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The Viral Shopping Cart Test Can Determine Moral Character

When we go into a grocery store to do our shopping for the upcoming week or two, the first thing we do is grab a shopping cart. Once we’ve picked up all of our favorite groceries and paid for them, we proceed to unload our purchases from the cart to the car trunk. What now? Life is full of choices. One of those choices is what to do with the shopping cart after we load groceries in the car. Enter the shopping cart test.

Jared, a Twitter user from Atlanta, shared an image that explains the “Shopping Cart Theory.” The concept is that a shopping cart is the ultimate test of moral character. If you return the cart to the storefront cart location, you’re a decent person. If you don’t, you may want to work on becoming a better member of society.

The Shopping Cart Test

The shopping cart is a real test of character because people gain nothing by returning the cart to its rightful space. They aren’t obliged by law to do so. Hence, they won’t have to face any consequences if they don’t. This point of view has divided the Internet.

Some netizens concur that the shopping cart test is a great way to determine whether or not a person is kind. Others argue that things aren’t just black and white.

For instance, people who are disabled or who have small children with them might find it difficult, bordering on the impossible, to return the cart. Plus, some grocery store employees would be out of a job if everyone returned their shopping carts. Some netizens refute the idea of it being hard to do, though. They recommend parking right next to the cart return to avoid any potential problems.

Do you think whether or not someone returns a shopping cart is an accurate way to determine their moral character? Do you think there are exceptions? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


I am an English major with a love of languages and fiction, and with an incurable travel bug. In my free time, I read fantasy, drink copious amounts of coffee, and like to go see movies. Culinary art means everything to me. My main hypostasis is the taster, though. The music school has taught me to appreciate the symphony of airy meringues, to create harmonious overtures of light snacks, hard rock of meat, fish, and vegetables on the grill. Choir classes have accustomed me to hear and feel the people nearby and create perfect harmonies of sounds.

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