• Robert R. Prechter is known for developing a theory of social causality called socionomics, for developing a new theory of finance and for his long career applying and enhancing R.N. Elliott's model of financial pricing called the Wave Principle.


    Prechter has developed a theory of the causality of social action--called socionomics--to account for the character of trends and events in finance, macroeconomics, politics, fashion, entertainment, demographics and other aspects of human social history. His "socionomic hypothesis" is that social mood, which is endogenously regulated, is the primary driver of social action. Under development since the 1970s, this idea first reached a national audience in a 1985 cover article in Barron's. Prechter has made presentations about socionomic theory at the London School of Economics, MIT, Georgia Tech, SUNY, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Trinity College Dublin and various academic conferences. Follow this link for a description of socionomic theory. Essential publications relating to this aspect of Prechter's work include:

    "Social Mood, Stock Market Performance and U.S. Presidential Elections: A Socionomic Perspective on Voting Results," by Prechter, Deepak Goel, Wayne D. Parker, and Matthew Lampert was published by the peer-reviewed journal SAGE Open (2012). The paper posted to The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) in January 2012, where it became the third-most downloaded paper of the year. Visit SSRN to download.

    Socionomics, a two-book set comprising The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior and the New Science of Socionomics (1999) and Pioneering Studies in Socionomics (2003). Prechter at Oxford, Cambridge and Trinity: Offering a New View of Financial and Social Causality (2013), a DVD with Prechter presenting socionomic theory to faculty and students at the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and Trinity College Dublin.

    "A Literature Review of Social Mood", by Kenneth R. Olson, was published by The Journal of Behavioral Finance (2006).

    History's Hidden Engine (2006), David Edmond Moore's documentary DVD using socionomics to explain changes in fashion, music, economics, politics and history.

    Associated website: www.socionomics.net

    Notable articles/books that discuss Socionomics:

    "I Know What You'll Do Next Summer," New Scientist, August 31, 2002, by John Casti.

    Moods and Markets: A New Way to Invest in Good Times and in Bad (2012), by Peter Atwater.

    Mood Matters: From Rising Skirt Lengths to the Collapse of World Powers (2010), by John Casti.

    Ahead of Change: How Crowd Psychology and Cybernetics Transform the Way We Govern (2011), by Constantin Malik.

    Financial Theory

    Prechter has developed a new theory of financial causality that proposes a fundamental separation between the fields of finance and economics. His Socionomic Theory of Finance (STF) opposes the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH)--on every key point. In brief, Prechter accepts that in the economic realm, because producers and consumers are knowledgeable of their own needs and desires, the pricing of utilitarian goods and services is mostly objective and motivated by conscious utility maximization; in this context the balance of desires between heterogeneous groups of producers (providing supply) and consumers (providing demand) leads to equilibrium-seeking in prices. But his STF proposes that in the financial realm, because investors are ignorant of what other investors will do, the pricing of investments is mostly subjective and motivated by unconscious herding; in this context, unfettered changes in desire within a homogeneous group of investors by spontaneous command produce unceasing dynamism in prices at all degrees of activity. In economic decision-making, substantial certainty about one's own present values induces mostly rational thought, whereas in financial decision-making, substantial uncertainty about others' future actions induces mostly non-rational herding. Prechter's proposed Law of Patterned Herding (LPH) is that investors' moods and their resulting decisions to buy and sell are regulated by waves of optimism and pessimism that fluctuate according to a fractal model called the Wave Principle, or the Elliott Wave Model. Prices of goods and services are important because they regulate supply and demand. But prices of investments are irrelevant because they are merely a transient byproduct of mood-induced impulses to buy and sell. Key publications relating to this aspect of Prechter's work include:

    "The Financial/Economic Dichotomy: A Socionomic Perspective" (2007), a paper by Prechter and Dr. Wayne Parker published in the summer 2007 issue of The Journal of Behavioral Finance.

    Toward a New Science of Social Prediction: Robert Prechter at the London School of Economics (2009), a DVD that captures Prechter's two-hour presentation on socionomics and financial theory to students and faculty at the London School of Economics in 2004.

    The Socionomic Theory of Finance: An Alternative to EMH and a Foundation for Technical Analysis, a recording that puts you front and center within a record-setting audience at the 2014 International Federation of Technical Analysts (IFTA) Conference in London in 2014. In just 53 minutes, you will learn a whole new way to think about cause and effect in finance, economics and history.

    And the third book in the socionomics series: The Socionomic Theory of Finance (2015).

    Associated website: www.socionomics.org

    The Wave Principle

    Prechter is known for a long career in the development and application of theWave Principle, an empirically derived model of financial pricing identified and described by Ralph Nelson Elliott in the 1930s. According to this model, financial market prices--especially aggregate stock market prices, which are particularly responsive to changes in social mood--develop in a series of five "waves" in the direction of the next larger trend and in a series of three waves (or combination thereof) when moving contrary to the next larger trend, thereby producing a patterned, hierarchical fractal. This 5/3 construction leads naturally and efficiently to fluctuation at all scales, to trending at each "degree" of the hierarchy and to a tendency of price movements to form Fibonacci relationships. These waves take certain described forms called Elliott waves. This model is compatible with socionomics and Prechter's theory of finance. Prechter has written/edited a dozen books on the Wave Principle, including the original works of R.N. Elliott and his successors. Essential publications relating to this aspect of Prechter's work include:

    Elliott Wave Principle (1978/1983), a description of the Wave Principle and a forecast for a great bull market.

