The effect of mobile device use and headline focus on investor judgments

T. Brown, Stephanie M. Grant, Amanda M. Winn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study conducts two experiments to examine how investors’ judgments differ when they read a press release using either a mobile device or a computer. Results show that when investors use a mobile device, information related to a specific headline (mentioning a specific part of the news like “net income” or “revenue”) influences their investment judgments more than when investors use a computer. This effect is robust to specific headlines that focus on either positive or negative information. In contrast, investors’ judgments do not differ when they use a mobile device compared to a computer and the headline is general (using the broad term “results”). We replicate our findings in a second experiment and provide evidence that the observed effect occurs because investors who use their mobile device are in a more distracted frame of mind, which in turn increases the influence of prominent information. Our results suggest that managers’ presentation choices may have a greater influence on investors as they increasingly rely on mobile devices to research and execute investment decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101100
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Distraction
  • Headline focus
  • Investor judgments
  • Mobile devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems and Management


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