The standardized formats of financial statements constrain their interpretation, regardless of their specific contents. This topic is rarely addressed in the academic literature. An interesting course might begin with speculation on how this occurs, that is, how human cognitive processes are unintentionally exploited to narrow the range of possible interpretations of the data. The course would then proceed to imagine how the same data might be presented in ways that target the other human senses – sculpture, music, and dance among them – thereby tapping into other parts of the brain and perceiving different patterns.
Elton G. McGoun, School of Management