Testing Quantum Models of Conjunction Fallacy on the World Wide Web

Diederik Aerts, Lester Beltran, Lyneth Beltran, Massimiliano Sassoli de Bianchi, Sandro Sozzo, Tomas Veloz, Jonito Aerts Arguelles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3744-3756
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Theoretical Physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

12 pages


  • Conjunction fallacy
  • Emergent reasoning
  • Meaning bond
  • Quantum cognition
  • World Wide Web


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