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PBA® Methodology

PBA®: Where internal audit expertise and scientific psychology meet

Personality-based Internal Auditing PBA® leverages the explanatory and predictive value of the so-called Theory of Personality Systems Interactions (PSI Theory) in the context of internal auditing.

What is the Theory of Personality Systems Interactions PSI​?


PSI Theory is a psychological framework theory from Germany that the German Psychological Society described in 2012 as "groundbreaking", "highly innovative", "outstanding", "unique" and "elegant and congenial". 


PSI Theory is a dynamic system theory that incorporates and expands the various personality theories, based on more than 30 years of academic research.


Published in 2001 in a "magnus opus" of 1200 pages, this book is available in German only.


As a meta model PSI Theory includes central themes from cognitive, emotional, motivation, developmental, and social psychology, and the neurosciences. More about PSI Theory (in German).

What makes PSI Theory "highly innovative"? 

 "Psychology has virtually no comparable theoretical frameworks or dynamic theories." 

German Psychological Society, 2012

PSI theory proposes that individual differences in personality may arise from differences in content, interconnectedness and activation levels of personality systems. More about personality systems.


PSI theory describes HOW an individual functions, independent of the content of his or her personality systems. PBA® uses the same approach to evaluate HOW organizations function.

"As the meaning of the abbreviation PSI suggests, it is not the structures of personality as such that are relevant, but the dynamics that unfold between the structures.
One can imagine personality as a multi-level architectural model in which no level and no system acts on its own, but everything is connected to everything and - above all - interacts with each other.
These interactions can be fruitful and promote development, but they can also block or develop an undesirable momentum of their own."

Where does PSI Theory come from?

Prof. Dr. Julius Kuhl (born 1947) is the founder of the Personality Systems Interactions PSI theory and a nationally and internationally renowned representative of the field of academic psychology. Prof. Kuhl presented PSI Theory 2001 in a "magnus opus" of more than 1100 pages (to date available in German only).


Link to the website of Prof. Dr. Julius Kuhl, Vita.

In 2012 Julius Kuhl received a lifetime award for his scientific contributions to psychology from the German Psychological Association. Laudatio in German.

I am very honoured that Professor Julius Kuhl is a collaboration partner of my venture.


What are the key assumptions of PBA®?

PSI theory proposes that individual differences in personality may arise from differences in content, interconnectedness and activation levels of personality systems. PSI theory focuses on HOW an individual functions, independent of the content of his/her personality systems. 

PBA® is based on the assumption that the same interaction patterns between personality systems may also appear at a group and organizational level, and that they can be identified and analyzed.

PBA® evaluations focus on the complex interplay between content, activation levels & system connections of personality systems at the individual internal auditor, engagement, functional, and organizational levels.  

Please be aware that mastering PBA® requires long-term commitment as in-depth knowledge of PSI theory is required.

PBA® in a nutshell.

More about the PBA® characteristics

More about the PBA® benefits.

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"There is nothing so practical than a good theory."

Prof. Dr. Julius Kuhl, referring to

Kurt Lewin, one of the modern pioneers in psychology (1890-1947)

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