Bandwagon Effect as a Cognitive Bias

Cognitive Biases — The Bandwagon Effect | by Michael Gearon | Medium

Bandwagon Effect as a Cognitive Bias

The bandwagon effect occurs when people do, believe or say something because they see other people are doing it (so it must be right), despite the fact that it might not line up with their their own beliefs, which they tend to ignore.

The bandwagon effect is becoming more prominent in today’s world with social media influencers, review websites TripAdvisor and even the ecommerce sites Amazon and Ebay, in customers’ reviews. As Francis Bacon once said:

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.

A bandwagon

The term bandwagon refers to a cart that carries a band through a parade.

As the wagon went through the streets, the musicians would encourage people to jump aboard and enjoy the music that was being played.

The phrase “Jump On The Bandwagon” came into use in 1848 during the American elections. In particular, it was used by Dan Rice, a clown, who referenced it when he participated in political campaigns to promote candidate Taylor.

In the end the campaign was successful, with Zachary Taylor becoming president in 1849.

The psychological implications of this social proof bias is that we tend to go along with the majority rather than branching out on our own.

We’re influenced by other people’s choices and we feel that, because someone else has done something, it makes sense to follow that path.

Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho — Flock of Sheep — Flickr

Whenever we’ve got a decision to make we want to be on the wining side, we look towards our peers, friends and family to see what is right or acceptable and in our social groups there is pressure to conform and be “normal” — just jump on the bandwagon.

Queuing for an iPhone at the Apple Store by Newtown Grafitti on Flickr

The big one

One of my favourite examples of the bandwagon effect in the retail industry is the famous queues outside the Apple Stores before they release the next new iGadget.

People wait for hours and even go to extremes such as camping overnight to get their hands on the new iWhatever, causing the perception that it’s worth waiting for, which increases the value of the product.

Elections and politics

Elections are another example of this bias at work.

With news channels, social media platforms and other digital apps creating an influence that one candidate has more popularity over another, we sometimes skip our rational thought processes and instead believe a particular candidate is stronger than the others because they have more (positive) coverage and so we just vote for them, rather than looking at what they stand for.

Mobile apps

In terms of mobile apps, a good example of the bandwagon effect at work is Pokemon GO. Using word-of-mouth on , and other social media channels, there was a sudden incline in people talking about Pokemon Go which caused downloads of the app to spike as well.

You can probably think of a lot more examples of where social influence has played a huge part in persuading people to buy or invest their time into something, even though it goes against their natural instinct.

If you have a product to advertise, be cautious when using this bias. It’s natural to only talk about the positives of your product because you want everyone to love it as much as you do, but people will ly see through this, and wonder what negatives you’re (unintentionally) trying to cover up.

Find a balance between positive and negatives and if its a good product, people will naturally flock to it and jump on the bandwagon.

It’s also worth noting that you should be careful when using social proof (such as reviews, share buttons etc.), as it can backfire easily.

In an experiment done by VWO, they removed social media buttons from their site as the buttons didn’t have a high share count. They found the landing page with no social media share buttons improved conversion by 11.9%.

It goes to show that if you’ve got a product with amazing reviews and loads of shares, shouting about it can help create a social media buzz! On the other hand, if you don’t have much engagement, then removing social media buttons, for example, could help direct people to a more relevant call-to-action and allows you to improve the product first, before creating a (potentially) negative bandwagon effect — “hardly anyone has shared it on , and all the other reviews say it’s awful, so it must be true!”.

The best type of social proof is one that a person can relate to. If they can see that a person was in a similar situation and this product solved the problem for them then you will hook the potential customer.

“When you say it, it’s marketing. When your customer says it, it’s social proof.” Andy Crestodina

Overall the social proof of “jumping on the bandwagon” shows that we don’t make decisions as methodical or as rational as we to think — we can be swayed in our judgement.

Through the use of reviews, word-of-mouth, marketing and other channels you can cause people to fall in love with your product even if it isn’t the best product on the market.

