Entrepreneurs love their companies like parents love their children

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.

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.

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Materials provided by University of Helsinki. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

 

Americans are having sex less often, new study shows

While the topic of sex is less taboo than it was a generation ago, that doesn’t necessarily mean people are having more of it.

According to a new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior today, Americans who were married or living together had sex 16 fewer times per year in 2010-2014 compared to 2000-2004.

The survey also found that overall, Americans had sex about nine fewer times per year in 2010-2014 compared to 1995-1999.

The study is based on data collected from the General Social Survey, a nationally representative sample of more than 26,000 American adults asked about their sexual behavior since 1989.

“These data show a major reversal from previous decades in terms of marriage and sex,” said Jean M. Twenge, the study’s lead author and professor of psychology at San Diego State University. “In the 1990s, married people had sex more times per year than never-married people, but by the mid-2000s that reversed, with the never-married having more sex.”

According to Twenge, author of the book “Generation Me,” a critical factor appears to be birth cohort, with later-born generations having sex less often than those born earlier in the 20th century.

In an earlier study, Twenge and co-authors Ryne Sherman at Florida Atlantic University and Brooke Wells at the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University, found that Millennials had fewer sexual partners than their Generation X predecessors.

“Despite their reputation for hooking up, Millennials and the generation after them (known as iGen or Generation Z) are actually having sex less often than their parents and grandparents did when they were young,” said Twenge. “That’s partially because fewer iGen’ers and Millennials have steady partners.”

Age also appears to play a significant role. People in their 20s have sex more than 80 times per year, declining to 60 times per year by age 45, and 20 times per year by age 65. Each year after the peak of sexual frequency at 25, sexual frequency declines 3.2 percent.

“Older and married people are having sex less often — especially after 2000,” Twenge said. “In a previous paper, we found that the happiness of adults over age 30 declined between 2000 and 2014. With less sex and less happiness, it’s no wonder that American adults seem deeply dissatisfied these days.”

Blame might be placed on the busy lives of more working parents, but the research didn’t bear that out, said Twenge.

Instead, those who worked more hours actually had sex more often, as well.

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Materials provided by San Diego State University. Original written by Gina Jacobs. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.