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Communication: Theory, Forms and Parameters

3104 words (12 pages) Essay in Communications

07/08/18 Communications Reference this

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  • RINSON MAMMEN

THEORIES FORMS AND PARAMETERS OF COMMUNICATION

Theories of communication

Actor-Network Theory suggests that human and non-human factors are equally influential in the success of technological innovation and scientific knowledge-creation. The theory looks at how networks are formed and how these networks contribute to these successes. It suggests that no one person or thing is solely responsible for these advancements. Therefore, both an actor and a network are responsible for achieving these outcomes.

Adaptive Structuration Theory (AST) Groups and organizations create rules and resources which are defined as structures. These structures form social systems which develop a life of their own. The quality of the structure affects decision making, and decisions also affect the structure.

Agenda Setting Theory: Agenda Setting Theory states that mass media organizations determine what the general population considers newsworthy by deciding how much attention a news story receives. The term salience transfer is commonly used and refers to the ability of the media to transfer their agendas onto the public.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory: Cognitive Dissonance is the psychological conflict that results from holding two contradictory or incompatible beliefs or attitudes. For example, one can like a person, but disapprove of their habits. The theory suggests that a person looks for balance in their beliefs. Therefore, in order to reduce dissonance, one will avoid hearing opposing viewpoints or change their beliefs to match their actions.

Communication Accommodation Theory: Communication Accommodation Theory describes when people accommodate or adjust their communication styles to others. These changes in verbal and nonverbal styles are done through two ways: divergence and convergence. Divergence is used to highlight group identity through touting the differences of the group they identify with. Divergence is often used by groups with strong ethnic or racial pride. Convergence is used more often by powerless individuals for social approval and focuses on matching the communication styles of the person with whom they are speaking to.

Cultivation Theory: Cultivation Theory argues media shapes a persons sense of reality. Because many acquire information through mediated sources rather than direct experience, their world view becomes influenced by these sources. For example, Cultivation Theory suggests that people who would be defined as heavy television viewers see the world as more violent that it actually is.

Face Negotiation Theory: Face Negotiation Theory highlights conflict style differences between collectivist and individualistic cultures. Collectivist cultures place value on the group and therefore adopt a conflict style of avoiding or integrating to give others mutual face. Individualistic cultures place value on the individual and in an attempt to protect self-face, they adopt a dominating conflict style.

Hypodermic Needle Theory: The Hypodermic Needle Theory, also known as the ‘magic bullet’ theory, says the media has a powerful and direct effect on audiences by ‘injecting’ them with messages. The Hypodermic Needle Theory no longer carries the respect it once did since its accuracy was found to be questionable.

Muted Group Theory: Muted Group Theory states that because language is man-made women remain reduced and excluded. Because words and norms have been created by men, women are disadvantaged in public. As women become less muted and more vocal, the dominant position of males in society will diminish.

Social Exchange Theory: Social Exchange Theory posits an ‘economic’ exchange for in interpersonal relationships. Meaning, the relationships is enhanced by satisfying each others self-interest. In this theory, self-interest is not regarded as a bad thing, but rather as a concept that builds the relationship.

Social Learning Theory: Social Learning Theory argues that people learn from each other through observing, imitating, and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others. Social learning theory explains how human behavior can be shaped by continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, an environmental influences.

Social Penetration Theory: Social Penetration Theory looks at how superficial relationships evolve to intimate relationships. The theory states it is a gradual evolution due primarily to self-disclosure between parties. But, while this self-disclosure can be effective in creating intimate relationships, it can also leave one or more persons vulnerable.

Standpoint Theory: Standpoint Theory claims that each person is seated in a different rank among the social hierarchy. Because of this, each person views the social climate from a different vantage point, which only provides a small look at the social whole. But the theory also claims that those who are lower on the social ladder tend to have a greater understanding of the social whole, rather than those higher up.

Symbolic Interactionism Theory: Symbolic Interaction Theory suggests that the concept of self is created by three principles: 1) Meaning: that we act towards and things according to the meanings we apply to them. 2) Language: that we negotiate meaning through symbols. 3) Thought: that thought modifies our interpretations. Symbolic interactionism implies that without communication there would be no self concept.

Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB): Theory of Planned Behavior is the same as Theory of Reasoned Action in that it says personal attitudinal judgments and social-normative considerations influence a person’s intentions to perform a behavior, but TPB adds a third element: perceived behavioral control. This element being the perception of how easy or difficult it is to perform the behavior.

Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) Theory of Reasoned Action looks at how behaviors can be influenced by influencing a person’s intentions. TRA states that two main factors tell a person whether or not to perform a behavior: 1) personal attitudinal judgments: the evaluation of the action; and, 2) social-normative considerations: what one believes others think they should do.

Uncertainty Reduction Theory: Uncertainty Reduction Theory states that when strangers meet, their primary goal is to reduce levels of uncertainty. Uncertainty meaning, being unsure of how to behave (or how the other person will behave), and unsure of what to think of the other person. For example, if they like the person or do not like the person. According to this theory, they will use communication to reduce this uncertainty.

Uses and Gratifications Theory: The Uses and Gratifications Theory assumes audiences actively seek out media to satisfy individual needs. With this assumption, the Uses and Gratifications Theory looks to answer three questions: what do people do with the media, what are their underlying motives for using said media, and what are the pros and cons of this individual media use

Different Forms of Communication

Verbal Communication Verbal communication includes sounds, words, language and speaking. Language is said to have originated from sounds and gestures. There are many languages spoken in the world. The basis of language formation are: gender, class, profession, geographical area, age group and other social elements. Speaking is an effective way of communicating and is again classified into two types viz. interpersonal communication and public speaking.

Good verbal communication is an inseparable part of business communication. In a business, you come across people from various ages, cultures and races. Fluent verbal communication is essential, to deal with people in business meetings. Also, in business communication self-confidence plays a vital role which when clubbed with fluent communication skills can lead to success.

Public speaking is another verbal communication in which you have to address a group of people. Preparing for an effective speech before you start is important. In public speaking, the speech must be prepared according to the type of audience you are going to face. The content of your speech should be authentic and you must have enough information on the topic you have chosen for public speaking. All the main points in your speech must be highlighted and these points should be delivered in the correct order. There are many public speaking techniques and these techniques must be practiced for an effective speech.

Non-Verbal Communication Non-verbal communication involves physical ways of communication, like, tone of the voice, touch, smell and body motion. Creative and aesthetic non-verbal communication includes singing, music, dancing and sculpturing. Symbols and sign language are also included in non-verbal communication. Body language is a non-verbal way of communication. Body posture and physical contact convey a lot of information. Body posture matters a lot when you are communicating verbally to someone. Folded arms and crossed legs are some of the signals conveyed by a body posture. Physical contact, like, shaking hands, pushing, patting and touching expresses the feeling of intimacy. Facial expressions, gestures and eye contact are all different ways of communication. Reading facial expressions can help you know a person better.

Written Communication Written communication is writing the words which you want to communicate. Good written communication is essential for business purposes. Written communication is practiced in many different languages. E-mails, reports, articles and memos are some of the ways of using written communication in business. The written communication can be edited and amended many times before it is communicated to the second party to whom the communication is intended. This is one of the main advantages of using writing as the major means of communication in business activity. Written communication is used not only in business but also for informal communication purposes. Mobile SMS is an example of informal written communication.

Visual communication The last type of communication is the visual communication. Visual communication is visual display of information, like topography, photography, signs, symbols and designs. Television and video clips are the electronic form of visual communication.

Effective communication is essential for the success of any type of business. Informally too, nothing can be achieved without proper communication. Therefore, developing communicative skills is a must. One must understand that all the four types of communication are equally important and one must develop communicative skills in all the mediums. Communicative media is growing day by day to ensure clarity and to eliminate the ambiguity in communication.

Different Parameters in communication

Many definitions describe communication as a transfer of information, thoughts or ideas to create shared understanding between a sender and a receiver. The information may be written or spoken, professional or social, personal or impersonal to name a few possibilities. Basically, the communication process involves a sender, receiver, message, channel and feedback. However, this simplistic description significantly under-represents what can actually be a very complex process. Click here for a brief overview of the communication process.

