What is a word to describe the behaviour where you do something because everyone is also doing this, to the point where you do it without any clear reason?

  • 2
    Herd mentality to 'describe the behavior' of people esp., to the point of leaving all reason.
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 12:49
  • 3
    – GEdgar
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 14:32
  • Relevant video on conformity: youtube.com/watch?v=TrNIuFrso8I
    – Supr
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 7:14

18 Answers 18


Perhaps you're looking for conforming:

2 a: to be obedient or compliant—usually used with to <conform to another's wishes>
 b: to act in accordance with prevailing standards or customs <the pressure to conform>

—source Merriam-Webster

Or conformity as a noun:

3: action in accordance with some specified standard or authority <conformity to social custom>

—source Merriam-Webster

A person who routinely conforms to established standards or authorities, without questioning those standards or authorities, would be called a conformist, and adopts a stance of conformism:

1. a person who conforms, especially unquestioningly, to the usual practices or standards of a group, society, etc.

—source Dictionary.com


Words to describe that behavior? I can't think of anything other than "bandwagoning" and "bandwagon effect."

Words that describe a person who engages in such behavior are much more plentiful though, and include "lemming," "sheep," or "trendster." "Yes man" might be appropriate, depending on what exactly you're going for and "fashion victim" is perfect for certain contexts.


There is a term to describe exactly this type of impressionable personality: sheeple - a linguistic blend of sheep and people.

sheeple (ˈʃiːp ə l)

— n informal people who tend to follow the majority in matters of opinion, taste, etc

[C20: from sheep + people ]

The phenomenon is probably best captured by Orwell's term groupthink.

1. the practice of approaching problems or issues as matters that are best dealt with by consensus of a group rather than by individuals acting independently; conformity.

2. the lack of individual creativity, or of a sense of personal responsibility, that is sometimes characteristic of group interaction.

  • 8
    I've never seen sheeple used in a non-sarcastic way.
    – starwed
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 16:03
  • Just as well - sheep-like behaviour is not very complimentary.
    – user49727
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 0:00

Consider herd behavior

Herd behavior describes how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction

Also mob mentality or herd mentality.


Conforming is the most correct... but the act of giving in could be termed Acquiescing, acquiescence, to acquiesce.

That would imply that there were at least initially some hesitance, or resistance to conform.



http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-definition/lemming-like - definition #2

a member of any large group following an unthinking course towards mass destruction


In the animal kingdom, a lemming is a rodent known for periodic mass migrations that occasionally end in drowning.

  • A good suggestion stressing the mindless aspect of a some conformists. In Toby Frosts novel "Wrath of the Lemming Men" Space Captain Smith of the British Space Empire (sic) engages the lemming-people of Yull. Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 19:37

Herd mentality describes such behavior of people esp., to the point of leaving out all reason.

Herd mentality (WP)

Herd mentality, or mob mentality, describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, and/or purchase items. Examples of the herd mentality include stock market trends, superstition, home décor, etc. Social psychologists study the related topics of group intelligence, crowd wisdom, and decentralized decision making. mob mentality; flocking; mass hysteria.


Sequacious is the answer that seems missing here. I thing this would be the best word to describe this.



Compliant? A compliant person agrees and obeys - sometimes excessively.


well, a single word to describe the behaviour where you do something because everyone is also doing this, to the point where you do it without any clear reason, could be : Sheep

  • 1
    "Sheep" is a word to describe people who display this behaviour, not a word that actually describes the behaviour itself.
    – itsbruce
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 14:56

Someone who conforms that way could be called a "tool", although I can't find a reliable source for that. (Urban dictionary has one, though)


Please consider:

drift 5d : an aimless course; especially : a foregoing of any attempt at direction or control

from m-w.com


I don't know the precise context in which you wish to use it, but in a political setting, "fence-sitter" fits the description. They are on the fence until they know which side to stake and the choice is not based upon anything other than the popular position. While many would say "uncommitted" and it is a definition found on-line, in the political sense a vote must be made the fence-sitter just waits until the popular position is clear. It may sometimes mean a politician waiting for the "money" position to push him nefariously into agreement, but usually means the consesus of the populace. The fence-sitter simply waits for others to make his choice. Oh yeah add in "hipster:" the non-conforming conformer. ;P


You can use the idiom "jump on the bandwagon".

jump on the bandwagon
— imitate what someone else is doing,
 to support something that is popular


You may be thinking of "affectation," as in definition 1. Though it differs slightly in its connotation, affectation has to do with pretense and attempting to project a particular appearance or generate a particular perception. Many people do things affectedly so that they can be perceived as being a part of the mainstream or "going along with the crowd," even if they don't genuinely understand what they're doing.

  • 1
    Comments about the down-votes would be helpful.
    – mHurley
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 18:09


Definition of echo (n) Bing Dictionary ech·o [ ékō ]
1. repeated sound: the repetition of a sound caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface 2.something similar: something that repeats, imitates, or is reminiscent of something else 3. returned signal: the signal reflected by an object struck by a radar transmission, or the image of this on a radar screen

The man's ideas echoed those of the majority. Hers echo the crowd she entertains.

Okay minus vote. WHat was wrong with my answer?

  • 2
    Not my downvote, but because I sympathise and have often received anonymous downvotes myself. I would say that the word echo is inappropriate in this context. People do not echo each other's behaviour, their beliefs or their preferences. You can copy, mimic or imitate their manners, their customs, their fashion choices. Echo by itself does not mean to follow the crowd, it is just repeating a sound, or maybe even an opinion heard. Hope this helps
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 20:39
  • An anomymous negative vote alone is just mean, duh, ok Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 22:46


"..to the point where you do it without any clear reason."


Floater (thanks, CBS’s Big Brother!).

  • 6
    Could you give a definition of this word and provide a reference? I've never heard of it before.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 16:57
  • 1
    I'll second last comment. Please add a little more information about how the word would be used.
    – Jacobm001
    Commented Nov 12, 2013 at 17:44

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