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Middle English, from Medieval Latin compatibilis, literally, sympathetic, from Late Latin compati


  • 1 : capable of existing together in harmony <compatible theories> <compatible people>
  • 2 : capable of cross-fertilizing freely or uniting vegetatively
  • 3 : capable of forming a homogeneous mixture that neither separates nor is altered by chemical interaction
  • 4 : capable of being used in transfusion or grafting without immunological reaction (as agglutination or tissue rejection)
  • 5 : designed to work with another device or system without modification; especially : being a computer designed to operate in the same manner and use the same software as another computer


Interpersonal compatibility is a concept that describes the long-term interaction between two or more individuals in terms of the ease and comfort of communication.

Existing concepts

Although various concepts of interpersonal compatibility have existed from ancient times (see e.g. Plato's Lysis), no general theory of interpersonal compatibility has been proposed in psychology. Existing concepts are contradictory in many details, beginning with the central point -- whether compatibility is caused by matching psychological parameters or by their complementarity. At the same time, the idea of interpersonal compatibility is analyzed in non-scientific fields (see e.g. Astrological compatibility).

Among existing psychological tools for studying and/or measuring interpersonal compatibility, the following are noteworthy:

Socionics has proposed a theory of intertype relationships between psychological types based on a modified version of C.G. Jung's theory of psychological types. Communication between types is described using the concept of information metabolism proposed by Antoni Kępiński. However, socionic theory is somewhat controversial because of a lack of experimental data (although socionic data are much more representative than e.g. those of Ackoff and Emery).

Alternative hypotheses of intertype relationships were later proposed by adherents of MBTI (D. Keirsey's hypothesis of compatibility between Keirsey temperaments, an intertype relationships chart by Joe Butt and Marina Margaret Heiss, LoveTypes by Alexander Avila[4] and some other theories) Neither of these hypotheses is commonly accepted in the Myers-Briggs type theory. MBTI in Russia is often confused with socionics, although the 16 types in these theories are described differently and do not correlate exactly.[1]