Quantum Structures in Human Decision-making: Towards Quantum Expected Utility

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Ellsberg thought experiments and empirical confirmation of Ellsberg preferences pose serious challenges to subjective expected utility theory (SEUT). We have recently elaborated a quantum-theoretic framework for human decisions under uncertainty which satisfactorily copes with the Ellsberg paradox and other puzzles of SEUT. We apply here the quantum-theoretic framework to the Ellsberg two-urn example, showing that the paradox can be explained by assuming a state change of the conceptual entity that is the object of the decision (decision-making, or DM, entity) and representing subjective probabilities by quantum probabilities. We also model the empirical data we collected in a DM test on human participants within the theoretic framework above. The obtained results are relevant, as they provide a line to model real life, e.g., financial and medical, decisions that show the same empirical patterns as the two-urn experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-482
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Theoretical Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Ellsberg paradox
  • Expected utility
  • Quantum probability
  • Quantum structures
  • Uncertainty


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