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Discussant's Response to Human Information Processing Research in Auditing: A Review and Synthesis Gary L. Holstrum Deloitte, Haskins & Sells My comments on this paper and on the underlying research are in three categories: (1) a very favorable overall evaluation of the paper, (2) differences in emphasis regarding specific areas of research described in the paper, and (3) suggestions of tentative guidelines for using the implications of this research to improve auditor judgments. Overall Comments The paper does an excellent job of accomplishing its stated objective of reviewing and synthesizing the research in a manner designed to "introduce the body of knowledge to readers who are relatively unfamiliar with it." As mentioned in the paper, readers who wish to investigate the area in greater depth should refer to the recent monographs by Ashton (1982) and Libby (1981). In this paper, Ashton provides helpful descriptions of six criteria used by researchers to evaluate auditors' judgments: accuracy, normativeness, stability, consensus, insight, and consistency with professional auditing standards. The distinction between accuracy and normativeness is important. Although auditor judgments are very rarely susceptible to evaluation by an accuracy criterion (because of the unavailability of external, verifiable reference points), they can often be evaluated on the basis of their degree of correspondence with normative or statistical standards. Furthermore, when neither accuracy nor normativeness criteria are feasible in the circumstances, researchers often utilize consensus, stability, or insight. Such criteria are helpful because evidence of lack of consensus or stability provides an indication of the lack of accuracy and normativeness. However, the converse does not logically follow—a high degree of consensus or stability does not necessarily indicate a high degree of accuracy or conformity with normative standards. The issue of whether auditors' judgments are more accurately described as rather good or rather poor is not as important as the issue of how such judgments can be improved. I agree with Ashton's conclusions that the ultimate goal of this research is to improve auditors' judgments and that the most salient common feature of efforts to improve such judgments is the establishment of suitable structures for the decision making process. 84
Discussant's response to human information processing research in auditing: a review and synthesis
Holstrum, Gary L.
Nichols, Donald R., ed.
Stettler, Howard, ed.
|Subject||Auditing -- Psychological aspects -- Research|
Auditing Symposium VI: Proceedings of the 1982 Touche Ross/University of Kansas Symposium on Auditing Problems, pp. 084-087
|Source||Published by: University of Kansas, School of Business|
|Rights||Contents have not been copyrighted|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|