Theory Testing and Process Evidence in Accounting Experiments

58 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2019

See all articles by H. Scott Asay

H. Scott Asay

University of Iowa - Department of Accounting

Ryan Guggenmos

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Kathryn Kadous

Emory University - Goizueta Business School

Lisa Koonce

University of Texas

Robert Libby

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Date Written: November 12, 2019

Abstract

This paper outlines strengths and limitations of three approaches to providing process evidence in experimental accounting research: moderation, mediation, and multiple experiments and methods. We argue that the research question determines the importance of process evidence in experimental accounting research. When process is central to the research question, process evidence is essential. In other cases, process can play a secondary role by strengthening the internal and external validity of inferences or suggesting possible approaches to improving accounting decisions. In either case, we recommend a design-based approach and make recommendations for collecting process evidence in ways that minimize the threats to validity that are common to the method employed.

Keywords: experimental research, process evidence, moderation, mediation, multiple experiments, experimental design

JEL Classification: M41, M42, C91

Suggested Citation

Asay, Hamilton Scott and Guggenmos, Ryan and Kadous, Kathryn and Koonce, Lisa L. and Libby, Robert, Theory Testing and Process Evidence in Accounting Experiments (November 12, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3485844 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3485844

Hamilton Scott Asay

University of Iowa - Department of Accounting ( email )

S232 Pappajohn Business Building
Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
United States

Ryan Guggenmos

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Kathryn Kadous

Emory University - Goizueta Business School ( email )

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-2722
United States
404-727-4967 (Phone)

Lisa L. Koonce

University of Texas ( email )

Dept. of Accounting
McCombs School of Business
Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-471-5576 (Phone)
512-471-3904 (Fax)

Robert Libby (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-3348 (Phone)
607-254-4590 (Fax)

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