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Socionomics: The Science of History and Social Prediction Hardcover – April 10, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert R. Prechter, Jr. (1949-) began publishing his insights with respect to social causality in 1979. His two decades of work culminate in Socionomics: The Science of History and Social Prediction, which presents a number of startling interconnected conclusions. Prechter contends that the stock market is a sensitive register of social mood, which has countless other modes of cultural expression. The stock market is patterned according to a model of financial price behavior called the Wave Principle, which confirms that social mood is endogenous and independent of outside influence. Since social actions follow changes in the stock market, the social mood changes behind it must determine the character of social action. That social events are the result, not the cause, of social mood change is a radical idea. Prechter defines this idea as "a principle, which means that there are no exceptions to it, ever." Prechter then observes connections between the Wave Principle and biological forms and mentational processes via fractals, spirals and Fibonacci mathematics, linking what appears to be happening in society to its biological and mental origins.

Prechter graduated from Yale in 1971 and worked as a Technical Market Specialist at Merrill Lynch in New York in the 1970s. In 1978, he co-authored, with A.J. Frost, Elliott Wave Principle - Key To Market Behavior, in 1979 he founded Elliott Wave International and in 2002 founded The Socionomics Institute. During the 1980s, Prechter won numerous awards for market timing as well as the United States Trading Championship, culminating in Financial News Network (now CNBC) granting him the title, "Guru of the Decade." He has served on the board of The Foundation for the Study of Cycles and the Market Technicians Association, including a term as president on 1990-1991. Prechter has written 12 books. He is a member of Mensa, Intertel, The Shakespeare Oxford Society and The Shakespeare Fellowship.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 952 pages
  • Publisher: New Classics Library (April 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932750575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932750570
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #734,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For Robert Prechter's full biography, please visit www.robertprechter.com.

Robert R. Prechter, Jr., is a financial and social theorist and a market analyst. He is the President and CEO of Elliott Wave International and has written 14 books. Prechter is known for making a very bullish prediction in 1982 for a 1920s-style stock market boom which he detailed in his 1978 book, Elliott Wave Principle. Elliott Wave Principle with A.J. Frost (1978) forecasted the great bull market of the 1980s and 1990s. His 2002 New York Times best seller, Conquer the Crash, predicted the current debt crisis. It is the only book that advised readers to avoid all investments and hold safe cash. Prechter's two-book set Socionomics (2003) shows how his social and financial theories weave together with his market forecasting approach: Waves of group mood determine the tenor of society's actions, from more inward, dark, bearish expressions to more outward, sunnier and bullish endeavors. Prechter's website, www.socionomics.net, explains his socionomics hypothesis and how it applies to various human arenas.

Prechter has dedicated much of his career to employing and enhancing R. N. Elliott's financial pricing model called the Wave Principle. He began his career as a Technical Market Specialist with the Merrill Lynch Market Analysis Department. Prechter is President of Elliott Wave International, the world's largest market forecasting firm. EWI serves institutional and private investors around the world.

Financial Theory
Prechter's theory of financial causality proposes a separation between finance and economics. In the economic realm, goods and services have utility value and mostly are priced rationally via the Law of Supply and Demand. This leads to rough equilibrium. In the financial realm, investments are priced non-rationally, with changes fueled by uncertain future demand and according to the Law of Patterned Herding. This approach generates speculation and unceasing dynamism. Only once the analyst recognizes this divergence can he properly view financial pricing, Prechter asserts.

Prechter's theory of socionomics says that trends and events across a broad spectrum of human interaction are impelled by a common immutable force: social mood. With its claim that mood impels action and events, socionomics is unique; most social theories posit the reverse.
The Wave Principle
As a market analyst, Prechter applies the Wave Principle, a financial pricing model identified and described by Ralph Nelson Elliott in the 1930s. According to this model, financial market prices develop in a series of five- and three-wave forms and produce a fractal. Prechter has written and/or edited a dozen books on the Wave Principle. Prechter began applying the Wave Principle to financial markets in 1972. Prechter's firm, Elliott Wave International, analyzes every major financial market in the world, 24 hours a day, according to the Wave Principle.

Using the Wave Principle, 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. Prechter has won numerous speaking, timing and publishing awards, 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' first annual 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.

