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Exogenous (from Greek exo, meaning "outside", and gignomai, meaning "to produce") refers to an action or object coming from outside a system. It is the opposite of endogenous, something generated from within the system.

  • In an economic model, an exogenous change is one that comes from outside the model and is unexplained by the model. For example, in the simple supply and demand model, a change in consumer tastes or preferences is unexplained by the model and also leads to endogenous changes in demand that lead to changes in the equilibrium price. Similarly, a change in the consumer's income is given outside the model. Put another way, an exogenous change involves an alteration of a variable that is autonomous, i.e., unaffected by the workings of the model.
  • In linear regression, it means that the variable is independent of all other response values.
  • In biology, "exogenous" refers to an action or object coming from the outside of a system. For example, an exogenous contrast agent in medical imaging refers to a liquid injected into the patient intravenously that enhances visibility of a pathology, such as a tumor.
  • In attentional psychology, exogenous refers to reaction to external stimuli without conscious intention.[1] An example of this would be attention drawn to a flashing light in the periphery of vision.
  • In ludology, the study of games, exogenous refers to anything outside the game itself. Therefore an item in a massively multiplayer online game would have exogenous value if people were buying it with real world money rather than in-game currency (though its in-game cost would be endogenous).
  • In materials science, exogenous refers to a property of a substance which is derived from outside or external influences, such as a nano-doped material.
  • In philosophy, exogenous refers to the origins of existence of self, or the identity of self, as emanating from, or sustaining, outside of the natural or influenced realm.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Posner, M.I. (1980), Orienting of attention. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 32: 3 – 25.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of exogeny at Wiktionary