On the flip side, you could also have a mass product-hating craze on your hands, but let’s not focus on the negative. Any publicity is good publicity… right?

Further reading on the cognitive biases series

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Источник: https://michaelgearon.medium.com/cognitive-biases-social-proof-the-bandwagon-effect-42aa07781fcc

Bandwagon effect: The most dangerous cognitive bias | Dr. Carl E. Balita

Bandwagon Effect as a Cognitive Bias

Humans are less intelligent than birds, that flock together with the same feathers, when they decide and take action ly on what is popular and through a mental process that does not involve thinking.

Sadly, the most intelligent steward of God’s creation endowed with intellect and freewill may not be using such gifts in making decisions in this modern age of information and science.

From choosing which post to and share on social media to who to vote as leaders of government, there seems to be an automatic behavior that does not go through the benefit of a correct thinking process.

We experience how easily we and share on social media upon seeing a headliner in a post—known as “bait”—without reading through the complete content and without understanding the context—only to discover later that they are fake.

Millions recently unfollowed Nas Daily, an influencer, because of his alleged scam involving our national treasure Apo Whang Od—only to regret in the end upon seeing the other side of the story.

Many parents are now influencing their children to go into weightlifting with hope that in time they will bring in the Olympics gold and the fortune that follows. The Manny Pacquiao effect is obvious among many Filipinos who have become interested in boxing.

As we approach the election season, there are surveys, some not sound scientific processes, that seem to strategically shape some biases over time towards election day. That is the Bandwagon Effect, one of the most dangerous of all cognitive biases.

Cognitive Biases. Heuristics. Fallacy

Researchers Tversky and Kahneman first introduced the concept of cognitive bias in 1972. Cognitive biases are unconscious errors in thinking rooted in a processing error often arising from problems in memory, attention, attribution and other mental mistakes.

These biases result from the brain’s effort to simplify the complexities of the world we live in.

The concept of cognitive bias became subject of research and the concept evolved across a wide range of areas of decision making in social behavior, thinking, behavioral economics, education, management, business, finance and health care.

There are several forms of cognitive biases, namely confirmation bias, hindsight bias, optimism bias, anchoring bias, among others.  While they can be surprisingly accurate, they can also lead to errors in thinking.

Cognitive biases stream from a number of sources, but it is heuristics, which are mental shortcuts, that often are referred to as major contributing role.

In the 1950s, Nobel-prize winning economist and cognitive psychologist Herbert Simon originally introduced the concept of heuristics.

He theorized that while people strive to make rational choices, human judgment is subject to cognitive limitations.

Heuristics can help solve problems and speed up our decision-making process, but they can introduce errors. Heuristics can also contribute to things such as stereotypes and prejudices.

Mental shortcuts can simply label, categorize and classify people.

Such may overlook more relevant information and create stereotyped categorizations that are not aligned with reality and sometime even with logical reason.

Cognitive bias called bandwagon effect

The bandwagon effect refers to our tendency to adopt a certain preference, behavior, style, feelings or attitude simply because everyone else is doing it. The more people adopt a particular trend, the more ly that other people will also hop on the bandwagon.

We are highly influenced by the social pressures and subjective norms that are exerted by groups. When it seems the majority of the members of the group is doing a certain thing,  doing that thing becomes increasingly easy. Bandwagon is a type of group thinking that exert pressure to conform.

This is also influenced by our fear of being excluded. We don’t want to be the odd one out. Going along is a comfortable way of inclusion and social acceptance.   People also desire to be right and to join the winning side. The social group becomes a source of information of what is right and acceptable. What the majority is doing denotes the impression that it is the correct thing to do.

We would remember some launching strategies of products that capitalize and publicize, (or even suspiciously orchestrate) the queueing of a mass number to draw the attention of those who may, curiosity, jump into the bandwagon. Seeing that customers are patiently in queue drives some assurance that the product or service must be good, and therefore, worth trying.

