What is communication? Communication psychology

In the world of psychology, communication is one of the main processes associated with mental activity. As with most other concepts, psychologists have still not come to the well-established and universally accepted definition of communication.

What is communication? Definition of term

what is communication

For some researchers, communication is a complex communicative process involving the exchange of information and the perception of one person by another. Some people see in communication the process of establishing relationships, where various communication channels act as auxiliary tools. Still others emphasize that communication is a social phenomenon, and it should be viewed not as an individual mental process, but as a manifestation of the life of a society.

So what is communication? All of the above definitions are true and reveal to some extent the meaning of the term and its individual aspects. It is important to emphasize that a purely psychological view of communication (in contrast, say,from the philosophical) emphasizes that this process is, firstly, the activity and, secondly, the need of the individual and an important factor in its formation.

Characteristic of communication

In psychology, it is customary to evaluate communication in accordance with three characteristics: by content, by function, and by means.

As for the content, it can take the form of information transfer, mutual evaluation, mutual influence, interaction, control, or simply perception.

means of communication

In accordance with the content, the psychology of communication reveals the function. There are several classifications of such functions, the most common of which is that which includes four basic functions — instrumental, translational, syndicative, and the function of self-expression. There are also three additional - expressive, socialization function and social control function.

  • The instrumental function serves the attainment of a goal. Manifested in the form of leverage or pressure.
  • The translational function is designed to transmit any information.
  • Syndication function helps to achieve the goal of uniting, consolidating a group of people.
  • The function of self-expression, as the name implies, aims at self-presentation in order to achieve mutual understanding between the partners.
  • The expressive function is based on the synchronization of the emotional background and experiences.
  • The socialization function serves the purpose of personal adaptation in the new social environment.
  • Finally, the function of social control is designed to regulate certain aspects of human life. This is a means of communication between the legislator and the subordinate.

Means of communication

psychology of communication

Psychologists agree that language is the main means of communication between people. The language is understood not only speech, but in general any system of conventional signs, adopted, learned or understood by the subjects of communication.

In science, there are two types of signs - intentional and non-intentional. The former differ from the latter in that they are intentionally transmitted information, while the latter give out information without the will and desire of the subject. For example, facial expression, it is also a means of communication, often acting as a non-intellectual means of information transfer. This type includes some body movements, especially speech and breathing.Thanks to this, one can perceive a person more fully and read much more information from him than he wants to tell about himself.

Communication mechanisms

What is communication in terms of contact mechanisms of subjects? Researchers identify three components - identification, empathy and reflection.

  • Identification includes the perception and analysis of the state of the partner and the following attempt to assimilate him. This kind of reception is often, consciously or unconsciously, undertaken to understand a person and put himself in his place.
  • Empathy characterizes a person's ability to comprehend other people's emotional experiences. This means not only intellectual understanding, but also acceptance, emotional complicity.
  • Reflection implies awareness of feedback. That is, knowing not only what the partner is experiencing or feeling, but also knowing what the partner knows about me, how he understands and evaluates my personality.

communication culture

Impact methods

The whole culture of communication is based on certain methods of mutual influence of partners on each other. In the classical scheme, there are four such methods: suggestion, imitation, infection and persuasion. This is the answer to the question of what is communication in the field of methodology.

  • By suggestion here is meant intentional impact without using any argumentation base.
  • Imitation involves copying patterns of behavior and expression from a partner, consciously or not.
  • Infection is characterized by the transmission of a set of emotional experiences at an unconscious level.
  • And conviction is an effect on a conscious level, involving a base of arguments and arguments.

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