Types & Levels of Communication

We communicate with one another on many different levels.

Because we do not have direct access to the thoughts and feelings of other people, we must rely on communication to convey messages to one another. There is more to communication than simply using language to speak to one another. Communication exists on a number of levels and in a variety of forms.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication refers to the use of symbols in the form of spoken words to transmit messages. Verbal communication is complicated by the fact that language is arbitrary, meaning that words change over time; ambiguous, meaning that many words lack clear-cut meanings; and abstract, meaning that words are not the phenomena to which they refer. Thus, miscommunication occurs when the meaning we attach to a word changes with time, when a word lacks a clear-cut, precise meaning or when words are used that are too general. For example, the word "love" is a very imprecise term; one person's definition of love may differ substantially from another person's.

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication refers to the use of symbols other than words to transmit messages. It includes gestures, body language, how we utter words, aspects of our environment that influence meaning and objects such as jewelry, furniture and clothing that send people messages about ourselves. Research suggests that nonverbal communication constitutes anywhere between 65 and 93 percent of all human communication. Just like words, nonverbal symbols are ambiguous. What is a polite gesture to one person may be considered rude by another person. Certain forms of nonverbal communication may also have different meanings in different cultures. For example, direct eye contact is appropriate in U.S. society but considered disrespectful in many Asian countries.

Intrapersonal Communication

Intrapersonal communication is also known as self-talk or thinking, and refers to the ways we communicate with ourselves. We use intrapersonal communication to plan our lives, rehearse scenarios before we act them out, and tell ourselves what to do or not do. The way we communicate with ourselves greatly affects our self-esteem. A person who tells himself, "I'm so stupid" when he fails an exam will likely have poorer self-esteem than someone who thinks, "I did really well on the previous four exams. I must have just been having an off day, and I'll do better next time."

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication is the communication we have with other people. This type of communication varies from highly impersonal to extremely personal. The degree to which we communicate, or fail to communicate, with others influences how our relationships with them develop, continue or come to an end.

Public Communication

Public communication refers to public speeches that we deliver in front of audiences. Public communication serves three main purposes: to entertain, to persuade and/or to inform. It is different from other forms of interaction in that it requires greater levels of planning and preparation on the part of the speaker and involves less direct interaction. Audience members still interact with the speaker via mostly nonverbal symbols, but there is a lesser degree of give and take than there is in one-on-one conversations.

Mass Communication

Mass communication refers to any type of media that is used to communicate with mass audiences. Examples of mass media include books, television, radios, films, computer technologies, magazines and newspapers. Although mass communication does include certain computer technologies, it does not include technologies like email that are used to communicate one-on-one with someone. Mass communication is responsible for giving us views of events, issues and people from cultures that differ from ours. It enables us to learn what is going on in distant places in the world and lets us learn the viewpoints of people and cultures with whom we do not have direct contact.

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The levels of communication are the following..  1) INTRAPERSONAL COMMUNICATION- is language use or thought internal to the communicator. Intrapersonal communication is the active internal involvement of the individual in symbolic processing of messages. The individual becomes his or her own sender and receiver, providing feedback to him or herself in an ongoing internal process. It can be useful to envision intrapersonal communication occurring in the mind of the individual in a model which contains a sender, receiver, and feedback loop.  Although successful communication is generally defined as being between two or more individuals, issues concerning the useful nature of communicating with oneself and problems concerning communication with non-sentient entities such as computers have made some argue that this definition is too narrow.  In Communication: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry, Jurgen Ruesch and Gregory Bateson argue that intrapersonal communication is indeed a special case of interpersonal communication, as "dialogue is the foundation for all discourse."  Intrapersonal communication can encompass:


Nocturnal dreaming, including and especially lucid dreaming

Speaking aloud (talking to oneself), reading aloud, repeating what one hears; the additional activities of speaking and hearing (in the third case of hearing again) what one thinks, reads or hears may increase concentration and retention. This is considered normal, and the extent to which it occurs varies from person to person. The time when there should be concern is when talking to oneself occurs outside of socially acceptable situations.[1]

Writing (by hand, or with a wordprocessor, etc.) one's thoughts or observations: the additional activities, on top of thinking, of writing and reading back may again increase self-understanding ("How do I know what I mean until I see what I say?") and concentration. It aids ordering one's thoughts; in addition it produces a record that can be used later again. Copying text to aid memorizing also falls in this category.

