"Can I get the
disease?” or "Could that problem happen to me?”
One of the important determinants is whether or not a person
believes that the problem could happen to him or her. Another
name for this barrier is "perceived susceptibility."
If people think that they cannot get a particular disease
or have a particular problem, they often will NOT take action
to prevent it.
In the story, the old fisherman thought that he could
NOT get cancer because his family was very strong and
healthy. For that reason, he did not quit smoking.
If a mother thinks that her child could not become dehydrated
when the child has diarrhea, then she may not use ORS.
- If a man thinks that AIDS is a disease of homosexuals
only—and he is not gay—then he will probably
not do anything (like remaining faithful in marriage or
using condoms) to prevent AIDS.