# Dr James Yearsley

## Contact

- Dr James Yearsley
- +44 (0)20 7040 8644
- james.yearsley@city.ac.uk

## Postal Address

Northampton Square

London

EC1V 0HB

United Kingdom

## About

### Overview

I work in the field of mathematical psychology, specifically trying to build and test computational models of non-normative decision making. These can be anything from simple perceptual decisions about shapes or moving dots, to much more complex choices, such as how to split a windfall between yourself and a charity. In many such decisions people don't always behave rationally.

I am particularly interested in models of human decision making based on the mathematics of quantum theory. These models try to explain different types of decision making errors as arising from a more general issue with the way events are represented in the brain. More generally my work tries to uncover the mechanisms that underlie decision making errors and biases, with the aim of predicting when people are likely to make errors, in order to help them make better choices.

I also have an interest in moral decision making, particularly the role of emotion in shaping how moral choices are made.

One of the themes in my research is building and testing models of behavior, rather than just performing statistical tests on data. This can help us achieve a better understanding of the processes underlying human reasoning, but it brings its own set of challenges. I am therefore also interested in issues such as model fitting and model comparison using Bayesian methods. Some of my recent work has involved fitting models of serial recall using approximate Bayesian computation methods, which had previously never been quantitatively fit to data before.

I currently teach one half of the 1st year quantitative methods course, PS1007. I also provide additional maths support to new undergraduate students to help them tackle the research methods modules in the first year.

### Qualifications

- PhD, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, Oct 2007 – Sep 2011
- MSci, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, Oct 2003 – Jul 2007

### Employment

- Lecturer, Department of Psychology, City, University of London, Oct 2017 – present
- Postdoctoral Research Associate, Vanderbilt University, Nov 2015 – Sep 2017

## Publications

### Chapter

- Duran, A.B., Pothos, E.M., Yearsley, J.M., Hampton, J.A., Busemeyer, J.R. and Trueblood, J.S. (2015).
**Similarity judgments: From classical to complex vector psychological spaces.***Contextuality from Quantum Physics to Psychology*(pp. 415–448). ISBN 978-981-4730-60-0.

### Conference papers and proceedings (4)

- Yearsley, J.M., Pothos, E.M., Hampton, J.A. and Duran, A.B. (2015).
**Towards a quantum probability theory of similarity judgments.** - Vitiello, G., Diósi, L., Elze, H.T., Fronzoni, L., Halliwell, J., Prati, E. … Yearsley, J. (2013).
**DICE 2012 : Spacetime matter quantum mechanics-from the Planck scale to emergent phenomena.** - Yearsley, J.M. (2011).
**A review of the decoherent histories approach to the arrival time problem in quantum theory.** - Yearsley, J.M. (2009).
**The propagator for the step potential using the Path Decomposition Expansion.**