Making gestures while thinking: the additional activity, on top of thinking, of body motions, may again increase concentration, assist in problem solving, and assist memory.

Sense-making (see Karl Weick) e.g. interpreting maps, texts, signs, and symbols

Interpreting non-verbal communication (see Albert Mehrabian) e.g. gestures, eye contact

Communication between body parts; e.g. "My stomach is telling me it's time for lunch."

2.)INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION-Interpersonal communication is defined by communication scholars in numerous ways, though most definitions involve participants who are interdependent on one another, have a shared history. Communication channels are the medium chosen to convey the message from sender to receiver. Communication channels can be categorized into two main categories: Direct and Indirect channels of communication. Direct channels are those that are obvious and can be easily recognized by the receiver. They are also under direct control of the sender. In this category are the verbal and non-verbal channels of communication. Verbal communication channels are those that use words in some manner, such as written communication or spoken communication. Non-verbal communication channels are those that do not require silly words, such as certain overt facial expressions, controllable body movements (such as that made by a traffic police to control traffic at an intersection), color (red for danger, green means go etc), sound (sirens, alarms etc.). Indirect channels are those channels that are usually recognized subliminally or subconsciously by the receiver, and not under direct control of the sender. This includes kinesics or body language, that reflects the inner emotions and motivations rather than the actual delivered message. It also includes such vague terms as "gut feeling", "hunches" or "premonitions". Channels means mode of communicating the messages. Participants is the communicators who are both senders and receivers. Context refers to the interrelated condition of communication. It consists of such factors as: physical Milieu 

Balance of interpersonal communication

The Johari window model focuses on the balance of interpersonal communication. Interpersonal communication encompasses:

Speech communication

Nonverbal communication

Unconscious communication





Initiating: Declaring one's conversational intent and inviting consent from one's prospective conversation partner

Turn-taking: Managing the flow of information back and forth between partners in a conversation by alternating roles of speaker and listener

 Having good interpersonal communication skills support such processes as:


intimate relationship





mentoring and co-mentoring, which is mentoring in groups

conflict management

 Interpersonal communication is the subject of a number of disciplines in the field of psychology, notably Transactional analysis. 3.) GROUP COMMUNICATION- refers to the nature of communication that occurs in groups that are between 3 and 12 individuals. Small group communication generally takes place in a context that mixes interpersonal communication interactions with social clustering. 4.) PUBLIC COMMUNICATION- It's at the heart of our economy, society, and politics. Studios use it to promote their films. Politicians use it to get elected. Businesses use it to burnish their image. Advocates use it to promote social causes. It's a field built on ideas and images, persuasion and information, strategy and tactics. No policy or product can succeed without a smart message targeted to the right audience in creative and innovative ways.


Communication is a process of exchanging information, ideas, thoughts, feelings and emotions through speech, signals, writing, or behavior. In communication process, a sender(encoder) encodes a message and then using a medium/channel sends it to the receiver (decoder) who decodes the message and after processing information, sends back appropriate feedback/reply using a medium/channel.

Types of Communication

People communicate with each other in a number of ways that depend upon the message and its context in which it is being sent. Choice of communication channel and your style of communicating also affects communication. So, there are variety of types of communication.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication refers to the the form of communication in which message is transmitted verbally; communication is done by word of mouth and a piece of writing. Objective of every communication is to have people understand what we are trying to convey. In verbal communication remember the acronym KISS(keep it short and simple).

When we talk to others, we assume that others understand what we are saying because we know what we are saying. But this is not the case. usually people bring their own attitude, perception, emotions and thoughts about the topic and hence creates barrier in delivering the right meaning.

So in order to deliver the right message, you must put yourself on the other side of the table and think from your receiver’s point of view. Would he understand the message? how it would sound on the other side of the table?

Verbal Communication is further divided into:

Oral Communication

Written Communication

Oral Communication

In oral communication, Spoken words are used. It includes face-to-face conversations, speech, telephonic conversation, video, radio, television, voice over internet. In oral communication, communication is influence by pitch, volume, speed and clarity of speaking.

Advantages of Oral communication are: It brings quick feedback. In a face-to-face conversation, by reading facial expression and body language one can guess whether he/she should trust what’s being said or not.

Disadvantage of oral communication In face-to-face discussion, user is unable to deeply think about what he is delivering, so this can be counted as a

Written Communication

In written communication, written signs or symbols are used to communicate. A written message may be printed or hand written. In written communication message can be transmitted via email, letter, report, memo etc. Message, in written communication, is influenced by the vocabulary & grammar used, writing style, precision and clarity of the language used.

Written Communication is most common form of communication being used in business. So, it is considered core among business skills.

Memos, reports, bulletins, job descriptions, employee manuals, and electronic mail are the types of written communication used for internal communication. For communicating with external environment in writing, electronic mail, Internet Web sites, letters, proposals, telegrams, faxes, postcards, contracts, advertisements, brochures, and news releases are used.

Advantages of written communication includes: Messages can be edited and revised many time before it is actually sent. Written communication provide record for every message sent and can be saved for later study. A written message enables receiver to fully understand it and send appropriate feedback.

Disadvantages of written communication includes: Unlike oral communication, Written communication doesn’t bring instant feedback. It take more time in composing a written message as compared to word-of-mouth. and number of people struggles for writing ability.

Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is the sending or receiving of wordless messages. We can say that communication other than oral and written, such as gesture, body language, posture, tone of voice or facial expressions, is called nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is all about the body language of speaker.

Nonverbal communication helps receiver in interpreting the message received. Often, nonverbal signals reflects the situation more accurately than verbal messages. Sometimes nonverbal response contradicts verbal communication and hence affect the effectiveness of message.

Nonverbal communication have the following three elements:

Appearance Speaker: clothing, hairstyle, neatness, use of cosmetics Surrounding: room size, lighting, decorations, furnishings

Body Language facial expressions, gestures, postures

Sounds Voice Tone, Volume, Speech rate

Types of Communication Based on Purpose and Style

Based on style and purpose, there are two main categories of communication and they both bears their own characteristics. Communication types based on style and purpose are:

Formal Communication

Informal Communication

Formal Communication

In formal communication, certain rules, conventions and principles are followed while communicating message. Formal communication occurs in formal and official style. Usually professional settings, corporate meetings, conferences undergoes in formal pattern.

In formal communication, use of slang and foul language is avoided and correct pronunciation is required. Authority lines are needed to be followed in formal communication.

Informal Communication

Informal communication is done using channels that are in contrast with formal communication channels. It’s just a casual talk. It is established for societal affiliations of members in an organization and face-to-face discussions. It happens among friends and family. In informal communication use of slang words, foul language is not restricted. Usually. informal communication is done orally and using gestures.

Informal communication, Unlike formal communication, doesn’t follow authority lines. In an organization, it helps in finding out staff grievances as people express more when talking informally. Informal communication helps in building relationships.

Communication (from Latin "communis", meaning to share) is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior.

Communication requires a sender, a message, and a recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast distances in time and space. Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality. The communication process is complete once the receiver has understood the message of the sender.

Human communication

Human spoken and pictoral languages can be described as a system of symbols (sometimes known as lexemes) and the grammars (rules) by which the symbols are manipulated. The word "language" also refers to common properties of languages. Language learning normally occurs most intensively during human childhood. Most of the thousands of human languages use patterns of sound or gesture for symbols which enable communication with others around them. Languages seem to share certain properties although many of these include exceptions. There is no defined line between a language and a dialect. Constructed languages such as Esperanto, programming languages, and various mathematical formalisms are not necessarily restricted to the properties shared by human languages. Communication is the flow or exchange of information within people or group of people.

A variety of verbal and non-verbal means of communicating exists such as body language, eye contact, sign language, haptic communication, chronemics, and media such as pictures, graphics, sound, and writing.

Manipulative Communications was studied and reported by Bryenton in 2011. These are intentional and unintentional ways of manipulating words, gestures, etc. to "get what we want", by demeaning, discounting, attacking or ignoring instead of respectful interaction. Sarcasm, criticism, rudeness and swearing are examples.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also defines the communication to include the display of text, Braille, tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia, as well as written and plain language, human-reader, augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, including accessible information and communication technology.

Nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication describes the process of conveying meaning in the form of non-word messages. Research shows that the majority of our communication is non verbal, also known as body language. In fact, 63-93% of communication is non-verbal.[citation needed] Some of non verbal communication includes chronemics, haptics, gesture, body language or posture; facial expression and eye contact, object communication such as clothing, hairstyles, architecture, symbols infographics, and tone of voice as well as through an aggregate of the above.

Speech also contains nonverbal elements known as paralanguage. These include voice lesson quality, emotion and speaking style as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation and stress. Likewise, written texts include nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words and the use of emoticons to convey emotional expressions in pictorial form.

Oral communication

Oral communication, while primarily referring to spoken verbal communication, can also employ visual aids and non-verbal elements to support the conveyance of meaning. Oral communication includes speeches, presentations, discussions, and aspects of interpersonal communication. As a type of face-to-face communication, body language and choice tonality play a significant role, and may have a greater impact upon the listener than informational content. This type of communication also garners immediate feedback.

Business communication

 A business can flourish when all objectives of the organization are achieved effectively. For efficiency in an organization, all the people of the organization must be able to convey their message properly.[citation needed]

Written communication and its historical development

Over time the forms of and ideas about communication have evolved through the continuing progression of technology. Advances include communications psychology and media psychology; an emerging field of study. Researchers divide the progression of written communication into three revolutionary stages called "Information Communication Revolutions".[citation needed] During the first stage, written communication first emerged through the use of pictographs. The pictograms were made in stone, hence written communication was not yet mobile.

During the second stage, writing began to appear on paper, papyrus, clay, wax, etc. Common The third stage is characterised by the transfer of information through controlled waves and electronic signals.

Communication is thus a process by which meaning is assigned and conveyed in an attempt to create shared understanding. This process, which requires a vast repertoire of skills in interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, gestures, and evaluating enables collaboration and cooperation.

Misunderstandings can be anticipated and solved through formulations, questions and answers, paraphrasing, examples, and stories of strategic talk. Written communication can be clarified by planning follow-up talks on critical written communication as part of the every-day way of doing business. A few minutes spent talking in the present will save valuable time later by avoiding misunderstandings in advance. A frequent method for this purpose is reiterating what one heard in one's own words and asking the other person if that really was what was meant.

Effective Communication

Effective communication occurs when a desired effect is the result of intentional or unintentional information sharing, which is interpreted between multiple entities and acted on in a desired way. This effect also ensures the message is not distorted during the communication process. Effective communication should generate the desired effect and maintain the effect, with the potential to increase the effect of the message. Therefore, effective communication serves the purpose for which it was planned or designed. Possible purposes might be to elicit change, generate action, create understanding, inform or communicate a certain idea or point of view. When the desired effect is not achieved, factors such as barriers to communication are explored, with the intention being to discover how the communication has been ineffective.

Barriers to effective human communication

Barriers to effective communication can retard or distort the message and intention of the message being conveyed which may result in failure of the communication process or an effect that is undesirable. These include filtering, selective perception, information overload, emotions, language, silence, communication apprehension, gender differences and political correctness

This also includes a lack of expressing "knowledge-appropriate" communication, which occurs when a person uses ambiguous or complex legal words, medical jargon, or descriptions of a situation or environment that is not understood by the recipient.

Physical barriers

Physical barriers are often due to the nature of the environment. An example of this is the natural barrier which exists if staff are located in different buildings or on different sites. Likewise, poor or outdated equipment, particularly the failure of management to introduce new technology, may also cause problems. Staff shortages are another factor which frequently causes communication difficulties for an organization. Whilst distractions like background noise, poor lighting or an environment which is too hot or cold can all affect people's morale and concentration, which in turn interfere with effective communication.

System design

System design faults refer to problems with the structures or systems in place in an organization. Examples might include an organizational structure which is unclear and therefore makes it confusing to know who to communicate with. Other examples could be inefficient or inappropriate information systems, a lack of supervision or training, and a lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities which can lead to staff being uncertain about what is expected of them.

Attitudinal barriers

Attitudinal barriers come about as a result of problems with staff in an organization. These may be brought about, for example, by such factors as poor management, lack of consultation with employees, personality conflicts which can result in people delaying or refusing to communicate, the personal attitudes of individual employees which may be due to lack of motivation or dissatisfaction at work, brought about by insufficient training to enable them to carry out particular tasks, or just resistance to change due to entrenched attitudes and ideas.

Ambiguity of words/phrases

Words sounding the same but having different meaning can convey a different meaning altogether. Hence the communicator must ensure that the receiver receives the same meaning. It is better if such words are avoided by using alternatives whenever possible.

Individual linguistic ability

The use of jargon, difficult or inappropriate words in communication can prevent the recipients from understanding the message. Poorly explained or misunderstood messages can also result in confusion. However, research in communication has shown that confusion can lend legitimacy to research when persuasion fails.

Physiological barriers

These may result from individuals' personal discomfort, caused—for example—by ill health, poor eyesight or hearing difficulties.

Presentation of information

Presentation of information is important to aid understanding. Simply put, the communicator must consider the audience before making the presentation itself and in cases where it is not possible the presenter can at least try to simplify his/her vocabulary so that the majority can understand.

Nonhuman communication

Every information exchange between living organisms — i.e. transmission of signals that involve a living sender and receiver can be considered a form of communication; and even primitive creatures such as corals are competent to communicate. Nonhuman communication also include cell signaling, cellular communication, and chemical transmissions between primitive organisms like bacteria and within the plant and fungal kingdoms.

Animal communication

The broad field of animal communication encompasses most of the issues in ethology. Animal communication can be defined as any behavior of one animal that affects the current or future behavior of another animal. The study of animal communication, called zoosemiotics (distinguishable from anthroposemiotics, the study of human communication) has played an important part in the development of ethology, sociobiology, and the study of animal cognition. Animal communication, and indeed the understanding of the animal world in general, is a rapidly growing field, and even in the 21st century so far, a great share of prior understanding related to diverse fields such as personal symbolic name use, animal emotions, animal culture and learning, and even sexual conduct, long thought to be well understood, has been revolutionized.

Plants and fungi

Communication is observed within the plant organism, i.e. within plant cells and between plant cells, between plants of the same or related species, and between plants and non-plant organisms, especially in the root zone. Plant roots communicate in parallel with rhizome bacteria, with fungi and with insects in the soil. These parallel sign-mediated interactions are governed by syntactic, pragmatic, and semantic rules, and are possible because of the decentralized "nervous system" of plants. The original meaning of the word "neuron" in Greek is "vegetable fiber" and recent research has shown that most of the intraorganismic plant communication processes are neuronal-like. Plants also communicate via volatiles when exposed to herbivory attack behavior, thus warning neighboring plants. In parallel they produce other volatiles to attract parasites which attack these herbivores. In stress situations plants can overwrite the genomes they inherited from their parents and revert to that of their grand- or great-grandparents.[citation needed]

Fungi communicate to coordinate and organize their growth and development such as the formation of mycelia and fruiting bodies. Fungi communicate with their own and related species as well as with nonfungal organisms in a great variety of symbiotic interactions, especially with bacteria, unicellular eukaryotes, plants and insects through semiochemicals of biotic origin. The semiochemicals trigger the fungal organism to react in a specific manner, while if the same chemical molecules are not part of biotic messages, they do not trigger the fungal organism to react. This implies that fungal organisms can differentiate between molecules taking part in biotic messages and similar molecules being irrelevant in the situation. So far five different primary signalling molecules are known to coordinate different behavioral patterns such as filamentation, mating, growth, and pathogenicity. Behavioral coordination and production of signalling substances is achieved through interpretation processes that enables the organism to differ between self or non-self, abiotic indicator, biotic message from similar, related, or non-related species, and even filter out "noise", i.e. similar molecules without biotic content.

Bacteria quorum sensing

Communication is not a tool used only by humans, plants and animals, but it is also used by microorganisms like bacteria. The process is called quorum sensing. Through quorum sensing, bacteria are able to sense the density of cells, and regulate gene expression accordingly. This can be seen in both gram positive and gram negative bacteria. This was first observed by Fuqua et al. in marine microorganisms like V. harveyi and V. fischeri.

Communication cycle

 Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication

  Communication major dimensions scheme

  Communication code scheme

  Linear Communication Model

  Interactional Model of Communication

  Berlo's Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver Model of Communication

  Transactional Model of Communication

The first major model for communication was introduced by Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver for Bell Laboratories in 1949 The original model was designed to mirror the functioning of radio and telephone technologies. Their initial model consisted of three primary parts: sender, channel, and receiver. The sender was the part of a telephone a person spoke into, the channel was the telephone itself, and the receiver was the part of the phone where one could hear the other person. Shannon and Weaver also recognized that often there is static that interferes with one listening to a telephone conversation, which they deemed noise.

In a simple model, often referred to as the transmission model or standard view of communication, information or content (e.g. a message in natural language) is sent in some form (as spoken language) from an emisor/ sender/ encoder to a destination/ receiver/ decoder. This common conception of communication simply views communication as a means of sending and receiving information. The strengths of this model are simplicity, generality, and quantifiability. Social scientists Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver structured this model based on the following elements:

An information source, which produces a message.

A transmitter, which encodes the message into signals

A channel, to which signals are adapted for transmission

A receiver, which 'decodes' (reconstructs) the message from the signal.

A destination, where the message arrives.

Shannon and Weaver argued that there were three levels of problems for communication within this theory.

The technical problem: how accurately can the message be transmitted?

The semantic problem: how precisely is the meaning 'conveyed'?

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.

No allowance for differing purposes.

No allowance for differing interpretations.

No allowance for unequal power relations.

No allowance for situational contexts.

In 1960, David Berlo expanded on Shannon and Weaver's (1949) linear model of communication and created the SMCR Model of Communication. The Sender-Message-Channel-Receiver Model of communication separated the model into clear parts and has been expanded upon by other scholars.

Communication is usually described along a few major dimensions: Message (what type of things are communicated), source / emisor / sender / encoder (by whom), form (in which form), channel (through which medium), destination / receiver / target / decoder (to whom), and Receiver. 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. Between parties, communication includes acts that confer knowledge and experiences, give advice and commands, and ask questions. These acts may take many forms, in one of the various manners of communication. The form depends on the abilities of the group communicating. Together, communication content and form make messages that are sent towards a destination. The target can be oneself, another person or being, another entity (such as a corporation or group of beings).

Communication can be seen as processes of information transmission governed by three levels of semiotic rules:

Syntactic (formal properties of signs and symbols),

Pragmatic (concerned with the relations between signs/expressions and their users) and

Semantic (study of relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent).

Therefore, communication is social interaction where at least two interacting agents share a common set of signs and a common set of semiotic rules. This commonly held rule in some sense ignores autocommunication, including intrapersonal communication via diaries or self-talk, both secondary phenomena that followed the primary acquisition of communicative competences within social interactions.

In light of these weaknesses, Barnlund (2008) proposed a transactional model of communication. The basic premise of the transactional model of communication is that individuals are simultaneously engaging in the sending and receiving of messages.

In a slightly more complex form a sender and a receiver are linked reciprocally. This second attitude of communication, referred to as the constitutive model or constructionist view, focuses on how an individual communicates as the determining factor of the way the message will be interpreted. Communication is viewed as a conduit; a passage in which information travels from one individual to another and this information becomes separate from the communication itself. A particular instance of communication is called a speech act. The sender's personal filters and the receiver's personal filters may vary depending upon different regional traditions, cultures, or gender; which may alter the intended meaning of message contents. In the presence of "communication noise" on the transmission channel (air, in this case), reception and decoding of content may be faulty, and thus the speech act may not achieve the desired effect. 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 codebook, and that these two code books are, at the very least, similar if not identical. Although something like code books is implied by the model, they are nowhere represented in the model, which creates many conceptual difficulties.

