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A quantum theoretical explanation for probability judgment errors

Busemeyer, J. R., Franco, R., Pothos, E. M. , Franco, R. & Trueblood, J. S. (2011). A quantum theoretical explanation for probability judgment errors. Psychological Review, 118(2), pp. 193-218. doi: 10.1037/a0022542


A quantum probability model is introduced and used to explain human probability judgment errors including the conjunction, disjunction, inverse, and conditional fallacies, as well as unpacking effects and partitioning effects. 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. The quantum model is compared and contrasted with other competing explanations for these judgment errors including the representativeness heuristic, the averaging model, and a memory retrieval model for probability judgments. The quantum model also provides ways to extend Bayesian, fuzzy set, and fuzzy trace theories. We conclude that quantum information processing principles provide a viable and promising new way to understand human judgment and reasoning.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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