What is the importance of studying communication theory?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Communication theory helps in developing understanding about the technical aspects of communication. This field of study is aimed at developing knowledge on how people communicate. Communication can be influenced through persuasion with the intention of exerting control or through cooperation with an aim of developing valued relations.  Communication theory uses mathematics and information to develop insights into the complex nature of the different types of human communication. The problem being addressed by this field of study as stated by Shannon "is that of reproducing at one point either exactly or approximately a message selected at another point”. This problem led into studies of how best to encode messages and to determine the level of uncertainty a message carries during the communication process. Communication theory seeks to understand the different capacities required for communication in order to develop channels that will successfully carry and deliver the intended information. This field of study has played an important role in the current development of communication technologies and computer science.

Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Communication theory gives us a conceptual framework with which to study and improve our own communication skills and those of others.  Communication is central in our lives, in school, at work, and in our personal activities and relationships.  Theories help us to assess how we communicate with others and help us to understand what goes awry in communication, for example, how we block or interfere with communication or how others might block or interfere.  Insight into how people communicate with one another, one to one or in groups, is powerful!