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New Psychological Insights into Unethical Counterfeit Consumption

Bian, Xuemei, Wang, Kai-Yu, Smith, Andrew, Yannopoulou, Natalia (2016) New Psychological Insights into Unethical Counterfeit Consumption. Journal of Business Research, . ISSN 0148-2963. (doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.02.038) (KAR id:54251)


Consumer demand for counterfeit luxury brands is often viewed as “unethical”, but the demand is also robust and growing. The aim of this exploratory research, which employs in-depth interviews, is two-fold: 1) to identify the psychological and emotional insights that both drive and result from the consumption of higher involvement counterfeit goods and 2) to uncover the coping strategies related to unethical counterfeit consumption. This research reveals new psychological motivations (e.g., “thrill of the hunt”, being part of a “secret society” and genuine interest) underlying counterfeit consumption and the associated emotional outcomes (e.g., embarrassment, shame and positive hedonic gains). This research is also one of the few studies to identify cognitive moral logics by disclosing the neutralization techniques (specifically, denial of responsibility and appealing to higher loyalties) that consumers adopt to cope with the cognitive dissonance associated with debatable counterfeit consumption. The paper contributes to scholarly, managerial and policy conversations.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.02.038
Uncontrolled keywords: Counterfeit; Luxury Brand; Consumer Ethics; Motivation; Moral Logics; Neutralization.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Kent Business School (do not use)
Depositing User: Xuemei Bian
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2016 18:11 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:33 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Bian, Xuemei.

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