"Is the problem
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.