The idea that choices can have a constructive effect has received a great deal of empirical support. The act of choosing appears to influence subsequent preferences for the options available. Recent research has proposed a cognitive model based on quantum probability (QP), which suggests that whether or not a participant provides an affective evaluation for a positively or negatively valenced stimulus can also be constructive and so, for example, influence the affective evaluation of a second oppositely valenced stimulus. However, there are some outstanding methodological questions in relation to this previous research. This paper reports the results of three experiments designed to resolve these questions. Experiment 1, using a binary response format, provides partial support for the interaction predicted by the QP model; and Experiment 2, which controls for the length of time participants have to respond, fully supports the QP model. Finally, Experiment 3 sought to determine whether the key effect can generalize beyond affective judgements about visual stimuli. Using judgements about the trustworthiness of well-known people, the predictions of the QP model were confirmed. Together, these three experiments provide further support for the QP model of the constructive effect of simple evaluations.
One contribution of 14 to a theme issue ‘Quantum probability and the mathematical modelling of decision making’.
- Accepted August 28, 2015.
- © 2015 The Author(s)