Examining the Relationship between Personality and Entrepreneurial Attitudes: Evidence from U.S. College Students

Michael L. Harris, Shanan G. Gibson, Todd D. Mick


The current study examined the degree to which seven personality variables, creativity, self efficacy, openness to experience, risk tolerance, perseverance, variety seeking, and strong judgment were correlated with entrepreneurial attitudes in U.S. college students. The Entrepreneurial Attitude Orientation (EAO) was used to measure entrepreneurial attitudes based on the constructs of achievement, innovation, personal control and self esteem. Findings indicated that with the exception of risk avoidance, all of the personality constructs correlated with at least two of the entrepreneurial attitudes. However, patterns of correlation were not consistent across male and female students. In particular, creativity and entrepreneurial self esteem were found to significantly differ along gender lines, with males having higher creativity scores and females possessing stronger levels of entrepreneurial self esteem.

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