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Large displacement compliant joints can substitute traditional kinematic pairs in robotic articulated structures for increasing ease-of-assembly, robustness, and safety. Nonetheless, besides their limited motion capabilities, compliant joints might be subjected to undesired spatial deformations which can deteriorate the system stability and performance whenever a low number of control inputs is available. In all these cases, it is convenient to select/design joint morphologies which enable a selectively compliant behavior, i.e., a low stiffness along a single desired direction. Within this context, this paper outlines an engineering method for quantifying the joint's selective compliance by means of local and global performance indices. The approach is validated by comparing two beam-like flexures whose analytic solution is known from the literature. Finally, two joint morphologies, previously employed in the fabrication of robotic/prosthetic hands, are critically compared on the basis of the proposed criteria.