Effects of stories and checklist decision aids on knowledge structure development and auditor judgment

James L. Bierstaker, Denise Hanes-Downey, Jacob M. Rose, Jay C. Thibodeau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to compare the usefulness of a story versus traditional checklist decision aids for enhancing knowledge structure development and for improving the judgments of auditors related to fraud risks. The results from the first experiment indicate that novice participants who read stories develop knowledge structures that more closely resemble the knowledge structures of experts than do participants who read checklists. The second experiment reveals that auditors who read stories make judgments more like experts than do auditors who use checklists. The findings demonstrate that stories may have the capacity to train auditors and improve their judgments. Audit firms constantly seek methods to improve auditors’ knowledge and judgments, and our findings suggest opportunities for firms to employ fraud stories to enhance knowledge of fraud and improve professional judgment. This study’s results hold important implications for the design of training materials, decision aids, and knowledge management systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalThe Journal of Information Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Checklists
  • Decision aids
  • Fraud judgments
  • Knowledge structures
  • Story

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