Reward and status are hardwired into the brain to trigger the limbic system (fight or flight) in exactly the same way survival threat does. It’s no wonder media uses these two concepts to market everything. Here’s a tip–if you redefine status to be measured against yourself and your own actions rather than others you can transcend this insidious social cycle. Jump out of competition or “us vs. them”. How amazing would it be to get rewarded from being better than yourself!
Click here to read an abstract on neural expectation and reward pathways.