人類在決策過程中，會自動將事後的「結果」與先前的線索合併思考，而使得獲取之「後果知識」(outcome knowledge)，影響其判斷，存在「後見之明」(hindsight bias)的現象(Hawkins and Hastie 1990)。這種「後果知識」的影響，可能使會計師因其客戶破產而面臨訴訟時，處在不利的狀態。由於會計師在審計過程中所做的判斷與決策，乃根據客戶破產前可以取得之相關資訊為之。但往往只有在企業失敗後，投資人才會對於會計師提起訴訟。此時法官已知客戶破產的後果，若法官受到「後果知識」的影響，將對於會計師做出較不利的判決。本文以法官作為受試者，進行實驗研究。結果顯示，獲知「後果知識」的法官，對於會計師審計品質的評估顯著較低，顯示我國法官決策時會受到「後果知識」的影響。此外，法官的工作經驗與「後果知識」的有無，兩變數之交互作用項，係數顯著為正，表示審判經驗越豐富的法官，決策時越不容易受到「後果知識」的影響。就作者所知，本文為第一篇討論我國法官是否受到後果知識影響的文獻，也是第一篇發現法官審判經驗可以降低後見之明現象的文獻，本文也討論對我國審判制度及會計專業的涵義。 Hindsight bias is the tendency for people with outcome knowledge to believe falsely that they would have predicted the reported outcome of an event (Hawkins and Hastie 1990). Auditors would be significantly disadvantaged if judges committed hindsight bias in evaluating audit quality. Auditors make decisions prior to knowing the outcome information, but auditor liability is determined by the judges who are presented with negative outcome. If judges cannot disregard the outcome information, they tend to blame auditors more than otherwise for failing to detect financial problems of their audit clients. This study is conducted with judges in Taiwan as subjects. Experimental results indicate that judges’ evaluation of audit quality is subject to hindsight bias. Audit quality is evaluated lower by the subjects with negative outcome information than that by the subjects without outcome knowledge. More importantly, the interaction of working experience and outcome knowledge is significant, indicating that the effect of outcome knowledge is lower for more experienced subjects than for less experienced subjects. Thus, judges’ experience can mitigate hindsight bias. This study is the first to provide evidence that judges in Taiwan are subject to hindsight bias. This study also provides evidence that the judges’ hindsight bias can be mitigated by working experience. Implications for the judicial system and the accounting profession are discussed.
會計評論, 50,1-21頁 International Journal of Accounting Studies