Reminding others of past failures

10 Oct

Professor David Sprott wrote a paper in 2006 about how to motivate health-related behavior change. He suggested that the health care provider remind the patient of past failures, then ask what the intention to change is. This goes against the feel good counseling we read about in popular press.

The rationale is that an overt confrontation with past failure followed by intentions questions will increase cognitive dissonance. “I want to exercise everyday to feel healthy. I have failed to exercise. Should I continue to fail or exercise?”


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