Even the news showing a massive number of people lining up in vaccination center was reason enough for the reluctant Filipinos to get vaccinated too. The same is true with music, fashion, diets, drinks and many aspects of lifestyle.

But such bandwagon holds dangerous implications for matters that are of greater value elections. For elections, it has been proven that people are most to vote for the candidate that they think is winning.

Surveys that lack credibility, validity and reliability, which only educated people really understand, can have destructive effect on what benefits our country. They simply influence people to jump on the bandwagon.

Political strategists will always look for the critical mass and focus their attention on wooing them to achieve a momentum, and eventually benefit from a bandwagon.

The fragility of the bandwagon

The bandwagon effect can be very powerful and leads to the ready formation of fads and trends. However, these behaviors also tend to be somewhat fragile and volatile. People jump on the bandwagon quickly, but they also jump off it just as fast. This is perhaps why fad tends to be so fleeting and quick to change.

How to deal with biases

While the cognitive biases operate in the unconscious, there are steps that can be taken to train the mind into to adopt new patterns of thinking to mitigate the impact of the biases.

First strategy is the awareness of the bias. Understanding that there are biases these is the beginning in re-framing the mind towards more critical thinking, objective decision-making and purposeful acting. There are actually training on how to reduce cognitive bias.

Another strategy includes an introspective approach to considering the factors that influence decisions overconfidence or self-interests. You need to think about the influences on your decisions. Such insights may help you make better choices.

To avoid the bandwagon in choosing from among the candidates, you may need to create a criteria on what matters most in the selection of whom to vote.

Given the valid information you may need to search and gather, you need to go back to the criteria and grade each candidate objectively.

We may need to also learn to challenge our biases. Critical thinking is about suspending judgment to allow us time to gather more evidence towards a more objective decision. Simple reflection of the following matters: what information could you have missed, what relevant information that doesn’t support your view could have been ignored, or what matters could you have given too much weight?

James Goldsmith warns that if we see a bandwagon, it is too late. That is because a bias has just taken place. It is up to us whether we will jump on them unquestioningly or jump on them to overturn them and subvert them. We don’t give up on our intellect to choose and our freedom to change.

Источник: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2021/08/10/bandwagon-effect-the-most-dangerous-cognitive-bias/

Bandwagon Effect — Biases & Heuristics

Bandwagon Effect as a Cognitive Bias

Consider the following hypothetical: John is an avid fan of his local basketball team. They are called “the Sharks.” John’s favorite team has always done well enough, and he loves attending their games with his friends every weekend.

One day, the league officials announce the formation of a new basketball team based in the neighboring town named the “the Fighters.

” This newly minted team soon rose to the top of the leaderboard, winning nearly all of their games that basketball season. Their popularity skyrocketed.

Soon, people from John’s town could be seen wearing Fighters’ jerseys and cheering them on at local bars. “Fighter mania” as it was called, spread all across the region.

The Sharks, John’s favourite team, were not doing so well. John’s friends, who were also supporters, slowly started switching allegiances to the more dominant and popular Fighters. Suddenly, John decided that he too d the Fighters. They did have a shot at winning this year’s championship, he thought to himself.

The next day, John could be seen cheering on the Fighters at his local bar — indistinguishable from the mass of other fans that formed Fighter mania.

The snowballing popularity of the Fighters, and John’s subsequent decision to support them, is a product of the bandwagon effect. Yes, the Fighters were a good team, but John began supporting them because so many around him had switched allegiances.

The bandwagon effect can extend beyond sports. It can affect all sorts of decisions we make in our lives. The primary worry is that it can override the individual critical thinking that often goes into making good decisions.

Decisions that benefit many other people do not always benefit us. Consider going to university: while this is a good option for many people (as evidenced by high enrolment in many advanced countries), it is not the right choice for everyone.

Some people might benefit more from deciding to take part in trade or apprenticeship programs. It is important that we evaluate ideas and behaviors on the basis of their merit and what they could mean for us, and then make decisions accordingly.

