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The effect of experience and complexity on order and recency bias in decision making by professional accountants


Arnold, V and Collier, PA and Leech, SA and Sutton, SG, The effect of experience and complexity on order and recency bias in decision making by professional accountants, Accounting & Finance, 40, (2) pp. 109-134. ISSN 0810-5391 (2000) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/1467-629X.00039


Recently, questions have been raised regarding the impact of experience on the susceptibility of professional accountants to judgment bias-particularly order and recency biases as predicted in the Belief-Adjustment Model. The Belief-Adjustment Model predicts recency effects will always exist in complex decision domains (regardless of experience). Complexity is defined within the model as a function of task familiarity and information load. The prior studies on experience and bias in accounting domains have focused on varying task familiarity and have found that task familiarity can mitigate order/recency bias. In this study, complexity is operationalised through heavy information load (a condition more consistent with professional accounting environments) while maintaining a high level of task familiarity. Two experiments were conducted. The first experiment utilised a going concern decision using highly experienced partners and managers. The second experiment was conducted in the insolvency domain and used 87 experienced insolvency practitioners. The results indicate that experience does not mitigate order/recency bias under conditions of heavy information load. © AAANZ, 2000.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Accounting, auditing and accountability not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Management and productivity not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Leech, SA (Professor Stewart Leech)
ID Code:18962
Year Published:2000
Deposited By:Accounting and Accountability
Deposited On:2000-08-01
Last Modified:2011-09-15

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