Advanced Critical Thinking for Auditors: The Psychology of Fraud and Skepticism

Advanced Critical Thinking for Auditors: The Psychology of Fraud and Skepticism
Friday, October 27, 2017, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
La Quinta Inn & Suites Medical Center (4431 Horizon Hill Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78229)

Seminar Topics

Advanced Critical Thinking and Brain Games for Auditors
Audience members will participate in live, interactive experiments that exploit subconscious thinking errors with shocking results.  This session taps research from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, social, and experimental psychology and even sports psychology to spark your curiosity and get your neurons firing so you can tap into your own hidden powers to achieve the highest levels of critical thinking and judgment. 


  • Disruptive thinking and innovation
  • Neuroscience of professional skepticism and pattern seeking
  • Magic of situational awareness
  • Decision-making under pressure
  • Illusory pattern detection
  • Change blindness 

The Psychology of Fraud
This session delves into the latest research, busting myths, and moving beyond outdated models to a deeper understanding and recognition of behaviors surrounding fraud.  This is a highly interactive, story-based session that will enhance attendees understanding of human behavior related to deception, fraud, and the interpretation of evidence.


  • How to recognize the most relevant evidence
  • How auditors can unwittingly assist in the production of misleading information
  • The effect of social influence on accounting decisions and financial statements
  • What causes us to overlook the most ominous and obvious red flags
  • Why our intuition and assumptions lead us astray
  • How to improve professional judgment, skepticism, and critical thinking skills

Fighting Insider Threat: CyberPsychology for Auditors
This session will show auditors how to develop an insider threat program and implement proactive approaches to recognize evolving risks and weaknesses.  You will learn about breach tactics, how to thwart potential breaches, and behavioral patterns that indicate risks, as well as the latest trends in the ongoing cyberwar.

  • Identification of the problem
    • Who is at risk?
    • Who is the enemy?
    • What are the different modes of attack?
  • Breach tactics
    • Exploiting control gaps and control weaknesses
    • A review of tactics by type of attack
    • Psychological tactics used in attacks (ex. Phishing scams)
  • Closing the gaps
    • A review of robust controls
    • A review of the audit plan, audit team, and management relationships
    • Proactive approaches to recognize evolving risks and avoid breaches

Speaker bio:

Toby Groves 
Toby Groves is a cognitive researcher and speaker on expert judgment, known for delivery unconventional talks that engage audiences in live experiments.  His studies focus on implicit learning patterns and methods that achieve high-level reasoning for experts challenged by complex, data intensive environments.  A popular speaker amongst leading organizations in industry, government, and academia.  Toby serves experts that provide society's most critical services including the audit, intelligence, investigative, legal, and medical communities. 

Trained in a unique combination of forensic psychology and forensic accounting, Toby is a doctoral level researcher in cognitive psychology.  His research, commentary, and personal story have been featured on media outlets, such as NPR, in numerous professional journals, and is studied by leading researchers and business schools.


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