Abstract

Understanding opportunity perception, evaluation and exploitation remains central to advancing entrepreneurship research. Neuroeconomics research argues that we must explicitly consider much deeper cognitive phenomena, even physiological, if we are to understand important human decision processes . This requires explicit consideration of entrepreneurial emotions, not just rational cognitions, though most research focuses on the effects of rational cognitions on entrepreneurial behaviour. Despite the near-cliché association of entrepreneurs (especially social entrepreneurs) with passion, entrepreneurial emotions are under-researched. Here, experiments analyze how cognitive appraisal and anticipated-outcome emotions influence individual perception, evaluation and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities and permit increased understanding of deep beliefs. We focus here on social entrepreneurial opportunities where both rational analysis and deep emotion must arguably be salient. Social entrepreneurship research already argues that cognitions and emotions work together to significantly influence intentions toward becoming social entrepreneurs, little work has empirically tested how these factors inhibit of facilitate the perception, evaluation and exploitation of social entrepreneurship opportunities. To address this gap, we test experimentally cognitive appraisal theories of emotion, which explicitly address cognitions, emotions and their interaction.

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