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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF

COMMUNICATION

Week 2

Psychology & Communication

What is communication and how


does it relate to psychology? What is
the psychological approach to
communication?

Communication
Act of sending ideas, words, and emotions
from a sender to another person who acts as
a receiver through a medium
q Giving, receiving or exchanging ideas,
information, signals or messages through the
appropriate media, enabling individuals or
groups to persuade, to seek or give
information, or to express emotions
q

Elements of Communication
Elements of communication include:
1. Sender @ source
2. Encoding
3. Channel
4. Message
5. Decoding
6. Receiver
7. The potential for feedback
8. The chance of noise

Communication Process Model


(Dominic, 2013)

Elements of Communication

Cont..

Elements of communication include:


q Source: initiates the process by having a thought or
idea that he/she wishes to transmit
q Encoding: Transmitting @ activities that a source goes
through to translate thoughts/ideas into a form that
maybe perceived by the senses
q Message: actual physical product that the source
encodes
q Channel: the way the message travels to the receiver,
e.g. Sound waves, light waves, air current, touch

Elements of Communication
}

Cont..

Decoding: Receiving the message; opposite of


encoding; consist of activities that translate or
interpret physical message into a form that has
eventual meaning for the receiver
Receiver: Target of the message; group,
institution, a single person, etc.
Noise: anything that interferes with the delivery
of the message, or any interference that keeps
the message from being understood, or
achieving its intended effects: semantic,
mechanical, environmental

Cont..

Elements of Communication

Feedback: refers to the response from the


receiver that shape and alter the
subsequent message from the source. Can
include: positive feedback (encourages
the current communication behavior),
negative feedback (change/terminate
the communication process), and can be
immediate or delayed

Psychological Approach
To Communication
Communication is essential to our well being
q Communication as a study is not new;
research on communication can be traced
before the World War II
q Psychologists initially contributed a lot to the
development of the communication field. In
addition, many founders of the
communication field were also psychologists
q

Psychological Approach
To Communication

Kurt Lewin
(1890 1947)

Paul Lazarsfeld
(1901 1976)

Cont..

Carl Hovland
(1912 1961)

Psychological Approach
To Communication

Cont..

Kurt Lewin: German-American psychologist,


known as modern pioneers of social,
organizational, and applied psychology.
Group dynamics and organizational
development
Paul Lazarsfeld: Born in Vienna, known for
two-step flow @ multistep flow
communication model
Carl Hovland: Born in the USA, known for
group-think (with Janis), social judgment
of attitude change persuasion

Psychological Approach
To Communication

Cont..

Communication is not only a psychological


process, but also a social process and social
event. E.g. making friends and forming
groups. Understanding social events from
psychological perspective is called social
psychology
Therefore, communication experts apply
psychological principles and theories in order
to understand social events

Psychological Approach
To Communication
q

Cont..

Many definitions of communication adopt a


behavioral psychology framework. E.g. Dictionary of
Behavioral Science defines communication:
The transmission of energy charge from one place
to another in the nervous system or transmission of
sound waves
The transmission of reception of signals or messages
by organism
The transmitted messages
The process whereby system influence another
through regulation of transmitted signals

Psychological Approach
To Communication

Cont..

How does psychology relate to


communication?
q According to Rakhmat (1980), Fisher
proposed four characteristics of
psychological approach to
communication:
* Sensory of stimuli
* Internal mediation of stimuli
* Prediction of responses
* Reinforcement of responses
q

Psychological Approach
To Communication
q

Cont..

Based on this view by Fisher, psychologists are not


only interested in the observable behavior (the
response) but also the mental process (the internal
mediation process)
Therefore, psychology is a science that describes,
predicts, and control behavioral events
Accordingly, communication psychology can be
defined as a discipline that seeks to understand,
predict and manage mental and behavioral
communication activities

Psychological Approach
To Communication
q

Cont..

Humans are shaped by the way they interprets and


respond to messages from the environment
Therefore, communication play a vital role in our
personal growth and our relationship with others
It is through communication that we discover and
develop ourselves, understand, and establish
relationships with others and the environment
If others fail to understand our messages, then we fail
to communicate effectively
Communicator also use psychology to increase
communication effectiveness

Psychological Approach
To Communication

Cont..

Why are some communicators more effective


than others?
q This is due to persuasive communication; it is
used to influence others, and manage
behavior using psychological approach
q Psychology of communication means using
psychology in communicating so as to
make the communication more persuasive
and effective

Effective Communication
What constitutes effective communication?
(1) Understanding
q A message should be interpreted as
intended by the source. Failure to interpret a
message is known as primary breakdown in
communication
q To minimize it, communicators need to
understand psychology of message and
psychology of communicator

Effective Communication

Cont..

(2) Change in attitude


q Communication that change attitude is a
persuasive communication
q P e r s u a s i v e c o m m u n i c a t i o n r e q u i r e s
knowledge on message effect and
understanding of factors, which affect the
receiver

Effective Communication

Cont..

(3) Social relations


q Effective communication enhances social
relations
q Failure to establish and enhance social relations is
known as secondary breakdown in
communication
q In order to work with others, communicators
should understand the factors that influence social
relations such as interpersonal perception,
impression management, interpersonal attraction,
and others

Effective Communication

Cont..

(4) Change in behavior


q Persuasive communication results in change of
behavior as intended
q To bring change in behavior, receivers need to
understand the message, and have favorable
attitude towards message and the
communicator
q In order to establish persuasive communication,
understand psychological mechanisms involved
in the communication process and external
factors that influences behavior

To recap
Effective communication involves:
1. Understanding
2. Change in attitude
3. Social relations
4. Change in behavior