The influence of cognitive style on the understandability of a professional accounting pronouncement by accounting students

Chris Patel, Day Ron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Cloze test has been used extensively in accounting research to measure understandability of accounting reports, textbooks and pronouncements. Although useful, previous research has generally been limited to using the output from Cloze tests as measures of understandability. Little attempt has been made to look into the black box of human information processing to identify individual psychological differences that may influence understandability scores. This study extends the research into this area and provides insight into the black box by investigating the interaction between cognitive styles and understandability, within the context of an Australian accounting pronouncement. Specifically, this paper develops and tests the hypothesis that field independent subjects should obtain significantly higher understandability scores as measured by the Cloze test. A secondary objective is to provide empirical evidence on the understandability of Statement of Accounting Concept No. 4: 'Definition and Recognition of the Elements of Financial Statements' (SAC 4), given the importance of this pronouncement to the development of the conceptual framework project in Australia and the controversial claims of its lack of understandability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-154
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Accounting Review
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1996

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