Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Affordance Related Abstracts

4 Existential Affordances and Psychopathology: A Gibsonian Analysis of Dissociative Identity Disorder

Authors: S. Alina Wang


A Gibsonian approach is used to understand the existential dimensions of the human ecological niche. Then, this existential-Gibsonian framework is applied to rethinking Hacking’s historical analysis of multiple personality disorder. This research culminates in a generalized account of psychiatric illness from an enactivist lens. In conclusion, reflections on the implications of this account on approaches to psychiatric treatment are mentioned. J.J. Gibson’s theory of affordances centered on affordances of sensorimotor varieties, which guide basic behaviors relative to organisms’ vital needs and physiological capacities (1979). Later theorists, notably Neisser (1988) and Rietveld (2014), expanded on the theory of affordances to account for uniquely human activities relative to the emotional, intersubjective, cultural, and narrative aspects of the human ecological niche. This research shows that these affordances are structured by what Haugeland (1998) calls existential commitments, which draws on Heidegger’s notion of dasein (1927) and Merleau-Ponty’s account of existential freedom (1945). These commitments organize the existential affordances that fill an individual’s environment and guide their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This system of a priori existential commitments and a posteriori affordances is called existential enactivism. For humans, affordances do not only elicit motor responses and appear as objects with instrumental significance. Affordances also, and possibly primarily, determine so-called affective and cognitive activities and structure the wide range of kinds (e.g., instrumental, aesthetic, ethical) of significances of objects found in the world. Then existential enactivism is applied to understanding the psychiatric phenomenon of multiple personality disorder (precursor of the current diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder). A reinterpretation of Hacking’s (1998) insights into the history of this particular disorder and his generalizations on the constructed nature of most psychiatric illness is taken on. Enactivist approaches sensitive to existential phenomenology can provide a deeper understanding of these matters. Conceptualizing psychiatric illness as strictly a disorder in the head (whether parsed as a disorder of brain chemicals or meaning-making capacities encoded in psychological modules) is incomplete. Rather, psychiatric illness must also be understood as a disorder in the world, or in the interconnected networks of existential affordances that regulate one’s emotional, intersubjective, and narrative capacities. All of this suggests that an adequate account of psychiatric illness must involve (1) the affordances that are the sources of existential hindrance, (2) the existential commitments structuring these affordances, and (3) the conditions of these existential commitments. Approaches to treatment of psychiatric illness would be more effective by centering on the interruption of normalized behaviors corresponding to affordances targeted as sources of hindrance, the development of new existential commitments, and the practice of new behaviors that erect affordances relative to these reformed commitments.

Keywords: Psychiatry, phenomenology, Psychopathology, Affordance, enaction

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3 Reimagining the Potential of Street Lighting Infrastructure in Nairobi City

Authors: Clifford Otieno Ochieng, Nsenda Lukumwena


Cities worldwide and most notably those in the global south, including Nairobi City are experiencing accelerated population growth and urban sprawl, accompanied with multiple socioeconomic challenges’ which in turn increase the pressure on already limited infrastructure such as public lighting and on limited financial resources. Based on this premise, through reimaging the value of street lighting infrastructure, the study attempts to highlight the affordance and affordability of streetlights and suggests them as a tool to optimally address limited financial resources that characterize cities in the global south. As a methodology, the paper reviews and analyzes literature available online including Nairobi city budgets; reports from Kenya Power, World Health Organization and United Nations; and articles on enterprise level Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. In conclusion, this study illustrates that streetlights can go well beyond their traditional roles of illuminating cities at night. They can be as suggested in this paper charging stations, communication network terminals and disease prevention nodes.

