Impression Management – Who Does Your Sweatshirt Say You Are?

Media Psychology

Easy Street Magazine – Psych Pstuff

by Dr. Donna Roberts

The Story

I have a friend who wears a Harvard Law sweatshirt. She didn’t study there. She wanted to, but didn’t. But she doesn’t mind if you think so when you see her wearing the sweatshirt. In fact, that’s pretty much why she wears it.

The sweatshirt is actually how I met her. Waiting in line at Starbucks I noticed the just-dying-to-be-noticed sweatshirt. Being a lawyer is my alter ego—the proverbial if-I-hadn’t-done-what-I-did-in-life-I might-have-done-this. And Harvard Law is … well, Harvard Law, the quintessential Holy Grail of legal education. Duly impressed I started up a conversation by asking the obvious question “Oh, did you study law at Harvard?” Mind you, she doesn’t lie when directly asked if she attended the esteemed academy. Faking academic credentials is unethical, illegal and vastly uncool. “Unfortunately not,” she confessed, “I’m a wannabe.” “Me too!” I…

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