Title page for ETD etd-10212004-151726

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Watson, Stephanie F.
Author's Email Address swatson@uca.edu
URN etd-10212004-151726
Title The Effect of the Implicit Theory of Integrity on an Internal Auditor's Assessment of Management Fraud Risk
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Accounting
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Barbara Apostolou Committee Chair
Barry Moser Committee Member
Glenn Sumners Committee Member
J. Kenneth Reynolds Committee Member
Daniel Sage Dean's Representative
  • internal auditing
  • management fraud
  • integrity
Date of Defense 2004-10-13
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this research project is to determine whether the implicit theory of integrity, a theory from the social psychology literature that predicts how social judgments and decisions are made, can explain internal auditorsí decisions. The implicit theory (Dweck and Leggett 1988) states that there are two types of people: (1) entity theorists and (2) incremental theorists. Entity theorists form strong inferences from observed behavior that are used to predict future behavior. Incremental theorists, on the other hand, do not infer characteristics from behavior, and therefore, do not attempt to predict future behavior. In an internal auditing context, the implicit theory is applicable to an internal auditorís assessment of managementís integrity. A quasi-experiment was used to assess the main effect of integrity cues (three levels of integrity between subjects) on an internal auditor's assessed risk of management fraud based on a hypothetical case. The auditorsí implicit theory of integrity (interacted with the integrity cue) is also investigated. These tests offer some evidence in support of the main effect of the integrity cue on the fraud risk assessment, but no evidence is found in support of the interaction effect of the implicit theory.
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