How to Spot a Lying Consumer: Exploring Consumer Misrepresentation in Real and Virtual Environments

Document Type

Paper Presentation

Publication Date



The aim of this paper is to provide a conceptual framework that extends our understanding of consumer misrepresentation. Our analysis shows that consumers engage in misrepresentation for variety of reasons both in real and virtual worlds. With the help of our theoretical standpoint, we compare advantages and disadvantages of engaging misrepresentation in different worlds. First, building on prior research, we propose that consumer misrepresentation will increase in virtual worlds. However, we also believe that consumers will engage in misrepresentation with irrelevant others more in virtual worlds then with their relevant others. Second, our framework suggests that if consumers’ perceived costs are larger than their benefits both in social and economic contexts, consumers will engage in misrepresentation to balance their loss. Third, we propose that intense pressure coming from the marketers’ side encourages consumers to engage in misrepresentation. We also highlight the importance of building trust while collecting data to eliminate any privacy concerns. Implications for how marketers, organizations and policymakers can best utilize their practices to prevent consumer misrepresentation in the marketplace are discussed.


Palace Station Hotel & Casino


American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI) Annual Conference


Las Vegas, NV


College of Business and Management

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