International Journal of Theoretical Physics

, Volume 56, Issue 12, pp 3744–3756 | Cite as

Testing Quantum Models of Conjunction Fallacy on the World Wide Web

  • Diederik Aerts
  • Jonito Aerts Arguëlles
  • Lester Beltran
  • Lyneth Beltran
  • Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi
  • Sandro Sozzo
  • Tomas Veloz


The ‘conjunction fallacy’ has been extensively debated by scholars in cognitive science and, in recent times, the discussion has been enriched by the proposal of modeling the fallacy using the quantum formalism. Two major quantum approaches have been put forward: the first assumes that respondents use a two-step sequential reasoning and that the fallacy results from the presence of ‘question order effects’; the second assumes that respondents evaluate the cognitive situation as a whole and that the fallacy results from the ‘emergence of new meanings’, as an ‘effect of overextension’ in the conceptual conjunction. Thus, the question arises as to determine whether and to what extent conjunction fallacies would result from ‘order effects’ or, instead, from ‘emergence effects’. To help clarify this situation, we propose to use the World Wide Web as an ‘information space’ that can be interrogated both in a sequential and non-sequential way, to test these two quantum approaches. We find that ‘emergence effects’, and not ‘order effects’, should be considered the main cognitive mechanism producing the observed conjunction fallacies.


Quantum cognition Conjunction fallacy Emergent reasoning Meaning bond World Wide Web 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diederik Aerts
    • 1
  • Jonito Aerts Arguëlles
    • 2
  • Lester Beltran
    • 3
  • Lyneth Beltran
    • 1
  • Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi
    • 4
  • Sandro Sozzo
    • 5
  • Tomas Veloz
    • 1
  1. 1.Center Leo Apostel (Clea)Brussels Free University (VUB)BrusselBelgium
  2. 2.KASK and ConservatoryGhentBelgium
  3. 3.825-C Tayuman StreetTondoPhilippines
  4. 4.Laboratorio di Autoricerca di BaseLuganoSwitzerland
  5. 5.School of Business and Institute IQSCSUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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