Theories of coregulation describe communication as a creative and dynamic continuous process, rather than a discrete exchange of information. 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, McKenzie 1997). 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. Papyrus is what he called 'Space Binding'. it made possible the transmission of written orders across space, empires and enables the waging of distant military campaigns and colonial administration. The other is stone and 'Time Binding', through the construction of temples and the pyramids can sustain their authority generation to generation, through this media they can change and shape communication in their society (Wark, McKenzie 1997).

Communication noise

In any communication model, noise is interference with the decoding of messages sent over a channel by an encoder. There are many examples of noise:

Environmental noise

Noise that physically disrupts communication, such as standing next to loud speakers at a party, 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, such as actual deafness or blindness preventing messages from being received as they were intended.

Semantic noise

Different interpretations of the meanings of certain words. For example, the word "weed" can be interpreted as an undesirable plant in a yard, or as a euphemism for marijuana.

Syntactical noise

Mistakes in grammar can disrupt communication, such as abrupt changes in verb tense during a sentence.

Organizational noise

Poorly structured communication can prevent the receiver from accurate interpretation. For example, unclear and badly stated directions can make the receiver even more lost.

Cultural noise

Stereotypical assumptions can cause misunderstandings, such as unintentionally offending a non-Christian person by wishing them a "Merry Christmas".

Psychological noise

Certain attitudes can also make communication difficult. For instance, great anger or sadness may cause someone to lose focus on the present moment. Disorders such as Autism may also severely hamper effective communication.

Design and Organization of the Communication Matrix

 Seven Levels of Communication

Level I. Pre-Intentional Behavior

Level II. Intentional Behavior

Level III. Unconventional Communication

Level IV. Conventional Communication

Level V. Concrete Symbols

Level VI. Abstract Symbols

Level VII. Language

Level I. Pre-Intentional Behavior

 Behavior is not under the individual's own control, but it reflects his general state (such as comfortable, uncomfortable, hungry or sleepy). Caregivers interpret the individual's state from behaviors such as body movements, facial expressions and sounds. In typically developing children, this stage occurs between 0 and 3 months of age.

Level II. Intentional Behavior Behavior is under the individual's control, but it is not yet used to communicate intentionally. Caregivers interpret the individual's needs and desires from behaviors such as body movements, facial expressions, vocalizations and eye gaze. In typically developing children, this stage occurs between 3 and 8 months of age.

Level III. Unconventional Communication


Unconventional pre-symbolic behaviors are used intentionally to communicate. Communicative behaviors are pre-symbolic because they do not involve any sort of symbol; they are unconventional because they are not socially acceptable for us to use as we grow older. Communicative behaviors include body movements, vocalizations, facial expressions and simple gestures (such as tugging on people). In typically developing children, this stage occurs between 6 and 12 months of age.

Level IV. Conventional Communication Conventional pre-symbolic behaviors are used intentionally to communicate. Communicative behaviors are pre-symbolic because they do not involve any sort of symbol; they are conventional because they are socially acceptable and we continue to use them to accompany our language as we mature. The meanings of some gestures may be unique to the culture in which they are used. Communicative behaviors include pointing, nodding or shaking the head, waving, hugging, and looking from a person to a desired object. Note that many of these gestures (and especially pointing) require good visual skills and may not be useful for individuals with severe vision impairment. Some vocal intonations may also be used at this stage. In typically developing children, this stage occurs between 12 and 18 months of age.

Level V. Concrete Symbols

 SYMBOLIC COMMUNICATION STARTS HERE, AT LEVEL V (symbols represent, or stand for, something else)

Concrete symbols that physically resemble what they represent, are used to communicate. Concrete symbols look like, feel like, move like or sound like what they represent. Concrete symbols include pictures, objects (such as a shoelace to represent shoe), iconic gestures (such as patting a chair to say sit down) and sounds (such as making a buzzing sound to mean bee). Most individuals skip this stage and go directly to Level VI. For some individuals concrete symbols may be the only type of symbol that makes sense to them; for others they may serve as a bridge to using abstract symbols. Typically developing children use concrete symbols in conjunction with gestures and words, generally between 12 and 24 months of age, but not as a separate stage.

