Applying the SCARF Framework to Pedagogical Practices in the Higher Education Classroom
AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
TitleApplying the SCARF Framework to Pedagogical Practices in the Higher Education Classroom
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The presentation discusses the SCARF model (i.e., acronym standing for status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness) which is a conceptual framework rooted in neuroscience. SCARF explains how social interactions elicit either prosocial or antisocial behaviors depending on how they are structured and interpreted. SCARF is particularly applicable within the classroom setting because a) the brain treats social threats and rewards similar to physical threats and rewards (Lieberman, & Eisenberger, 2009); b) a person’s capacity to make decisions, solve problems, and collaborate with others is reduced by social threats and strengthened by reward responses (Elliot, 2008); and c) threat responses are more intense, more common, and longer-lasting than reward responses and should therefore be minimized in social interactions (Baumeister et al, 2001). Understanding SCARF helps individuals effectively engage in work relationships and collaborate with others. The presentation explores the SCARF model and makes pedagogical recommendations for each SCARF dimension specific to the higher education context.
The purpose of the presentation is threefold:
- Describe the SCARF model and its conceptual framework which is grounded in neuroscience.
- Apply the SCARF model to the higher education context.
- Identify instructor behaviors, instructional strategies, and delivery options for each SCARF dimension which could be implemented within the higher education classroom to elicit prosocial behaviors.
Baumeister, R. F., Bratslavsky, E., Finkenauer, C., & Vohs, K. D. (2001). Bad is stronger than good. Review of general psychology, 5(4), 323.
Elliot, A. (2003). Handbook of Approach and Avoidance Motivation. New York: Psychology Press.
Lieberman, M. D., & Eisenberger, N. I. (2009). Pains and pleasures of social life. Science, 323(5916), 890-891.
Rock, D., & Cox, C. (2012). SCARF in 2012: Updating the social neuroscience of collaborating with others. NeuroLeadership Journal, 4(4), 1-16.