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Killerjackalope's social experiment results Answered

Well I've been conducting a secret social experiment using shopping bags and the environmental topics everywhere as a media for this to happen.

Basically my plan was to see if I could affect the decision of whether or not to take a bag when it's not completely necessary, to change the course of decision I used different phrases and tried to get a more accurate measure by choosing the same people that come in for milk or bread each day.

The phrases are:
'Would you like a bag?'
'Do you want a bag'
'Do you need a bag?'
'Wee bag there, mate?
'Bag?'

The results were really quite interesting, the one putting emphasis on need (very subtlety) reduced bag takings by over half in a day, whereas 'Wee bag there, mate?' produced a very high bag taking day because it detracts from the bags impact as an object. The other things I found was that it's actually possible to control some customers bag taking completely, there's a customer that comes in every day to get milk and I have managed to control his bag taking with about a 95% success rate, so shopkeepers unite and we can eradicate unnecessary bag taking, thereby reducing the majority of plastic bags that end up in the street and ocean, landfills are another story, thankfully my stores bags are fully biodegradable...

What do you make of all this, and is it possibly a bit much power to give to a shop worker...

On another note I have curtailed the efforts of one customer I know as the bag thief, he used to take five or six for various uses, through gentle shame jibing he's now down to one.

23 Replies

user
killerjackalope (author)2008-04-14

Cool well good luck to you, I hope you find some interesting stuff, if you find more interesting ideas about it please post them back here...

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user
killerjackalope (author)2008-04-13

Go ahead, were you looking for ideas a while ago, I think you were but can't remember.

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user
Lithium Rain (author)2008-04-12

The other side is that may really, really need a bag...one time I was on a trip and there was someone sick (like vomiting sick) in the car and we needed another bag in case he got sick again (which he did).
The lady at walmart acted like it was a crime to ask for extra bags! We had to buy ziplock bags! :(

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user

Well I have a bit more wit than that, if someone asks for a bag without putting stuff in it I kind of figure they are going to use it...

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user

Just sayin'...I guess she was a just a dummy though. :)

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user
Bran (author)2008-04-12

When ever I travel, I buy a patch. You could say I collect them. But seems nearly every time I go to a tourist attraction (recently the Atlanta Zoo and Stone Mountain), I buy a patch, nothing else, and the cashier says, "Do you want a bag?" It's never phrased any other way, like saying need or anything. I say no, and just stick the patch in my pocket or bag. Other times when they don't ask, they usually give me a small bag. Cool spearmint.

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user
caitlinsdad (author)2008-03-28

So who was left holding the bag? Don't you loathe those double-baggers?(I mean the ones who place one bag in another when one is strong enough to use) Bad joke from the net follows:A young man had been working as a bag boy in a supermarket for several years. One day the supermarket got new orange juice machines. The bag boy was excited and asked the manager if he could work the juice machines. The manager turned him down. The bag boy said, "But I've been working here for five years. Why can't I run the juice machines?" The manager said, "I'm sorry, but baggers can't be juicers." Did you program the cash register display to emit subliminal messages too?

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user
Goodhart (author)caitlinsdad2008-03-29

Don't you loathe those double-baggers?

Not as much as the carpet baggers.... ;-)

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user

Oddly enough yes, the cash machine was using the credit card read as a polling machine, asking whether we should ban free bags..

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user
jessyratfink (author)2008-03-28

Where I work, we always emphasize "need" when asking them about bags. It does seem to cut down the bag use a bit. However, a lot of people get extremely offended and snap at us for even asking. It's like people feel they do NEED a bag. It's ridiculous. I don't even offer them when people only buy one or two things and sometimes they get truly upset over it.

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Goodhart (author)jessyratfink2008-03-29

I have watched people this way a bit too, and it is amusing and sad at the same time to see someone request a bag, that barely covers the ONE item they purchased, and doesn't make it any easier to carry (because now they have to hold the bag against the item too)....most people are very habitual creatures though.

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user

I'm very arrogant to customers in a friendly way, like I get paid either way, you on the other need to buy the milk, so I would prefer if you were nice to me, then point to the reserve the right to refuse any customer sign.

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user
LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-03-28

Interesting.... effing corporate b**ches. People are so consumeristic and wasteful

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user

Well I have made serious inroads into the wasteful bit already, considering I take huge amounts of the stuff for wastage for low low prices, I bough a gallon of lilt for 25P earlier, it's fine using the consmeristic vibe is the trick to making them do the right thing, or for that matter anything you want... yes even that...

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ll.13 (author)2008-03-29
user
Weissensteinburg (author)2008-03-28

Pretty interesting. You oughtta call up some local stores and get them to do the same (and record their results). See what happens on a bigger scale.

Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

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user

Hmm nice idea, might be hard to do, that and if my shop found out I told other shops it'd be really upset because we're the super-enviro-fairtrade-elderly-helping-mega-reusable-ultra-socially-concious-uber-traditional-hyper-shop-a-magig. Yes that is the trade name of where I work however we prefer to call it the S.E.F.E.H.M.R.U.S.C.U.T.H.S.A.M. That fact that nearly makes a phonetically possible word is just ridiculous on so many levels.

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Goodhart (author)2008-03-28

Where I shop, you bag at the end after filling a cart :-) I normally use paper because we reuse them, if we get plastic, we can reuse a few of them but not as many. I use paper in a lot of ways at home, and then finally to line the guinea pig's cage bottoms.

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Goodhart (author)2008-03-28

Sounds like you have that one in the bag :-)

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guyfrom7up (author)Goodhart2008-03-28

ohhhh, you so funnyyy! Best pun I saw all day On a seperate not, I don't take a bag when possible, usually an inconvienece (Inless you buy likea million stuff

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killerjackalope (author)Goodhart2008-03-28

Ha oddly enough I just commented your orangeboard, I figured you'd have something 'witty' to say...

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