Social Mood Conference  |  Socionomics Foundation
By Alan Hall, originally published in the July 2011 Socionomist

 

A spate of headlines shows that celebrities recently embraced increasingly unusual names:

  • “Mariah Carey reveals twins’ names as ‘Moroccan’ and ‘Monroe’”1
  • “Alicia Silverstone names baby boy ‘Bear Blu’”2
  • “Have celebrity baby names gone too far?”3

Near the Super Cycle mood peak in October 2000, Jermaine Jackson—the late Michael’s older brother—named his son “Jermajesty.” In 2004, after another rally, movie star Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter “Apple.” During the more recent run-up in mood, soccer star David Beckham named his new daughter “Harper Seven.” And the fastest-rising baby names in 2010 were “Bentley” and “Maci,” according to
Babynamewizard.com.4

babynamewizard.com list

These are not just isolated anecdotes. The May 2010 issue of The Socionomist used data from “Fitting In or Standing Out: Trends in American Parents’ Choices for Children’s Names, 1880-2007,” by Jean M. Twenge, Emodish M. Abebe, and W. Keith Campbell to demonstrate a strong correlation between social mood and popular baby names:

[P]arents tend to give their children increasingly unique names during bull markets and increasingly ordinary names during bear markets. … Socionomics suggests that parents’ tendency to choose ordinary names during bear markets reflects an evolutionary survival tactic: Blend with the herd in times of fear and uncertainty. It is logical that during bear markets, parents unconsciously fear that an unusual name could hurt their children’s future job prospects or ability to fit in. During bull markets, on the other hand, parents feel that an unusual name will help their children stand out in a positive way.

In Chapter 13 of The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior (1999), Robert Prechter observed a similar dynamic in fashion trends:

When people feel bold and frisky, they buy stocks and wear more revealing clothes. When they feel threatened and conservative, they sell stocks and wear more concealing clothes.

Figure 1 on page 7 shows this baby name/stock market correlation graphically. A recent UK study of 3,000 parents suggests moms and dads should name their children carefully: “One in five parents regret the name they gave their child.”5 One Twitter user commented that he hoped Alicia Silverstone’s son Bear Blu “grows up to be 6’5” 230 [pounds].” Perhaps the tweeter was mindful of the 1969 song, “A Boy Named Sue.”

Social Mood Regulates Name Conformity

Indeed, if EWI’s forecast for a social mood downturn proves correct, today’s parents may regret giving their children unconventional names.

Alan Hall writes for The Socionomist.


CITATIONS

1Harmsworth, A. (2011, May 5). Mariah carey reveals twins’ names as moroccan and monroe. Metro, Retrieved from http://www.metro.co.uk/home/9454-contact-us on June 3, 2011.

2Alicia silverstone names baby boy bear blu (2011, May 10). The Sydney Morning Herald, Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/people/alicia-silverstone-names-baby-boy-bear-blu-20110510-1eg8b.html on June 3, 2011.

3Fleming, K. (2011, May 10). Have celebrity baby names gone too far? New York Post, Retrieved from http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/have_celebrity_baby_names_gone_too_nMVolXZdmUjKFI1NO2TppL on June 3, 2011.

4Wattenberg, L. (2011, May 5). The fastest-rising baby names of 2010: triumph of the teen mom. The Baby Name Wizard, Retrieved from http://www.babynamewizard.com/archives/2011/5/the-fastest-rising-baby-names-of-2010-triumph-of-the-teen-mom on June 5, 2011.

5Revealed: baby name regrets (2010, May 10). The Sun, Retrieved from http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2966872/Revealed-Baby-name-regrets.html on June 5, 2011.



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, www.socionomics.net. 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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