The bandwagon effect can prevent this from happening by convincing us that the right decision is the popular decision.

A lack of individual critical thinking can have particularly damaging implications when it is widespread. Social and political movements are often fueled by the bandwagon effect. Certainly, not all of them have served the public good or benefited those who join them.

People who join the anti-vaccination movement, for instance, become less ly to have their children regularly immunized. Widespread avoidance of vaccinations has been linked to harmful disease outbreaks such as measles.

1 History has shown that dangerous populist (sometimes fascist) movements are also driven by a snowballing uptake of political messages aimed at resonating with ‘ordinary people.’ Damaging movements are often enabled by the lack of critical thinking entailed by the bandwagon effect.

Cognitive biases such as the bandwagon effect can also negatively influence several professions. In finance, for instance, investors may see a large uptake in capital as a signal to follow suit.

A buying frenzy can ensue, where prices are driven up by widespread speculation that they will continue rising. This is known as a “price bubble,” which can crash with spectacular consequences for investors and average people a.

The 2008 housing crisis exemplifies such a phenomenon.

As an idea or belief increases in popularity, we are more ly to adopt it. There are a few reasons for this. The first of which is efficiency:

Our brain uses shortcuts

These shortcuts are called “heuristics.” This effect serves as a heuristic by allowing us to make a decision quickly. Thinking through a behavior or idea and deciding whether it is worth supporting or not takes time.

Many of us see widespread adoption as a cue that we should adopt a similar stance. This is to say, we skip the long process of individual evaluation and rely on other people, measured by widespread popularity.

This is a sign that many people are in favour of an idea or behavior, so we can safely decide to adopt it.2

We want to fit in

Most of us dis being excluded from communities, social events, and so forth. Unfortunately, exclusion can be the upshot of ‘standing out.

’ To avoid being the odd one out, many of us go along with the behavior or ideas of a group we find ourselves in. Conformity ensures some degree of inclusion and social acceptance.

This can be taken a step further, as we can sometimes adopt or champion the norms or attitudes of the group to gain approval and bolster our position.3

We want to be on the winning side

Often, it is the ideas or beliefs of the larger social group or ‘majority’ that are seen as right, and subsequently adopted.

This may be subconscious, so we may not intentionally accept the majority opinion because we want to be on the ‘winning side.

’ It may be the case that we have evolved to instinctively support popular beliefs because standing against the tide represented by the majority can be disadvantageous at best and dangerous at worst.4

It is important that we don’t put too much faith in popular opinion as a tool for judging the worth of certain ideas and behaviors.

As mentioned above, what is good for the majority of people may not be good for you. Further still, it might not be morally or situationally right.

People often make harmful decisions when they are part of a crowd in what’s known as “mob mentality.” It is best to avoid this.

Judging ideas and behaviors ourselves according to their merit rather than popularity can also develop our critical thinking skills.

Even the product of this process can be valuable: realizing unique stances forms your individual sense of identity. We don’t all want to be the same.

There’s often benefits to standing out, such as recognition and pride in your own conviction. Deciding to ‘hop on the bandwagon’ as it is commonly said, can negate the benefits.

While it is impossible to completely rid ourselves of the bandwagon effect, we may be able to counteract our tendency to automatically use social cues as a driving factor when making influential decisions. This can be achieved by first slowing down our decision making process.

Allowing some time to pass between when we notice the social signal and our final decision, can allow for critical thinking and prevent us from quickly adopting a popular idea. Second, try to make decisions in an environment where you don’t feel pressured by other people.

Lastly, consider alternative options that go against the majority view.

They may prove to be more beneficial, or at least mitigate the appeal of going with the prevailing sentiment.5

While the phenomenon of ideas becoming more appealing in virtue of their popularity is not a new discovery, using the term “bandwagon” to denote the effect began in 1848. During Zachary Taylor’s successful United States presidential campaign, a performance clown that was popular at the time invited Taylor to join his circus bandwagon.

