Advanced analysis of quantum contextuality in a psychophysical double-detection experiment

Víctor H. Cervantes, Ehtibar N. Dzhafarov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The results of behavioral experiments typically exhibit inconsistent connectedness, i.e., they violate the condition known as “no-signaling,” “no-disturbance,” or “marginal selectivity.” This prevents one from evaluating these experiments in terms of quantum contextuality if the latter understood traditionally (as, e.g., in the Kochen–Specker theorem or Bell-type inequalities). The Contextuality-by-Default (CbD) theory separates contextuality from inconsistent connectedness. When applied to quantum physical experiments that exhibit inconsistent connectedness (due to context-dependent errors and/or signaling), the CbD computations reveal quantum contextuality in spite of this. When applied to a large body of published behavioral experiments, the CbD computations reveal no quantum contextuality: all context-dependence in these experiments is described by inconsistent connectedness alone. Until recently, however, experimental analysis of contextuality was confined to so-called cyclic systems of binary random variables. Here, we present the results of a psychophysical double-detection experiment that do not form a cyclic system: their analysis requires that we use a recent modification of CbD, one that makes the class of noncontextual systems more restricted. Nevertheless our results once again indicate that when inconsistent connectedness is taken into account, the system exhibits no contextuality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mathematical Psychology
StatePublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Contextuality
  • Cyclic systems
  • Double-detection
  • Inconsistent connectedness
  • Psychophysics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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