The bandwagon effect refers to the leaning people have to adopt a certain behavior, style, or attitude merely because everyone else is doing it. The more people that adopt a particular tendency, the more probably it becomes that other people will besides hop on the bandwagon .


The bandwagon effect is separate of a larger group of cognitive biases or errors in thinking that influence the judgments and decisions that people make. cognitive biases are often designed to help people think and reason more quickly, but they much introduce miscalculations and mistakes.


Below are some examples of the Bandwagon effect :

  • Diets: When it seems like everyone is adopting a certain fad diet, people become more likely to try the diet themselves.
  • Elections: People are more likely to vote for the candidate that they think is winning.
  • Fashion: Many people begin wearing a certain style of clothing as they see others adopt the same fashions.
  • Music: As more and more people begin listening to a particular song or musical group, it becomes more likely that other individuals will listen as well.
  • Social Networks: As increasing numbers of people start using certain online social networking websites, other individuals become more likely to begin using those sites as well. The bandwagon effect can also influence how posts are shared as well as interactions within online groups.

influential Factors

thus, why precisely does the bandwagon effect happen ? Individuals are highly influenced by the atmospheric pressure and norms exerted by groups. When it seems like the majority of the group is doing a certain thing, not doing that thing becomes increasingly unmanageable .

This imperativeness to fit in can impact many different aspects of behavior, from what people wear to who they vote for in political races. Some of the factors that can influence the bandwagon effect include :


The bandwagon impression is basically a type of groupthink. As more people adopt a detail fad or swerve, the more probable it becomes that other people will besides “ hop on the bandwagon. ” When it seems that everyone is doing something, there is a frightful pressure to conform, which is possibly why the bandwagon behaviors tend to form so easily.

A desire to Be right

People want to be correct. They want to be separate of the acquire side. part of the reason people adjust is that they look to other people in their social group for information about what is correct or acceptable. If it seems like everyone else is doing something, then people are left with the mental picture that it is the chastise thing to do.

A want to Be Included

reverence of exclusion besides plays a function in the bandwagon effect. People generally do not want to be the curious one out, so going along with what the rest of the group is doing is a means to ensure inclusion and social toleration .

The motivation to belong pressures people to adopt the norms and attitudes of the majority to gain acceptance and approval from the group. While the bandwagon effect can be identical potent and leads to the ready formation of trends, these behaviors besides tend to be reasonably flimsy. People jump on the bandwagon quickly, but they besides jump off it merely as fast. This is possibly why trends tend to be so flit .

negative Effects

The shock of these bandwagon trends is frequently relatively harmless, such as in fashion, music, or pop culture fads. sometimes they can be far more dangerous. When certain ideas begin to take delay, such as particular attitudes toward health issues, bandwagon beliefs can have serious and damaging consequences .

Some minus or flush dangerous examples of the bandwagon effect :

  • Individuals who were influenced by the anti-vaccination movement, for example, became less likely to get routine childhood immunizations for their children. This large-scale avoidance of vaccinations has been linked to a recent measles outbreak. 
  • Researchers have found that when people learn that a particular candidate is leading in the polls, they are more likely to change their vote to conform to the winning side.  In one study carried out during the 1992 U.S. presidential election, students who learned that Bill Clinton was leading the race in some polls switched their intended vote from Bush to Clinton. 

A Word From Verywell

While the bandwagon effect can have dangerous consequences, it can besides lead to the adoption of healthy behaviors. If it seems that the majority of people reject insalubrious behaviors ( such as smoke ) and embrace healthy choices ( such as exercising and working out ), people may then become more probably to avoid hazardous choices and engage in healthy actions .

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