Pablo Egaña Del Sol

Neurophysiological markers of emotion regulation predict efficacy of entrepreneurship education

With Paul Sajda (Columbia U) and Xiaoxiao Sun (Columbia U).


Recent evidence shows that programs targeting the socio-emotional dimensions of entrepreneurship are more highly correlated with success along with key business metrics, such as sales and survival, than programs with a narrow, technical bent — e.g., accounting and finance. We argue that programs designed to foster socio-emotional skills are effective in improving entrepreneurship outcomes because they improve the students’ ability to regulate their emotions—i.e. disposition to make more measured, rational decisions. We test this hypothesis by studying a randomized controlled trial of an entrepreneurship program in Chile. We find that the program has a positive and significant impact on educational outcomes and on neurophysiological markers related to emotions, namely: decreasing arousal, valence, and leads to significant emotional regulation changes to negative stimuli.