Browse Publications Technical Papers 2022-01-0215

Quantum Explanations for Interference Effects in Engineering Decision Making 2022-01-0215

Engineering practice routinely involves decision making under uncertainty. Much of this decision making entails reconciling multiple pieces of information to form a suitable model of uncertainty. As more information is collected, one expectedly makes better and better decisions. However, conditional probability assessments made by human decision makers, as new information arrives does not always follow expected trends and instead exhibits inconsistencies. Understanding them is necessary for a better modeling of the cognitive processes taking place in their mind, whether it be the designer or the end-user. Doing so can result in better products and product features. Quantum probability has been used in the literature to explain many commonly observed deviations from the classical probability such as: question order effect, response replicability effect, Machina and Ellsberg paradoxes and the effect of positive and negative interference between events. In this work, we present results from a survey demonstrating responses that while difficult to explain using classical probability, can be explained using a quantum formulation - highlighting its potential in engineering applications. Since quantum formulism is more general and can also match the predictions of classical probability, it serves as a richer paradigm for modeling decision making behavior in engineering practice.


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