Researcher and lecturer spoke at 5th Annual Social Mood Conference
Matt Lampert is a graduate of the University of Cambridge where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology. Lampert served as the associate director of the Socionomics Institute before becoming the Institute’s first research fellow and enrolling at the university. He has lectured about socionomic theory and the Elliott wave model across the US and Europe.
Lampert was among the ten speakers at the 2015 Social Mood Conference on April 11 at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta.
Before the conference, Lampert spoke with Alexandra Lienhard about the conference and his background in socionomics. You can click the play button to watch the conversation, or read a transcript below.
Socionomics Foundation: To start off with, Matt, can you tell me how you first learned about socionomics?
Matt Lampert: I played the drums in a band in high school. We practiced at the bass player’s house, and his dad was a drummer—which was great because he agreed to let me use his drum set. As it turns out, the bass player was Elliott Prechter and his dad is Bob Prechter, the founder of socionomic theory. I ended up doing some work for Bob out of his basement in high school and college. I helped him transfer his record collection onto CDs. And in the evenings, I learned about socionomic theory from him in bits and pieces at the family dinner table.
SF: You’re currently in the process of completing your doctorate at the University of Cambridge. Can you talk about the focus of your thesis?
Matt Lampert: I’m in the sociology department. Sociologists are great at predicting the future, as long as the future resembles an extension of present trends. The task becomes more difficult when the future involves dynamic change. It’s one thing to try to explain radical change in the past, but it’s another to actually anticipate it—to look at a present trend in real-time and recognize that its reversal is likely imminent. My thesis is on ‘path dependence,’ which is a framework that social scientists have used to attempt to explain the continuation of social trends. I show that if you look at it from a different angle, you can actually also use it to explain—and even anticipate—trend changes. The trick is that it works best when you look at it through the lens of socionomic theory and the Elliott wave model.
SF: Where do you see socionomics and social mood research going in the next few years?
Matt Lampert: The challenge going forward is going to be to continue to do good work and then craft our message about it in a way that resonates with people so that they can see its relevance. I’m most excited about working to bridge the world of theory and research with the world of real-world application so that we can use socionomics to address problems that people and organizations deal with all the time—questions like: Should we be concerned that an ongoing disease outbreak will turn into an epidemic? What can we do to make our company’s brand more appealing? Is a country’s military grandstanding a real threat or just empty bluster? These are questions that socionomics can help answer. It’s a fascinating theory, but its real power comes in its application.
SF: You’ve spoken at numerous academic conferences over the years and even won an award or two for your presentations. Can you share some tips on how you present complex research in an understandable and compelling format?
Matt Lampert: This is a topic that I’ve thought a lot about, and I think these lines sum it up pretty well:
Show why your work is important
Love what you do
Tell a good story
And let your passion shine through
If you’re being clear and having a good time, then your audience will probably understand what you’re saying and be enjoying themselves, too.
SF: As a speaker at previous Social Mood Conferences, what are you most looking forward to at this year’s event?
Matt Lampert: The conference is one of my favorite days of the year. The research and presentations are always outstanding, but what sets the day apart are the people. I get to have conversation after conversation with folks who are as wired up and fired up about social mood research as I am. And as usual, this year we have some excellent speakers. In fact, one speech that I can’t wait to hear is from my former bandmate, Elliott Prechter. He’s going to talk about EWAVES, an artificial intelligence program that automates Elliott wave analysis. That’s awesome! He’s going to tell you about the program. He’s going to talk about some pitfalls that other trading system designers falls into. It should be fantastic. The last time he and I shared a stage, we were playing music. Now he’s graduated from MIT, I’ve graduated from Cambridge, and we’re talking about social mood and markets. Trust me, it’s a big improvement. It should be a lot of fun.