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Neuroscientists have pinpointed THE 5 domains

July, 12 2019

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Dr. Brynn
Written By
Dr. Brynn
Topic
Brainscience

Neuroscientists have pinpointed THE five domains of social reward & threat that every human responds to

To know these is to be a better communicator, manager, influencer, leader...fellow person!

The Five Domains of Social Reward & Threat: The SCARE Model

The SCARE Model indicates what neuroscientists have pinpointed as THE five domains of social reward & threat in humans. To know them is to be a better communicator, manager, influencer, leader...fellow person!

They are:

STATUS - Humans like to accrue social capital & have a high rank within the group and will respond negatively to options, directives, actions, or circumstances that could potentially strip them of rank, position, or social capital.

CERTAINTY - Humans like circumstances where certainty is high or there are guarantees. Conversely, ambiguity, volatility, inconsistency, uncertainty are all processed as threats in the subconscious brain.

AUTONOMY - Humans enjoy decision-making rights and perceived ability to control one's own circumstances. Conversely, the human brain does not like to have control or decision-making rights hindered or removed from them.

RELATEDNESS - Humans are 'homophilic' and like to feel as though they belong and are relatively similar to their group or peer-set. Conversely, the human subconscious processes a threat response when it perceives a lack of belongingness.

EQUITY - Human brains are great score-keepers: the subconscious monitors constantly for fairness & equity in treatment, compensation, resource allocation, and circumstances. Conversely, perception of unequal or unfair treatment/compensation create a threat response in the subconscious brain.

The SCARE model gives us insight into what others will respond to favorably (rewards) and unfavorably (threats) as we speak with them, direct them, guide them.


As example, if your direct report feels that what you are asking them to do is very likely to result in an increase in social capital or organizational status (e.g. request a meeting with senior leadership to present their polished and approved strategic plan), they will be keen to follow your directive.

If on the other hand, your direct report feels the opposite - as though what you are asking is likely to decrease or hurt their social capital and status within the organization (e.g. submit their draft plan to senior leadership for review & feedback) - they will experience a threat emotion that will decrease their willingness to comply and increase the friction between you both.

Learn to Use the SCARE Model & Develop Your Leadership Skills

As a leader, we become much better communicators, managers, and influencers toward what I call 'non-coercive compliance' (getting people to want to do what we want them to do) if we understand the SCARE model and how to use it.

Join me for a full, fun day of leadership training on October 4: bit.ly/DrBrynnInfluence

Entitled "Influence & Leadership Presence" this always-sold-out program is your first step toward becoming a better leader, developing your influence, gaining non-coercive compliance, establishing your presence and building your best career!

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