By Jill Noble
On May 5, 2011, the Associated Press reported that “The United States seems to be on track to have more measles cases [in 2011] than any year in more than a decade…”
The inaugural issue of The Socionomist published Alan Hall’s landmark study, “A Socionomic View of Epidemic Disease,” which examined the correlation between social mood and public health. Here is an excerpt of Hall’s report (available in full, here):
As recently as 2000, public health officials said measles had been eradicated from the United States, but in 2008, cases resurged to their highest level since 1996.
The CDC’s most recent U.S. data (through July 31, 2008) shows a 68% increase over the number of measles cases reported in all of 2007.
The recent “unprecedented” measles outbreak in the U.S., along with similar outbreaks in Switzerland, U.K, Australia, and Vietnam, were fueled by complacency, reduced funding, and importation via travel and immigration—all symptoms of the peak in positive social mood that augured a major trend change.
The popularity of the anti-vaccination movement in the U.S. and Europe is another indication of social confidence about the state of human health. Complacency about disease may be the ultimate expression of overconfidence.
-The Socionomist, April 2009
In the same report, Hall wrote that “Socionomics posits that the trends in social mood—widely-shared feelings including those of optimism and pessimism—unfold in a hierarchical pattern of similarly-shaped waves that are visible in charts of stock prices, our most sensitive meter of social mood. Major epidemics occur near lows in social mood—often near significant, fearful bottoms in stock prices—and can persist well into the subsequent uptrend.”
We published that first issue of The Socionomist in the midst of a major market change. Each month since then, our team has helped subscribers “immunize” themselves against the social mood changes that drive the financial markets and other social events.
In the context of current market activity, this latest news is an obvious reminder of the relevance of the socionomic perspective to public health.