Taylor received a significant amount of recognition, and people started claiming that his political opponents might also want to “jump on the bandwagon.”6 Academic study of the bandwagon effect gained traction in the 1980s, as scholars studied the effect of public opinion polls on voter opinions.

It was feared that published polls encouraged people to vote according to popular opinion rather than their knowledge of the issues at hand.7

The bandwagon effect is thought to influence political elections as voters are drawn to parties or candidates that they perceive as being popular and therefore ly to win the election. A team of researchers in Germany led by Magdalena Obermaier conducted an experiment with 765 participants in 2017 to look into this relationship.

Participants were told that they were joining a study on the news coverage before a local election.

They were given news articles about a fictitious mayoral election of a German town, followed by information of the candidates’ history.

Next participants were divided into groups that were given different polls: one showed a candidate losing by a wide margin, another showed a candidate winning by a large margin, and the last group was not shown any polls.

The results supported the influence of bandwagon effect, as polling information (ie. perceived popularity) had a strong influence on whether or not participants expected a candidate to win or not. When no poll was available, participants formed their opinion using candidates’ history.8

The bandwagon effect can influence the decisions made by doctors. Many medical procedures that have been widely practiced for periods in history have subsequently been disproven. Doctors’ widespread use and support of them can be attributed to their popularity at the time.

Professor Emeritus of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Layton F. Rikkers calls these prevailing practices “medical bandwagons.” He defines this as “the overwhelming acceptance of unproved but popular [medical] ideas.”9

Rikkers offers the example of tonsillectomy (the removal of one’s tonsils) as a recent example of medical bandwagons. He notes that although the practice can be beneficial in some specific cases, scientific support for the universal use it saw was never published. Doctors were drawn to tonsillectomy not on the basis of its effectiveness, but because they saw it was widely used.

The bandwagon effect refers to our habit of adopting certain behaviors or beliefs because many other people do the same.

Why it happens

As an idea or belief increases in popularity, we are more ly to adopt it. The first reason for this, is that the bandwagon effect serves as a heuristic by allowing us to make a decision quickly.

We skip the long process of individual evaluation and rely on other people to do it for us. Because widespread popularity as a sign many people were in favour of an idea or behavior, we also decide to adopt it.

Second, to avoid standing out and being excluded as a result, many of us support the behavior or ideas of a group we find ourselves in. Third, we accept the majority opinion because we want to be on the ‘winning side.

’ It may be the case that we have evolved to instinctively support popular beliefs because standing against the tide represented by the majority can be disadvantageous at best and dangerous at worst.

How to avoid it

We may be able to counteract our tendency to automatically use social cues as a driving factor when making influential decisions. This can be achieved by first slowing down our decision making process.

Allowing some time to pass between when we notice the social signal and our final decision, can allow for critical thinking and prevent us from quickly adopting a popular idea. Second, try to make decisions in an environment where you don’t feel pressured by other people.

Lastly, consider alternative options that go against the majority view.

They may prove to be more beneficial, or at least mitigate the appeal of going with the prevailing sentiment.

Example 1 – Snowballing political campaigns

The bandwagon effect is thought to influence political elections as voters are drawn to parties or candidates that they perceive as being popular and therefore ly to win the election.

A 2017 study done by German researchers looked into this relationship by studying the effects of polling information on voter perceptions surrounding a fictitious mayoral election. The results supported the influence of bandwagon effect, as polling information (ie.

perceived popularity) had a strong influence on whether or not participants expected a candidate to win or not.

Example 2 – Historical influence on medicine

The bandwagon effect can influence the decisions made by doctors. Many medical procedures that have been widely practiced for periods in history have subsequently been disproven. Doctors’ widespread use and support of them can be attributed to their popularity at the time.

Tonsillectomy is cited as a recent example of medical bandwagons. Although the practice is said to be beneficial in some specific cases, scientific support for the universal use it saw was lacking.

Doctors were drawn to tonsillectomy not on the basis of its effectiveness, but because they saw it was widely used.

