Both the scientific literature and the popular press have recently started to associate entrepreneurship with symptoms of mental disorders. In addition, there is an emerging stream of literature devoted to the non-intendedly rational logic of entrepreneurs. Despite the high co-occurrence rate of psychiatric symptoms, prior research has only examined the independent effects of psychiatric symptoms. Furthermore, the two emerging literature streams remain largely independent. In the present study, we investigate the independent and joint association of four psychiatric symptoms (i.e., inattention, hyperactivity, narcissism, and hypomania) and entrepreneurial intention. Drawing on the reinforcement sensitivity theory, we explore whether the relationship between psychiatric symptoms and entrepreneurial intention is mediated by the behavioral activation system (BAS). Using the survey responses of 182 university students, our results show differential findings between the independent and joint effects of psychiatric symptoms on entrepreneurial intention. Importantly, we find support for the mediating role of BAS. Overall, our results suggest that BAS may serve as a unifying theoretical construct that helps to understand the relationship between multiple psychiatric symptoms and entrepreneurial intention.

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Keywords ADHD, Behavioral activation system, Entrepreneurial intention, Hypomania, Mental disorders, Narcissism
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Journal Journal of Business Venturing Insights
Leung, Y.K, Franken, I.H.A, & Thurik, A.R. (2020). Psychiatric symptoms and entrepreneurial intention. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 13. doi:10.1016/j.jbvi.2019.e00153