International Journal of Theoretical Physics

, Volume 54, Issue 12, pp 4557–4569 | Cite as

Quantum Structure in Cognition and the Foundations of Human Reasoning

  • Diederik Aerts
  • Sandro Sozzo
  • Tomas Veloz


Traditional cognitive science rests on a foundation of classical logic and probability theory. This foundation has been seriously challenged by several findings in experimental psychology on human decision making. Meanwhile, the formalism of quantum theory has provided an efficient resource for modeling these classically problematical situations. In this paper, we start from our successful quantum-theoretic approach to the modeling of concept combinations to formulate a unifying explanatory hypothesis. In it, human reasoning is the superposition of two processes – a conceptual reasoning, whose nature is emergence of new conceptuality, and a logical reasoning, founded on an algebraic calculus of the logical type. In most cognitive processes however, the former reasoning prevails over the latter. In this perspective, the observed deviations from classical logical reasoning should not be interpreted as biases but, rather, as natural expressions of emergence in its deepest form.


Quantum cognition Quantum modeling Logic Emergence Human reasoning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center Leo Apostel for Interdisciplinary Studies (Clea)Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)BrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.School of Management and IQSCSUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  3. 3.Mathematics Departments, Okanagan campusUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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