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9 Bandwagon Fallacy Examples to Stop Poor Selections


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Mar 15, 2024
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Pondering again to your childhood, do you bear in mind your mother and father ever asking you, “If all your buddies jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?”

I do know this fictional state of affairs was typically offered to me once I argued to do one thing “as a result of everybody else was doing it” but it surely didn’t typically work very effectively.

As adults, the time period “leaping on the bandwagon” is a generally used phrase expressing our tendency to do one thing simply because “everybody else” is doing it.

We have a tendency to love conformity as a result of agreeing with different folks is useful because it permits us to coexist and cooperate with one another. In keeping with the Asch Conformity Experiment, that is due to two issues:

  • We need to slot in and are due to this fact influenced by norms
  • We consider a gaggle of individuals have to be higher knowledgeable than we’re as people so we’re fast to vary our minds if nearly all of folks all consider the identical factor

Individuals typically use this false reasoning to speak others into taking a sure motion or believing one thing simply because it’s the frequent factor to do. Nevertheless, that is flawed logic and may have detrimental penalties, so it’s necessary to have the ability to determine the bandwagon logical fallacy so that you don’t fall into its lure.

On this article, we are going to have a look at what the bandwagon fallacy is after which evaluation 9 examples which will come up throughout an argument so you’ll be able to know precisely what you’re searching for when attempting to identify this logical fallacy.

Let’s get began.

What’s the Bandwagon Fallacy?​

The bandwagon fallacy is predicated on the idea that almost all’s opinion is at all times legitimate. This has a peer stress part to it, because it argues that if everybody else believes one thing, it’s best to too.

Nevertheless, this logic solely proves {that a} perception is frequent, not that it is correct. This logical fallacy is utilized in arguments to persuade others of one thing when there isn’t any factual argument to make use of to show the subject at hand.

This defective technique of reasoning is frequent to return throughout, whether or not it’s getting used unintentionally or on goal for somebody’s profit.

Promoting is very stuffed with examples of the bandwagon fallacy as a result of it’s a great way to make potential clients consider they might grow to be half of a bigger group who already advantages from utilizing a sure services or products.

The bandwagon fallacy has 18th century political beginnings, as musicians would experience on a bandwagon forward of a crowd once they have been going to a political rally, which might collect increasingly more folks due to the thrill.

The idiom that has come from this implies that folks will comply with something if it’s garnered lots of people’s consideration, even when they don’t know what it’s or whether or not or not it’s true. The bandwagon fallacy has a snowball impact, that means as increasingly more folks leap on the wagon, others will proceed to take action as effectively.

This saying transitioned to the figurative time period we use at present by the Eighteen Nineties.

The bandwagon fallacy is very highly effective when the one that is on the receiving finish of it needs to be in style or to really feel like they’re part of a gaggle. It’s additionally efficient at tricking individuals who aren’t good at making their very own choices or they’re hesitant to strive something new.

This fallacy is commonly used within the following conditions:

  • When a development emerges in society (like consuming a gluten free eating regimen)
  • When one thing or somebody is growing in notoriety (like Justin Bieber a number of years in the past)
  • When an viewers doesn’t know which product is greatest
  • A brand new services or products comes out
  • You realize your viewers need to be part of one thing larger

Its typical kind is:

  • Everybody likes X
  • Well-liked issues are at all times good
  • X have to be good (or true)

The bandwagon fallacy goes by a number of different names, such because the “argumentum advert populum” (attraction to the folks), “authority of the various” and “attraction to reputation”.

These phrases are sometimes used interchangeably, however on this article, we are going to stick to the commonest identify and definition of this fallacy with out digging into the slight variations that others might have.

Let’s check out some examples of bandwagon fallacies so you will get a complete understanding of find out how to spot them.

9 Bandwagon Fallacy Examples to Spot Throughout an Argument​

1. Health and Well being Tendencies​

Caroline eats a well-rounded eating regimen and workout routines frequently. Nevertheless, all of her buddies at work are beginning a low-carb eating regimen that consists principally of protein shakes.

Her officemate tells Caroline about their plan and the way they’re going to all maintain one another accountable, so she ought to take part. Caroline decides this have to be the wholesome factor to take action she agrees to do that particular eating regimen together with everybody else.

This can be dangerous for Caroline, particularly if her coworkers aren’t very educated about well being and health they usually’re primarily aiming to drop a few pounds. Caroline’s weight might already be supreme and consuming a extra well-rounded eating regimen might be in Caroline’s greatest curiosity contemplating her train schedule.

Health and well being traits are sometimes examples of the bandwagon fallacy, as a result of issues grow to be in style even when they aren’t good for everybody. Current examples of this embody particular diets just like the gluten free eating regimen, the paleo motion, consuming vegan, and many others.

Additionally, eating regimen aids (reminiscent of ephedra) have triggered a dangerous bandwagon fallacy impact. Ephedra grew to become in style with out folks taking note of dosing, which ultimately led to fatalities.

2. Going to School​

“As a result of everybody else goes away to school, it have to be the precise factor to do.”

Our nation does spend a disproportionate amount of money on those that attend school than those that select to not. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of individuals don’t even find yourself attaining a bachelor’s diploma.

There may be loads of debate on whether or not or not going to school is extraordinarily mandatory for most individuals, however there isn’t a lot debate about the truth that there are exceptions to this, and there are lots of individuals who have grow to be very profitable in life with out attending school.

