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agent +‎ -ic


  • IPA(key): /eɪˈd͡ʒɛn.tɪk/, /əˈd͡ʒɛn.tɪk/
  • (file)


agentic (comparative more agentic, superlative most agentic)

  1. That behaves like an agent: able to express or expressing agency or control on one's own behalf or on the behalf of another.
    • 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.
    • 2023, “From Turing's Speculations to an Academic Discipline: A History of AI Existential Safety”, in SJ Beard, Martin Rees, Catherine Richards, Clarissa Rios Rojas, editors, The Era of Global Risk: An Introduction to Existential Risk Studies[1], Open Book Publishers, →ISBN:
      A single, highly agentic AI system rapidly becomes superintelligent on all human tasks, in a world broadly similar to today. The objective function used to train the system (e.g. ‘maximise production’) doesn't push it to do what we really want, and the system's goals match the objective function.

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