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Rebecca Ryan, APF

I loved WHAM!

I loved George Michael's vocals and sex appeal. I loved Andrew Ridgeley's poetic eyes. I was a swooning teen and Make it Big was the first album I bought.

Looking at the cover again now, I can feel the same angsty feelings I had then. I wanted to fit in so badly...

  • with my grey Members Only jacket
  • with my jeans "pegged" at the ankle
  • with my oversized aqua sweater

Fitting in - and not being ostracized - is a timeless human desire, and it's at peak emo in middle and high school.

Our human longing to fit in can morph into a cognitive bias.

Bandwagon bias refers to humans' urge to belong and conform. It may cause us to think or act in a certain way if we believe others are doing the same.

Bandwagon bias has downsides. Your parents called it out when you were a teen asking, "If everyone else jumps off a bridge, will you, too!?"

When everyone thinks the same way - but it's flawed or shortsighted - it can be dangerous, even fatal. The movie Don't Look Up is a study in bandwagon bias and how painful it is to tell the truth when no one wants to hear it.

See: The Cognitive Bias Codex
One antidote to bandwagon bias is red teaming.

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Rebecca Ryan, APF
Rebecca Ryan, APF

Rebecca Ryan captains the ship. Trained as a futurist and an economist, Rebecca helps clients see what's coming - as a keynote speaker, a Futures Lab facilitator, an author of books, blogs and articles, a client advisor, and the founder of Futurist Camp. Check out her blog or watch her Q&A on how NGC helps organizations prepare for the future using Strategic Foresight. Contact Lisa Loniello for more information.

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