Источник: https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/bandwagon-effect/

The Bandwagon Effect: How to Jump Off This Cognitive Bias!

Bandwagon Effect as a Cognitive Bias

The bandwagon effect is a phenomenon that can be seen all around us. A great example of the bandwagon effect occurred back in 2010. ‘Something’ occurred at a well-known U.S.

organization due to the bandwagon effect, which caused them to fire 30 members of their sales staff because they were no longer needed.

The reason? They sold everything they had to sell, so those employees weren’t necessary anymore.

Can you guess the organization I am talking about and what it is that occurred?

I will come back to that at the end of this blog post.

First, let’s discuss…

The Bandwagon Effect and It’s Origin

The bandwagon effect is a psychological phenomenon where you engage in something simply because it’s popular and others are doing it. It may even cause you to override or ignore your own beliefs.

In other words, the popularity of ideas, fads, beliefs increases the more they are embraced by others. It is seen in politics, advertising, fashion, social media, and sports to name just a few areas.

As for the word bandwagon itself, it is “a wagon, usually large and ornately decorated, for carrying a musical band while it is playing, as in a circus parade or to a political rally.” 1 The phrase bandwagon effect comes from the idea or expression of jumping or hopping on the bandwagon.

Photo Credit: Roger Wollstadt from Sarasota, Florida, U.S.A. [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsThe origin of the phrase jumping on the bandwagon leads us to an interesting story.

The expression dates back more than 100 years to the 1848 United States Presidential election. In those days, circuses had parades which contained all sorts of acts.

One of which was a horse-drawn wagon that carried a live orchestra – known as a bandwagon.

A very famous circus owner (and clown) at the time, Dan Rice, was a supporter of then-presidential hopeful (and eventual U.S. president) Zachary Taylor. To provide support to Taylor’s campaign, Rice would invite him on his bandwagon and they would wind their way through town to meet the voters.

The story goes that members of Taylor’s party witnessed how successful it was and they quickly jumped on the bandwagon.

Soon, other politicians took notice and got their own bandwagons! According to author Rosemarie Ostler, “By the 1890s, jumping on, hopping on, climbing on, or otherwise boarding the bandwagon meant latching on to a winner.” 2

Examples of the bandwagon effect are all around us, and you may be familiar with some of…

The Most Common Examples of the Bandwagon Effect

And odds are that you are probably someone who has jumped on one these bandwagons yourself:

Reviews and ratings

Think about the last time you were on Amazon.com or another site which has reviews and ratings for products.

If a book has a few 5-star reviews it doesn’t mean much, but a book with thousands of 5-star reviews can easily influence your purchase decision.

Another example is Groupon where deals speed up even faster as more people buy. In fact, for the deal to become active, a certain number of people need to jump on the bandwagon.

Seeing others wearing something makes people want to wear it.

Politics voting

Another example can be seen in politics where polls can create the bandwagon effect which can give an advantage to the top candidates. Or a political party has a big rally with music, cheering and being encouraged to bring others along for the ride.

Music

As more people start listening to a song or band, they start to grow in popularity and others start listening as well.

Investing

Stock market bubbles can also be the result of the bandwagon effect as people see others jumping into the market and don’t want to be left out. In fact, the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s where tech startups with no viable business plans or products still attracted millions of dollars in investment, due at least partially to the bandwagon effect.

Followers/Fans/Subscribers on Social Media

People or companies who have more followers/fans/subscribers on social media are seen as being more credible.

Celebrity endorsements and influencers

If so-and-so and all their friends are using product ABC, maybe I should use it.

Restaurants

Are you more ly to go inside the one that is full or the one that is empty?

Those are just a few examples of the bandwagon effect. I am sure you can think of many more instances where you and your family and friends have fallen victim to the bandwagon effect.

The question is…

Why are people influenced by the bandwagon effect in the first place?

