Toward a formal model of the shifting relationship between concepts and contexts during associative thought

Tomas Veloz, Liane Gabora, Mark Eyjolfson, Diederik Aerts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The quantum inspired State Context Property (SCOP) theory of concepts is unique amongst theories of concepts in offering a means of incorporating that for each concept in each different context there are an unlimited number of exemplars, or states, of varying degrees of typicality. Working with data from a study in which participants were asked to rate the typicality of exemplars of a concept for different contexts, and introducing an exemplar typicality threshold, we built a SCOP model of how states of a concept arise differently in associative versus analytic (or divergent and convergent) modes of thought. Introducing measures of state robustness and context relevance, we show that by varying the threshold, the relevance of different contexts changes, and seemingly atypical states can become typical. The formalism provides a pivotal step toward a formal explanation of creative thought processes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuantum Interaction
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-24970-9
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)


  • SCOP
  • typicality
  • concept
  • creativity
  • associative thought
  • analytic thought
  • quantum
  • probability
  • potentiality

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