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Title: Instability of preferences and the role of mass media: a dynamical representation in a quantum framework
Authors: Haven, Emmanuel
Khrennikova, Polina
First Published: 30-Nov-2015
Publisher: Royal Society, The
Citation: Philosophical transactions. Physical sciences and engineering, 2016, 374 (2058), p. 2015.0106 (23)
Abstract: We search to devise a new paradigm borrowed from concepts and mathematical tools of quantum physics, to model the decision-making process of the US electorate. The statistical data of the election outcomes in the period between 2008 and 2014 is analysed, in order to explore in more depth the emergence of the so-called divided government. There is an increasing urge in the political literature which indicates that preference reversal (strictly speaking the violation of the transitivity axiom) is a consequence of the so-called non-separability phenomenon (i.e. a strong interrelation of choices). In the political science literature, non-separable behaviour is characterized by a conditioning of decisions on the outcomes of some issues of interest. An additional source of preference reversal is ascribed to the time dynamics of the voters’ cognitive states, in the context of new upcoming political information. As we discuss in this paper, the primary source of political information can be attributed to the mass media. In order to shed more light on the phenomenon of preference reversal among the US electorate, we accommodate the obtained statistical data in a classical probabilistic (Kolmogorovian) scheme. Based on the obtained results, we attribute the strong ties between the voters non-separable decisions that cannot be explained by conditioning with the Bayes scheme, to the quantum phenomenon of entanglement. Second, we compute the degree of interference of voters’ belief states with the aid of the quantum analogue of the formula of total probability. Lastly, a model, based on the quantum master equation, to incorporate the impact of the mass media bath is proposed.
DOI Link: 10.1098/rsta.2015.0106
ISSN: 0962-8428
eISSN: 2054-0299
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2015 The Author(s). The file associated with this record is under a 12-month embargo from publication in accordance with the publisher's license, available at The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

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