backed up by intensive test studies.The facts presented by author can have a totally different interpretation as shown in the points above, hence this argument is far from satisfactory.