SUMMARY: 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.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| May 01 2010
Development of a Scale to Measure Professional Skepticism
Online ISSN: 1558-7991
Print ISSN: 0278-0380
American Accounting Association
AUDITING: A Journal of Practice & Theory (2010) 29 (1): 149–171.
R. Kathy Hurtt; Development of a Scale to Measure Professional Skepticism. AUDITING: A Journal of Practice & Theory 1 May 2010; 29 (1): 149–171. https://doi.org/10.2308/aud.2010.29.1.149
Download citation file: