You are on page 1of 19

Perception in Communication

In living our lives and communicating with each other our perception of
reality is less important than reality itself. Some would argue that there IS no
ultimate reality, only the illusion of our perceptions.

Our perceptions are influenced by:

1. physical elements -- what information your eye or ear can actually
take in, how your brain processes it.
2. environmental elements -- what information is out there to receive, its
3. learned elements -- culture, personality, habit: what filters we use to
select what we take in and how we react to it.

(from Marshall Singer's work)

For example, color blind people will not perceive "red" the way as other
people do. Those with normal vision may physically see "red" similarly, but
will interpret it culturally:

• red meaning "stop" or "anger" or "excitement" or "in debt" (US)
• red meaning "good fortune" (China)
• red meaning your school's colors

Selective Attention

The world deluges us with sensory information every second. Our mind
produces interpretations and models and perceptions a mile a minute. To
survive, we have to select what information we attend to and what we

Information that attracts our attention

Your self-talk at first probably involved images of lifting. memory aid: when taking notes on an article. sex.. Furthermore. Many factors influence our perception. danger. you may miss it entirely with your mind filling in the missing pieces you expected to receive. our intra-personal communication with … Communication is a process where by information is enclosed in a package and is channeled and imparted by a sender to a receiver .• Sends out strong physical stimulus: contrast. etc. but perhaps most influential is our self-talk. Finally.) • Fits a pattern • Previous knowledge that gives it context • Interests you • Connects to basic needs (belonging. prying. you have to pay money to compete against the other people in this activity. hunger. however. you have to do this better than other people who are trying to do this better than other people who are trying to do the same thing. • Elicits emotion -. All of us live in at least two different worlds: the world inside ourselves and the world outside ourselves.TV dramas. and shoving. Your self-talk (the world inside your head) was influenced by the paragraph (the world outside your head). moving. blinking. What is your perception of this assignment? What kind of job do you perceive this to be? Would your perception of this "work" change if it were called bowling? What you just experienced in the paragraph above was a change in perception. write your emotional response to it • Is unexpected? (This may draw your attention or conversely. loudness. at the end. et Suppose someone tells you to go to a specified place and pick up a heavy object and use it to rearrange the relative positions of other heavy objects.. you quickly dropped all of those "work" images and replaced them with the familiar "play" images of bowling.) • Is useful. Note how important your cultural filters will be in determining the answers to these questions--what hooks your emotions? What is "normal" and what is "unexpected".

The newer advances include media and communications psychology. two of which are message overload (when a person receives too . Much later the Gutenberg printing-press was invented.. Communication requires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality. allowing the uniformity of language across large distances. i. listening. Common alphabets were introduced. These writings were made on stone. information can now be transferred via controlled waves and electronic signals.e. and eye contact. wax. via some medium. There are verbal means using language and there are nonverbal means. through media. clay. This process requires a vast repertoire of skills in interpersonal processing. observing. technology has progressed and has created new forms of and ideas about communication. etc. and an intended recipient. analyzing. Gutenberg created this printing- press after a long period of time in the 15th century. Researchers have divided how communication was transformed into three revolutionary stages: In the 1st Information Communication Revolution. In the 3rd Information Communication Revolution. The receiver then decodes the message and gives the sender a feedback. gestures and evaluating. however the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication in order for the act of communication to occur. questioning. which were too heavy to transfer. These technological advances revolutionized the processes of communication. such as body language. papyrus. pictures. paralanguage. graphics and sound. chronemics. but nonetheless existed. a message. with pictographs. written communication was not mobile. In the 2nd Information Communication Revolution. Media psychology is an emerging field of study.[1] There are also many common barriers to successful communication. During this era. speaking. It is through communication that collaboration and cooperation occur. Communication is thus a process by which meaning is assigned and conveyed in an attempt to create shared understanding. sign language. the first written communication began. and writInformation communication revolutions Over time. haptic communication. writing began to appear on paper. All forms of communication require a sender.

There is no defined line between a language and a dialect. Most human languages use patterns of sound or gesture for symbols which enable communication with others around them. advanced computer assisted instruction and began to connect media and psychology into what is now the field of media psychology. body language or posture. Bernard Luskin. 1970.facial expression) and the perceived characteristics of the environment through which human verbal and non- verbal messages are transmitted.[2] Communication is a continuous process. many messages at the same time). and these seem to share certain properties. Media Psychology Division 46 Task Force report on psychology and new technologies combined media and communication as pictures. from employment to romantic engagements. UCLA. the American Association of Psychology. Nonverbal communication Nonverbal communication is the process of communicating through sending and receiving wordless messages. but the linguist Max Weinreich is credited as saying that "a language is a dialect with an army and a navy". and various mathematical formalisms are not necessarily restricted to the properties shared by human languages. Nonverbal communication plays a key role in every person's day to day life. even though many shared properties have exceptions. There are thousands of human languages. as well as through an aggregate of the above. object communication such as clothing. such as behavioral communication. Such messages can be communicated through gesture. facial expression and eye contact. or symbols and infographics. . and message complexity. programming languages. The word "language" is also used to refer to common properties of languages. Constructed languages such as Esperanto. The psychology of media comHuman communication Human spoken and written languages can be described as a system of symbols (sometimes known as lexemes) and the grammars (rules) by which the symbols are manipulated.It is called as silent language. Language learning is normal in human childhood. In 1998. graphics and sound increasingly dominate modern communication. hairstyles or even architecture.Non-verbal communication is a non-word human process(such as gestures.

It includes facial expressions. Static Features . used to convey emotional content in written or message form. an emoticon is a symbol or combination of symbols. sense of smell. the 21-gun salute. and body motions. spatial arrangement of words. Likewise. • Signs. intonation and stress. • Aesthetic. Trials have shown that humans can communicate directly in this way[3] without body language. tone of voice. This is the mechanical type of communication. Categories and Features G. including voice quality. This is the type of communication that takes place through creative expressions: playing instrumental music. These signals can in themselves be representative of words. such as :). painting and sculpturing. or ego-building symbols. and sirens. written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style. • Symbolic. W. This is the personal type of communication. Other communication channels such as telegraphy fit into this category. A portmanteau of the English words emotion (or emote) and icon. This is the type of communication that makes use of religious. objects or merely be state projections.And verbal communication be seen as being rude and illerturate.Speech may also contain nonverbal elements known as paralanguage. or the use of emoticons. munications is an emerging area of increasing attention and study. as well as prosodic features such as rhythm. horns. Porter divides non-verbal communication into four broad categories: • Physical. emotion and speaking style. status. voice tonality or words. whereby signals travel from person to person by an alternative means. which includes the use of signal flags. sense of touch. dancing.

. Shaking hands. • Posture. In some cultures it is a sign of attraction. For example. a clenched fist) have universal meanings. • Distance. seated. or aversion. There is evidence that the meaning of these expressions may be similar across cultures. The frequency of contact may suggest either interest or boredom. • Gestures. pushing. but least understood. One of the most frequently observed. They reflect an element of intimacy or a feeling of (or lack of) attraction. raised eyebrow. Facial expressions continually change during interaction and are monitored constantly by the recipient. It can convey emotion. Obviously one can be lying down. Most people use hand movements regularly when talking. These are not the elements of posture that convey messages. These elements are: . While some gestures (e. or even back-to-back.g. frown. or patting on the back all convey messages. most of the others are individually learned and idiosyncratic. while in others it may reflect status or the intensity of the exchange. cues is a hand movement. and sneer all convey information. People may present themselves in various ways: face-to- face. The distance one stands from another frequently conveys a non-verbal message. Dynamic Features • Facial Expressions. embracing. or standing. It is essential that the basic elements of communication be identified. signal when to talk or finish. yawn. A smile. cooperating people are likely to sit side-by-side while competitors frequently face one another. side-to-side. A major feature of social communication is eye contact. touching. • Orientation. Are we slouched or erect ? Are our legs crossed or our arms folded ? Such postures convey a degree of formality and the degree of relaxation in the communication exchange. • Looking. holding. • Physical Contact.

• Sender/encoder/speaker • Receiver/decoder/listener • Message • Medium • Feedback/reply 1. The formulation of the message is very important for an incorrect patterning can turn the receiver hostile or make him lose interest.Medium: Another important element of communication is the medium or channel. written. 2. 4. Basic Model of Communication: . 5. 3. From his personal data bank he selects ideas. It could be oral.Sender/encoder/Speaker: The person who initiates the communication process is normally referred to as the sender.Feedback: This is the most important component of communication. Effective communication takes place only when there is feedback. The errors and faults that abound in business situations are a result of lack of feedback. the medium/ channel should be decided. or non-verbal. This process is carried on in relation to the work environment and the value perceived in terms of the work situation.Message: Message is the encoded idea transmitted by the sender. prior to the composition of the message.Receiver/decoder/listener: The listener receives an encoded message which he attempts to decode. encodes and finally transmits them to the receiver.

Shortness-----. adherence to the 7C’s & 4S’s helps the sender in transmitting his message with ease and accuracy.Clarity Makes comprehension easier 4. C’s Relevance 1.Consistency Introduces stability 6.Courtesy Improves relationship 3. listening. 7C’s & 4S’s in Effective communication: In any business environment.Purpose of effective communication: • Saves time of communication • Helps in coordinating. interacting. controlling and issuing instructions • Brings improvement in speaking abilities. convincing and persuading.Economizes .Correctness Builds confidence 5.Credibility Builds trust 2.Concreteness Reinforces confidence 7.Conciseness Saves time 4S’s S’s Relevance 1. writing.

convinces 4Sincerity-----.Strength------.Impresses 3. Some of the barriers that are sender oriented are: ¬ Badly expressed message: concrete ideas and well structures message ¬ Loss in transmission: correct choice of medium or channel ¬ Semantic problem: simple words and accurate understanding of intension ¬ Over/under communication: quantum of information should be right ¬ ‘I’ Attitude: avoid I attitude ¬ Prejudices: mind free of bias Rules to overcome the sender oriented barriers: ¬ Plan and clarify ideas ¬ Create a climate of trust and confidence ¬ Time your mind carefully . efforts should be made on the part of the sender to identify and remove them.2.Simplicity----.appears BARRIERS • Sender-oriented • Receiver-oriented Sender oriented barriers: It can be either voluntary or involuntary. At any cost.

colour and electronic resources. it includes: signs. drawing. It solely relies on vision. There are no universally agreed-upon principles of beauty and ugliness. educate or persuade a person. not on aesthetic or artistic preference. like gestures. graphic design. Primarily associated with two dimensional images. It is form of communication with visual effect. focus is on the presentation of text. It is communication by presenting information through visual form. pictures. It explores the idea that a visual message with text has a greater power to inform. .¬ Reinforce words with action ¬ Communicate efficiently Receiver-oriented barriers: ¬ Poor retention: jot down points ¬ Inattentive listening: improve concentration ¬ Tendency to evaluate: delay evaluation ¬ Interest and attitudes: develop interest ¬ Conflicting information: confirm with feedback. It is the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon. typography. illustration. There exists a variety of ways to present information visually. body languages. The evaluation of a good visual design is based on measuring comprehension by the audience. Here. clarify ¬ Differing status and position: encourage juniors to come up with ideas and listen ¬ Resistance to change: be flexible ¬ Refutations and arguments: enter into healthy discussions Visual communication Visual communication is communication through visual aid. video and TV.

Recent research in the field has focused on web design and graphically oriented usability.diagrams. mass communications. Graphic designers use methods of visual communication in their professional practice. Some examples of the distinct areas that human communication scholars study are: • Interpersonal Communication • Organizational Communication • Oral Communication • Small Group Communication • Intercultural Communication • Nonviolent Communication • Conflict • Rhetoric • Public Speaking • Media and Communications Psychology Examples of Mass Communications include: • Mass communication • Graphic communication • Science communication • Strategic Communication • Superluminal communication • Technical communication • Public relations • Broadcast Media • Journalism • Media and Communications Psychology Examples of Communication Disorders include: . integrated on a computer display. photos. and communication disorders [4] Human Communication or Communication Studies is the study of how individuals communicate. Understanding the Field of Communication The field of communication is typically broken into three distinct camps: human communication. The term visual presentation is used to refer to the actual presentation of information. et cetera.

Often enough. then body language and tone of voice will be believed more than words. presentations. etc. Types of Communications . However. a group of persons or even an audience. 38% tone of voice. is that "communication is 55% body language. and looking away will be interpreted as insincere. in general communication is usually transferred by both verbal means and visual aid throughout the process. one of them could make the audience die laughing related to his good body language and tone of voice. we use a presentation program in presentations related to our speech to facilitate or enhance the communication process. There are a few of oral communication types: discussion. used to emphasize the importance of delivery. A widely cited and widely mis-interpreted figure. the second person that has the exact same words could make the audience stare at one another. • Facilitated Communication • Impairment of Language Modality • Speech Disorders Oral communication Oral communication is a process whereby information is transferred from a sender to receiver. hunched over. a person saying "I'm delighted to meet you" while mumbling. two persons saying the same joke. and words disagree.[citation needed] In an oral communication.[6][clarification needed] For example.. 7% content of words". tone of voice. when conveying emotion. often when you communicate face to face the body language and your voice tonality has a bigger impact than the actual words that you are saying.) You can notice that the content or the word that you are using is not the determining part of a good communication. You have to capture the attention of the audience and connect with them. the so-called "7%-38%-55% rule". it is possible to have visual aid helping you to provide more precise information. However.Woven Written Oral Visual Electronic Non- verbal . if body language. (Further discussion at Albert Mehrabian: Three elements of communication. The "how you say it" has a major impact on the receiver. For example. speeches. The receiver could be an individual person.[5] This is not however what the cited research shows – rather.

information or content (e. which they deemed noise. In a simple model. generality. where the message arrives. Their initial model consisted of three primary parts: sender. The technical problem: how accurately can the message be transmitted? The semantic problem: how precisely is the meaning 'conveyed'? . and the receiver was the part of the phone where one could hear the other person. Shannon and Weaver argued that there were three levels of problems for communication within this theory. Social scientists Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver structured this model based on the following elements: 1.g.The first major model for communication came in 1949 by Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver for Bell Laboratories [7] The original model was designed to mirror the functioning of radio and telephone technologies. 5. Shannon and Weaver also recognized that often there is static that interferes with one listening to a telephone conversation. and receiver. and quantifiability. The sender was the part of a telephone a person spoke into. A transmitter. A receiver. channel. A channel. which encodes the message into signals 3. to which signals are adapted for transmission 4. a message in natural language) is sent in some form (as spoken language) from an emisor/ sender/ encoder to a destination/ receiver/ decoder. 2. An information source. which produces a message. often referred to as the transmission model or standard view of communication. the channel was the telephone itself. A destination. which 'decodes' (reconstructs) the message from the signal. The strengths of this model are simplicity. This common conception of communication simply views communication as a means of sending and receiving information.

give advice and commands. form (in which form). No allowance for differing purposes. No allowance for differing interpretations. destination / receiver / target / decoder (to whom). source / emisor / sender / encoder (by whom). The form depends on the abilities of the group communicating.[9] Between parties. In 1960. Wilbur Schram (1954) also indicated that we should also examine the impact that a message has (both desired and undesired) on the target of the message. another entity (such as a corporation or group of beings). The target can be oneself. and Receiver. No allowance for situational contexts. channel (through which medium). another person or being. Pragmatic (concerned with the relations between signs/expressions and their users) and 3. Communication can be seen as processes of information transmission governed by three levels of semiotic rules: 1. David Berlo expanded on Shannon and Weaver’s (1949) linear model of communication and created the SMCR Model of Communication. Together. Syntactic (formal properties of signs and symbols). 2. communication content and form make messages that are sent towards a destination. . Semantic (study of relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent). The effectiveness problem: how effectively does the received meaning affect behavior? Daniel Chandler critiques the transmission model by stating It assumes communicators are isolated individuals. and ask questions. [8] The Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver Model of communication separated the model into clear parts and has been expanded upon by other scholars. These acts may take many forms. in one of the various manners of communication. No allowance for unequal power relations. communication includes acts that confer knowledge and experiences. Communication is usually described along a few major dimensions: Message (what type of things are communicated).

which may alter the intended meaning of message contents. cultures.[10] The basic premise of the transactional model of communication is that individuals are simultaneously engaging in the sending and receiving of messages. it made possible the . including intrapersonal communication via diaries or self-talk. One problem with this encode-transmit-receive-decode model is that the processes of encoding and decoding imply that the sender and receiver each possess something that functions as a code book. communication is social interaction where at least two interacting agents share a common set of signs and a common set of semiotic rules. both secondary phenomena that followed the primary acquisition of communicative competences within social interactions. a passage in which information travels from one individual to another and this information becomes separate from the communication itself. at the very least. This second attitude of communication. they are nowhere represented in the model. in this case). In light of these weaknesses.Therefore. and thus the speech act may not achieve the desired effect. or gender. referred to as the constitutive model or constructionist view. This commonly held rules in some sense ignores autocommunication. rather than a discrete exchange of information. Theories of coregulation describe communication as a creative and dynamic continuous process. The sender's personal filters and the receiver's personal filters may vary depending upon different regional traditions. and that these two code books are. His famous example of this is using ancient Egypt and looking at the ways they built themselves out of media with very different properties stone and papyrus. Barnlund (2008) proposed a transactional model of communication. Communication is viewed as a conduit. focuses on how an individual communicates as the determining factor of the way the message will be interpreted. Although something like code books is implied by the model. Canadian media scholar Harold Innis had the theory that people use different types of media to communicate and which one they choose to use will offer different possibilities for the shape and durability of society (Wark. similar if not identical. In the presence of "communication noise" on the transmission channel (air. Papyrus is what he called 'Space Binding'. which creates many conceptual difficulties. A particular instance of communication is called a speech act. In a slightly more complex form a sender and a receiver are linked reciprocally. McKenzie 1997). reception and decoding of content may be faulty.

transmission of written orders across space. such as standing next to loud speakers at a party. such as unintentionally offending Jews by wishing them a "Merry Christmas. empires and enables the waging of distant military campaigns and colonial administration. McKenzie 1997). Organizational Noise: Poorly structured communication can prevent the receiver from accurate interpretation. The other is stone and 'Time Binding'. For example." Psychological Noise: Certain attitudes can also make communication difficult. such as actual deafness or blindness preventing messages from being received as they were intended.[11] . For example. noise is interference with the decoding of messages sent over a channel by an encoder. such as abrupt changes in verb tense during a sentence. great anger or sadness may cause someone to lose focus on the present moment. Syntactical Noise: Mistakes in grammar can disrupt communication. Communication noise In any communication model. Cultural Noise: Stereotypical assumptions can cause misunderstandings. unclear and badly stated directions can make the receiver even more lost. through the construction of temples and the pyramids can sustain their authority generation to generation. or the noise from a construction site next to a classroom making it difficult to hear the professor. Physiological-Impairment Noise: Physical maladies that prevent effective communication. through this media they can change and shape communication in their society (Wark. or as a euphemism for marijuana. There are many examples of noise: Environmental Noise: Noise that physically disrupts communication. Semantic Noise: Different interpretations of the meanings of certain words. the word "weed" can be interpreted as an undesirable plant in your yard. Disorders such as Autism may also severely hamper effective communication. For instance.

