CONATION (Lat. moo tio, attempt. from conari, to attempt). An endeavor, a striving to attain something. The attempt, e.g. to re call a name which has slipped from memory is a conation. There is a difference of opinion among psychologists as to whether collation is an ultimate aspect of consciousness or a com plex of sensation (q.v.) and affection (q.v.).
There are two typical cases of conation—the consciousness accompanying muscular exertion, and the state of active attention. (See A TTEN TI ON. ) The similarity of these two experiences has led some psychologists to deny that there is anything more in collation than the strain sensations following upon muscular contraction phis a pleasantness or unpleasantness. In at tention there are. further, the sensations or ideas attended-to and those attended-from. But it is also maintained, on the other hand, that corm Lion is a simple 'attitude' which mind assumes toward its objects, a peculiar 'mode of being oonscions.' It is said to be common to desire, yearning. longing, craving. wishing, and willing; indeed, to all eonsciousuesses which have an in herent tendency to pass beyond themselves. On this definition collation is a self-determination of consciousness. In desire, e.g. consciousuesa endeavors to pass from the want of an object to its possession; or, if an unpleasantly toned idea enters consciousness — say the idea of an embarrassing situation—a collation arises, and consciousness makes a forcible effort to eject the unpleasant idea. These Iwo views are
not necessarily mutually exclusive, although they arise from two radically different methods of psychology. The first analyzes consciousness without regard to the offices of knowing and willing which mind fulfills—i.e. without refer ence to the relation of mind to the 'outside' world; the second sets consciousness into rela tion with its objects, and seeks to discover the 'behavior' of mind toward the world. Or. in other words, the first scrutinizes the 'feeling of effort' or 'endeavor' in an analytic way, and finds only sensations of strain and an affective quality (see AFFECTION) : the second assumes that mind takes positive 'attitudes' toward its objects—that it is not only a sequence of oc currences, but a self-determining cause. direct ing its own contents, an agent in mush the same sense that friction is an agent in the produc tion of electricity. Consult: `tout. Analytic Psychology ( London, 1896) ; Titchener, Outline of Psychology (New York. 1899) : James. Prin ciples of Psychology (New York, 1890) : Experi mental Psychology (New York, 1901). See DE SIRE; EFFORT; ATM l'E; WILL.