Zero-sum conflict refers to conflict in which one side's gain is always the other side's loss, as in athletic contests.

In the psychology context, a zero-sum conflict is a situation in which one person's gain is perceived as the other person's loss. This type of conflict arises when there are limited resources or opportunities, and each party is competing for a share of those resources.

Here are some examples of zero-sum conflicts:

  • A divorce settlement: In a divorce, the couple must divide their assets and property. If one person gets a larger share, the other person will necessarily get less.

  • A promotion at work: When there is only one open position for a higher-level job, multiple employees may compete for the promotion. If one person is selected, the others will perceive it as a loss.

  • International trade: When countries engage in trade, they are competing for access to resources and markets. If one country gains an advantage, others may perceive it as a loss.

  • Political campaigns: During an election, candidates compete for votes. If one candidate wins, the others perceive it as a loss of political power and influence.

Zero-sum conflicts can be difficult to resolve because each party is focused on their own interests, and may not be willing to compromise or collaborate. However, it is possible to shift the focus to a positive-sum approach, in which both parties can benefit by working together to find mutually beneficial solutions.


Other /More definition:
Zero-sum conflict is defined as a conflict in which one side's gain is always the other side's loss, example is an athletic contests or any other games where one is losing and the other one is winning

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