There are several reasons that people are influenced by the bandwagon effect:

(1)  Winners and being right – We all love winners and we all want to be right. It is simply human nature to want to follow and be involved with winners.

(2)  Fear – The fear of being left alone or left out or missing out. Humans have a great desire to belong and be accepted by a group.

(3)  Making decisions – Not being able to make a decision on the basis of our own cognition or understanding.

(4)  Groupthink – Is a form of the bandwagon effect where seeing others do something makes you want to do it so that you are conforming with everyone else.

Now that we know what the bandwagon effect is and why it is so influential, the next questions are: (1) can we use it to our advantage? and (2) can we stop its influence on us?

First, let’s look at…

How We Can Use the Bandwagon Effect to Our Advantage

There are several ways we can use the bandwagon effect to help us:

  In his book Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, author Robert Cialdini talks about testimonials, which are one application of the bandwagon effect. In order to decide what testimonial to show which person, you need to find a testimonial that is more similar to the person.

For example, “…a high school teacher trying to convince a student to come to class more often should solicit comments about the benefits of doing so not from students in the front row, but rather from students who are more similar to the target student.”

So, keep that in mind when trying to convince your kid or someone else to do something!

  In business, one of the easiest ways to utilize the bandwagon effect is to simply show people utilizing your products. Whether that is in a video, on social media, or on images on your website.

  Clearly, the more followers, s, subscribers that you have may also induce the bandwagon effect. Sadly, however, it has also led to some shady practices in terms of people buying fake followers and s etc.

  Be a detective and try to figure out how others are using the bandwagon effect in their personal lives. There is no real need to reinvent the wheel, you just need to see how other successful people are doing it and copy what they are doing.

The next question is…

Can We Stop Its Influence on Us?

There are several things we can take into consideration when making decisions that may mitigate the bandwagon effect:

(1)  Explore different alternatives – besides the one that everyone else is choosing, this can help decrease the appeal of that option.

(2)  Take your time – between the time you encounter social cues and the time you make your decision. This may help you make a more conscious decision instead of following others.

(3)  Minimize group influence – speaking of others, try to separate yourself from others when making a decision to decrease their influence on you.

(4)  Think about why you are doing something – are you doing it because it is something you want to do or because everyone else is doing it? Does it jive with your values?

Before we go…

Were you able to guess what happened in 2010 that caused an organization to get rid of most of their sales staff because they had nothing to sell?

I’ll give you a hint…

Photo Credit: Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0)Yup, that’s right…the Miami Heat. You may recall that back in July of 2010 they signed superstars LeBron James and Chris Bosh to go along with Dwyane Wade to form the “Dream Team”.

Shortly thereafter, the Heat sold season tickets and fired most of their sales staff. They did apparently place the employees with a company to help them find a new job. The team’s average regular season home attendance shot up from 17,730 in 2009-10 to 19,778 in 2010-11.

Why? The bandwagon effect…everyone s a winner!

Until next time, make sure you jump on the Prime Your Pump bandwagon and as always…PYMFP!
–Rick

Use It or Lose It

To stop its influence on us, some things we can take into consideration when making decisions are:

(1)  Explore different alternatives.(2)  Take your time.(3)  Minimize group influence.

(4)  Think about why you are doing something

Источник: https://primeyourpump.com/2019/01/16/bandwagon-effect/

The ABCs of Cognitive Bias: B is for Bandwagon Effect

Bandwagon Effect as a Cognitive Bias

The bandwagon effect is the psychological tendency to adopt certain behaviors or attitudes because other people are doing it. The more people that behave a certain way, the greater the potential for the bandwagon effect.

Cognitive biases are systematic patterns in thinking that occur when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them. This series dives into the ABCs of cognitive bias and how they can be applied to UX design. You can check out our launch series article, A is for Anchoring Bias.

Ready to hop on the bandwagon?

What is the bandwagon effect? 

On June 28, 2021, I noticed a surge of Venmo posts on my friends’ Instagram stories. After 10 seconds of solid research by visiting Venmo’s profile, I learned that they were doing a giveaway of $100,000 in $500 increments.

