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Sensitivity to context in human interactions

Waddup, O. J., Blasiak, P., Yearsley, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-4604-1839 , Wojciechowski, B. W. & Pothos, E. M. ORCID: 0000-0003-1919-387X (2021). Sensitivity to context in human interactions. Mathematics, 9(21), article number 2784. doi: 10.3390/math9212784


Considering two agents responding to two (binary) questions each, we define sensitivity to context as a state of affairs such that responses to a question depend on the other agent’s questions, with the implication that it is not possible to represent the corresponding probabilities with a four-way probability distribution. We report two experiments with a variant of a Prisoner’s Dilemma task (but without a Nash equilibrium), which examine the sensitivity of participants to context. The empirical results indicate sensitivity to context and add to the body of evidence that Prisoner’s Dilemma tasks can be constructed so that behavior appears inconsistent with baseline classical probability theory (and the assumption that decisions are described by random variables revealing pre-existing values). We fitted two closely matched models to the results, a classical one and a quantum one, and observed superior fits for the latter. Thus, in this case, sensitivity to context goes hand in hand with (epiphenomenal) entanglement, the key characteristic of the quantum model.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: 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: Bell inequalities, decision making, agent interaction, quantum theory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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[thumbnail of Bell Bounds ms draft Oct 21st 2021.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
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Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.


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