Speakers 2011

Our speakers at the 2011 Socionomics Summit included a mix of academics and professionals who described some of the latest developments in socionomic theory and research, and also illuminated how people are applying socionomic insights to business and finance.

Robert PrechterPredicting Social Change
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The Socionomic Model of Financial Herding
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Robert Prechter, Jr., CMT, 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’s socionomic theory accounts for the character of trends and events in finance, macroeconomics, politics, fashion, entertainment, demographics and other aspects of human social history. Under development since the 1970s, the 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, University of Cambridge, MIT, University of Oxford, Trinity College Dublin, Georgia Tech, SUNY and various academic and financial conferences. In 2008 and 2010, the Georgia legislature invited Prechter to testify before its Joint Economic Committee regarding the state’s

Prechter attended Yale University on a full scholarship and received a B.A. in psychology in 1971. After graduation, Bob played popular music for four years while studying technical analysis. In 1975, Prechter began his financial career by joining Merrill Lynch’s Market Analysis Department under the tutelage of Robert J. Farrell and in 1976 began issuing Elliott wave analysis of the financial markets. In 1979, Prechter founded Elliott Wave International and began publishing monthly market analysis under the masthead, The Elliott Wave Theorist. Prechter served as a member of the board of the Market Technicians Association for nine years and as the MTA’s President in 1990-1991. He currently serves on the advisory board of the MTA’s Educational Foundation.

Over the years, Prechter expanded his business and now employs a staff of analysts who apply the Wave Principle to all major markets around the world. Prechter created the Socionomics Institute, which is dedicated to explaining socionomics, and he funds the Socionomics Foundation, which supports academic research in the field.

Prechter has authored, edited or contributed to more than 15 books. His book Elliott Wave Principle: Key to Market Behavior has been translated into a dozen languages, and Conquer the Crash: You Can Survive and Prosper in a Deflationary Depression was a New York Times and Amazon bestseller.

John L. CastiAnticipation of Extreme Events in Human Society
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John L. Casti received his Ph.D. in mathematics under Richard Bellman at the University of Southern California in 1970. Currently, Casti is a Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria, where he heads an initiative for the study on Extreme Events in Human Society and is the director of The Kenos Circle, a Vienna-based society of fellows devoted to exploration of the future.

As one of the world’s most prolific mathematicians and science writers, Casti has a career-long track record of visionary research, exploration and discovery. He worked at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, Cal., and served on the faculties of the University of Arizona, NYU and Princeton before becoming one of the first members of the research staff at the IIASA.

Casti has written numerous articles and seven technical monographs and textbooks on mathematical modeling. In addition to his technical volumes, Casti has written several popular books on science:

Paradigms Lost: Images of Man in the Mirror of Science (Morrow, 1989), which addresses several of the most puzzling controversies in modern science; Searching for Certainty: What Scientists Can Know About the Future (Morrow, 1991), a volume dealing with problems of scientific prediction and explanation of everyday events like the weather, stock market prices and the outbreak of warfare; and Complexification (HarperCollins, 1994), a study of complex systems and the manner in which they give rise to counterintuitive, surprising behavior.

Casti’s current research interests are focused on the exploration of questions in the social and behavioral realm and the relationship between social moods and their consequent social actions and behaviors. In this direction, his latest book, Mood Matters: From Rising Skirt Lengths to the Collapse of World Powers (Springer, 2010), addresses the directions and patterns of social causation and their implications for future trends and collective social events.

Johan BollenHuina Mao Twitter Mood Predicts the Stock Market
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Johan Bollen and Huina Mao of Indiana University are the main authors of the recent study, “Twitter Mood Predicts the Stock Market.” Their widely-reported research said “the number of emotional words on Twitter could be used to predict daily moves in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. A change in emotions expressed online would be followed between two and six days later by a move in the index, the researchers said, and this information let them predict its movements with 87.6 percent accuracy.”

Eric GilbertWidespread Worry and the Stock Market
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Eric Gilbert is an assistant professor in Georgia Tech’s College of Computing. Gilbert’s research focuses on social computing, but he says it might be better described as “computer science inspired by sociology.” He co-authored the study “Widespread Worry and the Stock Market,” which was featured in the January 2011 issue of The Socionomist. His research assessed 20 million entries posted on the blogging website LiveJournal, and compared the posts to later movements in the stock market. The data showed that spikes in worry preceded stock market losses by two days. Gilbert has received the best paper award three times from The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGCHI group, the premier international society for the study of human-technology and human-computer interaction. Gilbert also holds the Google Fellowship in Social Computing. His current research centers on “how emotions at a massive scale might tell us something interesting about the world.”

