The process of human communication
For over 60,000 years men and women have been communicating. Yet we still feel the need, perhaps more than ever, to find ways to improve these skills.
According to numerous research studies, for your entire life you have spent about 75 per sent of each day engaged in communication. Therefore, you may be wondering why you need to study communication in the first place.
Despite the difficulties inherent in ordinary communication, some researchers are attempting communication wwith an unborn child. Laitner’s (1987) work involves teaching babies in the uterus, thus giving them a head start on verbal ability and social skills. Parent’s talk to their children through paper megaphones directed at the mother’s abdomen.
Among other things, communication has been liked to physical well – being. Stewart (1986) indicates that socially isolated people are more likely to die prematurely; divorced men die at double the normal rate from cancer, heart disease, and strokes, five times the nnormal rate from hypertension, five time the normal rate from suicide, seven time the normal rate from cirrhosis of the liver, and ten times the normal rate from tuberculosis. Also, poor communication kills have been found to contribute to coronary hheart disease, and the likelihood of death increases when a marriage partner dies.
Communication is also closely associated with one’s definition of self. Rosenberg (1979) relates the story of the “wild boy of Aveyron” who was raised by wolves. He developed no identity as a human being until be began to interact with humans. Individuals gain a sense of self-identity by being paid attention to and getting feedback from others. Also, a sense of identity and worth develops from comparing ourselves with others.
Social needs are also satisfied through interaction with others. Haslett (1984) found that infants and children have a strong motivation to communicate, because they recognize that communicating is a means of establishing relationships. The child learns primarily ffrom the mother how to interact and to adapt.
On-the-job communication is constantly cited as one of the most important skills in “getting ahead”. Muchmore and Galvin (1983) found that in a wide range of organizations, specific aspects of communication were indicated as having greatest importance. In the area of “speaking skills” they were: using words understood by others, pronunciation and grammar.
What is human communication?
Human communication is the process of creating a meaning between two or more people. <
However the student define this that it is the use electrics or simple a prayer that is communication with God.
Some sanities define the communication as “the sharing of experience”, and to some extent all living organisms can be said to share experience. What makes human communication unique is the superior ability to create and to use symbols, for it is this ability that enables human to “share experiences indirectly and vicariously”.
Human communication is the process of creating a meaning between two or more people.
A model of human communication
Modeling human communications help us to explain the ways in which varies component interacts.
Figure 1.1 is a model of the most basic human communication event; it involves only two people. Initially, we shall call them Communicator 1 (the sender/receiver) and Communicator 2 (the receiver/sender). In actuality, both are sauces of communication, and each originates and receives messages simultaneously. In addition, both parties are simultaneously being influenced by one another in the transaction. Communicator 1 may originate the first message and Communicator 2 may be the first person to perceive the transmitted stimuli, but most of our daily communication activities are spontaneous and relatively unstructured, so that these are overlapping rroles.
The transactional view emphasizes that you change as a result of the communication event. Have you ever been drawn into an argument so intense that the more you told the other person how angry you were, the angrier you became? The reverse is also possible. If a man tells a woman how much he cares for her and goes out of his way to do something thoughtful for her, what is the result? Typically, he increases his feeling of closeness to her, even though she may not respond well to his gesture. The research on self – persuasion shows that when you give a persuasive presentation to others, you are often the person who is most persuaded by it.
Communicator 1: sender/receiver
Communicator 1 is trying to transmit a message. Both people are simultaneously sending and receiving all the time. Mental capacities are of central importance in the communication process. Inside the human brain are millions of nerve cells that function together to store and utilize knowledge, attitudes, and emotions. We want to know what makes Communicator 1 distinct from any other. Communicator 1’s senses are continually bombarded by a wealth of stimuli from both inside and outside the body. AAll that he or she knows and experiences comes initially through the senses. Borrowing from computer terminology, we call these raw data input – all the stimuli, both past and present that give us our information about the world.
Messages may be verbal or nonverbal, and they may be intentional or unintentional. Thus four types of messages are possible: (1) intentional verbal, (2) unintentional verbal, (3) intentional nonverbal, and (4) unintentional nonverbal and that they often overlap.
A verbal message is any type of spoken communication that uses one or more words. Most of the communicative stimuli we are conscious of fall within the category of intentional verbal messages; these are the conscious attempts we make to communicate with others through speech and the most unique aspect of human communication is the use of verbal symbols.
Nonverbal messages include all the nonverbal aspects of our behavior: facial expression, posture, tone of voice, hand movements, manner of dress, and so on. In short, they are all the messages we transmit without words or over and above the words we use.
Unintentional nonverbal messages are all those nonverbal aspects of our behavior transmitted without our control. For example, one
of the authors once told a student speaker to relax. “I am relaxed,” the student replied in a tight voice, trembling, and speaking over the rattling of a paper he was holding. A problem frequently raised in management classes is that store managers unintentionally communicate anger or impatience to their customers.
Controlling nonverbal messages is a very difficult task. Facial expressions, posture, tone of voice, hand gestures – what some writers have called “body language” – often give us away. <
If you are talking on the telephone, the communicative stimuli are the telephone wires. The channels of face-to-face communication are the sensory organs. Although all five senses may receive the stimuli, you rely almost exclusively on three: hearing, sight, and touch. For example, you listen to someone state an argument, or you exchange-knowing glances with a friend, or you put your hand on someone’s shoulder. In addition to the sensory organs, the channels of organizational communication include company newsletters, bbulletin boards, and memoranda. In mass communication the primary channels would be newspapers, films, radio, and television.
