Nav: Home

Entrepreneurs love their companies like parents love their children

March 28, 2017

A multidisciplinary study, run by researcher Marja-Liisa Halko from the University of Helsinki, asks whether entrepreneurs love their companies like parents love their children. The study used functional MRIs to study the brain activity of fathers and high-growth entrepreneurs. Fathers were shown pictures of their own children as well as other children they knew. Entrepreneurs were shown pictures of their own companies and other companies that they were familiar with.

The results from Finnish fathers were similar to those from previous brain studies primarily conducted on mothers. Looking at images of one's own child in particular deactivates the parts of the brain that are responsible for the theory of mind and social understanding. Similar deactivations were observed among entrepreneurs who self-rated as being very closely attached to their company.

Low confidence can sensitize to risks

Meanwhile, the activation of the brain areas responsible for rewarding and processing emotions seemed to be associated with the confidence of the research subjects among both fathers and especially among entrepreneurs. High confidence is more typical among men than it is among women.

"Our results indicate that less confident fathers and male entrepreneurs may be more sensitive to the dangers and risks of parenting and entrepreneurship," says Marja-Liisa Halko.

On the other hand, the results also suggest that overconfidence and the repression of negative emotions may lead to overestimation of the probability of success and overly optimistic assumptions for the company.

The study, entitled "Entrepreneurial and parental love - are they the same?", was published in the journal Human Brain Mapping and can be accessed online at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hbm.23562/full.

The study tested the hypothesis that the emotional bond an entrepreneur feels for the company is similar to the bond experienced by a parent towards the child. Entrepreneurs are very emotionally involved with their companies, and this involvement supports the long-term efforts of the entrepreneur. This hypothesis had never before been scientifically tested.

This study, conducted by researchers Marja-Liisa Halko, Tom Lahti from Hanken School of Economics, Kaisa Hytönen from Laurea University of Applied Sciences and Iiro Jääskeläinen from Aalto University, sought to establish that the love an entrepreneur feels for the company is very similar to the love a parent feels for the child.
-end-
Further information:

Marja-Liisa Halko, University of Helsinki, Finland
Tel. +358 029 412 8733
marja-liisa.halko@helsinki.fi

University of Helsinki

Related Brain Activity Articles:

More brain activity is not always better when it comes to memory and attention
Potential new ways of understanding the cause of cognitive impairments, such as problems with memory and attention, in brain disorders including schizophrenia and Alzheimer's are under the spotlight in a new research review.
Researchers to predict cognitive dissonance according to brain activity
A new study by HSE researchers has uncovered a new brain mechanism that generates cognitive dissonance -- a mental discomfort experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs or values, or experiences difficulties in making decisions.
Brain activity can be used to predict reading success up to 2 years in advance
By measuring brainwaves, it is possible to predict what a child's reading level will be years in advance, according to research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
There's a close association between magnetic systems and certain states of brain activity
Scientists from the University of Granada (UGR) have proven for the first time that there is a close relationship between several emerging phenomena in magnetic systems (greatly studied by condensed matter physicists) and certain states of brain activity.
Hormone can enhance brain activity associated with love and sex
The hormone kisspeptin can enhance activity in brain regions associated with sexual arousal and romantic love, according to new research.
Manipulating brain activity to boost confidence
Is it possible to directly boost one's own confidence by directly training the brain?
Brain activity may predict risk of falls in older people
Measuring the brain activity of healthy, older adults while they walk and talk at the same time may help predict their risk of falls later, according to a study published in the Dec.
Neuro chip records brain cell activity
In order to understand how the brain controls functions, such as simple reflexes or learning and memory, we must be able to record the activity of large networks and groups of neurons.
Too much activity in certain areas of the brain is bad for memory and attention
Researchers led by Dr Tobias Bast in the School of Psychology at The University of Nottingham have found that faulty inhibitory neurotransmission and abnormally increased activity in the hippocampus impairs our memory and attention.
Brain changes after menopause may lead to lack of physical activity
Researchers from the University of Missouri have found a connection between lack of ovarian hormones and changes in the brain's pleasure center, a hotspot in the brain that processes and reinforces messages related to reward, pleasure, activity and motivation for physical exercise.

Related Brain Activity Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".