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Bandwagon Effect: Definition, Examples and Effects

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

The Bandwagon Effect is a phenomenon in which people do something simply because others are doing it, regardless of their own beliefs, which they may ignore or override. This phenomenon gets its name from the phrase "jump on the bandwagon," which means to join a popular activity or trend. It's closely related to other social psychology concepts like groupthink and herd behavior. Understanding the Bandwagon Effect can help us make better decisions and avoid being influenced by the crowd.

Examples: The Bandwagon Effect can be seen in many aspects of life. For example, when a new fashion trend emerges, people may be more likely to wear it simply because others are wearing it. Similarly, when a political candidate gains popularity, people may be more likely to vote for them simply because they are popular.

Effects: The Bandwagon Effect can have both positive and negative effects. On the positive side, it can help spread ideas and trends quickly and contribute to social cohesion. On the negative side, it can lead to people making decisions based on what is popular rather than what is best for them. It can also lead to people blindly following the crowd without considering the consequences of their actions.

Do you want to expand your knowledge on this topic? Read our full in-depth article on cognitive biases.

Do you have extra 15 minutes today? Take our fun and interactive quiz to learn which of 16 reasoning styles you use, your overall level of rationality, and what you can do now to improve your rationality skills.


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