A researcher discovers the roots of the phenomenon: Style is determined by how old you feel, not how old you are
If you've been to the mall recently, there's a good chance you've seen mothers and daughters who look eerily similar: same short skirts, matching hair highlights, and maybe even the same hyper-orange glow. New research explains this so-called "consumer doppelganger" phenomenon, suggesting they may have more in common than their looks.
"It's far more profound than simply buying the same products or brands," says Temple University marketing professor Ayalla Ruvio, whose study on the phenomenon will appear in a forthcoming edition of the Journal of Consumer Behaviour. "It's about intentionally wanting to have the same identity."
Past research has tended to focus on the unconscious influence of role models and celebrities on adolescents, and the influence of children on family purchases such as groceries. Ruvio's study, however, broadens the existing mimicry literature by uncovering the factors that lead mothers to intentionally copy or "doppelgang" their daughters' style. The phenomenon is akin to reverse socialization: The children, instead of learning style and social cues from their parents, are actually the ones influencing the adults' behavior.