I learned of a word a few years ago that meant something along the lines of the difference of changing states. That's the best description I come up with for it.

The example we were given was when a thermostat is trying to bring a rooms temperature from 85 degrees down to 80 degrees, it will turn it self off when the room temperature hits 80.0 degrees but wait to turn back on when the room reaches 80.9 degrees in order to avoid turning on and off multiple times a minute as the room temperature fluctuates. So basically, this is a word for an effect that has a point of activation that is separate from a point of deactivation.

The word I recall is herastasis but I can't find confirmation online anywhere. Any word will do that accurately describes this effect. Thank you.

1 Answer 1


Perhaps the word you're remembering is hysteresis.

Per Wikipedia - hysteresis

Hysteresis is the time-based dependence of a system's output on current and past inputs...Many artificial systems are designed to have hysteresis: for example, in thermostats and Schmitt triggers, the principle of hysteresis is applied to avoid unwanted frequent switching.

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