Natural Optimism in Financial Reporting: A State of Mind
Posted: 3 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 2, 2015
The objective of this paper is to cohesively introduce the notion of natural optimism into the accounting literature and to provide insights into the role of natural optimism in financial reporting on the part of firm managers. To accomplish this, we first discuss the research that demonstrates that optimism is the natural state of mind for most people and therefore we believe that firm managers involved in preparing financial statements are likely to exhibit naturally occurring optimism. Second, we identify where natural optimistic reporting is most likely to occur in financial reporting. Third, we address the challenges involved with mitigating or eliminating natural optimism in financial reporting. Finally, we address the relationship between optimism and overconfidence because these two concepts are often used interchangeably in the accounting literature despite their conceptual differences.
Keywords: Natural optimism
JEL Classification: M40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation