The Presence of Automaticity in the Performance Evaluations of Auditors
Automaticity is “the control of one's internal psychological processes by external stimuli and events in one's immediate environment, often without knowledge or awareness of such control” (Bargh and Williams, 2006). Automaticity has been shown to be present in varying degrees in tasks that generally are thought to be fully cognitive, and current studies in psychology have challenged the assumptions that cognitive thought is the primary process in deliberative tasks. An example of a task that would have been considered fully deliberative would be a performance evaluation. Auditors are trained to be deliberate and professional when completing objectives, and most auditors would consider performance evaluations to be deliberative and fully cognitive task processes. This exploratory paper seeks to examine the presence of automaticity in varying degrees within the performance evaluation of auditors and highlight areas of future research in auditor performance evaluations in order to improve on current evaluation processes.