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Friday, September 25, 2015

Quantum Cognition and Behavioral Economics

A new trend taking shape in psychological science not only uses quantum physics to explain humans’ (sometimes) paradoxical thinking or irrational behavior but may also help researchers resolve certain contradictions among the results of previous psychological studies.
According to Zheng Joyce Wang and others who try to model our decision-making processes mathematically, the equations and axioms that most closely match human behavior may be ones that are rooted in quantum physics.
Their work suggests that thinking in a quantum-like way­—essentially not following a conventional approach based on classical probability theory—enables humans to make important decisions in the face of uncertainty, and lets us confront complex questions despite our limited mental resources.
When researchers try to study human behavior using only classical mathematical models of rationality, some aspects of human behavior do not compute. From the classical point of view, those behaviors seem irrational, Wang explained.