If You Wear Knockoff Sunglasses, You Lie and Probably Also Kick Puppies

According to a study released by the University of North Carolina, people who wear designer knockoff sunglasses are more likely to be lying liars who lie, possibly because they don’t feel guilty about cheating:

Everyone in the study was given a pair of real $300 designer shades. Half of them were told they were authentic, while the other half was told they were knockoffs. Both groups were then asked to complete a problem-solving task where they would be paid for each correct answer. They marked their own tests and were asked to report their scores. The subjects who thought they were wearing real sunglasses cheated 30 percent of the time, while those who believed they were sporting faux lenses bumped up their score 71 percent of the time. All the participants thought that their tests were anonymous and that their reported scores couldn’t be cross-checked, but researchers had coded the exams so they knew exactly who was, and who wasn’t, a fashionable fibber.

Is it just me, or does it feel like this study was subsidized by a designer? I’m always so skeptical of anything that tells you buying knockoffs makes you a bad person – it feels like a scam by high-end fashion brands to make you feel guilty for not buying their stuff. But maybe I’m just a fundamentally evil person since I have bought knockoffs in the past, and therefore my opinion is invalid. Could go either way.

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    • Eileen

      I don’t buy knockoffs because a lot of the same people who make them are involved in drug-dealing and money laundering, and I’d really rather not support them. Then again, I also pay for all my music and movies and have never cheated on a test, so maybe I’m just a goody-goody. But I think buying knockoffs – as opposed to something without a brand name – is essentially lying in itself. The reason people buy, say, Ralph Lauren polos or Louis Vuitton bags may be because they’re well made, but knockoffs are bought mainly for the label: you want people to think you have the money to buy the real thing. So this study doesn’t really surprise me.

    • CurlySarah29

      This is silly… when I buy a knock-off, I tell people! “I got these shoes for $15 at Target… but you thought they were Steve Maddens, right?” I think that saving money is a bigger trend than the fashion itself.

      • Lilit Marcus

        I’m with you. I love getting a good bargain! I think there’s a huge difference between “fakes we are trying to pass off as the real thing” and “cheaper but perfectly good version of thing that is uneccessarily expensive,” and I love the latter. Then again, maybe I am lying.

    • Eileen

      @Lilit I agree with you on the “cheaper but perfectly good version of thing that is unnecessarily expensive” thing – when I say “knockoff,” I mean “handbag with a Coach logo on it that I actually bought from a street vendor.”

    • nolalola26

      Another thing that’s weird about this study is that they didn’t test people who purposely buy knock-offs (control group would be people who pay full-price for authentic), they tested normal people and told some of them they had knock-offs and some of them they had originals.

      So, basically, the results of the study showed that if you are given something inauthentic, you’re more likely to lie, but if you’re given something original, you’re more likely to tell the truth.

      • porkchop

        Or maybe this study shows that if you tell someone you’ve just given them fake designer sunglasses, they’re less likely to take your survey seriously.

    • johnnycomelately

      “I don’t buy knockoffs because a lot of the same people who make them are involved in drug-dealing and money laundering, and I’d really rather not support them. Then again, I also pay for all my music and movies and have never cheated on a test, so maybe I’m just a goody-goody. But I think buying knockoffs – as opposed to something without a brand name – is essentially lying in itself. The reason people buy, say, Ralph Lauren polos or Louis Vuitton bags may be because they’re well made, but knockoffs are bought mainly for the label: you want people to think you have the money to buy the real thing. So this study doesn’t really surprise me.”

      @ Eileen, you have no idea who makes the “real” sunglasses! Some of these, especially ones by non-traditional eyewear manufacturers, are probably from the same shop.

      • Eileen

        Maybe not, but I’d sooner trust someone who puts his or her own name on a product than someone who uses another person’s name.

    • Diesel Sunglasses

      I don’t buy knockoffs because a lot of the same people who make them are involved in drug-dealing and money laundering, and I’d really rather not support them. Then again, I also pay for all my music and movies and have never cheated on a test, so maybe I’m just a goody-goody.

      • Eva Rinaldi

        I agree that buying a “coach” bag with a giant coach logo to show off that you can have a giant coach logo when the bag is fake is stupid, but I generally find the idea that something is worth more because of a logo to be stupid and in some cases immoral- often both the original designer version and the knockoff are made in chinese sweatshops anyway, and weirdly, sometimes the knockoffs are being sold by chinese people, so you’re just cutting out a bunch of middle men.

        But there’s a limit to how many ways you can alter a handbag or a pair of jeans and still have an item that is able to serve the functions it’s supposed to, and in many cases people don’t bother to pay attention to high end designer brands they don’t have a chance of purchasing at that price point and may purchase a “knockoff” of a popular high end style at a department store without realizing they’ve even done so.

        Also, sometimes a knockoff company will produce an item in different colors or somewhat alter the style into something someone likes better than the original style. And I don’t know that you can really argue that the market for knockoff sunglasses that cost $5 is killing the market for $200 sunglasses, since the makers of $200 sunglasses are still very wealthy and many more people will consider buying a $5 object than a $200 one.

    • Snowboard Goggles

      Nice and really a good post.