Marketing Professor Deborah Redder John and Jo Myung Park, both of the University of Minnesota, said the study suggests women can be affected by brands that not have anything to do with using the product itself.
The researchers asked women in a mall to carry either a Victoria's Secret bag or a regular pink shopping bag.
"These people carried the bag for an hour and as a result felt more glamorous, more sexy and more feminine. They didn't even use or wear any of the products," John told the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune.
"A brand like Victoria's Secret, people think of that as being very sexy and glamorous and feminine. We were interested in finding out, if you use that brand, will you start to believe that you are more glamorous, sexy feminine?"
The study, scheduled to be published in December, found women who believe their personality can't be improved through their efforts perceived themselves as more attractive when they carried the Victoria's Secret bag. Conversely, women who said their personalities can be improved did not appear to be affected by which bag they carried.