Communication is a process by which meaning is conveyed through messages. The messages can be either verbal or nonverbal, and they can be transmitted in a variety of contexts that effect how the message is interpreted and the meaning that is conveyed.
Communication, as a process, consists of the following components.
- The source, or sender of the message
- The message, or information to be conveyed
- The receiver, or the person receiving the message
- The channel, or path the message takes from sender to receiver
- The feedback, or the information the receiver conveys to the sender in response to the message
In addition, there are outside influences that affect the effectiveness of the message. These include the environment in which the information is transmitted, the context in which it is conveyed, and the amount of interference present when the message is transmitted and received.
Interference is anything that blocks or changes the intended meaning of the message. Before a message can be transmitted, the sender must analyze the information at hand, and before the message can be processed, the receiver must interpret the information received. Interpretations of meaning are always subjective, based on one’s background and experience and preconceived notions that effect their worldviews. Therefore, communication is complex and forever changing, as meaning is molded during the process of transmission.