compromise

In arguments, compromise is a concept of finding agreement through communication, through a mutual acceptance of terms—often involving variations from an original goal or desire. Extremism is often considered as antonym to compromise, which, depending on context, may be associated with concepts of balance, tolerance. In the negative connotation, compromise may be referred to as capitulation, referring to a "surrender" of objectives, principles, or materiale, in the process of negotiating an agreement. In human relationships "compromise" is often said to be an agreement that no party is happy with. According cultural background and influences, the meaning and perception of the word "compromise" may be different: In the UK, Ireland and Commonwealth countries the word "compromise" has a positive meaning (as a consent, an agreement where both parties win something); in the USA it may rather have negative connotations (as both parties lose something). In the former Soviet Union, the word was rather unknown. (See Intercultural competence.)

Studies in compromise

Defining and finding the best possible compromise is an important problem in fields like game theory and the voting system. For example, the Modified Borda Count seeks to identify which of several options has the highest average preference among voters.

Research has indicated that suboptimal compromises are often the result of fallacies such as the fixed sum error and the incompatibility error, leading to the misperception that the other side's interests are directly opposed. Mutually better outcomes can be found by careful investigation of both parties' interests.

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