, Shopping trolley test proves if you’re a good person or not, ICT Asyst, ICT AsystIt is a test dubbed the “shopping cart theory” and it’s dividing the internet.
Simply put, the theory supposedly determines whether you are a good person or not.
The heated discussion sparked when a Twitter user, Jared from Atlanta in the US, shared the social experiment online alongside the caption: “I can’t f***ing stop thinking about the shopping cart theory”.
The tests asks if you would return a shopping trolley to the bay if nobody was watching, claiming there is no situation other than “dire emergencies in which a person is not able to return their cart”.
‘Shopping Cart’ theory divides the internet.Photo / Twitter “A person who is unable to do this is no better than an animal, an absolute savage who can only be made to do what is right by threatening them with a law and the force that stands behind it,” the theory reads.
Since posting the idea, it has attracted more than 204,000 tweets, 683,000 likes, and an abundance of comments, with the theory causing a heated debate.
“This is true.I’m the cart guy at a grocery store and I can confirm that I look down at you when I see you abandon the carts,” a supermarket worker wrote.
I’m laughing at the people who are like “but I’m a decent person and sometimes I don’t feel like putting my cart back.” That’s the whole point, you inconsiderate, selfish jerk.🙃It DOES say something about your character if you’re too lazy to do something so small lol.
— Julia Southwick (@JRsouthwick) May 15, 2020 Only times I haven’t done this has been in situations at night when I felt unsafe in the parking lot.Rare times, but as a survivor of violent crime, it’s a choice I believe is right for me.Otherwise, I’m a very good citizen, apparently.
— Melissa Jo Peltier (@MelissaJPeltier) May 16, 2020 “Please for the love of God and man and all that is right with the world RETURN YOUR CART.”
Others commented that having “respect and consideration” makes you a “good member of society” and that only a “selfish jerk” wouldn’t return the cart.
However, many called out the theory saying it ignores people with a disability.
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Yeah, return your shopping cart.Also appreciate reasons people don’t,” one user said.
“A good reason not to return it is if you are alone, with young children, and you are too far from the return to leave your kids alone in the car,” another person wrote.
An explanation of the test was also shared at 4Chan, an imageboard website, which stated that the experiment is “the ultimate litmus test for whether a person is capable of self-governing”.
“To return the shopping cart is objectively right.

Simultaneously, it is not illegal to abandon your shopping cart.
The theory explained in full.Photo / Twitter “Therefore the shopping cart presents itself as the apex example of whether a person will do what is right without being forced to do it.
“No one will punish you for not returning the shopping cart, no one will fine you or kill you for not returning the shopping cart, you gain nothing by returning the shopping cart.
“You must return the shopping cart out of the goodness of your own heart.You must return the shopping cart because it is the right thing to do.Because it is correct.
“The Shopping Cart is what determines whether a person is a good or bad member of society.”
It continued to divide the internet with many reiterating life is not so black and white, and that there are special circumstances that made returning a shopping cart harder.
“It leaves out variables.What if the return cart section is really far away? What if you are running late for something? What if you have small children that you can’t leave unattended in a car?” one Twitter user added to the long thread of comments.
“This assumes everyone has the ability to put back the cart, which is not true for disabled people who over-estimated their ability or have a sudden onset of symptoms, like an anxiety or asthma attack,” one person said.
out here calling people savages over a trolly?! pic.twitter.com/hjdxCfTqPD
— Mellow 🌻Margie (@mnsbelle) May 15, 2020 Others said this is why they pay people to gather carts.
“By returning, you’re actually evil because you’re reducing the necessity of their job.Thus if everyone returned the carts, these people will be out of a job or paid less,”, the Twitter user argued..