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Author: James J. Gibson

From 1928 to 1949 Gibson worked at Smith College. There, he wrote one of his most important books, The Perception of the Visual World (1950). He then went to Cornell University, where he worked and taught for the rest of his career. Gibson is primarily known for his research in, and theories of perception. He became a leader of a new movement in that field by considering perception to be direct, without any inferential steps, intervening variables, or associations. According to his theory, perception is the process of maintaining contact with the world. It is a direct function of stimulation, which he interpreted as the types and variables of physical energy to which the sense organs respond. Gibson formulated the concept of ‘stimulus ecology,' referring to the stimuli that surround a person. These include the optics of slanting and reflecting surfaces, and the gravitational forces we all experience in walking, sitting, and lying down. He believed in ‘invariance' of perception, whereby the environment provides an active organism with a continuous and stable flow of information to which it can respond. In 1966 Gibson wrote The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems. In it he stressed the importance of texture gradients of surfaces to visual perception. In his last book, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception (1979), Gibson emphasized the need to study vision in terms of people behaving in the real world performing meaningful tasks rather than subjects responding under the artificial and information-poor conditions of the laboratory. (Source: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~philos/MindDict/gibsonj.html)


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Gibson, James J. (1970). The Theory of Affordances. Retrieved 2014-06-16 00:00:00 from https://courses.media.mit.edu/2004spring/mas966/Gibson%20Theory%20of%20Affordances.pdf