Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Business Administration

Major Professor

Uday S. Murthy, Ph.D.


Experimental, Judgment, Decision-making, Auditing, Social identity


This study examines the effect of in-group bias and decision aid use on auditor judgments, confidence, and decisions in an analytical procedures task. In-group bias, a product of Social Identity Theory, may impair auditor independence by influencing auditor judgments. Auditors rely on client representations to support their opinion of the financial statements; however, clients are sometimes former auditors of the external audit firm. This prior relationship could lead the auditor to exhibit unwarranted trust of client representations. In an online mixed design experiment using staff and senior auditors, I test whether auditor judgments, confidence in those judgments, and decisions to extend testing differ based on a client's prior affiliation. I find that there is insufficient evidence of in-group bias in auditor judgments, confidence, or decisions. Lack of support could be due to the small sample size. In the same experiment, I give auditors access to a decision aid. Practice and prior literature suggest using decision aids should improve audit judgment. I find that a structured decision aid improves audit judgments and decisions for all auditors, and improves confidence for auditors who initially made good judgments. Audit managers can benefit from noting the usefulness of decision aids in improving judgment.