Irrationality and decision-making

What exactly happens when people make perceptual decisions under conditions of uncertainty? Does making a decision eliminate uncertainty or does the act of making a decision in itself construct the perceptual process in question, perhaps analogous to the way in which making decisions shapes preferences? Classical models presuppose that a given system is consistently in a specific state, even though the observers’ cognition of this state might be uncertain. In this project we explore an alternative approach inspired by quantum mechanics, namely that taking a physical measurement of a physical system actively creates rather than passively records the property under investigation.


Conference presentations

  • Germann, C. B. (2018, June) Quantum cognition: An epistemological challenge for naïve and local realism School of Psychology conference, University of Plymouth [oral presentation]
  • Germann, C. B. (2018, June) 5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine: A novel treatment for addiction Cognition Institute conference, University of Plymouth [poster presentation]
  • Germann, C. B. (2016, October) Visual decision-making: A quantum cognition perspective Science and Nonduality (SAND 2016), Dolce Hayes Mansion, San Jose [oral presentation]
  • Germann, C. B. (2015, June) Psychoactive tryptamines and the frontiers of human exploration Off the Lip 2015, University of Plymouth [oral presentation]

Book reviews

  • Germann, C. B. (2015) The Cosmic Cocktail: Three Parts Dark Matter by Katherine Freese (review). Leonardo on-line. URL
  • Germann, C. B. (2015) Einstein and the Quantum: The Quest of the Valiant Swabian by A. Douglas Stone (review). Leonardo 48(2), 208-209. URL

Audiovisual presentations

  • Germann, C. B. (2015, September) From Quantum Cognition and Decision Making to the Role of DMT in the Brain Creative Disturbances Podcast with Roger Malina URL
  • Germann, C. B. () Quantum cognition and non-classical probability in visual perception CogNovo Workshop, University of Plymouth URL
  • Germann, C. B. (2015, January) Interview Radio Cognovia Podcast URL
  • Harris, C. and Germann, C. B. (2014, June) The pitfalls of hypothesis testing CogNovo Workshop, University of Plymouth URL


Research Fellow
Christopher Germann

Further Reading
  • Pothos, E. M., & Busemeyer, J. R. (2013). Can quantum probability provide a new direction for cognitive modeling. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36, 255-274. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X12001525

  • Pothos, E. M., & Busemeyer, J. R. (2009). A quantum probability explanation for violations of ‘rational’decision theory. Proceedings of the Royal Society, 276(1665), 2171-2178. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.0121