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Identifying quantum structures in the Ellsberg paradox

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Empirical evidence has confirmed that quantum effects systematically occur also outside the microscopic domain, while quantum structures satisfactorily model various situations in several areas of science, including biological, cognitive and social processes. In this paper, we elaborate a quantum mechanical model which faithfully describes the 'Ellsberg paradox' in economics, showing that the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics is capable to represent the 'ambiguity' present in this kind of situations, because of their 'contextuality'. Then, we analyze the data collected in a concrete experiment we performed on the Ellsberg paradox and work out a complete representation of them in complex Hilbert space, indicating that genuine quantum effects occur in the decision processes of the participants in the experiment. Our approach sheds light on 'ambiguity laden' decision processes in economics and decision theory, and allows to deal with different Ellsberg-type generalizations, e.g., the 'Machina paradox'.
Journal: International Journal of Theoretical Physics
ISSN: 0020-7748
Volume: 53
Pages: 3666-3682
Publication year:2014
Keywords:Ellsberg paradox, Ambiguity, Quantum structures, Incompatibility
  • ORCID: /0000-0003-2266-6658/work/55884292
  • Scopus Id: 84956802040