1. There are seven fundamental elements to interpersonal communication. Whenever we engage in interpersonal communication in any way these elements are present. The nature of these elements is that they are closely interrelated and take place in a circular process.
a. DeVito tells us that when two people communicate there is always a source. The source is where the message originates and is responsible for encoding the message, or assigns meaning to the message (DeVito, 2013).
b. Whoever receives the message that is being communicated is the receiver. As the receiver receives the sender’s message they decode and interpret the meaning of the message then they respond by thinking about the message, they may also provide feedback, take action, etc.
c. Whenever communication is taking place there is a message being communicated, either verbally or non-verbally. There are a number of ways that the message can be transmitted. It can come through words, gestures, eye contact, accent, vocal cues, spatial relationships, touching, clothing, hair, odor and more. Every kind of stimuli or signal that is transmitted, whether or not it is purposeful, from the most obvious word or gesture or the smallest nuance such as scent or lilt of voice contains some sort of meaning that comes through a channel.
d. Channels are the medium through which the message passes. Examples are face to face conversation, touch, sign language, telephone, instant message, email, letter, and even smoke signal. Sometimes things interfere with the message being sent or received. These things can be referred to as noise.
e. Noise is something that interferes with or impedes the message being transmitted or received. It can come from any number of sources and can be physical, psychological, physiological, or even semantic. An example of noise could be the literal noise in the background such as loud music or a person’s deafness that prevents them from being able to receive the auditory message being transmitted.
f. The element of context regards the dimension or environment in which the communication takes place. There are at least four different dimensions in regards to context. These include the physical dimension—where the communication takes place; temporal dimension—when the communication takes place; social-psychological dimension which is the frame of mind of those involved in the communication, relationship and roles involving the people involved as well as others who may be present as well as many other factors; and finally, the cultural dimension relates to the cultural beliefs, habits, social standards, and other related issues.
g. The last fundamental element of interpersonal communication is ethics. Each communication involves consequences, good or bad, right or wrong and relates to the moral dimension of communication (DeVito, 2013). Besides the fundamental elements of communication there are other factors that play a significant role in the...