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Your Brain’s Reward and Threat Response

“I freeze when I am challenged”
“I fight back when I feel I am made wrong”
Why? It is all in your brain!

In different situations, our brain has a reward or a threat response. Sometimes, the threat response can shut down our executive functions and make it difficult to think. Or the threat response prompts us to jump into defense mode.

SCARF model is a framework to show social domains that reward us or threaten us.

  • Status – less than or better than others
  • Certainty – ability to predict outcomes
  • Autonomy – feeling to have choices
  • Relatedness – feeling safe with other people
  • Fairness – perception of fair exchange or fair relationship

SCARF drives our behavior subconsciously. If one of the domains is triggered, we tend to react. Self-management starts with the self-awareness of the trigger and response,

This is a link to SCARF assessment. Take a few minutes to do and get some insights.

Which one triggered you the most?

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