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12 Examples of the Bandwagon Effect

The bandwagon effect is a tendency to do things that others are doing in order to join the group. This is often presented as a cognitive bias but this is not always the case as the instinct to join the group can be fully rational in some instances. The following are illustrative examples of the bandwagon effect.
Normative Social Influence
People commonly have a desire to belong to the group. In this context, doing what the group does may be somewhat rational. For example, if most people in your office go bowling every Friday joining in may increase your sense of belonging.
Informational Social Influence
Looking to others to determine information. For example, if you look outside and everyone on the street has an umbrella you may get an umbrella yourself.
Information Cascade
Where people look to others for information this can lead to an information cascade whereby this influence snowballs though a group. For example, if you see five people running from something you may join. This can snowball as more and more people running indicates some great danger. So an entire group can start running without any individual member of the group knowing why.
Social Conformity
Social conformity is a desire to fit into a group or a fear of standing out in a group. For example, people may be hesitant to be the first to raise their hand in a group in response to a question but may also not want to be the only one not to raise their hand.
Peer Pressure
Peer pressure is a tendency for groups to try to demand conformity of members. So not only to people tend to want to conform to a group, groups tend to want them to conform.
Collectivism is basically the bandwagon effect as a value system whereby people value group membership, belonging and group harmony over being an individual who stands out from the group.
Groupthink is a tendency to try to shape your opinions and speech to match the accepted opinions of the group.
Social Proof
Social proof is a tendency to evaluate things using hints about social status such as popularity. For example, not wanting to listen to a podcast that doesn't have many listeners.
Preference for the Winning Side
A tendency to want to be on the winning side. For example, joining popular opinions in order to automatically have most people agree with you.
Fear of Missing Out
Fear of missing out is an emotion that is triggered by not experiencing or participating in things that are popular. For example, an investor who suddenly feels they are missing out on some investment trend such that they buy something in a panic.
Reverse Bandwagon Effect
Some people will actively avoid popular things and opinions in order to preserve their sense of individuality. For example, an independent film enthusiast who tries to avoid popular films.
Snob Effect
The snob effect is the reverse bandwagon effect motivated by social status. For example, a wealthy individual who is a fan of a luxury brand until they offer a lower cost product line that makes the brand more common.
More about social behavior:
Bandwagon Effect
Community Behavior
Devils Advocate
Difficult Behaviors
Digital Social Life
Formal Situations
Group Behavior
Group Dynamics
Interpersonal Relationships
Passive Aggressive
Personal Relationship
Social Accomplishments
Social Aspects
Social Belonging
Social Character
Social Conformity
Social Connections
Social Contagion
Social Context
Social Customs
Social Development
Social Interests
Social Psychology
Social Things
Social Traits
Social Validation
Status Seeking
Super Ego
Theory Of Mind
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