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Starting from an exact quantum-statistical description, the influence of the shape of the energy landscape on the magnetic viscosity is investigated. Magnetic phase-space analysis based on Kramers’ escape-rate theory of chemical reaction kinetics theory shows that the activation entropy associated with thermally activated hopping modifies the magnetic viscosity by reducing the attempt-frequency prefactor compared to an earlier prediction by Brown [W. F. Brown, Phys. Rev. 130, 1677 (1963)]. Energetic contributions are analyzed in terms of a model applicable to a range of coherent and noncoherent magnetization processes, and in the long-time limit deviations from the linear logarithmic magnetic-viscosity law are found.