- Explain the basic elements of the communication process.
- Describe the two functions of memory and the role of thinking in the
- State how the importance of shared interests relates to the communication
- Explain the nature of nonverbal communication and define the general
categories of nonverbal symbols.
Overview of the Communication Process
Communication is the process we humans use to achieve
understanding. When you want others to understand what is in your mind,
you choose "words" to form your message to your intended receiver.
The receiver must "read" the message as it comes in if he or she is to
understand the ideas you are trying to get across. Then the receiver
reacts to your ideas, which is called feedback.
** Memory is considered the brain's storage bin, for later use in
** In addition to storing information and experiences, your brain also stores
the words needed to express these ideas.
** Words are symbols that stand for ideas or experiences.
Reasoning is the ability to put two or more ideas together and
produce a new idea.
Humans have a highly developed reasoning.
Needing to Communicate
Humans need to communicate because we are social creatures by nature.
There is a certain need to communicate.
Once you have decided to communicate with someone, your next step is to use
symbols to encode your ideas. You must then transfer ideas into a
symbol system, or code known to both you and your receiver, and then hope that
the receiver will decode, or translate the symbols correctly.
You use symbols for a variety of purposes. A symbol can be a
word, gesture, eye contact, dress, or anything that stands for an idea and is
used to communicate.
Words are language symbols. They are also called
verbal symbols. Language is a medium of exchange for ideas.
These include all the ways you encode your ideas without words.
You can smile, nod, or tap your feet. One nonverbal symbol is kinesics,
which is the use of body motions to communicate. Examples of kinesics is
rolling one's eyes, frowning, staring, laughing, gesturing, crossing one's legs,
or any similar body movement.
Proxemics is another nonverbal symbol. Proxemics is the
study of spatial communication to communicate. An example would be good
friends sitting or standing closer to each other rather than a new acquaintance.
Paralanguage is another category of nonverbal communication. It
consists of the ways in which you says words. This includes volume, pitch,
speaking rate, and voice quality.
** Volume indicates how loudly or softly you are speaking.
** Pitch is how high or low the sounds of your voice are.
** Speaking rate is how fast or slow you are speaking.
** Voice quality is what makes people able to recognize your voice alone.
The signals that a receiver continuously gives to a sender
indicating how well the message is being received are known as feedback.
Feedback is extremely important for senders, since it allows them to discover
such matters as whether they are speaking too fast, using words that are too
complex, or even whether they are offending or angering their receivers.
Feedback can consist of words, nonverbal symbols, or both.
Feedback makes it possible for speakers to judge how well they are
communicating. For example, in a face-to-face conversation, interviews,
and small group discussion, a good balance of verbal and nonverbal feedback is
Talking on the phone consists of verbal feedback. In public speaking,
the form of feedback is usually nonverbal. This is because, if a large
number of audience members begin responding aloud, it would soon be impossible
to hear the speaker. Most audience speakers confine their feedback to
kinesic symbols--smiles, frowns, and nods of their heads. Some
paralanguage symbols such as yawning, occasional boos, or hisses and clapping
may also be used as feedback.