We explain what the communication process is, who performs it, what are the elements of communication and various examples.
What is the communication process?
The communication process, the communicative process or the communicative act, is the effective transmission of a message through a communication channel from a sender to a receiver . That is, it is the complete circuit of effective communication , in any field in which it can occur.
The communication is a process of exchange of information that is typical of living beings . One of the ways in which it is done is through language , as we do exclusively human beings .
However, they also occur in other ways, such as through chemical signals, as microscopic organisms do, or through inarticulate sounds , as do birds with their song. Therefore, we must not confuse the ability to communicate, with the ability to do so in a certain way.
Thus, in any of the scenarios we have mentioned, a communicative act is carried out. That is, information is transferred from one living being to another, through a specific method and in specific conditions that facilitate or hinder it. They have to do with the individuals involved, as well as with the environment.
These instances involved in this process are known as elements of communication. Depending on them, we can talk about unidirectional communicative processes (the information goes in one direction only) or bidirectional (the information comes and goes).
Communication is carried out according to a specific circuit, in which the same elements are almost always involved, depending on the way in which it is produced and the type of communication we are talking about. Therefore, by analyzing the elements of communication, we can also evaluate how it is produced.
These elements are:
- Issuer . That individual who initiates the process of communication, and therefore encodes the message according to their abilities and desires, depending on the case. This is always the starting point of the circuit, although it is possible for sender and receiver to exchange their roles continuously, feedbacking as we do in a conversation. We can think of the sender as the person who begins to speak, as a speaker before a crowd or a radio announcer, but also a dog that growls at another, or a bird that sings to attract a female.
- Receiver . The one to whom the sender’s message is addressed, that is, who receives it and therefore decodes it, interprets it, deduces in some way what they want to say. This position is not passive, but requires the attention of the recipient and his will. It can often be exchanged with the issuer, so that there is reciprocity in the communication. Examples of recipients are those who listen to another talk, the audience of a conference, who turns on their radio to hear the announcer, or the dog to which another dog growls, or a female bird attracted by the singing of a male.
- Channel . The channel is the physical medium through which communication is established, and which can in turn present elements that facilitate or hinder it, known as noise or as obstacles or communicative barriers . The medium does not have to do with the sender and the receiver, but with the physical vehicle of the message, such as the sound waves in the air when we speak or when a dog barks or a bird sings, but also the hertzian waves that our radio receives so that we listen to the announcer, or the printed pages of a newspaper, for example.
- Code . The code is the set of rules that allows the receiver to capture the message of the sender and understand it, either through the use of a language, as we do when speaking, or through that somewhat mysterious understanding of animals. They are codes each language we speak, that allow us to encode and decode the messages we emit and receive, but also the binary code of the computers we use to send us e-mails , or the modulated frequencies that our radio device receives and that allows us Tune in to the station we want and not another.
- Message . Finally, the message is the piece of information that the sender sends to the receiver, whatever. An instruction, a conference, a warning, an invitation to reproduce, a story of something happened, all can be messages, provided that a sender encodes and transmits them, and a receiver receives and decodes them.
Examples of communicative processes
Examples of communicative processes are the most everyday situations possible:
- When we call a friend by phone , we exchange with him the turn to send and receive messages, through telephone impulses on a private line.
- When we send an e-mail to a company sending them our CV, we have some recipient within it obtain and decode our document, to apply for a job.
- When we read a book written by a foreign author, we are recipients of the message he wrote and that others recoded for us (the translators). This type of communication is unidirectional.
- When our cat meows in the kitchen, we understand that he is asking for food, which shows that communication does not only occur between beings capable of articulating a language.
- When he detects the drop of jam that we drop on the ground, the ant immediately transmits to his sisters a chemical message that they are able to perceive and that they replicate from one to another until they alert the colony and be able to rescue the spoils found for the first