For example, if there is a large vase of flowers between two people trying to talk across a dinner table, both lose a llot because they are unable to see each other’s faces. They may even find it too unsettling to carry on a conversation without the presence of facial cues. In others words, face-to-face communication is a multichannel experience. Simultaneously, we receive and make use of information from a number of different channels. In general, the more channels being used, the greater the number of communicative stimuli transmitted.
The communication scholar would answer, interference, or noise – that is, anything that distorts the information transmitted to the receiver or distracts him or her from receiving it. In communication theory, ‘”interference” and “noise” are synonymous terms. “Interference” is probably a more appropriate word, but because “noise” was the term first used in studies oof telecommunication, you should be familiar with it too.
Technical interference refers to the factors that cause the receiver to perceive distortion in the intended information or stimuli. And the sender too may create the distortion: a person who has a speech impediment or who mumbles a great deal may have difficulty making words clear to someone else. At a party one person may not be able to hear the response of another because the stereo is blaring or because oother people standing nearby are speaking so loudly. In this case, the interference is simply the transmission of the sounds of other people in conversation.
The second type of interference is semantic interference, witch occurs when the receiver does not attribute the same meaning to the signal that the sender does.
As we have seen, interference can exist in the context of the communication, in the channel, in the communicator who sends the message, or in the one who receives it.
Communicator 2: receiver/sender
For most communication, visual perception will be an essential aspect of message reception. Another critical aspect of message reception is listening.
Listening and hearing are far from synonymous. When Communicator 2 (the receiver/sender) listens, four different yet interrelated processes will be involved: attention, hearing, understanding, and remembering.
Figure 1.1 has received a message, we have come only halfway through the continuous and ongoing process that is communication. For each receiver of a message is also a sender of messages – hence, the term “receiver/sender”. Moreover, that person’s uniqueness as a human being ensures that his or her attempts to communicate will be very different from those of the other person in the model. For example, Communicator 2’s cultural iinput may be quite unlike that of Communicator 1. His or her filters, both physiological and psychological, will be different. The stimuli he or she transmits will be different. Even the selection of channels and sources of difficulty, or interference, may differ.
Once Communicator 2 responds to Communicator 1, a circle can represent their interaction. But as their exchange progresses in time, several circles more accurately describe the relationship between them. In fact, all but the briefest exchanges entail several communication cycles. Thus time itself becomes the final element in our model.
It seems clear that human communication occurs in several kinds of situation. Six different contexts seem to be widely agreed upon in the communication literature. These are (1) two-person, (2) interviewing, (3) small-group, (4) public, (5) organizational, (6) mass communication. Keep in mind that while each of these contexts has some unique characteristics, all six share in common the process of creating a meaning between two or more people. And all six sometimes involve intercultural communication, another variable we will be examining.
Small-group communication is defined as “face-to-face communication among a small group of people who share a common purpose or goal, feel a sense of belonging tto the group, and exert influence upon one another”. Since this context involves three or more people, the degree of intimacy, participation, and satisfaction tends to be lower than in two-person communication.
This context is often referred to as public speaking. It is a distinct context in a number of ways. First, it occurs in public rather than private places – that is, in auditoriums, classrooms, ballroom, etc. Second, public communication is relatively formal as opposed to informal, unstructured communications. Public communication usually requires that the speaker do significantly more preparation, and he or she should expect a more formalized setting than in two-person or small-group communication.
Organizational communication is defined as “the flow of messages within a network of interdependent relationships”. This definition fits not only businesses, but also hospitals, churches, government agencies, military organizations, and academic institutions.
This sixth context involves communication that is mediated. That is, the source of a message communicates through some print or electronic media. And mediated encounters differ from personal encounters. Mass communication is the most formal – and the most expensive. Television advertisements during the Super Bowl each January will cost millions of dollars per minute! In
addition, the opportunities for feedback are severely limited, especially when compared with two-person or small-group communication. The audience in mass communication is relatively large, heterogeneous, and anonymous to the source. Finally, communication experience is characterized as public, rapid, and fleeting.
In our analysis of human communication, another category we shall be exploring is intercultural communication – that is, communication between members of different cultures (whether defined in terms of racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic differences, or a combination of tthese differences). Culture is a way of life developed and shared by a group of people and passed down from generation to generation.
This dimension of experience cuts across all communication contexts: it may occur in two-person communication, interviews, small groups, or any of the other categories we will examine in Part 2. Thus intercultural communication will be discussed not only in Chapter 13 but also in many other chapters of this text-for example, in relation to person perception, human aattraction, verbal and nonverbal communication. In a society such as our own, with its rich mix of cultures, intercultural communication will be especially relevant.
Personal computers are becoming a daily tool for many. Students walking across campus are ooften listening to their Walkman. Fax machines are so popular that fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s use them to take orders.
Another technological wonder that has swept the country the cellular car phones.
With all this high-tech communication potential, human communication is at once more possible and perhaps less human. Regardless of your sentiments regarding these innovations, there is no question that they are having a profound and permanent impact on human communication.
What is effective communication?
Effective when ...
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