The Concept of Communication… In every area of human endeavour, the world has witnessed great developments. Be it in the field of science and technology, medicine, politics, economics, religion etc, the development is essentially due to one major factor-communication creates an environment that aids interaction between persons, people, religions and nations. Through these interceptions, ideas and ideals are transferred or passed from one individual to the other or one system to another. Without communication (especially the written form), the world would be static, devoid of any progressive creativity or creativities. It would almost be impossible to maintain any link with our past and future. Thus, the following questions require attention:
- What is communication?
- What are the processes of communication?
- What are its components?
The above questions and other aspects of communication would be treated in this article.
WHAT IS COMMUNICATION?
Communication can simply be defined as the exchange of information between two or more people. It has also been defined in different ways by various scholars. Nzerem (1996) defined communication as “the conveying of infraction, thoughts, feelings, and opinions”.
Thompson (1969) sees communication as “a process of interaction that goes on for the purpose of giving or receiving information. This implies the transmission of information from senders to receivers and from receivers to senders”.
Peter Little (1977) also views communication as the process by which information is passed between individuals and organizations by means of previously agreed symbols”.
In his own opinion, Johamson (1969) asserts that “communication is not simply a question of giving or receiving instructions and information but rather a kind of linking process, aimed specially at encouraging understanding and co-operation.
It is clear from the above definitions that communication involves the transference of information from the communicator (encoder) to the consumer of the information (decoder), plus the reaction of the consumer, and his subsequent response back to the communicator. However, the last definition establishes the fact that communication does not just end at giving or receiving information. It also embraces some other issues such as:
- The mechanism through which the information or idea is passed.
- Steps taken to send the information or idea.
- The information/ ideas passed.
- The purpose of passing or transmitting the information.
- The context in which this transmission takes place.
Communication activities may involve human beings and / or manipulated objects, or even animals. Animals ,like human beings, pass information around themselves. But their own form of communication is instinctive. What this implies is that they instinctively recent to things around them. For instance, lions roar, dogs bark, cocks crow or communicate one form of information or another either to a mate or a human who keeps them as pets. Machines like the computer can also be manipulated to carryout communication –a feature of the present globalized age. Suffice it to state that it is only human communication that is sophisticated, patterned and dynamic in nature.
COMPONENTS OF COMMUNICATION
The components that make up communication are as’ the follows:
- Encoder (sender, source, transmitter)
- Code (message)
- Decoder (receiver, audience, destination)
- Feedback or response.
The encoder refers to the sender of the information or the communicator. It is the speaker or the writer, whichever is the case. The code is the information or message which the encoder wishes to send across. The receiver of the code is called the decoder or consumer or even interpreter of the code.
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