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Good human behaviours used to be drilled into people by punishing them for not being one. Most “anti-social” behaviour (such as littering, road rage, excessive noise in your home etc) has long been discouraged through misdemeanour laws where failure to comply, results in a fine or a penalty.

At the same time, changing human behaviour in our society has been fuelled through education or encouragement by the government and not-for-profit organisations. For health education, we have had Change For Life and Quit Smoking campaigns to name only two. Sweet treats were “sugar taxed” and removed from impulse areas of stores through the HFSS initiative brought in 2022.

Now, we may be moving towards a future where being rewarded for good human behaviours through credit scores or social acceptance will become more common, where being a good human is more participation than compliance.


To battle our ever-growing landfill, good humans are encouraged to recycle by government scheme providers and now retailers.

Some boroughs in the UK are incentivising and rewarding recycling habits by operating recycling credit schemes, giving good humans vouchers for sorting, and recycling old plastic. Let us not forget the long-awaited UK Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) that applies 10p to every single-use recyclable container, trialled in Wales this summer, encouraging people to keep their empties for kerbside collection. As announced a few months ago, Ocado is set to launch a UK-first, financial rewarding app that encourages participation in deposit return.

Private businesses are now encouraging good human behaviour (or discouraging bad human behaviour) through reverse reviews.

Reviews BY customers on establishments and companies have long been around and made hugely popular by ecomms giant, Amazon. Effective too, with one-third of all people asked saying reviews play an important part in their purchasing decisions*. Review sites like Trust Pilot, play a role for services alongside category specifics like Trip Adviser, Google My Business, Glassdoor and Foursquare. Nowadays, there is no business that you cannot find or write a review on as a consumer.

The tables turned on customer reviews, pardon the pun, when controversially Open Table created a rating system in 2015 where the establishment could rate the customer. This started an adoption from other service giants such as Airbnb and Uber, reminding anyone of Black Mirror’s Nosedive episode? There were some teething problems at first when Open Table first allowed the employees to rate customer behaviours, and one even called a paying guest a “Super Bitch” for asking for a cable to charge her phone.

Subjectivity over rating individuals from 1-5 can be an issue. One employer’s rating may differ from another. So, would you get a 5 if you did not leave a big enough tip at every meal? Would this then lead to bribery for a good score? Or paranoid about how you clean an apartment at the end of your Air BnB stay for fear you will be rejected in the future by properties?

Less open about the monitoring of customers is Uber, where passengers are given score ratings by the drivers. The information is not publicly shared, but customers can find out their score if they go to their Privacy Centre. This caused quite a bit of anxiety with one woman who asked a driver to show her score. She was so alarmed to see that it was only a 4.8/5 that she became obsessed with how she appeared in taxis, her friendliness, and her tips at the end of the fare (ooh a scene of black mirrors Nosedive springs to mind again.)

Engaging behaviour has long been social currency on social media from friends and fellow interest group communities looking to impress.

Hell, it even prompted the rise of some of our mainstay influencers today such as Mrs Hinch. The more likes, the more popular, the more followers, the more chance of creating a career out of content. So, it is widely accepted to receive reviews as individuals. Why would not receiving reviews and credit scores for good behaviour in the service industry and on matters of CSR habits be any different?

Generation Z are renowned for demanding transparency and criticising companies that don’t. They grew up in the likes and the thumbs up culture, so this generation and the Alphas may be more welcoming for individual ratings based on good behaviours and habits, so long as the ratings are fair and open-sourced. And more importantly REWARDED.

So, with all these ratings and government measures, are we hitting an age where being rewarded for good human behaviour with a credit score or simply through greater social acceptance will become the norm?

Moreover, is this participation or compliance?

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