‘What makes an entrepreneur?’ is a fundamental question for economics, management, and psychology researchers. The present thesis addresses the definition of ‘the entrepreneur’ by investigating the roles of psychological (Part I: Chapters 2, 3, and 4) and biological (Part II: Chapters 5 and 6) traits in entrepreneurship. This interdisciplinary setting is a result of the limitations of the traditional ‘homo economicus’ perspective, where rational individuals are utility maximizing decision makers.
The present thesis contributes to the field of entrepreneurship by focusing on the psychology of the entrepreneur, using concepts like overconfidence, optimism, positive affect, and negative affect, as well as the biology of the entrepreneur, using concepts like behavior and electrophysiology. It also contributes to the field of psychology by examining why some psychological concepts are problematic in one person (patient) but beneficial in another (entrepreneur) as well as to the field of biology, especially electrophysiology, with null findings despite of analyzing large samples and while small samples report significant findings.
Of course, psychology and biology could play a role in many occupations. Thus, with the present thesis, entrepreneurship is not underlined, rather it is used as a proof of concept. Future research should not just further develop the understanding of the role of psychology and biology in entrepreneurship, but also investigate other manifestations of economic behavior and outcomes.

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A.R. Thurik (Roy) , I.H.A. Franken (Ingmar) , P.J.F. Groenen (Patrick)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management
Erasmus School of Economics

Bernoster, I. (2018, December 20). Essays at the Intersection of Psychology, Biology, and Entrepreneurship (No. EPS-2018-463-S&E). ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/113907