and chemical communication between primitive organisms like bacteria. Thus. Plants and fungi Among plants. The original meaning of the word "neuron" in Greek is "vegetable fiber" and as recent research shows. sociobiology. communication is observed within the plant organism. and the study of animal cognition. within plant cells and between plant cells. called zoosemiotics' (distinguishable from anthroposemiotics. pragmatic and semantic rules are possible because of the decentralized "nervous system" of plants. with fungi and with insects in the soil. and within the plant and fungal kingdoms. and between plants and non-plant organisms. and even in the 21st century so far. there is cell signaling. Animal communication. especially dolphins and other animals used in circuses. animal emotions. many prior understandings related to diverse fields such as personal symbolic name use.e. especially in the root zone. Every information exchange between living organisms — i. transmission of signals involving a living sender and receiver — can be considered a form of communication. On a more basic level. All of these communication processes are sign-mediated interactions with a great variety of distinct coordinations. This parallel sign-mediated interactions which are governed by syntactic. and even sexual conduct. or even to primates. which encompasses most of the issues in ethology. long thought to be well understood. Also very primitive animals such as corals are competent to communicate. animal culture and learning. Of course. have been revolutionized.e. The study of animal communication. However. Plant roots communicate in parallel with rhizome bacteria. there is the broad field of animal communication. most of the intraorganismic plant communication . between plants of the same or related species. human communication can be subsumed as a highly developed form of animal communication. Animal communication is any behavior on the part of one animal that has an effect on the current or future behavior of another animal. these animals have to learn a special means of communication. This is quite evident as humans are able to communicate with animals. cellular communication. is a rapidly growing field. i. and indeed the understanding of the animal world in general. the study of human communication) has played an important part in the development of ethology.Nonhuman communication See also: Biocommunication (science) and Interspecies communication Communication in many of its facets is not limited to humans.

[12] Plants also communicate via volatiles in the case of herbivory attack behavior to warn neighboring plants. so when speaking about communication it is very important . fields of study dedicate a portion of attention to communication. The communication discipline includes both verbal and nonverbal messages. in difference while to even the same chemical molecules are not being a part of biotic messages doesn’t trigger to react the fungal organism. So far five different primary signalling molecules are known that serve to coordinate very different behavioral patterns such as filamentation. Fungi communicate to coordinate and organize their own growth and development such as the formation of mycelia and fruiting bodies. or even "noise". plants and insects.. In the journals. A body of scholarship all about communication is presented and explained in textbooks. growth. so it embraces a large body of study and knowledge. unicellular eukaryotes.processes are neuronal-like. if not all. Several. In Stress situations plants can overwrite the genetic code they inherited from their parents and revert to that of their grand. researchers report the results of studies that are the basis for an ever-expanding understanding of how we all communicate. electronic publications. sometimes called "communicology. abiotic indicator. Communication as academic discipline Main article: Communication theory Communication as an academic discipline. similar molecules without biotic content-. and academic journals. Behavioral coordination and the production of such substances can only be achieved through interpretation processes: self or non-self. In parallel they produce other volatiles which attract parasites which attack these herbivores. fungal organisms are competent to identify the difference of the same molecules being part of biotic messages or lack of these features. biotic message from similar. and for most beings.or great- grandparents. i. in many different ways. especially with bacteria. mating."[13] relates to all the ways we communicate. The used semiochemicals are of biotic origin and they trigger the fungal organism to react in a specific manner. It means. Additionally fungi communicate with same and related species as well as with nonfungal organisms in a great variety of symbiotic interactions. Communication happens at many levels (even for one single action). pathogenicity.e. as well as certain machines. related. or non-related species.

and some are more narrow. only including human beings within the different parameters of human symbolic interaction. some recognizing that animals can communicate with each other as well as human beings. . Definitions of communication range be sure about what aspects of communication one is speaking about.