Dr. Christopher Fisher

Lorraine Borghetti

Prof. Joe Houpt

Christopher Adam Stevens

Models based on classical probability theory have difficulty accounting for order effects, which occur when the order of question presentation affects response probabilities. Recently, quantum models have garnered support as an account of order effects. In particular, the pattern of order effects is consistent with a critical property of the quantum model called the QQ equality. We investigate whether the ACT-R cognitive architecture can produce order effects and satisfy the QQ equality based on memory retrieval mechanisms. In the ACT-R model, the answer to the first question creates a new context through which spreading activation influences retrieval probabilities for the second answer. Our analysis shows that spreading activation can produce order effects and satisfy the QQ equality, depending on the composition of declarative memory. Across a wide range of conditions, violations of the QQ equality are typically small, but moderate to large in a smaller set of cases.