Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Douglas Peterson


This study examined if overt anti-counterfeiting indicators on product packages and warning labels added to the product, informing that the product might be a counterfeit, influenced participants to spend more time examining the product package for genuineness. The overt indicators used were a QR code, and a holographic security tag that were added to packages as a sticker. There was little research regarding what consumers were looking for when examining a product package to determine if the product was genuine or counterfeit. Arguments for both involving the consumers in the counterfeit identification process, and not involving the consumers in this process were found in previous literature. In this study, the participants wore a set of eye tracking glasses and were given 13 different products to examine, some with no added indicators, some with added QR code indicator, and some with holographic security tag added indicator. Half of the subjects saw the added warning label sticker, and the other half saw the same products with no added warning label. After the participants finished viewing each of the products, they filled out a survey that asked them if they thought the product was genuine or counterfeit, how likely they would be to purchase the product, how much they trusted that the product, and what it was about the product that made them rate it this way. The total amount of time that the participants spent examining the product package, as well as the total amount of time the participants spent examining the added overt anti-counterfeiting indicators on the product package were measured as well. The results revealed that the warning label did have an overall effect on the total amount of time that the participants spent examining the product package, and there was no difference on total time between the two types of indicators. Participants did not pay more attention to one indicator over the other. Further research will be needed to examine true counterfeit products when compared to genuine products, after the addition of the warning labels and the overt anti-counterfeiting indicators to the product package.

Subject Categories



Anti-counterfeiting, Human Factors, Overt Indicators, Warnings

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota

Included in

Psychology Commons



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