Development of a scale to measure professional skepticism

  • Hurtt R
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Professional skepticism is an important concept in audit practice, as evidenced by its prominence throughout the auditing standards. In this paper I propose that professional skepticism is a multi-dimensional individual characteristic. As an individual characteristic, professional skepticism can be both a trait (a relatively stable, enduring aspect of an individual) and also a state (a temporary condition aroused by situational variables). I develop a scale designed to ex ante measure an individual's level of trait professional skepticism based on characteristics derived from audit standards, psychology, philosophy, and consumer behavior research. I conduct a rigorous and iterative scale validation process using students and professional auditors. The final 30-item professional skepticism scale with instructions for use is included, as well as suggestions for future research. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Professional skepticism
  • Scale development
  • Trait skepticism

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  • R. Kathy Hurtt

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