We contribute to the literature on professional skepticism by examining the influence of a relevant antecedent personality variable, namely self-construal on skeptical judgments. We examine how Chinese accounting students in two distinct learning and cultural environments, Australia and China, are likely to differ in their self-construal, and how these differences may influence their skeptical judgments. We used final-year undergraduate accounting students as proxies for entry-level auditors. Our results show that Chinese accounting students in Australia scored higher on measures of independent and lower on measures of interdependent self-construal than their counterparts in China. Furthermore, we examine the influence of self-construal on skeptical judgments through two conflicting and competing perspectives, namely auditors' perceived relationship with clients' management and auditors' perceived relationship with their superiors. Our results support the perspective based on auditors' perceived relationship with their superiors and show that interdependents are more skeptical than independents. We argue that interdependents are more concerned with pleasing and maintaining harmonious relationships with their superiors. Therefore, they are more cautious and more rigorous in carrying out their audit duties in order to ensure that they are not criticized by superiors. These findings suggest that possible competing and conflicting perspectives need to be taken into account when examining skeptical judgments.
Data Availability: The research instrument is available from the first author.