Prechter was born in 1949. He attended Yale University on a full scholarship. In 1979, Prechter founded Elliott Wave International and began publishing monthly market analysis under the masthead, The Elliott Wave Theorist. He was a nine-year member the Market Technicians Association's board and was the MTA's President in 1990-1991. Prechter employs a staff of analysts who apply the Wave Principle, real-time, to every major market in the world. He recently created the Socionomics Institute, which elucidates socionomics, and he underwrites the Socionomics Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting socionomics-related academic research. Elliott Wave Principle has been translated into a dozen languages, and Conquer the Crash was a New York Times bestseller. Prechter has made multiple speeches and media appearances around the globe. In 2008, the Georgia state legislature asked Prechter to testify before the legislature's Joint Economic Committee regarding the developing real estate crisis. Bob is a member of the Triple Nine Society, the Shakespeare Oxford Society and the Shakespeare Fellowship.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It's been painfully obvious for over three years that the standard approach of economic forecasters, who examine every newly released government statistic to divine the next lurch of the stock market, has been less than stellar. Almost none of those who today talk about the "technology bubble" actually called for a top in 2000, the recession of 2001 wasn't recognized until it was half a year old, and in spite of a chorus of calls for an incipient recovery it seems plenty of skepticism remains about economic prospects. The reason for this forecasting disconnect is obvious, according to Robert Prechter, Jr.
Prechter's newest title, Socionomics: The Science of History and Social Prediction is a two-book set that offers voluminous support for a revolutionary concept. It reverses the direction of causality that underpins the entirety of orthodox market forecasting with a radical thesis: Instead of the economic statistics leading the market, the market (or more properly the aggregate social mood it measures) determines economic behavior that leads to the statistics.
Though a simple statement, this is heady stuff when its full ramifications are considered. This is exactly what this set does, addressing both theory (Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior, 2nd ed.) and its application (Pioneering Studies in Socionomics, a new work). Its illustrations of this reversal of causality cannot be casually dismissed, nor should they be ignored by anyone who believes timing matters in business, politics, investing, or every other aspect of life.
Socionomics is Prechter's term for the application of Ralph Nelson Elliott's Wave Principle market model to a wider array of social phenomena (see reviews of Elliott Wave Principle).
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Format: Hardcover
This is a two book set, a bit pricy, but I read it for months. It's a detailed, interesting book. The author could have cut it way down and made it just a quick overview, but I'm glad it was a more detailed version, like it is. I read the interview on First Voice ([...]) and thought Prechter sounded interesting. He's obviously very smart. He makes his living doing stock market analysis, and has written other books about the market, which doesn't interest me.

This book covers a lot of ground about how people interact. I've always wondered about the madness of crowds. This book gave me a completely different outlook on why people act the way they do and why I need to be aware of it.

Very good book. You'll keep this one for a long time.
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This is a 2 volume set, and it is long. The first book is in my opinion the better of the two. It goes into great detail about Socionomics and makes a very convincing augment. This book has shown the light on many things, and it is not simply geared to the stock market. I do believe in Elliot Wave, but do not trade by it as I have found it impractical. It has been most useful in my dealings with groups or organizations, how people think and will act based on their perceptions, even if they are wrong. Mr. Prechter does an excellent job driving home the human herding concept. It makes reading about the political actions in the newspaper make so much more sense now, and should provide future insight for years to come.

The best way to really describe the first book is an academic text book one would read in college, and at times the reading gets to be a bit heavy. And I would be remiss in this review not to mention Phi, and how he has tied it into nearly every aspect of nature. Completely fascinating!!! It has been a year since I read these and I can still recall the lessons in this book.

The second book I never made it through, I got about half way and finally gave up. It is all short essays/articles backed with newspaper clippings trying to show how the first book knew what it was talking about. If you understood the first book, there is little point in re-reading the same material presented in a different manner. However, I guess if you did not get the first book, the second may appeal to you instead.

Overall, this is a good purchase, if solely for its ability to point out what people around you will do based on actions and events surrounding them, right or wrong.
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If you are tired of looking at every problem / situation "as a nail", because your only tool is a hammer, this work offers some exciting possibilities.

The author has given a mathematical as well as a psychological explanation of the stock markets and many areas of human behaviour. This work will give you great insight into yourself, your own motivations and behaviours. Of course, introspection is not something everybody has the mental or emotional stamina to undertake.

Bold ideas and alternative explanations of human events, as well as human behaviour are explained with both infallible logic as well as a fair amount of scientific evidence.

It is clear that Prechter is a firm believer in the Wave Principle, but the book is far from the product of a man with an agenda of a secret mission. The overall impression is that the author has discovered something important that he wishes to share with the rest of the world.

If you enjoy learning what motivates people and how society works - it will be a good read.
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