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Shame or Pride? The moderating role of self-construal on moral judgements concerning fashion counterfeits

What are counterfeits? Counterfeits according to authors Kim and Johnson (2014) are unauthorized identical copies of an original brand-name product. Usually their price and quality are much lower than those of originals. When thinking of counterfeits, apparel and accessory items come to mind, but counterfeiting is not limited to fashion-related categories only. The most interesting two facts is that the buying and selling of counterfeit items is a billion dollar industry and most consumers do not always knowingly purchase these items.

Even though there are many organizations trying to regulate against anti-counterfeiting, counterfeiting is such a big business around the world that it makes it hard to keep it under control. Because counterfeiting is fueled by consumer demand, a large amount of research has looked into consumers’ purchasing  of counterfeits as an instance of moral decision making, and this creates a limitation.

The actual focus of this study is on the moderating role of individuals’ self-view (interdependent, independent) in the relationship between moral emotions and moral judgements made concerning the purchase of fashion counterfeits. According to the authors, previous research has taken a rationalist approach, which is a belief or theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge, on cognitive processes involved in moral decision making rather than including the influence of consumer emotion. So, the authors hoped that the research and findings for this study would possibly be a major contribution to the literature.

Based on reviewing previous literature, this article conducted two experimental studies to test formed hypotheses and operationalize self-construal, ego-focused emotion and other-focused emotion in multiple ways. There are four hypotheses have made by the author; H1,H3,H4 were completely supported, and H2 was supported only for pride. The study 1 proved that moral emotions will influence moral judgment concerning the purchase of a counterfeit, and the influence of moral emotion on moral judgment will be moderated by self-construal; specifically for pride, the influence of the association of ego-focused emotions with a moral judgment will be higher for the independents versus  interdependents. On the other hand, study 2 proved that individuals whose independent self-construal is primed are more likely to judge the counterfeit as more morally wrong to purchase when pride is induced than when shame is induced; however, the individuals whose interdependent self-construal is opposite.

For the limitations of this research, first, the emotions which in studies 1 and 2 are not identical to experienced emotions. Second, there are just only two emotions: shame and pride, which were selected to represent ego-focused or other-focused. Third, the findings are not viewed cautiously enough. Finally, the sample of participants was not diverse.


Do you think the counterfeit market will decline or completely disappear in the future by the strong intellectual property protection from the government?


Article 2

Analysis of counterfeit fashion purchase behavior in UAE –Cedwyn Fernandes

Fernandes (2013) introduces us to the issue of counterfeiting in the marketplace of the United Arab Emirates.  United Arab Emirates (UAE) has an open economy where counterfeiting takes place often because it happens to be a mecca of international trade which includes auto parts, beauty and fashion products.  UAE has an estimated total of $1.02 billion of counterfeited merchandise per year.

The UAE has held a steady marketplace for high-end retail shoppers, making it a zesty attraction/destination for the luxury market.

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