Activity of Conveying Meaningful Information
How has our ability to communicate defined us as a species? Sharing
information with each other has allowed humans to rise to the top of the
food chain and dominate our environments.
A widely cited and widely misinterpreted figure used to emphasize the importance of delivery states that "communication comprise 55% body language, 38% tone of voice, 7% content of words", the so-called "7%-38%-55% rule".
This is not however what the cited research shows – rather, when conveying emotion, if body language, tone of voice, and words disagree, then body language and tone of voice will be believed more than words.
But humans aren't the only
species that can communicate. Organisms as simple as bacteria can
communicate, a strategy that lets them cooperate to take down creatures
millions of times their own size.
Fish use pheromones to warn each other
about predators and find mates. Chemicals are also an effective means
of communicating on land, and they've allowed insects--some of nature's
smallest and most unassuming animals––to become the most populous and
prolific on earth.
The ability to interact stretches back billions of
years and has often been one of the primary factors in a species ability
to evolve and survive. It's a tough, violent, and lethal world
out there, and it's been that way since the dawn of time.
percent of all species have become extinct. What enabled that other one
percent to survive the cutthroat competition? Their ability to evolve.
Communication is the activity of conveying meaningful information.
Communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender's intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast distances in time and space.
Communication requires that the communicating parties share an area of communicative commonality. The communication process is complete once the receiver has understood the message of the sender.
Human spoken and picture languages can be described as a system of symbols (sometimes known as lexemes) and the grammars (rules) by which the symbols are manipulated.
The word "language" also refers to common properties of languages. Language learning normally occurs most intensively during human childhood.
Most of the thousands of human languages use patterns of sound or gesture for symbols which enable communication with others around them. Languages seem to share certain properties, although many of these include exceptions. There is no defined line between a language and a dialect.
Constructed languages such as Esperanto, programming languages, and various mathematical formalisms are not necessarily restricted to the properties shared by human languages.
A variety of verbal and non-verbal means of communicating exists such as body language, eye contact, sign language, paralanguage, haptic communication, chronemics, and media such as pictures, graphics, sound, and writing.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also defines the communication to include the display of text, Braille, tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia, as well as written and plain language, human reader, and accessible information and communication technology.
Nonverbal communication describes the process of conveying meaning in the form of non-word messages. Research shows that the majority of our communication is non verbal, also known as body language.
Some of non verbal communication includes gesture, body language or posture; facial expression and eye contact, object communication such as clothing, hairstyles, architecture, symbols infographics, and tone of voice as well as through an aggregate of the above.
Non-verbal communication is also called silent language and plays a key role in human day to day life from employment relations to romantic engagements. Speech also contains nonverbal elements known as para-language.
These include voice lesson quality, emotion and speaking style as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation and stress.
Likewise, written texts include nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words and the use of emoticons to convey emotional expressions in pictorial form.
The broad field of animal communication encompasses most of the issues in ethology. Animal communication can be defined as any behavior of one animal that affects the current or future behavior of another animal. The study of animal communication, called zoosemiotics' has played an important part in the development of ethology, sociobiology, and the study of animal cognition.
Animal communication, and indeed the understanding of the animal world in general, is a rapidly growing field, and even in the 21st century so far, many prior understandings related to diverse fields such as personal symbolic name use, animal emotions, animal culture and learning, and even sexual conduct, long thought to be well erstood, have been revolutionized.