Schedule a free consultation to explore the future of internal audit, today!


Let's chat about how.

Home  >> Approach

PBA® Methodology

PBA®: Where internal audit expertise and scientific psychology meet

Personality-based Internal Auditing PBA® leverages the explanatory and predictive value of the Theory of Personality Systems Interactions (PSI Theory, Julius Kuhl, 2001) in the context of internal auditing.

Personality Systems Interactions PSI​ Theory


PSI theory is a highly innovative and unique, groundbreaking and integrative framework model of personality that incorporates central themes from cognitive, emotional, motivation, developmental, and social psychology, as well as the neurosciences (German Psychological Society, 2012). More about PSI Theory (in German). Presented in 2001 on more than 1200 pages, the book "Motivation and Personality" is to date available in German only. 

Julius Kuhl, born 1947, Dr. phil., after research stays in the USA (Stanford, Michigan) and Mexico and 4 years as senior scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Professor of Personality Psychology in Osnabrück; he developed the Theory of Personality-System Interactions (PSI Theory). 2012 Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award from the the German Psychological Association. Laudatio in German. Link to the website of Prof. Dr. Julius Kuhl.

Personality Systems


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. The focus is on FORMS of thinking, independent of the CONTENT of thinking. PBA® uses the same approach at an organizational levels, to evaluate HOW organizations function.

PBA® key assumptions

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 patterns 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 FORMS of thinking (HOW we think) and CONTENT of thinking (WHAT we think) at the individual internal auditor, engagement, functional, and organizational levels.  

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


"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)