Bandwagon Effect

Let’s talk about cognitive biases: BANDWAGON EFFECT

The bandwagon effect describes the tendency to do or believe things simply because many other people are doing or believing those things. It’s related to groupthink, mob mentality, and herd behavior.

We do this because we enjoy the social recognition of being part of the majority. Why? It's social currency. When we share beliefs or actions with others, it forms a type of tribal mentality connection. However, it’s important to remember that we have a prefrontal cortex and needn’t engage in behaviors simply because they feel good. The good feels are only temporary anyway because when you realize you have disregarded all your ethical constructs to fit the tribal narrative—you tend to cause cognitive dissonance (cognitive pain).

There’s so many examples of this, where people just go along with the narrative because it’s the mainstream narrative or a minority narrative that’s growing rapidly. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a great example of this, where people just pile onto the bandwagon without actually critically analyzing or giving thought to the ideas espoused by CRT.

Another example is the hip thrust exercise in the fitness world. It’s a pretty basic exercise and one more tool in the toolbox to use in exercise programming, but there are many people who have put it on a pedestal, think it is an amazing exercise for everyone, and try to incorporate it into every fitness routine they can simply because some thought leaders have hyped it up so much.

All that said, it’s fine to do things other people are doing, just be sure you have a solid reason for it rather than parroting others.

Now how do we avoid this bias?

The easiest way to overcome the bandwagon effect is question your motives for believing or doing something. If you can logically state your case, then you’re good! But if you are just doing or saying something because others are, or you fear ostracization then you’re likely bandwagoning.

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#bandwagoneffect #mobmentality #CRT #hipthrusts #mentalhealth #CBT #DBT