Bandwagon Effect

Ideas, fads, and beliefs grow as more people adopt them.

social belief politics

Maria believes figet spinners help her children. Adrian does, too

The bandwagon effect is the tendency to do something because a lot of other people are doing it. It takes advantage of herd mentality and social influence. People who are more likely to be influenced by others and want to fit in will be more likely to join in on the bandwagon, even if they don’t really agree with it. This can cause people to form a negative consensus, where a group of people starts believing something without really knowing why.

People might also be influenced by the bandwagon effect just because seeing everyone else do something makes it seem like it's a good idea. This includes seeing friends on Facebook or Instagram posting about a new product or service, or seeing celebrities or influencers wearing a certain piece of clothing.

The bandwagon effect can happen in politics as well, when people see others supporting an idea and decide to follow suit, even if they don't really agree with that idea. For example, some people might think that voting for a certain candidate is just because other people are doing it, even if they have different opinions themselves.

You can avoid it by doing the following

  • Think about why you are doing something – what do you hope to achieve?
  • Keep an open mind – don’t base your decisions on what you see other people doing, but rather what feels right to you in your own way.
  • If there’s something that you really want to do, make sure that it is right for you and that it is something that you can see yourself doing for a long time.