The Guppy Effect as Interference

  • Diederik Aerts
  • Jan Broekaert
  • Liane Gabora
  • Tomas Veloz
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7620)


People use conjunctions and disjunctions of concepts in ways that violate the rules of classical logic, such as the law of compositionality. Specifically, they overextend conjunctions of concepts, a phenomenon referred to as the Guppy Effect. We build on previous efforts to develop a quantum model [1,2,3], that explains the Guppy Effect in terms of interference. Using a well-studied data set with 16 exemplars that exhibit the Guppy Effect, we developed a 17-dimensional complex Hilbert space \({\cal H}\) that models the data and demonstrates the relationship between overextension and interference. We view the interference effect as, not a logical fallacy on the conjunction, but a signal that out of the two constituent concepts, a new concept has emerged.


theory of concepts quantum cognition Guppy effect concept combination interference 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diederik Aerts
    • 1
  • Jan Broekaert
    • 1
  • Liane Gabora
    • 2
  • Tomas Veloz
    • 2
  1. 1.Center Leo Apostel (Clea) and Department of MathematicsBrussels Free University (VUB)BrusselBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and MathematicsUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada

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