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[xmca] adult affordances

An odd conjunction of issues of content and management  in my undergraduate developmental psychology course has me puzzled, and so I'm appealing for xmca help!  A few weeks ago I was expounding on the notion that the toddler lives in a world not of permanent objects but of affordances - irresistible offers to action, made by the things and people and places that surround him or her. Gibson, filtered through Vygotsky.

At the same time, I was waging an unceasing war against the use of cell phones in the classroom. (Today I actually got to the point of confiscating them when I saw them, and telling the students they could buy them back from me later in the city center. With humor, I hope!)

Finally, it struck me. These young adults, too, are victims of irresistible offers to action, made by their little iPhones or Nokias or whatever.

So what is it about a cell phone that completely overwhelms any and every facet of self control? Why is it that I can forbid cell use at the start of each class, yet in seconds they start to appear? What is it that transforms a young adult into no more than a toddler?


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