Quantum-like Modeling of Cognition

This paper begins with a historical review of the mutual influence of physics and psychology, from Freud’s invention of psychic energy inspired by von Boltzmann’ thermodynamics to the enrichment quantum physics gained from the side of psychology by the notion of complementarity (the invention of Niels Bohr who was inspired by William James), besides we consider the resonance of the correspondence between Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung in both physics and psychology. Then we turn to the problem of development of mathematical models for laws of thought starting with Boolean logic and progressing toward foundations of classical probability theory. Interestingly, the laws of classical logic and probability are routinely violated not only by quantum statistical phenomena but by cognitive phenomena as well. This is yet another common feature between quantum physics and psychology. In particular, cognitive data can exhibit a kind of the probabilistic interference effect. This similarity with quantum physics convinced a multi-disciplinary group of scientists (physicists, psychologists, economists, sociologists) to apply the mathematical apparatus of quantum mechanics to modeling of cognition. We illustrate this activity by considering a few concrete phenomena: the order and disjunction effects, recognition of ambiguous figures, categorization-decision making.


About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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