Wow! Free money and on top of that, some of my friends were posting screenshots of Venmo transactions.

I told myself, “Okay, this is totally legit and I could use some free no-commitment contest money, let me jump on this wagon before they announce winners”.

Back to reality. The next day, after realizing I didn’t win free money, I thought about this whole experience. Almost all my friends on Instagram were participating in this free contest.

$100,000 in $500 increments meant that there would only be 100 winners of Venmo’s 70 million active users… I didn’t even have a 1% chance at this contest while Venmo was able to get tons of free marketing from every Instagram (and ) user who reposted their contest! 

The saying “jumping on the bandwagon” was first recorded in the mid-1800s in relation to a wagon that carried a circus band. Now, it just means to do the popular or “hip” thing.

Generally speaking, we’re influenced by other people’s choices.  This is classic “monkey see monkey do.

” To cut down on the cognitive load of making decisions, we trust other people – the OG way of “crowdsourcing knowledge” – to help us decide. 

Social proof

The easiest and most common way to leverage the bandwagon effect is to literally say how many other people are using your product. Here’s an example from Proof:

Social proof example from…Proof ;)

To expand on this, it’s not just the sheer number of people who use your product…but what type of people. It’s a popular marketing technique to show brands associated with your brand.

Here’s an example of Zeplin leveraging brand recognition—communicating that if these great companies use Zeplin, then you should probably too ;)  

Example from Zeplin

They also have a counter which shows users who have exported Figma, Sketch, and Adobe XD designs to Zeplin for development and collaboration in the past 30 days. This is pretty neat and enticing for new UX’ers looking to learn some new tools because they can see some big names and the impact of learning the tool (winkwink). 

The Bandwagon effect in eCommerce reviews

92% of shoppers look for real testimonials before making a purchase. This has practical as well as psychological reasons. Reviews are a form of user-generated content (UGC) that can help fill in the gaps of missing information, whether a piece of clothing is “true to size.” 

But we also use other people to benchmark against. Often,  people prefer information from other “real” customers compared to only relying on what a brand wants to sell you. If there’s another customer who is similar to us (e.g. same shoe size) or has the same demands (e.g. is this tent good for music festivals?), then we find power in the personal experience. 

Example from Wayfair

When the bandwagon effect backfires 

While the bandwagon effect may be leveraged to help eCommerce companies gain more trust and sell more goods, sometimes the tactics can go overboard. This results in a cost to the user experience. 

Confirmshaming is perhaps the most egregious take on the bandwagon effect. Instead of simply saying “no,” to an offer, a brand polarizes between you and the “cool kids.” Here’s one example: “No thanks, I REALLY hate saving money.” 

Here are other potential downsides of the bandwagon effect:

  • Affects rational thinking: Amazon has been known to have problems where reviewers were incentivized to write good reviews despite a product being terrible. This leads to disappointment when products fail to live up to the promise.
  • Jumping to conclusions: When a user sees a negative review, they might jump to conclusions of a product being bad despite good star ratings because it triggered a bad experience they’ve had in the past.
  • Too good to be true: If reviews are superficial and don’t provide more info, that can take away from the legitimacy of a product. Sometimes a series of good reviews broken up by an honest critique can go a long way to set realistic expectations. 

Another associated phenomenon of the bandwagon effect is fear of exclusion or “fear of missing out (FOMO)”. People generally don’t want to be the odd one out so they feel it’d be better to follow groupthink which would ensure inclusion and social acceptance. 

Summing it Up

The bandwagon effect relies on the number of people who support (or don’t support) something whether it be a product, political stance, movement, etc. The more supporters there are, the higher the chance that others will be influenced by the cause. 

Despite being seen as a negative effect, UX designers can carefully use it to better inform user decisions. Just remember, it’s okay to have your own ideas too!

Источник: https://www.uxbeginner.com/cognitive-bias-bandwagon-effect/

Psychologydo
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