Social Mood Conference | Socionomics Foundation

By Robert Prechter | Excerpted from the December 2015 Socionomist

On June 21, 2005, CBS aired a three-hour special from the American Film Institute, dedicated to the 100 most memorable movie quotations in American cinema. Robert Prechter says most of those quotes were crafted in periods when stocks were in a bear market.

Read an excerpt of Prechter’s fascinating article below.

The American Film Institute posted a list of the 100 most memorable movie quotations of all time. Its list is based on ballots returned from a selected group of over 1,500 directors, screenwriters, actors, editors, cinematographers, critics and historians. Selected quotations cover the period from 1927 through 2002.

A socionomist would probably have guessed that rising major “B” waves in the stock market, which produce a complex set of emotions, would score well in this tally. As it happens, the second- and third-largest number of annual quotes—those of 1939 and 1967—are in B waves, and other types of bear-market rallies also score highly.

But the most impressive observation associated with this tally is that a majority of quotes were crafted during periods in which stocks were in a bear market. The quote tally is a lagging socionomic indicator, because it takes time—about a year—to complete a movie. So, film scripts adopted during a bull or bear market turn into a completed film about a year later. This is the same shift we used in comparing conception rates to stock prices using birth data.

The major bear markets within the period covered by Figure 1 took place at the following times: 1929-1932, 1937-1942, 1946-1949, 1966-1982 and 2000-2002. The periods when memorable quotations distinctly cluster are the same but shifted forward one year. The single largest number of annual quotes comes from …


In the remainder of this brief, two-page article, Prechter considers why memorable film quotes occur more often in bear markets than in bull markets.

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