Do Bandwagon Cues Affect Credibility Perceptions? A Meta-Analysis of the Experimental Evidence

Sai Wang*, Tsz Hang Chu, Guanxiong Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bandwagon cues are system-aggregated information about crowd behavior or peer endorsement displayed on a web interface (e.g., the number of likes on a Facebook post). Despite the recent proliferation of research on the effect of bandwagon cues on credibility perceptions, a comprehensive meta-analytic review of this effect has not yet been performed and published. Based on 161 effect sizes from 41 studies, the current meta-analysis revealed that bandwagon cues had a positive, albeit small, effect on credibility perceptions. Moderator analyses indicated that this effect was stronger (a) when the message was related to the marketing topic, (b) when the source was a non-expert (vs. an expert), and (c) when participants were from collectivistic (vs. individualistic) cultures. However, the bandwagon effect did not vary by cue feature (e.g., deliberateness). These findings are discussed in light of theoretical implications, practical guidelines, and directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunication Research
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jan 2023

User-Defined Keywords

  • bandwagon
  • credibility
  • cues
  • meta-analysis

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