Affective responses to financial data and multimedia: the effects of information load and cognitive load

Jacob M. Rose, F. Douglas Roberts, Anna M. Rose

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The results of Kida et al. [ Account. Organ. Soc. 23 (1998) 451] and Rose [Int. J. Account. Inf. Syst. 2 (2001) 22] indicate that affective responses to financial data and the peripheral cues that surround financial data significantly influence memory and decision processes. The current study extends the findings of these authors to investigate the effects of information load, cognitive load, and system design alternatives on the influence of affective responses on memory and decision making. This study involves three experiments where participants analyze financial data under varied information and cognitive loads and system interface designs. Recall of financial data and affective responses, memory reconstruction patterns, and investment decisions under varying loads and information system designs are compared. The primary findings from this research are the following: (1) The recall of numerical data increases as information or cognitive load decreases, while affective responses are relatively unaffected by changes in load; (2) Decreasing the information or cognitive load of a decision task leads to decreased memory reconstruction effects; (3) Decision makers' reliance on affective responses decreases as information load or cognitive load decreases; (4) Multimedia content in financial disclosures has more influence on decision making when either information load or cognitive load is high; and (5) Cognitive load created by either the task requirements or system interface design adversely affects memory and decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-24
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Accounting Information Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Affect
  • Cognitive load
  • Information load
  • Mood
  • Multimedia
  • Recall
  • Reconstruction
  • System design

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