The Future of Behavioral Forensics
DEVELOPING PSYCHOLOGICAL AWARENESS TO COMPLEMENT FINANCIAL FRAUD SUSPICIONS
The accounting profession has developed methods to uncover fraud. The fields of criminology and forensic accounting have improved and refined them. Our book proposes that psychology must be added in order to round out these professions and add to deterrence and detection. Thus far, we have intentionally added to the understanding of how people are motivated to commit fraud, and we have also added to the potential reasons for the why of fraud. We have been less direct on the ties to deterrence, detection, and prevention. But the answers are there and become clearer as the understanding of the ecology of fraud—the players, the game, the context, and the outcomes, indeed the whole terrain—deepens.
A known tactic—for example, the role of emotions in the simple but intentionally deceptive steps of the phisherman—provides a great deal of understanding of any fraud. The con men and women may change, but the “play” remains the same.1
For many, this will be enough. This is not new as it relates to understanding and changing behavior to be more adaptive. For example, merely knowing that smoking is associated with cancer, or obesity with heart attacks, is enough for many to choose to live a healthier life. Others take much longer to be convinced, allowing deceptive or even fraudulent science to harm many people, and simply continue to deny or diminish the relevance of ...