ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (11): 1747-1757.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01747

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The effect of action semantics, context and judgment task on object affordance

ZHAO Nan1; GONG Yanyan1; ZHAO Liang2; CHEN Qiang1; WANG Yonghui1   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710062, China) (2 School of Education, Baoji University of Arts and Sciences, Baoji 721016, China)
  • Received:2016-02-17 Online:2016-11-15 Published:2016-11-15
  • Contact: WANG Yonghui, E-mail:


Object affordance refers to the phenomenon that the visual presentation of object can activate action it afforded. Gibson postulate that humans could directly detect action possibilities (affordances) from the physical properties of objects in the environment in an automatic fashion. However, a growing body of evidence has suggested that object affordance could be modulated by action semantic knowledge and context. That is, individuals can select appropriate action towards the object in terms of the top-down processes. In addition, there is specificity in different judgment tasks for object affordance studies. Only judgment tasks containing deep processing of an object rather than demanding discrimination of the surface properties of the object can evoke action object afforded, demonstrating that the motor activity is task-dependent and is not fully automatically evoked by viewing object. Further study needs to explore the role of action sematic knowledge and context in the mechanism underlying object affordance and the reasons that caused the specificity in different judgment tasks.

Key words: object affordance, action semantic knowledge, context