Social Mood Conference  |  Socionomics Foundation

GAINESVILLE, Ga. / January 26, 2011 – A recent government report shows a surge in mental disorders in Americans, which now affect 20% of the population. “1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental illness, including depression and anxiety,” according to the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

An April 2009 study by the Socionomics Institute predicted just such a rising incidence of illness during periods of widespread epidemics. In the study, researchers found correlations between falling stock prices and epidemics, both of which, they say, are brought about by negative social mood. Alan Hall, a researcher at the Georgia-based think tank and the author of the study, said, “The data show that fearful people are more susceptible to epidemics.”

In a section titled, “Stress Affects Psychology and Physiology,” Hall wrote,

A spiraling decline in social mood stacks minor stressors — such as subprime defaults and falling stock prices — atop bigger stressors, such as job losses and falling house prices. This enables future stressors — crowding, homelessness, family violence and depression — all of which increase the risk of epidemic disease.

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For a copy of the research mentioned in this tip or to arrange an interview with Alan Hall from The Socionomics Institute, contact Alexandra Lienhard at (770) 536-0309, alexandral@socionomics.net.

About The Socionomics Institute
The Socionomics Institute, based in Gainesville, Ga., studies social mood and its role in driving cultural trends. The Institute’s analysis is published in the monthly research review, The Socionomist. Learn more at www.socionomics.net.

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