Can Buying Fake Glasses Make You More Dishonest?

Dan Ariely, best-selling author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality, has spent a lot of time thinking about — and studying — how people shop. In particular, he examines the trends in human behavior that become particularly apparent when we’re spending money. Here’s a video clip of Ariely giving a fascinating description of a study he did on fakes — fake designer accessories, bags, clothes, and more. Specifically, he sought to discover what buying and wearing fakes will do to our thought processes — and whether or not, even though no one else may know it’s a fake, the fact that we know will affect our behavior. His conclusions are nothing short of amazing, and alarming (we really do love our fake D&G glasses).

9 Responses to “Can Buying Fake Glasses Make You More Dishonest?”

  1. Kirill

    By telling them “you’re the kind of person that wears fake”, don’t you think you primed people to feel more ‘outlaw’ than they would’ve otherwise? If they were to buy fake, that would be simply a reflection of their budget, but in this case you associated their character to “a type of people”, implying that fake is not just cheap, but it’s in fact “fake”.

  2. Ray

    @Kirill: But it is fake. Why should someone who doesn’t have the budget feel the need to pretend they can buy the brand name? By subscribing to that, they’ve already accepted that they’re not as good as the person who has the money. It’s the worst kind of fake, someone who can’t be themselves, which is much worse than not having money.

  3. Kirill

    @Ray: only if you actually consider “fake” to be something bad. That was exactly my point. In Dan’s case, he sais “you are the type of people who would buy fake…” which in my mind, for most people, translates “you’re the type of people who would go and buy cheap stuff…cheat and buy a fake”. However, and I can’t remember who wrote this, fakes are often made in the same shop as the “real stuff”. Oh, I think I read this in “Free – the future of radical pricing”. Basically a “fake” is a way to differentiate the “real” stuff. How else would you convince people to pay 1000+ for an LV bag… anyways, I don’t really want to argue.


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