### Journal articles (25)

- Poirier, M., Yearsley, J.M., Saint-Aubin, J., Fortin, C., Gallant, G. and Guitard, D. (2019).
**Dissociating visuo-spatial and verbal working memory: It’s all in the features.***Memory and Cognition*,*47*(4), pp. 603–618. doi:10.3758/s13421-018-0882-9. - Yearsley, J.M., Barque-Duran, A., Scerrati, E., Hampton, J.A. and Pothos, E.M. (2017).
**The triangle inequality constraint in similarity judgments.***Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology*,*130*, pp. 26–32. doi:10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2017.03.005. - Barque-Duran, A., Pothos, E.M., Hampton, J.A. and Yearsley, J.M. (2017).
**Contemporary morality: Moral judgments in digital contexts.***Computers in Human Behavior*,*75*, pp. 184–193. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2017.05.020. - Yearsley, J.M. and Trueblood, J.S. (2017).
**A quantum theory account of order effects and conjunction fallacies in political judgments.***Psychonomic Bulletin and Review*,*25*(4), pp. 1517–1525. doi:10.3758/s13423-017-1371-z. - Trueblood, J.S., Yearsley, J.M. and Pothos, E.M. (2017).
**A quantum probability framework for human probabilistic inference.***Journal of Experimental Psychology: General*,*146*(9), pp. 1307–1341. doi:10.1037/xge0000326. - Pothos, E.M., Busemeyer, J.R., Shiffrin, R.M. and Yearsley, J.M. (2017).
**The rational status of quantum cognition.***Journal of Experimental Psychology: General*,*146*(7), pp. 968–987. doi:10.1037/xge0000312. - Yearsley, J.M. (2017).
**Advanced tools and concepts for quantum cognition: A tutorial.***Journal of Mathematical Psychology*,*78*, pp. 24–39. doi:10.1016/j.jmp.2016.07.005. - Yearsley, J.M. and Busemeyer, J.R. (2016).
**Quantum cognition and decision theories: A tutorial.***Journal of Mathematical Psychology*,*74*, pp. 99–116. doi:10.1016/j.jmp.2015.11.005. - Yearsley, J.M. and Pothos, E.M. (2016).
**Zeno’s paradox in decision-making.***Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences*,*283*(1828). doi:10.1098/rspb.2016.0291. - Barque-Duran, A., Pothos, E.M., Yearsley, J.M. and Hampton, J.A. (2016).
**Patterns and evolution of moral behaviour: moral dynamics in everyday life.***Thinking and Reasoning*,*22*(1), pp. 31–56. doi:10.1080/13546783.2015.1051585. - Pothos, E.M., Barque-Duran, A., Yearsley, J.M., Trueblood, J.S., Busemeyer, J.R. and Hampton, J.A. (2015).
**Progress and current challenges with the quantum similarity model.***Frontiers in Psychology*,*6*(FEB). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00205. - Yearsley, J.M. and Pothos, E.M. (2015).
**Towards an empirical test of realism in cognition.***Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)*,*8951*, pp. 271–282. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-15931-7_21. - Yearsley, J.M. and Pothos, E.M. (2014).
**Challenging the classical notion of time in cognition: a quantum perspective.***Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society*,*281*(1781), p. 20133056. doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.3056. - Halliwell, J.J. and Yearsley, J.M. (2013).
**Negative probabilities, Fine's theorem, and linear positivity.***Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics*,*87*(2). doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.87.022114. - Halliwell, J.J. and Yearsley, J.M. (2013).
**Amplitudes for spacetime regions and the quantum Zeno effect: Pitfalls of standard path integral constructions.***Journal of Physics: Conference Series*,*442*(1). doi:10.1088/1742-6596/442/1/012018. - Yearsley, J.M. and Halliwell, J.J. (2013).
**An introduction to the quantum backflow effect.***Journal of Physics: Conference Series*,*442*(1). doi:10.1088/1742-6596/442/1/012055. - Yearsley, J.M., Halliwell, J.J., Hartshorn, R. and Whitby, A. (2012).
**Analytical examples, measurement models, and classical limit of quantum backflow.***Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics*,*86*(4). doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.86.042116. - Halliwell, J.J. and Yearsley, J.M. (2012).
**Pitfalls of path integrals: Amplitudes for spacetime regions and the quantum Zeno effect.***Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology*,*86*(2). doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.86.024016. - Yearsley, J.M., Downs, D.A., Halliwell, J.J. and Hashagen, A.K. (2011).
**Quantum arrival and dwell times via idealized clocks.***Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics*,*84*(2). doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.84.022109. - Diósi, L., Elze, H.T., Fronzoni, L., Halliwell, J., Prati, E., Vitiello, G. … Yearsley, J. (2011).
**5th International Workshop DICE2010: Space-Time-Matter - Current Issues in Quantum Mechanics and beyond.***Journal of Physics: Conference Series*,*306*(1). doi:10.1088/1742-6596/306/1/011001. - Halliwell, J.J. and Yearsley, J.M. (2010).
**On the relationship between complex potentials and strings of projection operators.***Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical*,*43*(44). doi:10.1088/1751-8113/43/44/445303. - Yearsley, J.M. (2010).
**Quantum arrival time for open systems.***Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics*,*82*(1). doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.82.012116. - Halliwell, J.J. and Yearsley, J.M. (2009).
**Quantum arrival time formula from decoherent histories.***Physics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics*,*374*(2), pp. 154–157. doi:10.1016/j.physleta.2009.10.077. - Halliwell, J.J. and Yearsley, J.M. (2009).
**Arrival times, complex potentials, and decoherent histories.***Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics*,*79*(6). doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.79.062101. - Yearsley, J.M. (2008).
**The propagator for the step potential and delta function potential using the path decomposition expansion.***Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical*,*41*(28). doi:10.1088/1751-8113/41/28/285301.