3. Promoting​

Promoting usually typically makes use of the tactic of creating one thing appear in style, due to this fact making it interesting. Check out this advert for toothpaste for example:

attacking the person fallacy examples | slippery slope fallacy examples | straw man fallacy examples
attacking the person fallacy examples | slippery slope fallacy examples | straw man fallacy examples

The advert suggests that you simply’re already behind the curve as a result of so many individuals have already switched, which is an attraction to have you ever “leap on the bandwagon” so to talk.

4. In Historical past​

Most individuals believed the earth was the middle of the universe till the sixteenth century, which we now know isn’t true.

The “geocentric” mannequin that was as soon as generally believed was a faith-based commentary that was principally accepted as a result of others claimed it to be true with out making their very own observations or calculations.

Those that finally uncovered the reality like Galileo and Copernicus have been individuals who wouldn’t attraction to what everybody else believed (i.e. they didn’t leap on the bandwagon) only for the sake of it.

5. In Films​

The bandwagon fallacy typically arises in motion pictures. In the event you’ve seen Imply Ladies, you’ll be able to in all probability bear in mind a scene the place everybody in the highschool was copying the issues the antagonist, Regina, was doing.

Regardless of how ridiculous her actions appeared, everybody was following Regina’s lead simply because Regina was so in style. As her actions and trend statements began to be mimicked by others, increasingly more folks jumped on that bandwagon so they might match into the group.

bandwagon fallacy examples in advertising | attacking the person fallacy examples | ad hominem fallacy examples
bandwagon fallacy examples in advertising | attacking the person fallacy examples | ad hominem fallacy examples

Within the film, Imply Ladies, irrespective of how ridiculous Regina’s actions appeared, everybody was following her lead simply because she was so in style.

6. In Vogue​

Vogue traits come and go…and are available again once more. And with as a lot as 90’s fashion has been ridiculed within the media within the mere twenty years because it was the norm, I’ll by no means perceive how–or why– it returned so rapidly.

As I walked by means of school campus final yr seeing an enormous variety of folks following this development, I needed to surprise what number of of them really felt like they have been expressing themselves precisely how they needed to…and what number of have been following this rising trend development simply because different folks have been doing it.

I really feel for many who will inevitably look again on their photos from school 20 years from now, questioning WHAT they have been pondering…however I’ve to imagine as traits change, that may at all times be the case.

7. Social Media Use​

Sarah believes social media is damaging to relationships. She prefers face-to-face interactions and thinks communication will be misunderstood by means of social media.

Nevertheless, as a result of all of her buddies have joined and discuss to one another by means of this medium, Sarah has determined it should not be that unhealthy and creates an account.

Sarah has determined to desert her values and beliefs in favor of her buddies’ behaviors. She doesn’t have proof that social media is both good or unhealthy for relationships, however she assumes it have to be alright since everybody else is doing it. So, Sarah has jumped on the bandwagon.

8. Shopping for the Newest Devices​

“Everyone seems to be getting the brand new smartphone that’s popping out this weekend, it’s a must to get it too!”

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bandwagon fallacy history | the appeal to authority fallacy | peer pressure fallacy

This can be a sort of peer stress that falls underneath the bandwagon fallacy. The speaker is attempting to persuade somebody that they need to do one thing as a result of everybody else is, so it have to be a good suggestion.

Nevertheless, if the individual has a telephone that works completely effectively for them they usually don’t have a want for a brand new one, the truth that different persons are shopping for it doesn’t create a necessity–it might create a need–however that doesn’t make it mandatory.

Plus, if their price range doesn’t permit for it, following the group with this one will be dangerous.

9. Sports activities​

In relation to cheering on sports activities groups, spectators have been identified to start out following a staff once they grow to be profitable–even when the staff has been round for a very long time.

Then, if that staff turns into much less in style or has an unsuccessful season, the sports activities lover strikes on to grow to be a fan of the following staff that’s profitable or in style.

On this case, the fan’s perception that the staff they’re rooting for is the “greatest” is predicated solely upon their commentary of different folks’s rising enthusiasm for the staff.

Whether or not or not the staff ought to be their favourite is irrelevant, it’s their reasoning behind rooting for the staff–believing they need to as a result of increasingly more persons are doing it– is what makes this an instance of a bandwagon fallacy.

Learn Extra About Logical Fallacy Examples​

Remaining Ideas on Recognizing the Bandwagon Fallacy​

This fallacious line of reasoning presents an argument with out proof of its validity– it solely acknowledges reputation.

Whereas there are loads of in style beliefs which might be, in truth, true–it’s the details that assist the beliefs that make them true, not the concept they’re in style.

You might have in all probability observed that the bandwagon fallacy doesn’t take any opposite proof under consideration when making a declare, which isn’t solely irrational, however can be harmful.

Be looking out for the sort of argument sooner or later so you’ll be able to spot it and acknowledge the fallacy relatively than fall into its lure.


Connie Mathers is knowledgeable editor and freelance author. She holds a Bachelor’s Diploma in Advertising and marketing and a Grasp’s Diploma in Social Work. When she will not be writing, Connie is both spending time together with her daughter and two canines, operating, or working at her full-time job as a social employee in Richmond, VA.

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exigency fallacy examples | bandwagon effect examples | bandwagon appeal examples advertising
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