Document Type



Doctor of Business Administration


Business Administration

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Stephen Moehrle, PhD, Accounting


Thomas Kozloski, PhD

Ekin Pellegrini, PhD


Disclosure overload is a condition that occurs in some users of financial statement disclosures that may result in adverse effects, such as a lack of comprehension of information and increased time for cognitive processing. Disclosure overload research has focused primarily on decision quality and accuracy when using non-mandatory disclosures, largely excluding consideration of mandatory financial statement disclosures. This study examined mandatory financial statement disclosures through the lens of cognitive fit theory using an experimental research design. Cognitive fit theory was tested across different disclosure formats and at varying levels of financial accounting literacy to measure the effect on overload symptoms. Data were analyzed using analysis of variance.

The findings showed a statistically significant increase in reported disclosure overload symptoms between the paragraph and the table and chart formats. Although financial accounting literacy was not confirmed as a moderator of the relationship between presentation format and disclosure overload, the findings confirmed statistically significant differences in mean disclosure overload, by financial accounting literacy levels, between the paragraph and the table and chart formats.

These findings are useful to accounting standard setters and financial statement preparers interested in improving the quality of financial statement disclosures and strengthening institutional accountability.

Available for download on Tuesday, May 13, 2025

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