Ψ An Affordance is each of the various opportunities for perception, action, & interaction that an object or place offers to any individual. Which takes precedent depends on a person's
• Past experiences
• Current developmental or maturational level
• Sensory awareness of the opportunities
• Immediate needs & motivation
In terms of actions controlled by the infant, the grasping & sucking reflexes are among the first to afford information.
Affordances for babies include;
The most difficult affordance for babies to understand is digestibility.
The Affordance of Falling
A novel piece of apparatus designed by Gibson & Walk (1960) to test for the falling affordance, called the 'visual cliff'.
It consists of a raised central platform with a horizontal sheet of plate glass on either side. Under the glass, on one side only, there is a large drop to the ground below - this is the 'cliff'.
Ψ The visual cliff was once used as
“proof” of an infant's depth perception; however, later studies showed 2 to 3 month-olds perceived depth (by monitored heart rate change), but were not fearful. They had not yet afforded falling (& subsequent pain) to a cliff (height). This comes with more experience as evidenced by the observation that 6-month-olds can be urged over the cliff by mom whereas 10-month-olds cannot.
Ψ The Gibson's contextual view emphasizes that early perceptual development involves a growing knowledge of affordances, acquired through infants' active interactions with the objects, events, and people around them.
Growth & Development|
Robert C. Gates