Behavioral economist Dan Ariely suggests women that carry fake designer handbags are big trouble. In his new book The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone – Including Ourselves, Ariely claims imitation brand name purse lovers are more likely to lie, steal, and cheat than women than buy genuine designer goods.
The idea that spending loose change on a bag which really costs thousands somehow signifies a serious moral flaw initially seems like a stretch. After all, doesn’t everyone behave a little dishonestly now and again? However Ariely says people who display their lies, as women do when they carry a designer fake, are especially deceitful.
As you look more closely at the practice of buying designer handbags and the number of lies involved in each transaction, Ariely’s theory makes some sense. In the first instance, these women are cheating the genuine designer out of money they’re due by supporting the violation of their intellectual property. These women lie again to anyone who catches a glimpse of their handbag and believes it to be the real thing. They’re pretending to have the sense of style and means to own a genuine designer accessory when they don’t. And finally they lie to themselves when they pretend that buying imitation handbags is OK.
Suddenly indulging in that faux Prada purse doesn’t sound so innocuous, does it?