(redirected from perseverate)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.



the persistent recurrence in a human being of a given mental image, action, or state. Perseveration can arise in the motor sphere, as in clonic or tonic perseveration; in the sensory sphere, as in certain eidetic phenomena; in the emotional sphere, in which case it is called perseveration of affect; and in the intellectual sphere. It arises in everyday life, for example, in the form of certain erroneous acts, slips of the pen, or slips of the tongue; it is especially common under conditions of fatigue or severe emotional strain, as well as in certain pathological states, for example, some mental diseases and certain types of localized lesions in the brain. Strictly speaking, perseveration, which is an essentially isolated and accidental phenomenon within the total context of a person’s mental life, should not be confused with what is referred to in psychiatry as an idée fixe, or obsessive thought.


Zeigarnik, B. V. Vvedenie v patopsikhologiiu. Moscow, 1969.
Zimmer, O. Perseveration, Einstellung und Bereitschaft. Bonn, 1933.


References in periodicals archive ?
They did not perseverate to the previously correct cue.
Subject PG did not show equivalence responding in any form and continued to perseverate on one particular pattern of responding throughout the experiment.
Theoretically, if we increase the cost of engaging in inefficient solutions to problems, the subject should be more likely to experiment with different solutions rather than to perseverate in a strategy that requires a lot of effort, that is, less stereotypy.
He will take a stranger's hand and perseverate on a phrase from his own private game.
Clients who perseverate or dislike change may do well in a repetitious job.
She perseverates a lot--the same thoughts keep looping in her head, and she repeats them over and over to whoever happens to be with her.
In my work I always perseverates when something does not work Note: Adapted from "How changes in job demands and resources predict burnout, work engagement, and sickness absenteeism", of W.
It's not that Nora isn't well spoken or worthy of empathy--after all, she is a woman who has been sorely disillusioned by her life--it's just that in her anger, she perseverates so continually.
Instead, he perseverates the classifier morpheme 'CL_egg' of the noun El 'egg' that had preceded the noun MILCH 'milk' and spells it out on the predicate denoting the placing of the 'CL_bottle' on the table.
Woodhouse perseverates about topics that dominate his thoughts.