A bandwagon effect is a form of group thinking where individuals are more likely to confirm as more people adopt an idea. In other words, following rest without thinking. It happens a lot with us. Sometimes people vote for a specific candidate just because of popularity. It gives the impression that many people agree on the same thing or are on board with the same idea.
The bandwagon effect is primarily used to attract people’s support for a cause, an organization, or an idea. It’s also known as the copycat effect. So this is used in lots of different settings like politics, advertisement, and business. Sometimes people make things or events viral by this effect.
People believe a sure thing the more likely a new person is to adopt that behavior or action without considering any other reason. The human brain thinks about it biologically without asking and wants shortcuts to making a quick decision.
What is Bandwagon effect?
Bandwagon is a cognitive bias that carries a lot of people mentioning the herd mentality. A lot of people tend to follow the herd and do whatever everyone else is doing. People are chasing the biggest trend all the time. According to this principle, the product’s increasing popularity or phenomenon encourages more people to get on the bandwagon. People want to get the latest smartphones just because of everyone else. This tendency to follow others has its positive and negative effects.
There’s a disturbing trend going on with social media, and that’s the inability for people to express what they feel. The bandwagon effect is when one does something primarily because others are doing it. In this case, one believes something because others are believing. It is in argument form, known as the appeal to popularity or the appeal to popular opinion. It changes your belief and pushes you in specific directions based on the popularity of the faith itself.
The bandwagon effect promotes something called group thinks. It means when a large group of people together, they tend to think similarly. It’s easier to convince someone of something if a large group believes the same thing. It’s the idea that many people who are together will tend to agree about certain things. And it’s easier for somebody to agree with others if there’s a large group who already believes this. The main goal of this effect is to convince the audience that they’re missing out on something.
The bandwagon effect also makes people feel isolated, as if they aren’t on the bandwagon, as the phrase goes. So they feel isolated because the person speaking to them looks pretty confident and seems to believe something that they don’t. The majority of Americans agree that this is maybe more common with politics, where a politician is saying most Americans agree.
Example of Bandwagon effect
The bandwagon effect has been reflected in a study comparing messages designed to increase hotel bath towel usage. Message one was to care for the environment and reuse your bath towel. While message two was 75% of patrons care for the environment by reusing their bath towels. The reuse rate was 35% with the first message, while the reuse rate was 44.5% with the second message.
In other words, bath towel reuse rates increased by 9.5% when patrons were told that other patrons were doing it.
- Firstly, Consumers are attracted to bandwagons and to behaving in a way they believe others are.
- Secondly, while many people consider themselves individuals, most people are attracted to following social norms.
- Thirdly, creating the impression that behavior is normal can increase its frequency. Consumers are far more likely to stop and look at a supermarket display if other people have stopped and are looking at that supermarket display.
Bandwagon effect in marketing
We are likely to see what others are interested in buying and using. If a lot of people are buying something, there must be something right with the product! There are cases where you can make the right decisions about buying something by looking at what others are buying. But the problem is the marketing managers of every single company also know that.
So they try to use this effect for themselves and promote their brand. They might say something like nine out of ten mothers, or nine out of ten doctors use it or recommend it. The companies are going to use positive statements. The fact is that less than 2% of consumers are trendsetters, and 98% percent of consumers join bandwagons.
Bandwagon effect in finance
The bandwagon effect can also have an impact on finance and investment. Why does the value of the stock of a company increases? Most of the reasons involve the company doing an excellent job, not the stock market. The actual industry is doing business, and if the company does good in the actual market, its stock prices will go up. That is the main reason why the stock prices of any company go up. But sometimes, people think that if the stocks are being sold a lot means that the stocks are doing good in the market.
So more people start to buy the stock. As a result, the price of the specific stock goes up, and some people might think that the short-term increase in the stock price is a good indication that the price will keep increasing over time. It creates a positive feedback loop that keeps increasing the value of the stock.
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Kiss, Áron; Simonovits, Gábor (2014). “Identifying the bandwagon effect in two-round elections.”
Schmitt‐Beck, Rüdiger, “Bandwagon Effect,” The International Encyclopedia of Political Communication, American Cancer Society.
Colman, Andrew. Oxford Dictionary of Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.