Jean-Michel Fortis

Valences in the field. From Lewin's Aufforderungscharakter to Gibson's affordances

Are you already subscribed?
Login to check whether this content is already included on your personal or institutional subscription.


Lewin's notion of "Aufforderungscharakter" (or "invitation-character", or "valence") was an attempt at describing the environmental field from the perspective of those determinants of behavior which are related to drives and intentions. Lewin's concern for a description of the objective correlates of teleological behavior found its counterparts in American psychology, which offered favorable conditions for this appropriation but led to the development of idiosyncratic views on the ways of construing objective valences. Among the favorable conditions were pragmatism, as well as its behaviorist reaffirmation. What, however, gave the notion of valence a specifically American twist was its behaviorist and realist interpretation, whose most radical version can be found in Gibson's notion of affordance. The final parts of this paper are devoted to a description of the path leading from pragmatist ideas to the integration of teleology and valences into behaviorist frameworks.


  • Affordance
  • Behaviorism
  • Field
  • Pragmatism
  • Realism
  • Valence


Article first page

What do you think about the recent suggestion?

Trova nel catalogo di Worldcat