Humans are known to make logical mistakes, a phenomenon that has puzzled scientists for centuries. The traditional view of why this happens has been based on classical probability theory. Now a group of American, British, and Italian scientists has come up with a proposition that quantum probability theory is a better tool to explain the cause of logical fallacies.
The Physics arXiv Blog explains:
“Quantum probability theory is a general and coherent theory based on a set of (von Neumann) axioms which relax some of the constraints underlying classic (Kolmogorov) probability theory,” say the team.
What Busemeyer and co are saying is that the principles of quantum information processing, including the ideas of superposition and interference, lead to better models of the way humans make decisions.
What this idea needs, of course, is some kind of testable hypothesis that differentiates it from classical models. The team hint at this when describing how the principle of superposition applies to thinking about voting habits, when a voter has to choose between two candidates.
According to classical theory, before the vote is cast, the voter is in a mixed state. But Busemeyer and co say that thinking about the voter in a superposition of states is a better model. That kind of thinking ought to lead to some testable predictions.
More from Physics arXiv Blog…
Full article in arXiv: Quantum Probability Explanations for Probability Judgment ‘Errors’