    Conquer the Crash (2002), an application of Elliott waves, associated technical indicators and the history of credit to forecast a period of financial, monetary and economic crisis.

    Associated web page: www.elliottwave.com/books

    Market Analysis and Forecasting

    Prechter began applying the Wave Principle to financial markets in 1972. He writes the Elliott Wave Theorist for his firm, Elliott Wave International. His firm also provides monthly, daily and round-the-clock coverage of the world's major financial markets.

    Associated website: www.elliottwave.com


    Prechter won the U.S. Trading Championship in 1984 with a then-record 444% return in four months in a monitored, real-money options trading account. His publication, The Elliott Wave Theorist, won numerous speaking, timing and publishing awards during the 1980s, and in 1989, he was named "Guru of the Decade" by the Financial News Network (now CNBC). In 1999, Prechter received the Canadian Society of Technical Analysts' inaugural A.J. Frost Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Technical Analysis. In 2003, Traders Library granted him its Hall of Fame award. The Market Technicians Association presented Prechter its Annual Award in 2013.

  • Robert Prechter

    Robert Prechter

    Robert R. Prechter is known for developing a theory of social causality called socionomics and for his career applying and enhancing the Wave Principle, R.N. Elliott's fractal model of financial pricing. Prechter has made presentations on socionomic theory at the London School of Economics, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, MIT, Trinity College Dublin, Georgia Tech, SUNY and various academic and financial conferences.

    In 2005, Prechter created the Socionomics Institute, which is dedicated to research and the application of socionomics, and the Socionomics Foundation, which supports academic research in the field. Prechter and colleagues have written several academic papers, including "The Financial/Economic Dichotomy" (2007) and "Social Mood and Presidential Elections" (2012), which became the third most downloaded paper on the Social Science Research Network that year.

    Prechter graduated from Yale University in 1971, joined the Market Analysis Department of Merrill Lynch in New York in 1975 and founded Elliott Wave International in 1979, where he has published monthly market analysis in The Elliott Wave Theorist. Prechter has authored, edited or contributed to 18 books. His recent work, "The Socionomic Theory of Finance," aims to replace conventional financial and macroeconomic theory with an internally and externally consistent paradigm based on socionomics.

    He is also a member of the Triple Nine Society and the Shakespeare Oxford Society.

  • Socionomic Theory

    The essence of Prechter's socionomic hypothesis is that fluctuations in social mood--producing waves of optimism and pessimism--are a natural result of human association and have consequences in social action. Social mood is not conscious, rational and objectively reactive but unconscious, non-rational and subjectively active. While people almost universally believe that the character of social events determines social mood, socionomics proposes that the causality is the reverse: Social mood determines the character of social actions. The causality of social mood is unidirectional; there is no feedback loop of events back to social mood. Events do stimulate brief emotional reactions, but they are transient and do not affect social mood.

    Some forums of activity are ideal for the immediate expression of social mood. The one in which the most detailed and pristine data exist is the stock market, where investors in the aggregate adjust stock prices to express changes in their mood. Other social actions would serve as equally good "sociometers" if accurate data were available.

    Many actions taken in response to changes in social mood take time to manifest. For example, business people might express a change in social mood by deciding to expand or contract operations. Since it takes time to implement such plans, changes in macroeconomic activity lag changes in the stock market. The same is true of political actions, which generally require a large consensus and thereby substantially lag social mood trends. This is why sociometers such as the stock market averages are leading indicators of macroeconomic trends and political actions.

    Socionomics postulates that waves of social mood are endogenously regulated, fluctuating toward the "positive" (optimistic) and then the "negative" (pessimistic) direction according to a patterned, hierarchical fractal called the Wave Principle, identified as a stock market model by Ralph Nelson Elliott in the 1930s. Waves have substantial quantitative leeway but adhere to one overall form, under which there are five specific forms and a limited number of variations thereof, as described in the literature. Because Elliott waves are patterned, they are probabilistically predictable, thereby making the character of social trends probabilistically predictable as well.

  • Resources

    Social Mood, Stock Market Performance and U.S. Presidential Elections: A Socionomic Perspective on Voting Results
    Authors: Robert Prechter, Deepak Goel, Wayne Parker, Ph.D., and Matthew Lampert
    Published in Sage Open, 2012

    Pop Culture and the Stock Market
    Author: Robert Prechter
    Published in The Elliott Wave Theorist, 1985

    The Financial/Economic Dichotomy in Social Behavioral Dynamics: The Socionomic Perspective
    Authors: Robert Prechter, Wayne Parker, Ph.D.
    Published in The Journal of Behavioral Finance, May 2007

    Elliottwaves subsume all other forms of technical analysis
    Author: Robert Prechter, Jr.
    Published in The Elliott Wave Theorist, 2005

    Socionomics in a Nutshell
    Author: Robert Prechter
    Published in Pop Culture and the Stock Market, 1985

    Recording of an interview with Robert Prechter on the Mind of Money
    Protection Attorney Douglass Lodmell interviews the founder of Elliott Wave International and the Socionomics Institute, Robert Prechter. Bob and Doug discuss the great Bull Market that began in 1978, which Bob predicted in his first book "The Elliott Wave Principle".

    The full documentary History's Hidden Engine
    Chronicling the new and revolutionary science of socionomics, History’s Hidden Engine is the result of more than three years of research and dedicated filmmaking by David Edmond Moore. In just 59 minutes and with the help of pop songs, news footage and cultural images, this documentary explores how social mood drives trends in movies, music, fashion, economics, politics, the media and even the stock market.

  • Media Contact

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