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Concepts and their dynamics: a quantum-theoretic modeling of human thought

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-03-03, 10:05 authored by D. Aerts, L. Gabora, Sandro Sozzo
We analyze different aspects of our quantum modeling approach of human concepts and, more specifically, focus on the quantum effects of contextuality, interference, entanglement, and emergence, illustrating how each of them makes its appearance in specific situations of the dynamics of human concepts and their combinations. We point out the relation of our approach, which is based on an ontology of a concept as an entity in a state changing under influence of a context, with the main traditional concept theories, that is, prototype theory, exemplar theory, and theory theory. We ponder about the question why quantum theory performs so well in its modeling of human concepts, and we shed light on this question by analyzing the role of complex amplitudes, showing how they allow to describe interference in the statistics of measurement outcomes, while in the traditional theories statistics of outcomes originates in classical probability weights, without the possibility of interference. The relevance of complex numbers, the appearance of entanglement, and the role of Fock space in explaining contextual emergence, all as unique features of the quantum modeling, are explicitly revealed in this article by analyzing human concepts and their dynamics.

History

Citation

Topics in Cognitive Science, 2013, 5 (4), pp. 737-772

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of Management

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Topics in Cognitive Science

Publisher

Wiley

eissn

1756-8765

Acceptance date

2012-10-01

Copyright date

2013

Available date

2016-03-03

Publisher version

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tops.12042/abstract

Language

en