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Wearing Counterfeit Items Cause People to Cheat More

 
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 08:33 am
These behavioral scientists did a study showing that people who thought they were wearing fake brand-name sunglasses cheated more and believed others were less trustworthy those who thought they were wearing the real thing. Does wearing brand name apparel boost your self image or do you think this is a bunch of malarky? (For those who want a summary instead of the full report, here's a good link.)

The Counterfeit Self: The Deceptive Costs of Faking It

Abstract
Although people buy counterfeit products to signal positive traits, we show that wearing counterfeit products makes individuals feel less authentic and increases their likelihood of both behaving dishonestly and judging others as unethical. In four experiments, participants wore purportedly fake or authentically branded sunglasses. Those wearing fake sunglasses cheated more across multiple tasks than did participants wearing authentic sunglasses, both when they believed they had a preference for counterfeits (Experiment 1a) and when they were randomly assigned to wear them Experiment 1b). Experiment 2 shows that the effects of wearing counterfeit sunglasses extend beyond the self, influencing judgments of other people’s unethical behavior. Experiment 3 demonstrates that the feelings of inauthenticity that wearing fake products engenders"what we term the counterfeit self"mediate the impact of counterfeits on unethical behavior. Finally, we show that people do not predict the impact of counterfeits on ethicality; thus, the costs of counterfeits are deceptive.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 3,233 • Replies: 17
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 09:36 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:


Abstract
Although people buy counterfeit products to signal positive traits, we show that wearing counterfeit products makes individuals feel less authentic and increases their likelihood of both behaving dishonestly and judging others as unethical.


Sounds to me like they got it backwards. Dishonest people wear counterfeit sunglasses and tend to be dishonest in relationships. Sunglasses don't make people cheat.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 09:38 am
@roger,
Well, some people were randomly assigned to wear them though.

Kind of interesting experiment. I'm not sure how much stock I put in it.

I don't wear fake labels but don't really wear labels either (unless "Gap" counts).
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 09:41 am
@sozobe,
You suppose I skimmed over that part because it was just too implausible?
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 09:48 am
@engineer,
Dan Ariely has done some really cool stuff.

I'm getting Predictably Irrational when it comes out in paperback.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 09:50 am
I can't say that I am a fan of designer wear. I like well-made garments in natural fibers but who designed them is of little importance to me. I have never liked conformity for its own sake and I prefer style to fashion.

However, like many aging hippies, I detest people who "rip off" the ideas of others, a sort of artistic vampirism. Additionally, a designer name might (note I said might) be an indication of quality. (I know that the same fabric items manufactured in China will reach be labeled "Macy's," "Niemann-Marcus," "K-Mart" and "Wal-Mart" in the US.) Certainly, items from Pendleton found in thrift shops are generally in better shape than items from discount stores.

I wonder if people who purchase fake sports wear simply aren't people so hungry to conform, to be accepted that they will do anything to look as they imagine everyone else looks.
0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:09 am
I have a friend who sells those knock-off purses.

She seems desperate all the time. She also is very observant and crtical about how others dress and look.
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:11 am
Is it as simple as thinking you are getting away with something? And more likely to try it in other areas of your life?

Slippery slope?

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:41 am
Hmmm. I have a faux Fendi purse. I knew it was faux when I bought it at the salvation army for $1.99. I liked it to buy it because I get a kick out of real italian products, and was amused at how bad the attempt was (bad stitching and much more), and, more important, it was striped, easier for my odd eyes to pick out from the background of stuff in a room. I am in some doubt if people who ever saw me with the purse had any idea of the Fendi firm. Alternately, I have a real Armani blazer that no one except the avid brand fashion followers would recognize, also from a thrift, probably something like 15.99. Does it count as cheating if no one recognizes brand names that don't show or gives a hoot?

I'm no fashion plate: I shop thrifts not just for the price level but because I like the mix of clothes and other items from over many years.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:46 am
@sullyfish6,
I think it's probably akin to the broken window theory -- if the house (or car or whatever) has a broken window, it is more likely to have other stuff done to it

It also reminds me of the tricky stuff in disciplining kids -- making sure that they get that you don't think he or she is a bad person, just that the thing they did was not OK.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:57 am
@engineer,
Lord the "real" items are far more of a ripped off then the counterfeits under my moral code.

Someone place a designer label on some item and then sell it for a few thousands percent mark up over the cost to have it manufacture in some third world hell hole.

Real or fake labels only matter to fools in my opinion. I can see buying something with a "fake" labels if I like it looks but never buying a "real" label item and paying that kind of mark up over it real worth.

0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 11:55 am
@sullyfish6,
sullyfish6 wrote:

I have a friend who sells those knock-off purses.

She seems desperate all the time. She also is very observant and crtical about how others dress and look.

This is more of what I thought when I read the article. If you buy something fake, you become very aware of the fake market and think other people are buying fakes as well. When you see something presented as real, your first thought is that it is a fake. If you believe that everyone is cheating, then it's ok to cheat on little things in general and if you don't, you are missing out on getting yours because you know that others are doing it. If the purpose of me buying a fake was to impress people and I walked up to someone who had the real thing, I would really be embarrassed, even if that person did not realize mine was fake, so owning the fake could be a source of social discomfort as well. I'd always fear being found out. Inversely, if you buy the original, you aren't really familiar with the market for fakes so you assume everyone else is original also. If you were proud of your purchase, you might even seek out others who purchased the same name brand to compare experiences.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 12:33 pm
@engineer,
CHEATING MY REAR END..............
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 01:23 pm
You know the more I think of this issue the more it annoy me.

First both trademarks and copyrights and patients are granted for the benefit in theory of the whole society not the holders of the about.

