Measuring reflective cognitive capacity: A methodological recommendation for accounting research of feedback effects

Ralph E. Viator, Penelope L. Bagley, Beau Grant Barnes, Nancy L. Harp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates whether measures of reflective cognitive capacity can differentiate which participants are more or less likely to benefit from feedback intervention. The results from four separate experiments of feedback effects are reported. In each experimental task, participants had to override a specific cognitive bias in order to improve their performance post feedback. Across all four experiments, the results consistently show that measures of reflective cognitive capacity reasonably partitioned participants into two groups: those that were more likely, versus those that were less likely, to benefit from feedback intervention. Most notably, the fourth experiment replicates a study recently published in Behavioral Research in Accounting (Buchheit, Dalton, Downen, and Pippin 2012) and demonstrates that the study's primary finding was not generalizable to all participants. We recommend that future accounting studies examining learning and feedback effects include measures of reflective cognitive capacity, such as the Need for Cognition scale and the Cognitive Reflection Test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-160
Number of pages30
JournalBehavioral Research in Accounting
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Cognitive bias
  • Cognitive reflection test
  • Cognitive theory
  • Feedback
  • Need for cognition
  • Reflective thinking

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