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An investigation of a quantum probability model for the constructive effect of affective evaluation

White, L. C., Barque-Duran, A. & Pothos, E. M. (2016). An investigation of a quantum probability model for the constructive effect of affective evaluation. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A: Mathematical and physical sciences, 374(2058), 0.20150142. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2015.0142


The idea that choices can have a constructive effect has received a great deal of empirical support. The act of choosing appears to influence subsequent preferences for the options available. Recent research has proposed a cognitive model based on quantum probability, which suggests that whether or not a participant provides an affective evaluation for a positively or negatively valenced stimulus can also be constructive and so e.g. influence the affective evaluation of a second oppositely valenced stimulus. However, there are some outstanding methodological questions in relation to this previous research. This paper reports the results of three experiments designed to resolve these questions. Experiment 1, using a binary response format, provides partial support for the interaction predicted by the quantum probability model and Experiment 2, which controls for the length of time participants have to respond, fully supports the quantum probability model. Finally, Experiment 3 sought to determine whether the key effect can generalize beyond affective judgements about visual stimuli. Using judgements about the trustworthiness of well-known people, the predictions of the quantum probability model were confirmed. Together these three experiments provide further support for the quantum probability model of the constructive effect of simple evaluations.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Published by The Royal Society 2016.
Publisher Keywords: quantum probability; affective evaluation; judgement and decision-making; trustworthiness
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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