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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1336517
 
 

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Neuroaccounting, Part II: Consilience Between Accounting Principles and the Primate Brain


John W. Dickhaut


Chapman University (Deceased)

Sudipta Basu


Temple University - Department of Accounting

Kevin A. McCabe


George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University School of Law

Gregory B. Waymire


Emory University - Department of Accounting

January 30, 2009


Abstract:     
We develop the hypothesis that culturally evolved accounting principles are ultimately explained by their consilience with how the human brain has biologically evolved to evaluate opportunities for exchange. The primary function of accounting in evaluating exchange is providing information on the net benefits of past exchanges. Accounting's comparative advantage arises because it provides information based on reliable quantified data that is well suited to multi-period settings where reputation and trust are of first-order importance. We review evidence documented by neuroscientists that is consistent with the hypothesis that longstanding accounting principles such as Revenue Realization, Expense Matching, Objectivity, Historical Cost, Going Concern and Conservatism have distinct parallels in brain behaviors. We conclude that NeuroAccounting has important implications for how we think about accounting principles and the ultimate forces behind their emergence and persistence.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 49

Keywords: Accounting principles, economic exchange, neuroeconomics, primate brain

JEL Classification: D80, E11, M40

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Date posted: February 2, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Dickhaut, John W. and Basu, Sudipta and McCabe, Kevin A. and Waymire, Gregory B., Neuroaccounting, Part II: Consilience Between Accounting Principles and the Primate Brain (January 30, 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1336517 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1336517

Contact Information

John Dickhaut
Chapman University (Deceased)
Sudipta Basu
Temple University - Department of Accounting ( email )
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215.204.0489 (Phone)
215.204.5587 (Fax)

Kevin A. McCabe
George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
George Mason University School of Law ( email )
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
Gregory B. Waymire (Contact Author)
Emory University - Department of Accounting ( email )
Goizueta Business School
1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-6589 (Phone)
404-727-6313 (Fax)
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