In the field of communication, noise refers to the distortions that takes place in communication during the process of communication.
Communication takes place between a sender or originator of the communication and a receiver of communication. The distortion in communication or the noise can take place during any of the five steps of communication process listed below.
- The sender formulating the message to be communicated to the receiver. The message is formulated in terms of the thoughts and facts to be conveyed.
- The sender coding the message in a form suitable for transmission. The senders thought and faccts to be communicated in some form suitable for communication such as speech.
- Transmission of the coded message. In case messages in the form of speech will be carried to the recipient through a suitable medium such as air for face to face communication.
- Receipt of message by the recipient.
- Understanding of the decoded message by recipient.
Distortion of the message can take place at any of these five steps of communication. The sender may not formulate the message very cleanly in his or her mind. The message as coded by the sender may not represent the intended message completely or correctly. The message may get distorted, or part of it lost during the transmission process. For example, voice of sender may get mixed up with other environmental noises. The receiver may again receive only part of the message, and may also distort the message during the process of receipt. For example the recipients may not listen carefully to all that is being said, and attach much more importance to some part of the message than to others. Finally the interpretation of the message received may not be the same as intended originally by the sender. These are the various type of noises that occur in communication.