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agent +‎ -ic


  • IPA(key): /eɪ.ˈdʒɛn.tɪk/, /ə.ˈdʒɛn.tɪk/


agentic (comparative more agentic, superlative most agentic)

  1. That behaves like an agent, assuming no responsibility for actions or their consequences, only following the orders of someone in authority.
    • 1994, Larry Cochran, ‎Joan Laub, Becoming an Agent: Patterns and Dynamics for Shaping Your Life, page 31:
      From the perspective of the previous chapter, to change from a patient to an agent is to adopt or elaborate an agentic plot that the person lives (Howard 1989).
    • 1998, Arie Halachmi, ‎Peter B. Boorsma, Inter and Intra Government Arrangements for Productivity, page 39:
      The next section examines ways in which network and partnership management may be able to reconcile self-organization with agentic intervention.
  2. (psychology, by extension, of a psychological state of a person) that obeys authority (introduced in Milgram's theory).
    Most individuals can be easily triggered to enter, and be comfortable in the agentic state.
    • 2013, Kenneth S. Bordens, ‎Irwin A. Horowitz, Social Psychology:
      Milgram (1974) suggested that one factor contributing to the maintenance of obedience was that the individual in the obedience situation entered into an agentic state, which involves a person's giving up his or her normal moral and ethical standards in favor of those of the authority figure.
  3. (psychology) Having to do with performance, or achieving status.
    • 1985, Steve Duck, ‎Daniel Perlman, Understanding Personal Relationships, page 98:
      If helping is a variation on the more general agentic theme of self-assertion and display, one might expect that power motivation would predict other forms of agentic striving in friendship experiences.
  4. (psychology) Having agency; able to make independent decisions in pursuit of a goal.
    Billy was agentic in his learning and didn't only do what the teacher told him.
    • 2000, Tobin Hart, ‎Peter L. Nelson, ‎Kaisa Puhakka, Transpersonal Knowing: Exploring the Horizon of Consciousness, page 186:
      In agentic cognition the ego is a cognitive agent with tasks to accomplish.
    • 2006, Rodney A. Reynolds, Robert Woods, Jason D. Baker, Handbook of Research on Electronic Surveys and Measurements, page 367:
      Within this framework, with gender role self-perception conceptualized as independent of biological sex, the agentic construct includes characteristics such as goal-orientation, assertiveness, protectiveness, self-activation, and having the urge to master.
    • 2011, Patrick McNamara, The Cognitive Neuropsychiatry of Parkinson's Disease, page 57:
      We have seen that the agentic self identifies values to be striven after, then makes decisions about which values/goals to pursue and then controls pursuit of those goals.

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