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Cognitive Dissonance and Auditor Professional Skepticism

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Date Issued:
2016
Summary:
I show that auditors experience cognitive dissonance when they fail to take appropriate professionally skeptical (hereafter PS) action in line with high PS judgment I specifically show that cognitive dissonance leads auditors to revise their attitudes on low ranking audit actions upward and lower their risk assessments, consequently, lower overall professional skepticism I also find that auditor cognitive dissonance leads to exaggerated ex-post auditor self-assessments professional skepticism Professional skepticism is fundamental to performing an audit according to auditing standards and critical to audit quality Extant research that investigates treatments to enhance professional skepticism predominantly treats both skeptical judgment and skeptical action as analogous outcomes of professional skepticism If, however, there is a breakdown between PS judgment and PS action, the overall benefits of these treatments will be trivial I show that cognitive dissonance due to the incongruence between PS judgments and PS actions leads to an unforeseeable corollary of lower overall professional skepticism I also demonstrate a specific mechanism of how auditor incentives lead to lower professional skepticism, hence, lower audit quality Both researchers and practitioners can benefit from this study by better understating the intricacies in the critical link between PS judgment and action Additionally, I provide an empirical investigation of the components in Nelson’s (2009) model of professional skepticism and extend the model to reflect the intricacies between PS judgment and PS action I test my hypotheses via a three-group research design with attitude change as a proxy measure of cognitive dissonance
Title: Cognitive Dissonance and Auditor Professional Skepticism.
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Name(s): Adikaram, Ruwan K, author
Higgs, Julia, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
College of Business
School of Accounting
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2016
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 143 p
Language(s): English
Summary: I show that auditors experience cognitive dissonance when they fail to take appropriate professionally skeptical (hereafter PS) action in line with high PS judgment I specifically show that cognitive dissonance leads auditors to revise their attitudes on low ranking audit actions upward and lower their risk assessments, consequently, lower overall professional skepticism I also find that auditor cognitive dissonance leads to exaggerated ex-post auditor self-assessments professional skepticism Professional skepticism is fundamental to performing an audit according to auditing standards and critical to audit quality Extant research that investigates treatments to enhance professional skepticism predominantly treats both skeptical judgment and skeptical action as analogous outcomes of professional skepticism If, however, there is a breakdown between PS judgment and PS action, the overall benefits of these treatments will be trivial I show that cognitive dissonance due to the incongruence between PS judgments and PS actions leads to an unforeseeable corollary of lower overall professional skepticism I also demonstrate a specific mechanism of how auditor incentives lead to lower professional skepticism, hence, lower audit quality Both researchers and practitioners can benefit from this study by better understating the intricacies in the critical link between PS judgment and action Additionally, I provide an empirical investigation of the components in Nelson’s (2009) model of professional skepticism and extend the model to reflect the intricacies between PS judgment and PS action I test my hypotheses via a three-group research design with attitude change as a proxy measure of cognitive dissonance
Identifier: FA00004772 (IID)
Degree granted: Dissertation (PhD)--Florida Atlantic University, 2016
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography
Subject(s): Cognitive dissonance
Auditing--Standards
Accounting--Standards
Accounting--Moral and ethical aspects
Accountants--Professional ethics
Auditors--Psychology
Behaviorism (Psychology)
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00004772
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.