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(3) explaining to managers how they might use puffery to create trust and then act opportunistically. The potential incentives for opportunism in my experimental setting are not
intended to correspond to levels that exist in naturally occurring settings. Rather, I design
the settings to create the potential for auditor bias in order to investigate the extent to which
group afﬁliation can undo it.
The second treatment manipulates the strength of group interactions among auditors
(referred to as the group treatment). The group treatment has two levels—the weak group
setting and the strong group setting. In the weak group setting, interactions occur only
between auditors and managers, not between different auditors. In the strong group setting,
auditors become members of a group. Group membership can create pressures to conform
to group norms, which in turn increases the psychological cost of penalties. In addition,
group membership can create a team identity that motivates auditors to focus more on the
collective goal of conducting appropri...
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