Note on unusual formatting: Sentences are split into lines so you can parse parts precisely. The tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same.
While this is similar in effect to the 'Availability Cascade', this bias effect relates more specifically to the relation between 'expert' and 'non-expert' opinions, whereas Availability Cascade is more in relation to the arguments and discussions among experts who are knowledgeable and qualified enough to consider and assess the information directly.
The concern here is that once the general non-expert public has been drawn into accepting a given proposal, proposition, or belief, the apparent boundary between
... becomes very blurred.
This means that it is no longer possible for any party, regardless of all other factors, to easily tell if the analysis and evaluation has been independently replicated/validated, or is merely being quoted, copied from one person to another. The net effect is that it becomes increasingly difficult to determine if the actual strength of the evaluation itself is due to multiple concordant validations, or that validation strength is actually absent.
If most people are simply copying their results from someone else, that means we are all equally likely to have the same incorrect or incomplete answer. This can easily lead to a false sense of security: everyone believes we are safe because everyone else believes we are safe – a result that could easily become completely detached from any sort of objective real basis or evaluative grounding.
- link Wikipedia: Bandwagon effect - an item on Forrest Landry's compiled list of biases in evaluating extinction risks.