A penny for your thoughts? That’s not much, as few Iowans place a high value on the one-cent piece, according to a study by a sociology professor at Iowa City/Kirkwood Community College. During recent months, Dr. Elizabeth Duffy and 36 students placed pennies, dimes and nickels “heads-up” on sidewalks all around Iowa City and Coralville, then stood back and watched. The group started with eight dollars in change — 50 pennies, 50 dimes and 50 nickels. More than 23-hundred people walked past the pennies — only 26 pennies were picked up. Dr. Duffy says people frequently ignored the copper pennies but were more likely to snatch up a shiny nickel or dime. A U-S Senator from Arizona introduced a bill earlier this year that would eliminate the use of pennies, so Duffy wanted to study the coin’s value to Iowans. Duffy says age -did- make a difference in the study as children were most likely to pick up the pennies. Most of the 26 pennies picked up were picked up by kids. Men were two-thirds more likely to pick up coins than women. One thing she found in the study that was rather unusual: coins left in college buildings were the -least- likely to be picked up, even with all of the concern about tuition costs and budgets.
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