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» Economics » Marketing » Topics begins with T » Trend (sociology)

Page modified: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 22:28:16

A trend (v. English trend; out mittelhochdt.: trendeln, downward) is a mode tendency, which direction, rolls to gyroscopes, into which a development goes.

Trends are observably, in the sociological context however only with difficulty measurable. Their further process can be measured mostly approached, but only partly affected. The trend research is concerned with the observation and forecast of trends. There and in the trend consultation a more strongly goal-oriented definition became generally accepted:

A trend is a new view in society, economics or technology, which release a new movement and/or march direction. A fundamental change (reversal) of a trend is called "change of trend ".


Trend research does not have to do anything with possible white saying. Trend research concerns itself with social processes of change. Here it does not concern accurate predicting. But which knows the trend research very probably, it is, to recognize and understand these processes of change, in order to interpret it in the long run.

Trends in the behavior or with products are often seized by the public opinion poll. They are influenceable by advertisement and trendsetter and have crucial effects on the consumer behaviour of the consumers or preferring certain mode features in the social and leisure range.

With inquiries to economic or political topics the number of the asked ones and/or the "sample" must be large enough (hundreds to thousands). Their selection should be representative coincidentally, but for the population and/or the consumers of the product. The proportional uncertainty is called "range"; the estimation of the trend takes place frequently via graphic procedures (for example Charttechnik at the stock exchange).


For particularly profound and lasting trends, which concern social and technological changes, the future researcher John Naisbitt coined/shaped the term megatrend. Also the German researcher Matthias Horx uses this term. It names trends, which cover practically the whole western culture and whose duration at least covers decades, as for instance globalization, increasing life expectancy and the meaning of new technologies.

Examples: Wellness, Cocooning, new civilness

Methods of the trend research

For the statement of trends there are special methods, how

  • statistic analyses of tolerances - for instance with mass products,
  • the Delphi method (questioning of outstanding specialists)
  • Prognosis procedure and futurology

See also

Computer forecast, spirit of the time, time taste, Sundays question, Holger Rust

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