The Bandwagon Effect: Why People Tend to Follow the Crowd - Deepstash
The Bandwagon Effect: Why People Tend to Follow the Crowd

The Bandwagon Effect: Why People Tend to Follow the Crowd

Curated from: effectiviology.com

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The bandwagon effect

It's a cognitive bias that causes people to think or act in a certain manner because they believe that other people are doing the same.

For example, the bandwagon effect might cause someone to adopt a certain political ideology, simply because influential people in their social circle have adopted the same ideology.

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Examples of the bandwagon effect

  • The bandwagon effect can influence people’s political choices.
  • It can influence consumers’ decisions regarding which products to buy.
  • It can influence users’ decisions regarding how to rate stories or comments.
  • It can influence investors’ financial choices.
  • It can influence doctors’ medical decisions.
  • It can influence organizations’ implementation of new technologies.

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Why the bandwagon effect happens

It serves as a mental shortcut that people instinctively use in order to make a decision quickly.

Specifically, bandwagon cues, which are signs that other people believe something or are doing something, can trigger the thought that “if other people like this, then I should too”.

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Avoid the bandwagon effect

  • Slow down your reasoning process. Let some time pass between the point at which you encounter social cues and the point at which you make a final decision on something.
  • Set up optimal conditions for decision making. Choose to only make a certain decision when you’re by yourself.
  • Consider alternative options. Think about alternative options that you can choose beyond the one that is adopted by the majority.

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Take advantage of the bandwagon effect

Take advantage of the bandwagon effect

For example, you could choose to openly display social proof or bandwagon cues, in order to signal to other people that there is support for whatever it is you are promoting

Video-sharing sites demonstrate the benefits of displaying these cues, since people often use popularity cues such as the number of views that a video has in order to decide whether to watch it or not.

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