The effects of the need for cognition in audit sampling

Caroline O. Ford, William R. Pasewark

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We conduct an experiment to analyze the impact of a well-established psychological construct, need for cognition, in an audit-related decision context. By simulating a basic audit sampling task, we determine whether the desire to engage in a cognitive process influences decisions made during that task. Specifically, we investigate whether an individual's need for cognition influences the quantity of data collected, the revision of a predetermined sampling plan, and the time taken to make a decision. Additionally, we examine the impact of cost constraints during the decision-making process. Contrary to results in previous studies, we find those with a higher need for cognition sought less data than those with a lower need for cognition to make an audit sampling decision. In addition, we find that the need for cognition had no relationship to sampling plan revisions or the time needed to make an audit sampling decision. Previous studies regarding the need for cognition did not utilize incremental costs for additional decisionmaking information. Potentially, these costs provided cognitive challenges that influenced decision outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Accounting Behavioral Research
EditorsDonna Bobek Schmitt, Douglas Clinton, Ronald Daigle, Amy Hageman, Robin Radtke, Sally Wright
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameAdvances in Accounting Behavioral Research
ISSN (Print)1475-1488


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