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in psychology, the power that motivates effort of any kind; the conscious tendency to act.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


The conscious tendency to act, usually an aspect of mental process; historically aligned with cognition and affection, but more recently used in the wider sense of impulse, desire, purposeful striving.
[L. conātio, an undertaking, effort]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n. Psychology
The aspect of mental processes or behavior directed toward action or change and including impulse, desire, volition, and striving.

co·na′tion·al, co′na·tive (kō′nə-tĭv, kŏn′ə-) adj.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


The conscious tendency to act, usually an aspect of mental process; historically aligned with cognition and affection, but more recently used in the wider sense of impulse, desire, purposeful striving.
[L. conātio, an undertaking, effort]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012


The mental processes characterized by aim, impulse, desire, will and striving. The functioning of the active part of the personality. Compare COGNITION and AFFECT.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Patient discussion about conation

Q. Is there any explanation for this behavior? My son is 7 years old. He has a very uncooperative behavior with all his friends, his teachers and with us as well. He opposes for everything been taught to him by his teachers. He never cooperates with his friends and he always argues with everyone. He is very hostile to us and is always ready to fight. We have discussed about him to a doctor and he said it may be the signs of ADHD. Still he needs to be diagnosed officially which they may start after meeting my son. I was wondering about the reasons which can lead to such a behavior of my child? Is there any explanation for this behavior?


Q. rude/nasty behavior My sister was diagnosed with Bipolar and continues to take medication. She never went to Psychotherapy. Her demeanor is always very negative and her behavior is often critical and rude. My mother's attributes this to her ‘condition’ therefore reinforces her negative behavior. I haven't read anything about Bipolar that states rude/nasty behavior is a symptom. Is this type of behavior attributable to Bipolar?

A. damaez, I totally agree with you. Our bodies are so mal-nourished from the proper neccessities due to the way our foods are prepared that the body doesn't function properly. I believe that so many people are diagnosed with all types of disorders and put on medication and still act the same way with very little improvement. now a days they have a pill for everything. I have never heard of so many disorders in my life time as you hear about now. Bipolar is so easily thrown around that people use this excuse for being rude, disrespectful, and down right mean.You can be in a bad mood go see a doctor and be diagnosed as Bipolar. I work in the field of Human Services in a residential treatment program for DSS Adolescents and just about all that reside are Bipolar it is unreal. Sad but true.The more that is diagnosed the more pills,treatment and MONEY!

Q. What can I do to check on his behavior and make him regular… my 7 year son is seen with ADHD. I am not able to control on his high urges and irregularity and confusion which comes with this ADHD. What can I do to check on his behavior and make him regular…I know if I start now probably he will be better in coming years….

A. Very well……… need to make some strategies for your child. Like create a daily routine for your child. Place your child`s belongings at the same place daily and at same time. If your child is doing anything, please keep the thing away which may distract him. Limit the choices from many things to 2 things only if possible. Describe anything in clear and short way. Make goals for your child like for positive behavior and appreciate him when he does. Please scold less or don’t shout on him for his mistakes at all rather make him understand by reducing on his demands or choices. Help your child to find his talents and make him work on them.

More discussions about conation
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References in periodicals archive ?
The purpose of this study is to probe the symmetry or balance in asymmetrical effects on exchange students, specifically the attitude, belief, and conation toward the host country among Chinese students in Korea and Korean students in China.
For the conation measurement model, the essential three-level tests--configural, metric, and scalar--provided evidence that the model was invariant across both groups in factor structure, factor loadings, and intercepts; all the absolute changes in CFI, IFI and RMSEA met the criteria consulted.
Table 5 presents the results for dimensions of conation and belief.
In the area of attitude and conation relative to the host country, the opposite was true.
Their belief about China remained negative in absolute terms and contrasted with their positive attitude and conation (Table 2).
The only appreciable area for symmetry is the conation for maintaining personal relationships, which suggests that the two groups of students were equally concerned with keeping up personal relationships with host nationals within social networks.
One analyst who did focus on conation was Otto Rank, a disciple of Freud.
However, they failed to agree on an operational definition of conation, or a model that integrates conative, cognitive, and affective processes (Kanfer, 1988).
Snow (1994) categorized individuals as having high- or low-conative ability, but if conation is a shaping force that dictates different patterns of action, quantifying it as "high" or "low" is meaningless.
Researchers who followed Snow (1994) tended to misunderstand conation, assuming that it was the ability to set and achieve goals through a cognitive process.
Given the pitfalls in the centuries-old academic debate on conation, it is hardly surprising that social work theorists have not yet focused on conation as a useful concept.
In the remainder of this article, we summarize Kolbe's model, describe its use in social work, and make suggestions for further research on conation.