What is the Principle of Polarity?

6 mins read
by Angel One
Discover the essential concept of the 'principle of polarity' in stock market technical analysis, a key to mastering price action for informed trading decisions.

In stock market trading, technical analysis serves as a compass, guiding investors through the maze of price fluctuations. At the heart of this analytical approach lies the ‘principle of polarity.’ Simple yet profound, this principle forms a critical link between theoretical understanding and practical application, offering a transparent perspective on market trends. Grasping this concept is vital for traders aiming to sail through the stock market’s dynamic waves with increased assurance.

Principle of Polarity Meaning

The ‘principle of polarity’ in technical analysis is a fascinating study of market psychology and price action. Essentially, this principle explores the fluid transformation of support and resistance levels in stock prices. Support is where a stock’s price finds a floor, a point at which decline halts due to a surplus of buying over selling pressure. Conversely, resistance is a ceiling, where selling pressure overcomes buying, halting an upward trend.

However, the principle of polarity illustrates that these levels are not static. When a stock’s price breaks through a support level, that support level often becomes a new resistance level. Why does this happen? It’s a psychological shift. The area that was once seen as a ‘good value’ for buying now becomes a point where investors reassess their positions, often deciding to sell. This psychological shift turns support into resistance.

Similarly, when a stock price breaks through a resistance level, that ceiling becomes a new floor. The area that once seemed too high to buy now becomes a perceived value zone. Traders who missed buying earlier may jump in, fearing missing out on further gains. This transformation, from resistance to support, again hinges on trader psychology and market sentiment.

To truly grasp this principle, one must look beyond mere chart lines. It demands an understanding of the human emotions that fuel market movements: fear, greed, and the collective mentality. Thus, the principle of polarity is not just a technical instrument; it’s a lens into the market’s collective psyche.

Real-World Application of the Polarity Principle

The concept of polarity in trading is both fascinating and complex, calling for a sharp eye and deep market insights. 

Picture this scenario: a stock has been climbing steadily. It hits a level—known as resistance where, suddenly, people start selling it off. This activity forms a peak, after which the stock’s value drops. Traders keep a watchful eye when the stock nears this point again. If it pushes past this resistance, the polarity principle tells us that this level will transform into a new support.

In practical trading scenarios, this principle is a valuable tool for setting entry and exit points. For instance, if a trader notices that a stock has broken through a significant resistance level, they might enter a long position, anticipating that the price will continue to rise. Similarly, if a stock falls through a support level, it might signal a good opportunity to sell or even to enter a short position.

However, it’s crucial to remember that this principle is not error-free. It’s one of many tools in technical analysis and should be used alongside others, as well as fundamental analysis. It’s not a crystal ball, but it does shed light on potential market trends.

Why is the Principle of Polarity Important?

This principle is crucial because it captures the mindset of those participating in the market. The switch from a support to a resistance level (or the other way around) mirrors a shift in what the market collectively thinks and feels. Understanding this shift can give traders a vital edge, allowing them to anticipate and react to market changes more effectively.

Moreover, the principle of polarity is a constant reminder that financial markets are ever-changing, not static. They’re vibrant landscapes, coloured and altered by human actions and reactions. For anyone trading or investing, acknowledging this ever-shifting nature is key to manoeuvring through the financial markets.

Identifying Polarity Shifts: A Trader’s Perspective

One of the key challenges in utilising the principle of polarity lies in accurately identifying the shifts from support to resistance and vice versa. This isn’t just a quick look at charts; it’s about deeply understanding market trends and how prices move. Traders often blend several technical indicators – like moving averages, volume analysis, and candlestick patterns – to confirm these shifts. 

For example, a noticeable increase in volume when the price breaks through resistance might suggest that this resistance will now become support.

But, there’s a catch. It’s vital to recognise false breakouts. These are moments when it seems like the price is breaking a level, but it doesn’t continue in that direction. Misreading these can lead to wrong interpretations of polarity shifts. 

Experienced traders usually wait for more signs, such as checking if the new level is retested before they act. Balancing quick decision-making with careful analysis is crucial. This skill comes with experience and ongoing learning.

Combining Polarity with Other Analytical Tools

Polarity on its own is useful, but it’s even more powerful when combined with other analysis methods. For example, merging polarity analysis with Elliott Wave Theory can shed light on potential future price movements, considering the larger market cycles. Or, pairing it with fundamental analysis can give a more rounded view, which is especially beneficial for long-term investments.

Practical Implications for Investors and Traders

For long-term investors, understanding polarity shifts helps in making smarter decisions about when to buy more or start selling. A key polarity shift at an important price level could signal a good time to act.

Day traders and swing traders, on the other hand, use these shifts to pinpoint exact moments to enter or exit trades, set stop-loss levels, and manage risks. For them, polarity isn’t just theory; it’s a day-to-day tool impacting their trading choices.


Understanding the markets becomes clearer with the ‘principle of polarity’ at your fingertips. It’s a key concept, illuminating the often complex dynamics of market forces. By grasping this principle, traders can sharpen their market trend analysis, leading to more informed, strategic decisions in trading.

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What exactly is the Principle of Polarity in stock market analysis?

In stock market technical analysis, the Principle of Polarity suggests a transformation: a support level, once broken, becomes a resistance level, and the other way around. It’s rooted in how market participants think and react, reflecting their changing attitudes.

How is the Principle of Polarity connected to trading's support and resistance levels?

Support and resistance levels in trading are like predictors, hinting at where prices might stop and potentially change direction. The Principle of Polarity plays into this by indicating that these levels are not fixed; a breached support can evolve into resistance, and likewise, a crossed resistance can turn into support.

Is this Principle of Polarity applicable across different financial markets?

Absolutely, it’s a versatile concept. Whether you’re dealing with stocks, forex, or commodities, the Principle of Polarity holds its ground in technical analysis across all these financial markets.

How do traders spot a polarity shift in the market?

Spotting a polarity shift involves keenly observing price charts. It’s typically signalled when a price firmly breaks through a well-established support or resistance level. This is even more evident when a surge in trading volume accompanies such a break.

What are some typical errors to avoid in applying the Principle of Polarity?

Some pitfalls include leaning too heavily on this principle alone, misreading support and resistance levels, and acting without waiting for a clear confirmation of a shift in polarity.