RT Journal Article
SR Electronic
T1 Quantum generalized observables framework for psychological data: a case of preference reversals in US elections
JF Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical,
Physical and Engineering Sciences
JO Philos Transact A Math Phys Eng Sci
FD The Royal Society
DO 10.1098/rsta.2016.0391
VO 375
IS 2106
A1 Khrennikova, Polina
A1 Haven, Emmanuel
YR 2017
UL http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/375/2106/20160391.abstract
AB Politics is regarded as a vital area of public choice theory, and it is strongly relying on the assumptions of voters’ rationality and as such, stability of preferences. However, recent opinion polls and real election outcomes in the USA have shown that voters often engage in ‘ticket splitting’, by exhibiting contrasting party support in Congressional and Presidential elections (cf. Khrennikova 2014 Phys. Scripta T163, 014010 (doi:10.1088/0031-8949/2014/T163/014010); Khrennikova & Haven 2016 Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 374, 20150106 (doi:10.1098/rsta.2015.0106); Smith et al. 1999 Am. J. Polit. Sci. 43, 737–764 (doi:10.2307/2991833)). Such types of preference reversals cannot be mathematically captured via the formula of total probability, thus showing that voters’ decision making is at variance with the classical probabilistic information processing framework. In recent work, we have shown that quantum probability describes well the violation of Bayesian rationality in statistical data of voting in US elections, through the so-called interference effects of probability amplitudes. This paper is proposing a novel generalized observables framework of voting behaviour, by using the statistical data collected and analysed in previous studies by Khrennikova (Khrennikova 2015 Lect. Notes Comput. Sci. 8951, 196–209) and Khrennikova & Haven (Khrennikova & Haven 2016 Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 374, 20150106 (doi:10.1098/rsta.2015.0106)). This framework aims to overcome the main problems associated with the quantum probabilistic representation of psychological data, namely the non-double stochasticity of transition probability matrices. We develop a simplified construction of generalized positive operator valued measures by formulating special non-orthonormal bases with respect to these operators.This article is part of the themed issue ‘Second quantum revolution: foundational questions’.