automatism[ô täm′ə tiz′əm]
- the quality or condition of being automatic
- automatic action
- Philos. the theory that the human or animal body is a machine governed by physical laws and that consciousness does not control but only accompanies its actions
- action independent of outside stimulus, as sleepwalking
- action not controlled by the will, as the heartbeat
- the power of such action
- Psychol. an automatic or unconscious action, as a tic
- free expression of the unconscious mind by releasing it from the control of the conscious: a surrealist concept
Origin of automatismautomat(ic) + -ism
- a. The state or quality of being automatic.b. Automatic mechanical action.
- Philosophy The theory that the body is a machine whose functions are accompanied but not controlled by consciousness.
- Physiology a. The involuntary functioning of an organ or other body structure that is not under conscious control, such as the beating of the heart or the dilation of the pupil of the eye.b. The reflexive action of a body part.
- Psychology Mechanical, seemingly aimless behavior characteristic of various mental disorders.
Origin of automatismFrom Latin automaton, automaton; see automaton.
(countable and uncountable, plural automatisms)
- Acting automatically or involuntarily.
- (psychology) An action performed subconsciously, without any apparent direction from the mind; a thought which appears spontaneously in one's consciousness.
- A surrealist painting technique whereby one attempts to move the brush, pen etc. without conscious control over it.
From automat(on) + -ism.