Essential issues to be aware of in any communication situation are:

  • Content refers to the actual words or symbols of the message that are known as language – the spoken and written words combined into phrases that make grammatical sense. Importantly, we all use and interpret the meanings of words differently, so even simple messages can be misunderstood. And many words have different meanings to confuse the issue even more.
  • Process refers to the way the message is delivered – the nonverbal elements in speech such as the tone of voice, the look in the sender’s eyes, body language, hand gestures and state of emotions (anger, fear, uncertainty, confidence, etc.) that can be detected. The non-verbals that we use often cause messages to be misunderstood as we tend to believe what we see more than what we hear. Indeed, we often trust the accuracy of nonverbal behaviors more than verbal behaviors. A well-known UCLA study found that only around 7% of the meaning of spoken communication came from words alone, 55% came from facial expression and 38% came from the way the words were said.
  • Context refers to the situation or environment in which your message is delivered. Important contextual factors that can subtly influence the effectiveness of a message include the physical environment (eg. a patient’s bedside, ward office, quiet room etc.), cultural factors (e.g. international cultures, organizational cultures and so on) and developmental factors (e.g. first, second or third year student, experience in similar clinical settings, stage of the practicum etc.).

The goal of communication between a sender and a receiver is understanding of the message being sent. Anything that interferes with this can be referred to as ‘noise’. Communication noise can influence our interpretation of messages and significantly affect our perception of interactions with others. Many definitions describe communication as a transfer of information, thoughts or ideas to create shared understanding between a sender and a receiver. The information may be written or spoken, professional or social, personal or impersonal to name a few possibilities. Basically, the communication process involves a sender, receiver, message, channel and feedback. However, this simplistic description significantly under-represents what can actually be a very complex process. Click here for a brief overview of the communication process.

Essential issues to be aware of in any communication situation are:

  • Content refers to the actual words or symbols of the message that are known as language – the spoken and written words combined into phrases that make grammatical sense. Importantly, we all use and interpret the meanings of words differently, so even simple messages can be misunderstood. And many words have different meanings to confuse the issue even more.
  • Process refers to the way the message is delivered – the nonverbal elements in speech such as the tone of voice, the look in the sender’s eyes, body language, hand gestures and state of emotions (anger, fear, uncertainty, confidence, etc.) that can be detected. The non-verbals that we use often cause messages to be misunderstood as we tend to believe what we see more than what we hear. Indeed, we often trust the accuracy of nonverbal behaviors more than verbal behaviors. A well-known UCLA study found that only around 7% of the meaning of spoken communication came from words alone, 55% came from facial expression and 38% came from the way the words were said.
  • Context refers to the situation or environment in which your message is delivered. Important contextual factors that can subtly influence the effectiveness of a message include the physical environment (eg. a patient’s bedside, ward office, quiet room etc.), cultural factors (eg. international cultures, organisational cultures and so on) and developmental factors (eg. first, second or third year student, experience in similar clinical settings, stage of the practicum etc.).

The goal of communication between a sender and a receiver is understanding of the message being sent. Anything that interferes with this can be referred to as ‘noise’. Communication noise can influence our interpretation of messages and significantly affect our perception of interactions with others

Basic parameters of the communication system. a) Bandwidth b) Transmit Power c) Signal to Noise Ratio

a) Bandwidth

Bandwidth is defined as ” the range of frequencies required to represent original signal in time domain”. This is the simplest definition of bandwidth.

As being engineer we’ll use more technical definition of bandwidth which is :-

” A ring of frequencies that falls in the amplitude of first and last by 3dB and 70% of energy left”.

Some important points relating bandwidth are:-

i) Rate of Transmission of data is directly proportional to bandwidth i.e wider the bandwidth more data will flow .

ii) With wider bandwidth, there are less collisions and errors are minimum.

iii) The bandwidth is chosen after detailed analysis which is enough for data to be transmitted.This precaution is taken to avoid addition of noise since with the wider bandwidth thermal noise increases. Hence thermal noise is directly proportional to bandwidth.

b) Transmit Power

As the name suggests that it is the power required for transmission. Transmission power plays an important role due to its duality.

The increase in transmission power reduces the noise. Secondly information is transmitted more accurately and precisely.

Usually binary (0,1) level transmission is done just to save transmission power. For example if we are going to transmit 4 bits of information within 2 levels, 2 bits will be transmitted in one pulse width hence bandwidth will be two pulses.

Suppose we transmit this in 4 levels , one pulse having one bit then transmit power will increase very fast which makes it more expensive system. Just to save transmission power and simplicity we use binary level at the expense of bandwidth.

c) Signal to Noise Ratio :

The performance of the system is defined by signal power to noise power ratio.

Let So is the signal output power and No is the noise output power then

So/No,

is known as signal to noise ratio.The greater the signal power less the noise power affects and systems performance is better and vice versa.

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