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Performance of Language-Coordinated Collective Systems: A Study of Wine Recognition and Description

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Most of our perceptions of and engagements with the world are shaped by our immersion in social interactions, cultural traditions, tools and linguistic categories. In this study we experimentally investigate the impact of two types of language-based coordination on the recognition and description of complex sensory stimuli: that of red wine. Participants were asked to taste, remember and successively recognize samples of wines within a larger set in a two-by-two experimental design: (1) either individually or in pairs, and (2) with or without the support of a sommelier card—a cultural linguistic tool designed for wine description. Both effectiveness of recognition and the kinds of errors in the four conditions were analyzed. While our experimental manipulations did not impact recognition accuracy, bias-variance decomposition of error revealed non-trivial differences in how participants solved the task. Pairs generally displayed reduced bias and increased variance compared to individuals, however the variance dropped significantly when they used the sommelier card. The effect of sommelier card reducing the variance was observed only in pairs, individuals did not seem to benefit from the cultural linguistic tool. Analysis of descriptions generated with the aid of sommelier cards shows that pairs were more coherent and discriminative than individuals. The findings are discussed in terms of global properties and dynamics of collective systems when constrained by different types of cultural practices.

No MeSH data available.


Participants tasting wines during the learning phase of the experiment.
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Figure 1: Participants tasting wines during the learning phase of the experiment.

Mentions: The experiment was conducted following the ethical guidelines for psychological research and approved by local ethical committee of Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences. Upon arrival, the participants signed informed consent forms and were assigned to one of the experimental conditions. The experimenter explained the task: to taste and smell wines, in order to recognize and identify them later in a larger set of other wines. Each participant was then provided with three samples of the target wines, each labeled with a number: 1, 2, or 3. The labels were consistent between participants and they were informed about this. Figure 1 depicts the experimental setup during the learning phase.


Performance of Language-Coordinated Collective Systems: A Study of Wine Recognition and Description
Participants tasting wines during the learning phase of the experiment.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5037268&req=5

Figure 1: Participants tasting wines during the learning phase of the experiment.
Mentions: The experiment was conducted following the ethical guidelines for psychological research and approved by local ethical committee of Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences. Upon arrival, the participants signed informed consent forms and were assigned to one of the experimental conditions. The experimenter explained the task: to taste and smell wines, in order to recognize and identify them later in a larger set of other wines. Each participant was then provided with three samples of the target wines, each labeled with a number: 1, 2, or 3. The labels were consistent between participants and they were informed about this. Figure 1 depicts the experimental setup during the learning phase.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Most of our perceptions of and engagements with the world are shaped by our immersion in social interactions, cultural traditions, tools and linguistic categories. In this study we experimentally investigate the impact of two types of language-based coordination on the recognition and description of complex sensory stimuli: that of red wine. Participants were asked to taste, remember and successively recognize samples of wines within a larger set in a two-by-two experimental design: (1) either individually or in pairs, and (2) with or without the support of a sommelier card—a cultural linguistic tool designed for wine description. Both effectiveness of recognition and the kinds of errors in the four conditions were analyzed. While our experimental manipulations did not impact recognition accuracy, bias-variance decomposition of error revealed non-trivial differences in how participants solved the task. Pairs generally displayed reduced bias and increased variance compared to individuals, however the variance dropped significantly when they used the sommelier card. The effect of sommelier card reducing the variance was observed only in pairs, individuals did not seem to benefit from the cultural linguistic tool. Analysis of descriptions generated with the aid of sommelier cards shows that pairs were more coherent and discriminative than individuals. The findings are discussed in terms of global properties and dynamics of collective systems when constrained by different types of cultural practices.

No MeSH data available.