Emerging Neuroscience and the SCARF model

Emerging Neuroscience and the SCARF model

David Rock, the author of the book Your Brain At Work, outlines five particular qualities all humans crave.  These qualities are Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness.  These qualities appear to be rather important to the human brain and form the underlying structure of what he calls the SCARF model.

His SCARF model goes along the lines with my beliefs of Structure/Order and Chaos.  David Rock states that the absence of one of these five qualities has a tendency to drive people crazy or as I would call it, drops them into a state of chaos.


We tend to compare ourselves to others. Employment / Unemployment have a huge effect on our perception of self-worth. Lack of status, lack of self-worth drops us into a state of chaos, which can also be called into a state of depression.


We call crave a certain sense of order, predictability and most of all we thrive on sureness, although here I do have slight reservations.  Is a world of total predictability not an utter wasteland? Do we not need a certain unpredictability to remain interested?  Should we not say with one foot in chaos and therefore be forced to stretch our mind or at least to remain appreciative and not take things for granted.



Autonomy is nothing more than control, control of our destiny. Then again, total control even when it comes to our destiny and our goals there needs to be a certain flexibility to avoid madness.


Relatedness means being connected, being part of a social community.  People with strong social connections have a greater contentment with life the people who don’t nourish these connections.

We all feel certain hostility if we feel we were treated unfairly, the level of hostility if not affected by the validity of the feeling.  If a person feels being treated unfairly for long periods of time they can become bitter and cruel.