Psychological characteristics contributing to expertise in audit judgment

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Prof., Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D. Candidate in Accounting, Faculty of Social Sciences and Economics University of Alzahra, Iran


The purpose of this study is to identify the psychological characteristics contributing to expertise which consequently have an effect on auditor judgment. Accordingly, the present paper adopts a part of the framework derived from the decision-making literature about psychology and applies it to auditing. As Shanteau proposes, expert decision-makers possess fourteen psychological characteristics. The importance of each characteristic is assessed employing the experimental method for 65 auditors from an auditing organization in four phases including planning, test of transactions, testing the details of balances, and issuing the audit report. Hypothesis-testing was made by means of correlation test, Friedman non-parametric test, as well as Spearman correlation matrix. The results revealed that all of the fourteen characteristics are important across all the four phases of the auditing; nevertheless, the degree of significance in each phase was not the same so that in the first phase the most important characteristics are Responsibility and Selectivity, and in the second phase they are distinctions between Relevant-Irrelevant Information and Adaptability. The Perceptual/Attention characteristic in the third phase of auditing comes to be the most significant and in the final phase of auditing. Automaticity has the highest degree of importance.


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