Research Design and Analysis in Behavioral Accounting Research

REG506NFB Research Design and Analysis in Behavioral Accounting Research

  • Topics


    This seminar provides a survey of behavioral accounting research, with a special emphasis on current trends and promising avenues for future studies. The primary difference between behavioral accounting research and other areas (e.g., empirical financial accounting or analytical management accounting) pertains to its behavioral assumptions. Whereas other areas typically assume extreme forms of rationality (e.g., expected utility maximization), behavioral accounting research assumes that human behavior reflects the implications of bounded rationality. Also, instead of assuming that human behavior is motivated by narrow self-interest only, some behavioral studies examine whether broader motives (e.g., fairness and other social factors) are important as well. Another difference is that most behavioral accounting research employs an experimental method. Experimentation has several advantages including control over independent variables and dependent measures of theoretical interest. But, it also has disadvantages including uncertain external validity (i.e., generalizability from laboratory settings to natural field settings). Our survey course includes many experimental studies, but will also cover some field-based behavioral research that addresses concerns about external validity.

    The course will address a range of behavioral accounting research subjects including:


    • Determinants of Auditors¿ Performance.
    • Internal Control Disclosures
    • The Audit Review Process
    • Negotiations
    • Accountability and Performance
    • Audit and Earnings Quality.
    • Accounting Fraud

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:


    • Understand how different behavioral research methods can and should be used to address different accounting issues.
    • Critique existing behavioral accounting research papers.
    • Recognize key issues in gathering, presenting, and analyzing behavioral data.
    • Assess when experimentation is an appropriate way to address an accounting research question, and why.
    • Differentiate between conceptual and operational accounting research questions.
    • Apply techniques to getting published in accounting journals.
    • Develop research projects within the field.

  • Teaching


    The seminar will adopt a discussion format, not a lecture format. All seminar participants are expected to read the assignments in advance and actively join in the discussion. Each session will include 4 primary research articles and often some background reading(s). I have also assigned some general background readings that will not be covered in class but which I expect you to read.


    Student participants are asked to write and present a research paper/proposal on a behavioral accounting issue. I will work individually with each student to identify the issue and guide the development of the project. The last day of class is reserved for the students¿ presentation of their work.


    Prior to the start of the course, each participant should prepare a one-page summary of his or her research agenda (planned or in process). The summary should identify 1) the nature (purpose and subject area) of the research; 2) the research method(s) planned or already adopted; 3) anticipated limitations or difficulties of conducting the research; and 4) progress, if any, to date. Participants should also include a short paragraph indicating what they consider to be the most important learning outcome(s) of attending this course.

  • Assessment


    To get a grade students need to attend all the classes and make a presentation on their research project the last day of the course.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading Scale

    Grading: Pass / fail.

  • Computer tools

    Computer tools


  • Semester


    Autumn. 2014:  November 10th - 14th.



ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Course responsible

Steve Asare, University of Florida and Iris Stuart, Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law