Study Finds That Entrepreneurs Are More Likely To Be Disobedient Teens

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If you’ve exhibited early signs of rule-breaking as an adolescent, there’s a chance that you could be an entrepreneur at heart.

A recent study published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior has collected data from 1,000 Swedish residents in a small town and analyzed it over a 40-year period, beginning when they were 10. The research has found a connection between anti-social and rebellious behavior and those who grew up to become entrepreneurs. Though no link was made between serious crime and entrepreneurs, the study determined that entrepreneurs were likely to disobey rules, shoplift, cheat and ignore conventional social behaviors.

We think that it could be the early entrepreneurial spirit,” lead author Martin Obschonka of the University of Jena in Germany tells Popular Science.

The study conducted in Sweden is an extension to the 2009 study conducted by the University of Arizona, which also found there was a relationship between rule-breaking and later entrepreneurial ventures.

Entrepreneurs are often characterized by traits such as autonomy, innovation, and high risk taking,” the study reads. “Almost by definition, an entrepreneur should be a rule breaker in order to be innovative and successful in the venturing process.”

However, there was a missing find in the study. According to Popular Science, “Female entrepreneurship could not be predicted by moderately anti-social teenage behavior. The study also analyzed latent anti-social tendencies, i.e. more subtle attitudes that might not be apparent in measures like official criminal data, and found no link between entrepreneurs and anti-social attitudes in adulthood.”

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