An ecological perception model of leisure affordances

Chad D. Pierskalla, Martha E. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Drawing from ecological perception theory, we propose an ecological perception model of the realization of leisure affordances that is different from frameworks grounded in expectancy-valence theory. Expectancy theory suggests that internally held information or beliefs about value and leisure outcomes determine an individual's attitudes, intentions, and ultimately behavior. However, our ecological approach assumes and argues that the concept of value is limited to the phenomenal world of the mind and fails to adequately address the more physical world of matter. Therefore, we define and use concepts (e.g., leisure affordances) that are characteristic of a more holistic world (e.g., a human environment). Consequently, our ecological approach focuses on the meaning and significance of behavior in the environment (e.g., information flows and information feedback characteristic of different modes of activity) rather than finding the causes of behavior (e.g., motives). The ecological approach of this conceptual article also focuses on other functional concepts such as perception-activity skill and perceptual events. We present a methodological approach that could be used to investigate this ecological perception model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-79
Number of pages13
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


  • Ecological perception
  • Leisure affordances
  • Recreation activity
  • Recreation management
  • Recreation setting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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