When copyrights run 75 years after the death of the author for example that had gone far away from the reason to have a copyright in the first place.

When trademarks are used as a tool to allow firms to created a false impression of value way beyond any real value then to you have a situation where the granter of the trademark is not benefiting IE society as a whole far from it as a matter of fact.

If a seller and the buyer both are aware that the item such as a pair of shoes is not the real trademark item then I see little harm to anyone. Anymore then if I buy a copy of an old master to hang on my wall.

Hell the trademark owner is not even harm as the chance that the buyer will pay the hundred or so overprice if the counterfeit was not available is near zero.

Trademarks have their place but for consumers goods such as shoes or purses you got to be kidding me.

firefly
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 08:39 pm
@BillRM,
I am definitely not one who is into designer labels. In fact, most of the time, I dislike things with obvious logos on them because I don't want to be a walking advertisment for some designer's brand.

But I had always liked the classic Chanel quilted leather handbag with the chain strap. I don't ever think about buying things like that because, even if I could afford it, I'm not sure I could ever bring myself to blow that much money on a handbag. The basic style was copied by many other handbag manufacturers and I had bought one or two of those because I just liked the style of the bag, and I was reasonably happy with them. These weren't illegal knockoffs, just copies of a style Chanel originated.

One day, about 16 or 17 years ago, I was shopping at a weekend indoor flea market, a place with clothing and handbags being sold by different vendors. Most of it was moderate in price, and very ordinary, but there were a lot of interesting or unusual items which were a little more expensive. While prowling around I suddenly spot what appeared to be my favorite bag--a black quilted bag with a chain strap, but this one sported a gold metal double "C" Chanel logo on the front. I dash over, ask the vendor if I can look at the bag, and, as soon as she hands it to me, I am in love. The leather felt truly sumptuous and the bag appeared to be very well made. I unzipped it and found a Chanel tag inside the bag and an embossed logo on the inside leather.
Now, I had never actually seen or fondled a Chanel bag before, so I had no basis of comparison, but the bag I was holding did appear to be a quality item--even if it was a knockoff, it was still a good bag, much better than any of the copies I had previously bought. I questioned the vendor about the authenticity and she insisted it was Chanel, and said her friend had a way of obtaining, once in a while, a very few Chanel bags at some wholesale price, and passed them on to her to sell, and she did appear to have only two of these bags. The rest of her handbags were very nice, but none had designer labels and weren't even brands I had heard of. So, it wasn't like she had a load of these Chanels to sell, nor did she appear to be selling any other knockoffs.

I really hesitated about buying that bag. She wanted $125 for it which, at that time, was a little more than I wanted to spend on an everyday bag just to knock around with. I also seriously doubted it was an authentic Chanel, but I did like the fact that it sure did look like one--that really tickled me. The thought of impressing other people never crossed my mind, I just liked the fact that it looked like the bag I had always loved, and it seemed to be a very good bag. The vendor wouldn't budge on the price and I turned around and walked away.

My mother, who was with me, had remained silent until now. She asked why I didn't buy the bag, and I told her I didn't want to spend that much, and it had to be a fake at that price. My mother asked if I really liked the bag, and if I thought it was worth $120, and I said, "Yes". With that, my mother turned and walked back to the vendor and told her she was buying the bag. When we got back in the car we joked about getting a Chanel bag at a ridiculous price. My mother said it might or might not be authentic, but what difference did it make--I liked the bag. And, since I'd never know for sure, I chose to believe that, maybe, it was authentic. And, when I returned to the flea market two weeks later, that vendor had no other "Chanel" bags, she had sold the only other one I saw on my first visit. So, it wasn't like she had a continuous supply, and she said she didn't expect to be getting any more of them. At the very least, I was relieved that she didn't seem to be selling a lot of knockoffs, and I could continue to enjoy the fantasy that maybe my bag was the real McCoy.

I absolutely loved that bag and carried it for the longest time, and it really proved to be well made. No one ever commented on the fact that it appeared to be a Chanel, but I must say, carrying that bag really made me feel well dressed. Had anyone asked me about the bag, I would have told them the truth--I really didn't know whether it was authentic. Would I have wanted the bag quite as much if it didn't have the Chanel logo on it? Well, I'll never be sure about that. Carrying my bag did make me feel a little more skeptical about every other designer purse I saw a woman carrying, and I don't know that I had felt that way before, I had never given much thought to knockoffs. So, I think there is some validity to the findings of that study. Did it compromise my ethics in other ways? I don't think so, I hope not. I didn't feel like a phony carrying my handbag, because I wasn't ever completely sure it wasn't a real Chanel, and perhaps that made a difference. And the bargain hunter in me secretly wanted to believe that I had, indeed, found a Chanel bag at a ridiculously low price.Smile

But I also wondered whether, if the bag was possibly authentic, could it have been stolen merchandise? That thought did make me feel uncomfortable and guilty. So, I guess that counterfeit items, or even the thought that an item can be counterfeit, can subtly influence how we perceive things, because, ironically, even thinking my handbag was possibly authentic, led to my feeling somewhat guilty, although I hadn't knowingly done anything wrong. Strange how these things influence us.

0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 03:01 am
@engineer,
Brand name apparel makes me snore.

0 Replies
 
EmperorNero
 
  0  
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2010 06:53 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
Abstract
Although people buy counterfeit products to signal positive traits, we show that wearing counterfeit products makes individuals feel less authentic and increases their likelihood of both behaving dishonestly and judging others as unethical.

It makes sense, if you subconsciously feel counterfeit you are going to act counterfeit.
People buy expensive designer products to buy a feeling of "genuine" that they can carry around for a while.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Aug, 2010 10:04 pm
i thought they just gave people rashes.
0 Replies
 
 

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