•1 Overall design
•3 Behavioral characteristics and wave "signature"
•4 Pattern recognition and fractals
•5 Fibonacci relationships
•6 After Elliott
•7 Rediscovery and current use
•9 See also
•12 External links
 Overall design
The wave principle posits that collective investor psychology (or crowd psychology) moves from optimism to pessimism and back again. These swings create patterns, as evidenced in the price movements of a market at every degree of trend.
From R.N. Elliott's essay, "The Basis of the Wave Principle," October 1940. Practically all developments which result from (human) socialeconomic processes follow a law that causes them to repeat themselves in similar and constantly recurring series of waves of definite number and pattern. R. N. Elliott's model, in Nature’s Law: The Secret of the Universe says that market prices alternate between five waves and three waves at all degrees within a trend, as the illustration shows. As these waves develop, the larger price patterns unfold in a self-similar fractal geometry. Within the dominant trend, waves 1, 3, and 5 are "motive" waves, and each motive wave itself subdivides in five waves. Waves 2 and 4 are "corrective" waves, and subdivide in three waves. In a bear market the dominant trend is downward, so the pattern is reversed—five waves down and three up. Motive waves always move with the trend, while corrective waves move opposite it.  Degree
The patterns link to form five and three-wave structures which themselves underlie self-similar wave structures of increasing size or higher "degree." Note the lower most of the three idealized cycles. In the first small five-wave sequence, waves 1, 3 and 5 are motive, while waves 2 and 4 are corrective. This signals that the movement of the wave one degree higher is upward. It also signals the start of the first small three-wave corrective sequence. After the initial five waves up and three waves down, the sequence begins again and the self-similar fractal geometry begins to unfold according the five and three-wave structure which it underlies one degree higher. The completed motive pattern includes 89 waves, followed by a completed corrective pattern of 55 waves. Each degree of a pattern in a financial market has a name. Practitioners use symbols for each wave to indicate both function and degree—numbers for motive waves, letters for corrective waves (shown in the highest of the three idealized series of wave structures or degrees). Degrees are relative; they are defined by form, not by absolute size or duration. Waves of the same degree may be of very different size and/or duration. The classification of a wave at any particular degree can vary, though practitioners generally agree on the standard order of degrees (approximate durations given): •Grand supercycle: multi-century
•Supercycle: multi-decade (about 40-70 years)
•Cycle: one year to several years (or even several decades under an Elliott Extension) •Primary: a few months to a couple of years