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What is rational and irrational in human decision making

Pothos, E. M., Waddup, O. J., Kouassi, P. and Yearsley, J. M. ORCID: 0000-0003-4604-1839 (2021). What is rational and irrational in human decision making. Quantum Reports, 3(1), pp. 242-252. doi: 10.3390/quantum3010014


There has been a growing trend to develop cognitive models based on the mathematics of quantum theory. A common theme in the motivation of such models has been findings which apparently challenge the applicability of classical formalisms, specifically ones based on classical probability theory. Classical probability theory has had a singularly important place in cognitive theory, because of its (in general) descriptive success but, more importantly, because in decision situations with low, equivalent stakes it offers a multiply justified normative standard. Quantum cognitive models have had a degree of descriptive success and proponents of such models have argued that they reveal new intuitions or insights regarding decisions in uncertain situations. How-ever, can quantum cognitive models further benefit from normative justifications analogous to those for classical probability models? If the answer is yes, how can we determine the rational status of a decision, which may be consistent with quantum theory, but inconsistent with classical probability theory? In this paper, we review the proposal from Pothos, Busemeyer, Shiffrin, and Yearsley (2017), that quantum decision models benefit from normative justification based on the Dutch Book Theorem, in exactly the same way as models based on classical probability theory.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright:© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: classical probability theory; quantum probability theory; Dutch Book Theorem; question order effects; conjunction fallacy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
Date available in CRO: 08 Jun 2021 13:05
Date deposited: 8 June 2021
Date of acceptance: 4 March 2021
Date of first online publication: 19 March 2021
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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