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Mascarenhas, Desmond D.
Veer, Sally
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[Journal:] Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship [ISSN:] 2192-5372 [Volume:] 3 [Year:] 2014 [Pages:] 1-5
Background: Avant-garde literature may influence the evolution of social attitudes and meanings. Women purchase the bulk of literary fiction products in the USA and may thereby play a hitherto undescribed role in business innovation by influencing this type of cultural production. Innovation output in the USA is regionalized and linked to certain psychological traits in local populations. It is reasonable, therefore, to ask whether some of those same psychological traits in women correlate with the consumption of avant-garde literature. Findings: In a large female cohort, RD scores derived from the eSAIL correlated with geographic regions previously associated with economic innovation. RD values also show significant differences among quartiles of a female cohort scored for innovation based on submissions to an online competition that allowed subjective definitions of 'innovation.' Using online virtual book clubs, RD scores were shown to be significantly closer among pairs of women who had self-selected for similarities in reading taste. Finally, using 724 ratings derived from reader-book pairs, we showed that RD values were significantly different between women who preferred avant-garde literature (11 novels) and those who preferred other long fiction (21 novels), even though average ratings from the reading population at large were nearly identical for both groups of books. Conclusions: RD values in women correlated with indices of innovation activity and content. These findings may have implications for our understanding of the influence of psychological traits upon the production of cultural attitudes in innovation-dependent economies.
Avant-garde literature
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