Performance of language-coordinated collective systems: A study of wine recognition and description

Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article


  • Julian Zubek
    Julian ZubekInstitute of Computer Science, Polish Academy of Sciences, WarsawPoland
  • Michał Denkiewicz
    Michał DenkiewiczInstitute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences, WarsawPoland
  • Agnieszka Dębska
    Agnieszka DębskaFaculty of Psychology, University of WarsawPoland
  • Alicja Radkowska
    Alicja RadkowskaFaculty of Psychology, University of WarsawPoland
  • Joanna Komorowska-Mach
    Joanna Komorowska-MachInstitute of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, University of WarsawPoland
  • Piotr Litwin
    Piotr LitwinFaculty of Psychology, University of WarsawPoland
  • Magdalena Stępień
    Magdalena StępieńFaculty of Psychology, University of WarsawPoland
  • Adrianna Kucińska
    Adrianna KucińskaFaculty of Psychology, University of Warsaw
  • Ewa Sitarska
    Ewa SitarskaFaculty of Psychology, University of WarsawPoland
  • Krystyna Komorowska
    Krystyna KomorowskaFaculty of Psychology, University of WarsawPoland
  • Riccardo Fusaroli
  • Kristian Tylén
  • Joanna Raczaszek-Leonardi
    Joanna Raczaszek-LeonardiUniversity of WarsawPoland
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 reveals 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 card reducing the variance was observed only in pairs, individuals did not seem to benefit from the cultural linguistic tool. Subsequent analysis of descriptions generated with the aid of card by individuals and pairs showed that they were more consistent and discriminative in the case of pairs. The findings are discussed in terms of global properties and dynamics of collective systems when constrained by different types of cultural practices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1321
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberSeptember
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2016

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 102049414