Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Prof Busemeyer Featured in New Scientist Article

Professor Jerome Busemeyer's work has been featured in a recent New Scientist article on quantum minds, the deep connection between quantum theory and human thought. The article talks about how like quantum theory, human thinking doesn’t follow the rules of classical logic. A new field called "quantum interaction", is researching how quantum theory can be used to establish human decision making. In most cases human reasoning defies probability and any form of rules, just like the quantum theory. One example of this is the principle called the "sure thing". This principle is the indication that if one person prefers object A over object B at both morning and evening of a day that, that same person will prefer object A at any time, even if they do not know the time of day. However, humans do not follow this principle, thus defying probability.

Yet, additional research proposes that the illogical effects in quantum theory can fit in a model that will create new possibilities and predictabilities, called the quantum interference. In the middle of the article, Professor Busemeyer and psychologist Emmanuel Pothos explain that humans violate the rules of the "sure thing" principle the same way that the quantum theory defies classical logic, further suggesting that humans can be explained using quantum interference. Busemeyer states, "Quantum probabilities have the potential to provide a better framework for modeling human decision making."

This idea would in fact show that human thinking is not operated solely on classical logic but largely on the unconscious level. Many scientist agree that this could lead to further understanding of the human brain. Research will continue to look into the connection between quantum theory and the human decision-making process. "Perhaps only humans, without seemingly illogical minds, are uniquely capable of discovering and understanding quantum theory", Mark Buchanan.

Buchanan, M. (2011). Your Quantum Minds. New Scientist, 3, 34-37.

No comments: