Psychological Characteristics of the Communicative Process
There are two approaches to the definition of communication. According to the narrow conception of communication, it is a process of the exchange of information and refers to “one or more individuals involved in an act of sending and receiving messages that are disturbed by noise, occur within a context, have some effect, and provide an opportunity for feedback” (De Vito, 1985, p. 3). This definition refers to the informative aspect of communication. The second broader definition focuses on the meaningfulness of communication and views it “as a negotiation and exchange of meaning when messages, people, cultures and reality interact so as to enable the meaning to be produced or understanding to occur” (O’Sullivan et al., 1983, p. 42). Communication then ensures a “social community”, by providing control and informative, emotive (releasing and exchanging of emotions), and phatic (establishing and maintaining contacts) functions (Short Psychological Dictionary, 1985, p. 197). Hence, the main objectives of communication are: personal discovery—it helps build a stronger self-image; discovery of the external world; the establishment and maintenance of relationships; the changing of attitudes and behavior; mutual activity; and play and recreation. There are three effects of communication: cognitive (acquisition of information), affective (emotional or attitudinal), and psychomotor (motor or perceptual-motor skills) (De Vito, 1985). It stands to reason that no communication is motivated by just one purpose.
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