The impact of affective information on the professional judgments of more experienced and less experienced auditors



This study examines whether the presence of realistic, yet irrelevant, affective information differentially influences the professional judgments of more experienced and less experienced auditors. In this study, auditors with different experience levels were either provided or not provided with information designed to elicit a negative interpersonal emotional reaction towards a manufacturing client when making an inventory obsolescence risk judgment. The results indicate that the inventory obsolescence risk assessments of less experienced auditors were significantly higher when they were provided with negative affective information on a client than when no such information was provided. No such differences were found for the more experienced auditors. This study suggests that professional experience is one factor that influences individuals' assessments of the informational value of affective reactions. This has implications for developing effective training programs to increase professionals' awareness of the influence that emotional reactions can have on their judgment. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.