I have been studying Soc Psych and am beginning to have a bit of an idea. What I’ve read so far is Soc Attitude and Soc Perception. In perception one thing is standing out: patterns. I mean patterns in the most general sense of the word. Soc Interaction is based on patterns and one theory for non-verbal patterns calls them “affordances“. A theory on impressions calls them “traits”. They are both the same thing, perceptual patterns we can use.
But I like the word affordance because in the theory related to it utility is mentioned.
I have seen the word affordance used in design. Simply put a design affordances are “patterns physical or virtual we can use.”
That makes my more general definition, affordances, “patterns we can use”.
Affordance is discussed in Wikipedia as well.