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.”


Everyone is going to get the new smart phone when it comes out this weekend. Why aren’t you?

In the comic below, Dr. Fallacy tries to persuade people using this type of fallacy.

Bandwagon logical fallacy comic with the evil Dr. Fallacy

Image Transcript
Dr. Fallacy: Everyone is totally going to get the new smart phone when it comes out this weekend! Why aren’t you?

Person 1: Ummm, hello? Money?

Person 2: Oh, but you should get it!

Person 3: Wait! She just said she doesn’t have the money…

Bandwagon logical fallacy comic with the OWL Superhero

Image Transcript
Captain Logic Owl: Stop it right there, Dr. Fallacy! Just because some people are doing something doesn’t make it right or right for her.

You are tryiing to persuade using the bandwagon fallacy!

Dr. Fallacy: Drat! Foiled again by logic! There goes my commission with the phone company!

Of course, the problem with this fallacy is not everyone is actually doing this, but there is another problem that’s important to point out. Just because a lot of people think something or do something does not mean it’s right or good to do. For example, in the 16th century, most people believed the earth was the center of the universe; of course, believing that did not make it true.

You want to be careful to avoid this fallacy, as it’s easy to fall into this kind of thinking. Think about what your parents asked you when you insisted that “everyone” was doing something that you were not getting to do: “If everyone of your friends jumped off of a cliff, would you?” It’s important to fight the urge to fall into a bandwagon fallacy.

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