Communication Theory

Imagine a world without communication! You have a brilliant idea with you but don’t possess the power of communication. You have a strong desire for something, but cannot express your desires. Life would be dull, blank and the world would not be worth living. Such is the power of communication.

Communication is the essence of life. It is a necessity. To express themselves, human beings need to communicate. An individual has to communicate to express his feelings, pass on information to the other human beings and share his thoughts and feelings.

Do only Human Beings Communicate ?

Let us go through the following examples:

Ted spotted a poor weak pup lying almost lifeless on the streets and crying meekly. He took no time in taking the pup to a nearby vet and giving him the basic medical treatment the poor creature required. Have you ever thought how did Ted come to know that the pup requires immediate attention? The pup couldn’t speak.

The answer to the above question is through communication.

Ted came to know about the condition of the pup through communication only. The crying of pup was actually an indication that the creature needs to be immediately attended by the doctor. Through his crying the pup tried to communicate Ted about his deteriorating condition and requirement of medical aid.

Another example:

A gardener waters the plants when the leaves start turning brown, become dry and start showing withering signs. Turning brown, drying of leaves are actually ways the tree tries to communicate to the gardener that it is dying and needs to be watered immediately.

All the above examples support the communication theory.

What is communication Theory ?

Communication theory was proposed by S. F. Scudder in the year 1980. It states that all living beings existing on the planet communicate although the way of communication is different.

Plants communicate their need to be taken care of and watered immediately through visible changes in the colour of the leaves, and the falling of leaves and flowers.

Animals communicate by sounds, several movements to indicate that they are hungry or unwell or need medical attention.

A mother would never understand that her child is hungry unless and until the child cries. Crying is again a form through which the child communicates that he is hungry and needs food. The same applies when he is injured, where he uses crying again as a tool to communicate his pain and need of urgent medical attention.

Thus the universal law of communication theory says that all living beings whether they are plants, animals, human beings communicate through sound, speech, visible changes, body movements, gestures or in the best possible way to make the others aware of their thoughts, feelings, problems, happiness or any other information.

If a child scores less marks in examinations, parents would not speak to the child for sometime- again an effort to communicate that the parents are angry over the child’s performance and he needs to buck up for his further examinations. Try to irritate a stray dog, he will surely bark on you - again an animal’s way to communicate that he is angry and should not be irritated further.

Like human beings, animals also communicate among themselves through gestures and body movements. Monkeys always carry their babies with them wherever they go, again a way through which the mother tries to communicate that their babies are safe and the mother is there to take good care of them.

During the mating season of animals, communication through gestures plays a very important role in bringing them close, the same way a peacock dances to attract its partner.

Another model of communication says that communication is simply the process of transferring information from the sender to the recipient where the recipient decodes the information and acts accordingly. Large number of people also support this model of communication.

Communication Theory Framework

Let us examine communication and communication theory through the following viewpoints:

  • Mechanistic - The mechanistic view point says that communication is simply the transmission of information from the first party to the second party. The first party being the sender and the second party being the receiver.

  • Psychological - According to the psychological view point, communication is simply not the flow of information from the sender to the receiver but actually the thoughts, feelings of the sender which he tries to share with the recepients. It also includes the reactions, feelings of the receiver after he decodes the information.

  • Social - The social view point considers communication as a result of interaction between the sender and the receiver. It simply says that communication is directly dependent on the content of the speech. “How one communicates” is the basis of the social view point.

  • Systemic - The systemic view point says that communication is actually a new and a different message which is created when various individuals interpret it in their own way and then reinterpret it and draw their own conclusion.

  • Critical - The critical view point says that communication is simply a way with the help of which an individual expresses his power and authority among other individuals.

To summarize the communication theory proposes that to survive, every living entity, needs to communicate with others and also among themselves.

Communication is a dire need of survival.

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