Paper in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
  • Hughson, A.L. and Boakes, R.A. (2009). Passive perceptual learning in relation to wine: Short-term recognition and verbal description. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62(1), 1-18.

    This experiment addressed the question of whether untutored experience of drinking wine improves human ability to discriminate between wines. Using a short-term recognition task a two-factor design compared more with less experienced wine drinkers (intermediates vs. novices) and a condition requiring description of the to-be-remembered wine samples with a control condition. Overall intermediates were more accurate than novices in selecting the target sample from a distractor set. The procedure was modelled on a previous study in which verbal descriptions reduced the performance of intermediates (verbal overshadowing), but here both novices and intermediates performed better in the description than in the control condition. The major result was to demonstrate that untutored experience can improve wine recognition (passive perceptual learning).