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Title: Generalizing Prototype Theory: A Formal Quantum Framework
Authors: Aerts, Diederik
Broekaert, Jan
Gabora, Liane
Sozzo, Sandro
First Published: 30-Mar-2016
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Citation: Frontiers in Psychology, 2016, 7:418
Abstract: Theories of natural language and concepts have been unable to model the flexibility, creativity, context-dependence, and emergence, exhibited by words, concepts and their combinations. The mathematical formalism of quantum theory has instead been successful in capturing these phenomena such as graded membership, situational meaning, composition of categories, and also more complex decision making situations, which cannot be modeled in traditional probabilistic approaches. We show how a formal quantum approach to concepts and their combinations can provide a powerful extension of prototype theory. We explain how prototypes can interfere in conceptual combinations as a consequence of their contextual interactions, and provide an illustration of this using an intuitive wave-like diagram. This quantum-conceptual approach gives new life to original prototype theory, without however making it a privileged concept theory, as we explain at the end of our paper.
DOI Link: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00418
eISSN: 1664-1078
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2016. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

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