Food for the Hungry Logo Barrier Analysis: A Tool for Improving Behavior Change Communication in Child Survival and Community Development Programs
Background Information
What is Barrier Analysis
Behavior change theory
Seeing the need
Fisherman story
Seven steps
The "Exercise" exercise
How to Conduct Barrier Analysis

Masai villagers shaking hands

  Perceived Severity

"Is the problem very serious?"

Another determinant is whether or not the person believes that the problem or disease is very serious. Another name for this barrier is "perceived severity." If people do NOT think that a problem or disease is serious or annoying, they may not take action to prevent it.


  • The fisherman did not know anything about emphysema, so he did not realize how severe it was. Consequently, he did not quit smoking.

  • If a parent thinks that dehydration is not such a bad problem, will he or she take action to prevent it? Probably not. The thing that is most important is NOT if the problem is in fact serious, but if the person THINKS that the problem is serious.

Determinants Introduction
Perceived Susceptibility
Perceived Severity
Perceived Action Efficacy
Perceived Social Acceptability
Perceived Self-Efficacy
Cues for Action
Perception of Divine Will
Negative and Positive Attributes
Determinant Exercises


Next (Perceived Action Efficacy)

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© November 2004

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