We compare two approaches to embedding joint distributions of random variables recorded under different conditions (such as spins of entangled particles for different settings) into the framework of classical, Kolmogorovian probability theory. In the contextualization approach each random variable is “automatically” labeled by all conditions under which it is recorded, and the random variables across a set of mutually exclusive conditions are probabilistically coupled (imposed a joint distribution upon). Analysis of all possible probabilistic couplings for a given set of random variables allows one to characterize various relations between their separate distributions (such as Bell-type inequalities or quantum-mechanical constraints). In the conditionalization approach one considers the conditions under which the random variables are recorded as if they were values of another random variable, so that the observed distributions are interpreted as conditional ones. This approach is uninformative with respect to relations between the distributions observed under different conditions because any set of such distributions is compatible with any distribution assigned to the conditions.
Date of this Version
Dzhafarov, Ehtibar and Kujala, Janne V., "Embedding Quantum into Classical: Contextualization vs Conditionalization." (2014). Department of Psychological Sciences Faculty Publications. Paper 52.