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Perspectives on Correctness in Probabilistic Inference from Psychology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 December 2019

Emmanuel M. Pothos*
City, University of London (UK)
Irina Basieva
City, University of London (UK)
Andrei Khrennikov
Linnéuniversitetet (Sweden)
James M. Yearsley
City, University of London (UK)
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Emmanuel M. Pothos. City, University of London. Department of Psychology. EC1V 0HB London (UK). E-mail:


Research into decision making has enabled us to appreciate that the notion of correctness is multifaceted. Different normative framework for correctness can lead to different insights about correct behavior. We illustrate the shifts for correctness insights with two tasks, the Wason selection task and the conjunction fallacy task; these tasks have had key roles in the development of logical reasoning and decision making research respectively. The Wason selection task arguably has played an important part in the transition from understanding correctness using classical logic to classical probability theory (and information theory). The conjunction fallacy has enabled a similar shift from baseline classical probability theory to quantum probability. The focus of this overview is the latter, as it represents a novel way for understanding probabilistic inference in psychology. We conclude with some of the current challenges concerning the application of quantum probability theory in psychology in general and specifically for the problem of understanding correctness in decision making.

Research Article
Copyright © Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid 2019 

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This paper grew out of an invited talk given at the VII Advanced International Seminar – Mathematical Models of Decision Making Processes: State of the Art and Challenges held at the School of Psychology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) in October 2018 ( Emmanuel M. Pothos was supported by Leverhulme Trust grant RPG–2015–311 and ONRG grant N62909–19–1–2000; Irina Basieva was supported by grant H2020–MSCA–IF–2015 696331.

How to cite this article:

Pothos, E. M., Basieva, I., Khrennikov, A., & Yearsley J. M. (2019). Perspectives on correctness in probabilistic inference from psychology. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 22. e55. Doi:10.1017/sjp.2019.48


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