Social Mood Conference | Socionomics Foundation


Originally published in the Jan. 2011 Socionomist


Television celebrity Oprah Winfrey, whose massive wave of popularity that began in the great Cycle V bull market made her the queen of daytime television, is back. Her Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) drew 18.5 million viewers in its premiere week, which ended January 7. It ranked 25th in primetime among cable networks during the January 1-9 ratings period and averaged 505,000 viewers, an increase of 49 percent compared to the Discovery Health Channel, which OWN replaced.

Winfrey, a bull market icon, began her rise to popularity in September 1986. But ratings for her Oprah Winfrey Show began falling in 2006, the year that real estate prices peaked and a year before the Dow’s all-time high. Nielsen Media Research reported in 2008 that her average viewership was 7.3 million, down from 7.8 million in 2007. By September 2009, NBC Chicago was reporting that viewership for her show had slipped under 7 million.

The initial success of OWN, a joint venture between Winfrey and Discovery Communications, is not surprising in the current market environment. “Sentiment extremes are actually higher than they were when the DJIA touched its all-time high,” The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast reported earlier this month.

With conditions right for a downturn, according to the analysts at Elliott Wave International, what remains to be seen is whether OWN and Winfrey can hang on to their popularity. By the third week of January, OWN’s ratings had fallen near those of Discovery Health. If the bear market continues, OWN probably won’t.

Socionomics InstituteThe Socionomist is a monthly online magazine designed to help readers see and capitalize on the waves of social mood that contantly occur throughout the world. It is published by the Socionomics Institute, Robert R. Prechter, president; Matt Lampert, editor-in-chief; Alyssa Hayden, editor; Alan Hall and Chuck Thompson, staff writers; Dave Allman and Pete Kendall, editorial direction; Chuck Thompson, production; Ben Hall, proofreader.

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Most economists, historians and sociologists presume that events determine society’s mood. But socionomics hypothesizes the opposite: that social mood regulates the character of social events. The events of history—such as investment booms and busts, political events, macroeconomic trends and even peace and war—are the products of a naturally occurring pattern of social-mood fluctuation. Such events, therefore, are not randomly distributed, as is commonly believed, but are in fact probabilistically predictable. Socionomics also posits that the stock market is the best available meter of a society’s aggregate mood, that news is irrelevant to social mood, and that financial and economic decision-making are fundamentally different in that financial decisions are motivated by the herding impulse while economic choices are guided by supply and demand. For more information about socionomic theory, see (1) the text, The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior © 1999, by Robert Prechter; (2) the introductory documentary History's Hidden Engine; (3) the video Toward a New Science of Social Prediction, Prechter’s 2004 speech before the London School of Economics in which he presents evidence to support his socionomic hypothesis; and (4) the Socionomics Institute’s website, At no time will the Socionomics Institute make specific recommendations about a course of action for any specific person, and at no time may a reader, caller or viewer be justified in inferring that any such advice is intended.

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