Statistical and subjective interpretations of probability in quantum-like models of cognition and decision making

Research paper by Emmanuel Haven, Andrei Khrennikov

Indexed on: 18 Mar '16Published on: 09 Mar '16Published in: Journal of Mathematical Psychology


The paper starts with an introduction to the basic mathematical model of classical probability (CP), i.e. the Kolmogorov (1933) measure-theoretic model. Its two basic interpretations are discussed: statistical and subjective. We then present the probabilistic structure of quantum mechanics (QM) and discuss the problem of interpretation of a quantum state and the corresponding probability given by Born’s rule. Applications of quantum probability (QP) to modeling of cognition and decision making (DM) suffer from the same interpretational problems as QM. Here the situation is even more complicated than in physics. We analyze advantages and disadvantages of the use of subjective and statistical interpretations of QP. The subjective approach to QP was formalized in the framework of Quantum Bayesianism (QBism) as the result of efforts from C. Fuchs and his collaborators. The statistical approach to QP was presented in a variety of interpretations of QM, both in nonrealistic interpretations, e.g., the Copenhagen interpretation (with the latest version due to A. Plotnitsky), and in realistic interpretations (e.g., the recent Växjö interpretation). At present, we cannot make a definite choice in favor of any of the interpretations. Thus, quantum-like DM confronts the same interpretational problem as quantum physics does.