Level VI. Abstract Symbols Abstract symbols such as speech, manual signs, Brailled or printed words are used to communicate. These symbols are abstract because they are NOT physically similar to what they represent. They are used one at a time. In typically developing children, this stage occurs between 12 and 24 months of age.

Level VII. Language Symbols (concrete or abstract) are combined into two- or three-symbol combinations ('want juice', 'me go out'), according to grammatical rules. The individual understands that the meaning of symbol combinations may differ depending upon how the symbols are ordered. In typically developing children, this stage begins around 24 months of age.

Different Types of Communication Systems

A thought kept in the brain is of no use unless and until it is shared with other individuals and rest of the world. The idea, no matter however brilliant it is, must come out for its successful implementation for it to benefit one and all. It is the prime responsibility of the individual to share his thoughts and ideas with others.

How is it possible? How can one share his ideas and thoughts?

The communication system enables the successful transmission of idea or any other important information among individuals. The person from whom the thought originates carefully encodes his ideas into a sensible content which is now ready to be shared with everyone. He is commonly referred to as the sender and the other party who receives the information from him is called the receiver or the recipient. The free flow of information between the sender and the receiver takes place because of the communication system.

The flow of information can be between two individuals. The information can flow from the individual to a machine, from the machine to the individual and even between two machines. Machines coupled together through networks also provide signals for the individuals to respond, thus a type of communication system. In the above cases all the machines must work on similar lines and patterns, must be technically compatible and has to provide the same information, so that the individuals can decode the information well.

Let us study the various types of communication system for the smooth flow of information between two parties.

Optical Communication System

The word “Optical” stands for light. As the name itself suggests, optical communication system depends on light as the medium for communication. In an optical communication system the transmitter converts the information into an optical signal (signal in the form of light) and finally the signal then reaches the recipient. The recipient then decodes the signal and responds accordingly. In optical communication system, light helps in the transmission of information. The safe landing of helicopters and aeroplanes work on the above principle. The pilots receive light signals from the base and decide their next movements. On the roads, red light communicates the individual to immediately stop while the individual moves on seeing the green light.

In this mode of communication light travels through the optical fibre.

Radio Communication System

In the radio communication system the information flows with the help of a radio. Radio communication system works with the aid of a transmitter and a receiver both equipped with an antenna.

The transmitter with the help of an antenna produces signals which are carried through radio carrier wave. The receiver also with the help of an antenna receives the signal. Some information is unwanted and must be discarded and hence the electronic filters help in the separation of radio signals from other unwanted signals which are further amplified to an optimum level Finally the signals are decoded in an information which can be easily understood by the individuals for them to respond accordingly.

Duplex communications system

In Duplex communications system two equipments can communicate with each other in both the directions simultaneously and hence the name Duplex. When you interact with your friend over the telephone, both of you can listen to each other at the same time. The sender sends the signals to the receiver who receives it then and there and also give his valuable feedback to the speaker for him to respond. Hence the communication actually takes place between the speaker and the receiver simultaneously.

In the Duplex communication system, two devices can communicate with each other at the same time.

A type of communication system involves the sender and the receiver where the sender is in charge of sending signals and the recipients only listen to it and respond accordingly. Such communication is also called Simplex communication system.

Half Duplex Communication System

In half Duplex communication system, both the two parties can’t communicate simultaneously. The sender has to stop sending the signals to the recipient and then only the recipient can respond.

A walkie talkie works on the half duplex communication system. The military personnel while interacting has to say “Over” for the other person to respond. He needs to speak the security code correctly for the other person to speak. The other party will never communicate unless and until the code is correct and complete.

Tactical Communication System

Another mode of communication is the tactical mode of communication. In this mode of communication, communication varies according to the changes in the environmental conditions and other situations.