Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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more “interesting” BRIA papers

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We continue on our mission to learn more about research methods by examining two issues in this first year.

  1. how do on-line worker’s differ from the general population?  W. Brink et al give us some interesting insights into how the values of on-line workers depart from that of the general population.  No surprise here really, I certainly expected them to be different, but what ones? how extensive? were they in areas of interest to accounting researchers?  These are all discussed in this paper.
  2. Recently I accepted a review of dual process theories of human decision making applied to financial accounting and investing.  We recently have seen an uptick in research using dual process theories in both audit and financial accounting research.  Griffiths et al (2016) in AJPT discussed the issue from an audit perspective.  Winchel and Hamilton have a forthcoming piece in BRIA looking at it from the application of finanical accounting. One of the key observations among many that they make is that “heuristic or intuitive or peripheral processing or type 1 thinking” (they all mean in essence the same thing with slight variations) has got a really bad rap over the years, because experimenters set up experimental tasks in such a way that it is rare that deep thinking (i.e. a more rational person approach) does not win.  They point out implicitly, that if this type of thinking was a bad as experimental researchers portray it, we as a species would not have survived so long.  Anyhow, great paper that provides a unifying framework to consider a lot of financial accounting experimental and archival research and that suggests a lot of research directions for the future!  I can foresee a few dissertation papers coming out of this one!!!

One of the neat things about dual process theories is that they are strongly supported by neuroscience evidence and they combine a lot of smaller phenomena (with associated theories) from psychology into one overall theoretical framework.  In other words the commonalities of dual processing theories show that the notion that psychology is all over the map with its theorizing is not really the case.  Those of us who have thought carefully about this know it, but for many researchers (even psychology based ones) they still find this surprising!

dJ


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