We conduct three experiments to test if investors' views about fair value are contingent on whether the financial instrument in question is an asset or liability, whether fair values produce gains or losses, and whether the item will or will not be sold/settled soon. We draw on counterfactual reasoning theory from psychology, which suggests that these factors are likely to influence whether investors consider fair value as providing information about forgone opportunities. The latter, in turn, is predicted to influence investors' fair value relevance judgments. Results are generally supportive of the notion that judgments about the relevance of fair value are contingent. Attempts to influence investors' fair value relevance judgments by providing them with information about forgone opportunities are met with mixed success. In particular, our results are sensitive to the type of information provided and indicate the difficulty of overcoming investors' (apparent) strong beliefs about fair value.

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