BIS and BAS: Biobehaviorally rooted drivers of entrepreneurial intent

Noreen Y.R. Geenen, Diemo Urbig, Katrin Muehlfeld*, Arjen van Witteloostuijn, Vasiliki Gargalianou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We document the predictive relevance of the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and the behavioral approach system (BAS) in a novel domain of societal importance: entrepreneurship. Based on structural equation models, Study 1 (N = 320) reveals that BAS reward responsiveness (BAS-RR) has a negative and BAS fun seeking (BAS-FS) has a positive association with entrepreneurial intent. Similar results emerge for Study 2 (N = 470): BAS-RR is negatively and BAS drive (BAS-D) is positively related to entrepreneurial intent. Additionally, Study 2 includes entrepreneurial experience, which is negatively related with BAS-RR and positively with BAS-D. We do not find any significant relationship between the BIS and entrepreneurial intent or experience. Our results support the multidimensionality of the BAS, with the subscales being differently associated with both entrepreneurial intent and experience. Finally, by simultaneously including intent and experience, Study 2 makes a methodological contribution related to the validity of student samples when analyzing entrepreneurial intent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-213
Number of pages10
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral approach system (BAS)
  • Behavioral inhibition system (BIS)
  • Economic psychology
  • Entrepreneurial experience
  • Entrepreneurial intention
  • Personality


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