Bandwagon Fallacy

The bandwagon fallacy is also sometimes called the appeal to common belief or appeal to the masses because it’s all about getting people to do or think something because “everyone else is doing it” or “everything else thinks this.” The bandwagon fallacy presumes that because a position is popular, it must therefore be correct.

In our comic, we see how a bandwagon fallacy is used to close the discussion on an issue.

A comic about the bandwagon fallacy.

Image Transcript
Panel One:
Title Card: Doctor Fallacy takes Captain Logic for a ride on… The Bandwagon!

Panel Two:
Caption: Ancient Greece.
Scene: An archon, a scholar, and a hoplite stand in an agora. They are engaged in a deep discussion.
Archon: Then our council is in agreement…

Panel Three:
Archon: …we shall declare the world to be flat!
Scholar: Sounds right.
Hoplite: Aye.
Aristotle arrives, stroking his chin.
Aristotle: Actually…

Panel Four:
The three flat earthers huddle together, rolling their eyes.
Archon: Aristotle. Of course.
Scholar: Oh my Zeus… we were almost done.
Hoplite: It’s always an argument with this guy.

Panel Five:
Aristotle begins to explain his position.
Aristotle: The gradual disappearance of objects over the horizon suggests a round Earth. And then there is the matter of the lunar eclipse…

Panel Six:
The others interrupt Aristotle.
Archon: Yes, yes. We have heard your argument. But… there are three of us.
Hoplite: Triple the thinking power!

Panel Seven:
Aristotle experiences a vision where he is visited by the villainous Doctor Fallacy and the courageous Captain Logic.
Doctor Fallacy: They make a good point. Get on board, A-tots!
Captain Logic: Don’t listen to this knave! These people are using a bandwagon fallacy. Trust in your logic, good sir.

Panel Eight:
Aristotle returns his attention to the increasingly frustrated trio.
Aristotle: Friends, I have been visited by the spirits of logic themselves. They inform me that the popularity of a position does not dictate its correctness.

Panel Nine:
As Aristotle turns his back, the others brandish daggers.
Aristotle: Isn’t logic wonderful?

For a screen reader compatible slideshow version of the comic, please click through the below images:

Social pressures can make it easy to fall into a bandwagon fallacy. Growing up, did you ever tell your parents that “all your friends” were doing something? And did they respond with wisdom along the lines of “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do that too?” That cliche is an early lesson in the bandwagon fallacy. The popularity of a position does not necessarily dictate its correctness.

However, it’s also important to remember that the popularity of a position doesn’t inherently disprove it, either. If you’re focused too much on being a contrarian, you might miss occasions when the wisdom of the crowd is actually correct. Overall, it’s best to focus on facts and logic rather than an ideas popularity.

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