What do psychological tests suggest about entrepreneurs?

Caird, Sally (1993). What do psychological tests suggest about entrepreneurs? Journal of Managerial Psychology, 8(6) pp. 11–20.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/02683949310047428


Reviews and describes the results of some psychological tests which have been used with entrepreneurs. The tests have been mainly employed either to explore the nature of the entrepreneur or to assess so-called significant entrepreneurial characteristics. Key problems in the psychological testing of entrepreneurs relate to varying definitions of the entrepreneur, numerous entrepreneurial characteristics, uncertainty about the significance of entrepreneurial characteristics, and lack of rigour in test development. The results of well validated tests highlight many personality characteristics which could be correlated with characteristics of small firms and business owner-managers. However, there have been specific measures of entrepreneurial characteristics developed in a search for a sensitive discriminating measure. Unfortunately, many of these tests have been poorly validated and this fails to supply useful information about the nature of entrepreneurs. Gives examples to illustrate some problems in psychological testing and discusses the importance of new approaches.

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