My Louis Vuitton bag is a counterfeit : the role of regulatory focus in consumer deceptive behavior
Bae, So Hyun
Date of Issue2015
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
Why are consumers of counterfeit goods more or less likely to acknowledge that they use counterfeit luxury goods? In order to answer this question, we examine what dispositional and situational factors may drive counterfeit users to tell or not to tell the truth about their counterfeit goods. Through four experiments, we demonstrate that whether or not consumers tell the truth about their counterfeit goods depends on which goals are activated (especially, regulatory goals) and how close they are to the target person (e.g., in-group member versus out-group member). The first three experiments show that prevention-focused consumers are more likely to tell their friend (versus acquaintance) the truth about their counterfeit purchase whereas promotion-focused consumers show no difference in willingness to tell the truth regardless of whether the target person is a friend (in-group member) or an acquaintance (out-group member). This effect occurs because prevention-focused consumers are guided by their ought-selves, whereas promotion-focused consumers are guided by their ideal-selves. Hence, telling the truth to fulfill interpersonal duties fits prevention focus, whereas not telling the truth to achieve desirable images fits promotion focus. However, we also prove that this is not true all of the time. We demonstrate that under certain circumstances, promotion-focused consumers are willing to tell their friend (versus acquaintance) the truth about their counterfeit purchase when telling the truth helps them achieve different positive attributes.