Alright, picture this scenario. You’re in a parking lot and you just finished loading your groceries in the car. You, then, look to return your cart but you don’t see a convenient place to do so. What do you do?
Okay, same situation, but this time there is a child in your cart. Now, what do you do?
This scenario was analyzed in a scientific American article, revealing some pretty compelling psychological implications to the decisions we make in this situation. We are primarily motivated to act by two things. these are injunctive norms, which is how others will judge our behavior, and descriptive norms, which is how we use contextual clues to make decisions.
The article goes on to explain that there are 4 main responses. People who always return their cart, people who never return their cart, people who only return their cart when it’s close and convenient, and people who return their carts when they feel pressure from others around them.
So, be an always returner. We should not let other factors dictate our actions. We should act with intention, and follow through on the principles that are important to us, even if it takes us 30 seconds out of our way. Having this mentality in all areas of life, including in the grocery store parking lot, allows you to have more will power in other actions that have a larger influence on the state of your life. It serves as an opportunity to flex your will power muscles! Be someone with sound principles, ethical, moral and just, and hold yourself to those principles at all times!