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Effects of cognitive resource availability on consumer decisions involving counterfeit products: The role of perceived justification

Abstract

In four experiments, participants made a purchase decision about a counterfeit product under either constrained or unconstrained cognitive resource conditions. Participants were less likely to purchase the counterfeit when their cognitive resources were constrained than when they were not. However, this difference was evident only when individuals had strong (vs. weak) moral beliefs, or when they had low (vs. high) accountability for their decisions. These and other results suggest that the effect of cognitive resource availability on counterfeit purchase was mediated by participants’ perceptions of justification about the purchase.

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Notes

  1. Counterfeit purchases can occur in two different ways. First, consumers may be deceived to believe that the counterfeit products they purchase are genuine ones. This is termed a ‘deceptive’ counterfeiting (Grossman and Shapiro 1998). Second, consumers may purchase counterfeits even if they know that the products are counterfeits. This is termed a “non-deceptive” counterfeiting (Grossman and Shapiro 1998). The focus of the present research is the latter.

  2. Note that justification questions were asked always after participants indicated their purchase intentions. To this extent, participants’ justifications might have been answered to be consistent with their purchase intentions and did not actually drive the decision of purchasing the counterfeit. To evaluate this possibility, we performed a reverse mediation analysis in which justification rating was a dependent variable while purchase intention served as a mediator. This analysis indicated that including purchase intentions as additional predictor in the model did not eliminate the effect of resource availability on justification ratings to nonsignificant (β = 0.85, t = 1.65, p < 0.10), thus calling the validity of the alternative possibility into questions.

  3. A reverse mediation analysis indicated that including purchase intention as additional predictor in the regression model did not eliminate the effect of resource availability on justification rations to nonsignificance (β = 0.57; t = 1.77; p < 0.10), as consistent with results in experiment 1.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the editor and the reviewers for their constructive comments on earlier drafts. This research was supported by the Hyundai-Kia Research Fellow Fund to Jongwon Park.

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Correspondence to Jungkeun Kim.

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Kim, J., Kim, JE. & Park, J. Effects of cognitive resource availability on consumer decisions involving counterfeit products: The role of perceived justification. Mark Lett 23, 869–881 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11002-012-9194-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11002-012-9194-1

Keywords

  • Counterfeit products
  • Cognitive resource availability
  • Accountability
  • Illegal consumption
  • Moral decision making