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Self-checkouts could turn you into a shoplifter

Supermarket self-service checkouts are wonderfully convenient, but a new report from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom shows they might be turning virtuous patrons into greedy shoplifters, The New York Times reports. The study looked at 12 million shopping trips across the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Of the 1 million transactions audited in detail, nearly 850,000 items out of 6 million weren’t scanned: That’s 4% of the total purchases. Though proving intent to steal is tough, researchers suggest shoppers “neutralize their guilt” when stealing at self-checkout by deciding an item is overpriced or by blaming technology if their item won’t scan.

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