Perceiving affordances for another person's actions

Thomas A. Stoffregen, Kathleen M. Gorday, Yang Yi Sheng, Steven B. Flynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


The perception of affordances for the actions of other people (actors) was examined. Observers judged the maximum and preferred sitting heights of tall and short actors. Judgments were scaled in centimeters, as a proportion of the observer's leg length, and as a proportion of each actor's leg length. In Experiment 1 observers viewed live actors standing next to a chair. When judgments were scaled by actor leg length, they reflected the actual ordinal relation between the capabilities of the actors. The perception of affordances from kinematic displays was then evaluated. Observers differentiated tall and short actors, but only when the displays contained direct information about relations between the actors and the chair. It is concluded that observers can perceive affordances for the actions of actors and that kinematic displays can be enough to support such percepts if they preserve actor-environment relations that define affordances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-136
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1999


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceiving affordances for another person's actions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this