Adaptive Responses to Time Pressure: The Effects of Experience on Tax Information Search Behavior

BEHAVIORAL RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING, Vol 9, 1997

Posted: 12 Mar 1997

See all articles by Brian C. Spilker

Brian C. Spilker

Brigham Young University

Douglas F. Prawitt

Brigham Young University

Abstract

Time pressure is an important feature of many accounting settings. This study describes a theoretical basis and provides supporting empirical evidence regarding how experience influences adaptation to time pressure in a tax information search task. Forty-three tax professionals and 53 graduate tax students participated in an interactive computer experiment in which subjects selected relevant key words relating to a partnership tax issue. Results are consistent with the idea that in response to time pressure, experienced decision makers are able to identify and encode information important in the context of an information search task to a greater extent than inexperienced decision makers. This increased selectivity allowed experienced subjects to respond to time pressure by (1) reducing the amount of time they spent initially assimilating the problem statement to a greater extent than inexperienced subjects, (2) decreasing the amount of time they referred back to the factual case information to a greater extent than inexperienced subjects, and (3) increasing the degree to which they searched more important areas of the index per unit of search time to a greater extent than inexperienced subjects. These findings provide new insights on how time pressure and experience interactively affect the way decision makers use their time at an information search task.

JEL Classification: D83, C91

Suggested Citation

Spilker, Brian and Prawitt, Douglas F., Adaptive Responses to Time Pressure: The Effects of Experience on Tax Information Search Behavior. BEHAVIORAL RESEARCH IN ACCOUNTING, Vol 9, 1997, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2917

Brian Spilker (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University ( email )

Marriott School of Management 523 TNRB
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-378-4644 (Phone)
801-378-5933 (Fax)

Douglas F. Prawitt

Brigham Young University ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-422-2351 (Phone)

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