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Behav. Sci. 2014, 4(4), 371-393; doi:10.3390/bs4040371

Can the Identity of a Behavior Setting Be Perceived Through Patterns of Joint Action? An Investigation of Place Perception

1
Department of Psychology, Denison University, Granville, OH 43023, USA
2
Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
3
Information Technology Services, Denison University, Granville, OH 43023, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 August 2014 / Revised: 20 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 September 2014 / Published: 13 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Psychology)
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Abstract

“Behavior settings” are generated by joint actions of individuals in conjunction with the milieu features (or affordances) that are available. The reported research explores the hypothesis that the identity or meaning of a behavior setting can be perceived by means of the patterns of action collectively generated by the setting’s participants. A set of computer animations was created based on detailed observation of activities in everyday settings. Three experiments were conducted to assess whether perceivers could extract “structure from motion” (in this case, collective actions) that was specific to the particular behavior setting displayed by way of the animations. Two experiments assessed whether individuals could accurately perceive the identity of the behavior settings with such displays, and a third experiment indirectly examined this possibility by evaluating whether setting possibilities and constraints were recognized. The results offered some support for the hypothesis, and suggested several refinements in how to conceptualize a typology of behavior settings. An ecological approach to place perception is also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: behavior settings; place perception; ecological psychology; structure from motion; family resemblance behavior settings; place perception; ecological psychology; structure from motion; family resemblance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Heft, H.; Hoch, J.; Edmunds, T.; Weeks, J. Can the Identity of a Behavior Setting Be Perceived Through Patterns of Joint Action? An Investigation of Place Perception. Behav. Sci. 2014, 4, 371-393.

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