In today’s post I am looking at the idea of “affordances”. This term is attributed to the famous American psychologist, James J Gibson. A loose explanation of affordances is something that offers ‘action possibilities’ or ‘information possibilities’. For example, a seat with its solid and flat surface affords sitting. It also affords standing on it. Gibson explains:
The affordances of the environment are what it offers the animal, what it provides or furnishes, either for good or ill. The verb to afford is found in the dictionary, but the noun affordance is not. I have made it up. I mean by it something that refers to both the environment and the animal in a way that no existing term does. It implies the complementarity of the animal and the environment.
Gibson was making it very clear that affordances are not exclusively the properties of something. They are the possibilities…
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