The Elaboration Likelihood Model: A Meta-Theory for Synthesizing Auditor Judgment and Decision Making Research

Posted: 9 Feb 2017 Last revised: 3 Aug 2018

See all articles by Emily E. Griffith

Emily E. Griffith

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Christine J. Nolder

Suffolk University

Richard Petty

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Psychology

Date Written: December 22, 2017

Abstract

Critics argue that audit research rarely impacts practice and that challenges associated with synthesizing and interpreting research are contributing factors. We propose that using the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) as a meta-theoretical framework can help in understanding the collective findings within auditor judgment and decision-making (JDM) research. Our goal is to demonstrate the utility of the ELM by interpreting the collective results of two samples of studies on client cooperation and auditors’ moods. Our synthesis of the client cooperation studies suggests that cooperation on a current issue affects auditors’ judgments only when auditors lack motivation to think carefully about a given task. In contrast, a history of client cooperation tends to bias even highly motivated auditors’ judgments. Our synthesis of the mood studies suggests that motivational interventions are necessary, but not sufficient, to mitigate the effects of mood on judgments. Our ELM interpretation of these studies offers a theoretical explanation for seemingly unrelated predictions and findings that can inform future research and practice.

Keywords: auditor judgment and decision making, Elaboration Likelihood Model, literature review, research synthesis

Suggested Citation

Griffith, Emily Elaine and Nolder, Christine J. and Petty, Richard, The Elaboration Likelihood Model: A Meta-Theory for Synthesizing Auditor Judgment and Decision Making Research (December 22, 2017). Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2914387 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2914387

Emily Elaine Griffith

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

School of Business
975 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
United States

Christine J. Nolder (Contact Author)

Suffolk University ( email )

Boston, MA 02108
United States

Richard Petty

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Psychology ( email )

1885 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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