Keywords: Smart Cities, developing economies, IoT, Affordance, Nairobi, smart street lights

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2 Graphic User Interface Design Principles for Designing Augmented Reality Applications

Authors: Afshan Ejaz, Syed Asim Ali


The reality is a combination of perception, reconstruction, and interaction. Augmented Reality is the advancement that layer over consistent everyday existence which includes content based interface, voice-based interfaces, voice-based interface and guide based or gesture-based interfaces, so designing augmented reality application interfaces is a difficult task for the maker. Designing a user interface which is not only easy to use and easy to learn but its more interactive and self-explanatory which have high perceived affordability, perceived usefulness, consistency and high discoverability so that the user could easily recognized and understand the design. For this purpose, a lot of interface design principles such as learnability, Affordance, Simplicity, Memorability, Feedback, Visibility, Flexibly and others are introduced but there no such principles which explain the most appropriate interface design principles for designing an Augmented Reality application interfaces. Therefore, the basic goal of introducing design principles for Augmented Reality application interfaces is to match the user efforts and the computer display (‘plot user input onto computer output’) using an appropriate interface action symbol (‘metaphors’) or to make that application easy to use, easy to understand and easy to discover. In this study by observing Augmented reality system and interfaces, few of well-known design principle related to GUI (‘user-centered design’) are identify and through them, few issues are shown which can be determined through the design principles. With the help of multiple studies, our study suggests different interface design principles which makes designing Augmented Reality application interface more easier and more helpful for the maker as these principles make the interface more interactive, learnable and more usable. To accomplish and test our finding, Pokémon Go an Augmented Reality game was selected and all the suggested principles are implement and test on its interface. From the results, our study concludes that our identified principles are most important principles while developing and testing any Augmented Reality application interface.

Keywords: Perception, Augmented Reality, Metaphors, Affordance, GUI, satisfaction, cognitive burden

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1 Impact of Transparency of Manipulatives Used in an Explicit Intervention on the Place Value Learning in Children with Mathematics Learning Disabilities

Authors: Anne Lafay, Helena P. Osana


Introduction: Manipulatives are concrete tools (such as counters and chips) that are intended to illustrate mathematical concepts to children. Growing evidence suggests that the physical features of manipulatives play a role in children’s mathematics learning. As part of a larger study previously reported by the authors, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of two physical affordances of manipulatives (denominations- and ones-transparency) on numeral representation and place value understanding in typically-developing children (TD) and in children with mathematics learning disabilities (MLD) after an instructional intervention. Method: The larger study used a 2 (pre, post) x 2 (TD, MLD) x 3 (condition: manipulative type) mixed design. A group of 94 TD children and 29 children with MLD in the second grade participated. Within each mathematics group, the children were randomly assigned to one of the three manipulatives conditions: (a) attachable beads that did not make the base ten denominations or ones in the denominations transparent, (b) pipe cleaners that made only the denominations transparent, and (c) string beads that made both the denominations and the ones in the denominations transparent. All were given explicit instruction demonstrating how to represent 2- and 3-digit numerals with their condition-specific manipulatives, with accompanying conceptual explanations of the link between the digits and the representations. Children were tested on a numeral representation task before and after the intervention with the manipulatives they used during intervention (immediate learning task) and the same task with different manipulatives after the intervention (transfer task). Results: First, an analysis of variance showed lower performance by children with MLD than TD children at both time points, but no group by time interaction. A significant condition by time interaction revealed gains when children in both mathematics groups used attachable beads, but not the other objects. Second, a descriptive analysis of response type after the intervention showed that relative to the other two manipulative types, the attachable beads resulted in a greater proportion of optimal responses and a smaller proportion of responses that contained place value misunderstandings. On the transfer task, children with MLD who used pipe cleaners during the intervention produced the largest proportion of representations with place value misunderstandings, regardless of the type of object they used on the task. Discussion: The explicit intervention was less effective for children with MLD when it incorporated manipulatives that hid the ones in the denominations (i.e., pipe cleaners) than when other manipulatives were used. We speculate that the pipe cleaners made it difficult for them to verify the relative sizes of the denominations. In contrast, the intervention was more effective for both TD children and those with MLD when they used attachable beads, which made neither the denominations nor the ones transparent. We interpret this to mean that experiencing the construction of a ten from ten ones and a hundred from ten tens is a meaningful activity for students who struggle with place value.

Keywords: Affordance, manipulatives, mathematics learning disabilities, place value

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