Matt LampertMatt Lampert is a Research Fellow of the Socionomics Institute and a doctoral candidate in the sociology department at the University of Cambridge. His research applies socionomic theory to the actions of financial and political institutions and seeks to understand financial markets from a socionomic perspective. Prior to enrolling at Cambridge, he served as the associate director of the Socionomics Institute, where he and colleagues launched The Socionomist in 2009. His work has been featured by USA Today, CNBC, the Associated Press and The Futurist.

Socionomics as an Investment Philosophy: The ‘Unified Field Theory’ of Economics, Physics, and Sociology
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Scott Reamer accepted a two year analyst position at the investment bank of Prudential Securities in 1993, deferring his pursuit of a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Two months later, after learning the differences between bonds and stocks, he decided that managing a petroleum fractionation process was not nearly as attractive as it had seemed. After various stints in the sell-side research departments at Bear Stearns, DLJ, Cowen & Co. and Société Générale; and on the buy-side as the head of quantitative and macroeconomic strategy at the hedge fund Vicis Capital, Scott and his partners started Chora Capital in 2010 – a behavioral arbitrage hedge fund focused on quantitatively exploiting the propensity of investors to herd.

Peter KendallSinatra Swings with the Waves
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Peter Kendall joined Elliott Wave International as a researcher in 1992 and has been co-editor of The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, a monthly financial newsletter, since its inception in 1999. Kendall authored The Mania Chronicles with Robert Prechter, and he contributes to research published by EWI and the Socionomics Institute. Kendall served as a financial reporter and columnist from 1983 to 1992. His column “On the Money” appeared in The Business Journal of Milwaukee from 1991 to 1997.

Kevin DepewZombinomics: How Social Mood Has Us Hungry for Flesh-Eating Horror
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Kevin Depew is editor-in-chief of Minyanville.com. He is the Emmy Award-winning writer/producer of “Hoofy & Boo’s News and Views,” the first (and only) animated business news show. Kevin graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in philosophy. He spent five years with the Daily Racing Form, where he covered (and occasionally wagered on) thoroughbred horse racing, and has also worked for PaineWebber, AG Edwards, and Dorsey, Wright and Associates.

Ken OlsonWhy Does Social Mood Alternate Between Positive and Negative Extremes?
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Ken Olson, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Fort Hays State University, where he directed the graduate program in clinical psychology from 1981-2010. He has authored 40 academic articles and numerous presentations at professional conferences. He is a licensed clinical psychologist who has treated patients and supervised clinical staff and interns in both public and private mental health agencies. He received the first research grant awarded by the Socionomics Foundation and has written about the personality basis of social mood and the relationship between homicide rates and social mood.

Mark Galasiewski Socionomics in Action: Asian Markets & Instances of Violence
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Mark Galasiewski (gala-SHEV-ski) joined the Socionomics Institute in 2005 and began contributing socionomic essays to Robert Prechter’s Elliott Wave Theorist. Since 2008, as editor of Elliott Wave International’s Asian-Pacific Financial Forecast, Mark has presented socionomic ideas at investment conferences in Japan, Hong Kong, India, Jordan and Egypt, and been interviewed by major Asian media organizations such as India’s CNBC TV-18 & ET Now, Press Trust of India, Bloomberg TV Asia, and Bloomberg Istanbul. A graduate of Middlebury College (Vermont, USA) in East Asian studies, he is fluent in Japanese and conversant in Mandarin Chinese.

Euan WilsonWhen Negative Mood Demands a Revolution: A Case Study
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Euan Wilson is a graduate of The University of Georgia with degrees in economics and international affairs. After joining Elliott Wave International in 2008, he quickly discovered his passion for socionomic research and transferred his focus and position to the Socionomics Institute. Wilson is now one of the leading contributors to The Socionomist, the Socionomics Institute’s monthly publication. Some of Wilson’s most noteworthy research has covered social mood’s impact on various cultural trends, including the war on drugs, civil wars, and popular animation characters. Wilson’s research has been featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, The Futurist and Scientific American.