On Chloe Sunglasses, Wearing Fakes, and Cheating

This week’s book learning is part of an 8 part series from The Honest Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely. (Parts 123, 4)

Dan Ariely and team enlisted many female MBA students for an experiment. They were divided into 3 groups with Chloe designer sunglasses.

This first group were told their sunglasses were authentic. The second were told they were counterfeit (even though they were real). And nothing was said to the third group about the authenticity.

The women were then directed to the hallway where they were asked to rate the quality and experience of looking through their sunglasses. Soon after, they were called back for the matrix/puzzle test with the “shredder” condition where they solved the matrices, shredded their answer sheet, and told the examiners how many they solved. (Ariely and team knew the average number of questions having performed this experiment many a time)

The results were fascinating as always –

– 42% of the participants in the “no information” condition cheated
– “Only” 30% of the authentic condition participants cheated
– As for the “fake” condition, a whopping 74% cheated


Real or fake?
Image credit

In Ariely’s words, “These results suggest that wearing a genuine product does not increase our honesty (or at least not by much). But once we knowingly put on a counterfeit product, moral constraints loosen to some degree, making it easier for us to take further steps down the path of dishonesty.

The moral of the story? If you, your friend, or someone you are dating wears counterfeit products, be careful! Another act of dishonesty may be closer than you expect.”

That leads us to the next question – are there any other downsides to wearing fakes?Coming up next week..

Wish you a happy weekend and happy week!