The terms virtuous circle and vicious circle (also referred to as virtuous cycle and vicious cycle) refer to complex chains of events which reinforce themselves through a feedback loop. A virtuous circle has favorable results, while a vicious circle has detrimental results. Both circles are complexes of events with no tendency towards equilibrium (at least in the short run). Both systems of events have feedback loops in which each iteration of the cycle reinforces the previous one (positive feedback). These cycles will continue in the direction of their momentum until an external factor intervenes and breaks the cycle. The prefix “hyper-” is sometimes used to describe these cycles if they are extreme. The best-known example of a vicious circle is hyperinflation.