A Model of Audit Judgment: Cognition in a Professional Context
Some twenty years ago the sociologist Talcott Parsons (1968) wrote of the importance of the professional in the structure of modern societies. More recently, Abbott wrote of the extensive influence of professionals in our lives: “They heal our bodies, measure our profits, save our souls” (1988, p. 1). Modern society continues to become more dependent on the judgments of professionals such as lawyers, physicians, and accountants. This increased dependence appears to be a natural consequence of both the general expansion of human knowledge and the efficiencies that arise from specialization. Professional judgments are characterized by the wealth of domain-specific knowledge that the professional brings to the judgment task and the existence of high stakes in many judgment settings. It is precisely this application of domain-specific knowledge in light of such high stakes that constitutes the essence of professional judgment.
KeywordsMental Model Professional Judgment Control Risk Default Rule Professional Context
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