Effectiveness of the quantum-mechanical formalism in cognitive modeling

2016-03-03T10:18:21Z (GMT) by Sandro Sozzo
Traditional approaches to cognitive psychology are founded on a classical vision of logic and probability theory. According to this perspective, the probabilistic aspects of human reasoning can be formalized in a Kolmogorovian probability framework and reveal underlying Boolean-type logical structures. This vision has been seriously challenged by various discoveries in experimental psychology in the last three decades. Meanwhile, growing research indicates that quantum theory provides the conceptual and mathematical framework to deal with these classically problematical situations. In this paper, we apply a general quantum-based modeling scheme to represent two types of cognitive situations where deviations from classical probability occur in human decisions, namely, ‘conceptual categorization’ and ‘decision making’. We show that our quantum-theoretic modeling faithfully describes different sets of experimental data, explaining the observed deviations from classicality in terms of genuine quantum effects. These results may contribute to the development of applied disciplines where cognitive processes are involved, such as natural language processing, semantic analysis, and information retrieval.