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This can be reversed to explain adherence to a diet as a result of perceiving the benefits of complying with a diet as outweighing the barriers mentioned above. Factors including media campaigns, advice from peers and illness in the family can be the modifying factors in pushing the patient to adhere. The problem of this model is that it relies on the individual being reasoned in their approach, and weighing up the costs and benefits, however often people commence a behaviour automatically, or impulsively.
It also relies on the individual acting on their good intentions, whereas we do not always follow them through. The cognitive theory, unlike some of the approaches can also be used to predict behaviour. Ley, 1981, 1984, developed the ‘Cognitive Hypotheses Model of Compliance’, which explains compliance with health advice as a combination of patient satisfaction with the consultation, understanding of the information received, and the ability to recall the information.
Using this model, positive future behaviour can be influenced by increasing the patient’s satisfaction with the consultation, their understanding of the information given (this can be achieved by the professional using less technical language), and their recall of the information (achieved when the professional repeats the more important information). Using this model, a diabetic teenager’s lack of adherence to a diet could be explained due to the fact that their consultation with the professional recommending the course of treatment was rushed, and the information given to them was difficult to understand.
Whereas the cognitive approach uses both thought and behaviour to make predictions, the behaviourist approach is concerned with the behaviour only. The Behaviourist approach has other similarities to the cognitive view, in that it is based on the present, not past experience (unlike the psychoanalytic approach). However, the main focus for behaviourist psychologists is the influence of the environment, and is not concerned with internal mechanisms within the brain.
The behaviourist view believes that humans are more or less shaped through constant interactions with the environment and that learning and experience are key factors in determining personality. They believe that the observation of behaviour within a person should be the key focal point of the study of psychology. Two methods commonly used are lab experiments (as environmental factors can be controlled, and therefore precise results can be achieved) and the use of animals (they believe that learning mechanisms in animals are similar to those in humans and it is not always ethically correct to carry out certain forms of experiment on humans).