Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The Quantum Nature of Identity in Human Thought: Bose-Einstein Statistics for Conceptual Indistinguishability
Authors: Aerts, D.
Sozzo, Sandro
Veloz, T.
First Published: 31-Mar-2015
Publisher: Springer US
Citation: International Journal of Theoretical Physics March 2015
Abstract: Increasing experimental evidence shows that humans combine concepts in a way that violates the rules of classical logic and probability theory. On the other hand, mathematical models inspired by the formalism of quantum theory are in accordance with data on concepts and their combinations. In this paper, we investigate a novel type of concept combination were a number is combined with a noun, e.g., `Eleven Animals. Our aim is to study 'conceptual identity' and the effects of 'indistinguishability' - in the combination 'Eleven Animals', the 'animals' are identical and indistinguishable - on the mechanisms of conceptual combination. We perform experiments on human subjects and find significant evidence of deviation from the predictions of classical statistical theories, more specifically deviations with respect to Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics. This deviation is of the 'same type' of the deviation of quantum mechanical from classical mechanical statistics, due to indistinguishability of microscopic quantum particles, i.e we find convincing evidence of the presence of Bose-Einstein statistics. We also present preliminary promising evidence of this phenomenon in a web-based study.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s10773-015-2620-4
ISSN: 0020-7748
eISSN: 1572-9575
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. The final publication is available at Springer via
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
RevisedFinalSubmitted2015-03-08IQSAIdentityConcepts.pdfPost-review (final submitted)194.47 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.