Types of Communication

There are five types of communication:

  1. Intra-personal Communication
  2. Inter-personal Communication
  3. Micro Communication
  4. Crowd Rally Communication
  5. Macro Communication (Mass Communication)

1. Intra-personal Communication

Intra-personal communication explains the communication in which one “talks to one self”. It is the basis of all other forms of human communication. Ideally, this communication system, allows one to make decisions based on information received through the senses. For instance, when you watch TV your eyes and ears receive information and communicate it to your brain. If what you see and hear is pleasurable or interesting then your intra personal communication system indicates that, and you attend to it. If you do not like it, your brain sends a message to your muscles that result in a decision to change station or to push the off button.

The process of sunlight entering into the eye and communicating brightness to the central nervous system, the tactile sense organs communicating the feeling of cold air, the thought processes of deciding whether to brave the cold or build a fire, stay inside or walk in the rain all were the result of communication taking place within the individual. This is the electrochemical action of the body taking part in the process of intrapersonal communication-communication with ourselves.

2. Inter-personal communication

Communication in face to face situation-each of us communicates with another person by directing a message to one or more of the person’s senses-sight, sound, touch, taste or smell.

This is known as interpersonal communication. While you are speaking ard your friends reacting, interpersonal communication is also taking place.

Important to understanding interpersonal communication is to recognize that each of is possessing, what Wilbur Schrunim calls, a field of experience. Our background, beliefs, and virtually anything about us makes up interpersonally. Our fields of experience begin to overlap and as the relationship between two people advances the more the fields of experience will overlap. This overlapping of fields of experience is called homophily The greater the homophily the more chance for effective meaningful interpersonal communication.

3. Micro Communication

Small group communication or micro communication is form in between large group communication and interpersonal communication. We can also say that it is an expanded form of face-to-face communication. For example classroom, group discussion and forum etc. in micro communication, besides the person’s senses we can also get the assistance trom small media ie film projector. VCR, OHP, slide projector and Tape recorder.


A consumer who is angry at high meat prices may talk to Half a dozen neighbors interpersonally about a boycott if he or she then gather some of them together for a coffee cup discussion, group communication is taking place.

4. Large Group Communication

In large group communication, the member can send or received the message through the communication process. This type of communication is also called face-to-face communication. For this type of communication, we usually use the Microphone and Horn

5. Mass Communication

The concept of Mass:

Herbert Blumer (1939) was the first to define the “mass formally as a new type of social formation in modern society. by contrasting it with other formations, especially the group, crowd and the public. In a small group, all its members know each other, are aware of their common membership, share the same values, have a certain structure of relationship which is stable over time and interacts to achieve some purpose. The crowd is larger but still restricted within observable boundaries in a particular space. It is however temporary and rarely reforms with the same composition It may possess a high degree of identity and share the same mood but there is usually no structure or order to its moral and social composition. It can act, but its actions are often scened to have an effective and emotional, often irrational, character The ‘public, is likely to be relatively large, widely dispersed and enduring li tends to form around an issue oi cause in public life and primary purpose is to advance an interest or opinion and to achieve political change. It is an essential element in democratic politics, based on the ideal of rational discourse within an open population. The rise of the public is characteristic within an open population. The rise of the public is characteristic of modern liberal democracies and related to the rise of the bourgeois of the party newspaper.

The term ‘mass’ captured several features of the new audience for the cinema and radio, which were not covered by any of these three concepts. The new audience was typically much larger than any group, crowd or public It was very widely dispersed, and its members were usually unknown to each other or to whoever brought the audience into existence. It lacked self-awareness and self-identity and was incapable of acting together in an organized way to secure objectives. It was marked by a shifting composition within changing boundaries. It did not act for itself but was, rather, acted upon! It was heterogeneous in consisting of large numbers, from all social strata and demographic group but also homogeneous in its choice of some particular object of interest and according to the perception of those who would like to manipulate.

Simply mass communication is a message communicated through a mass medium to a large number of people. For further classification, we shall use the word mass to refer to a large body of persons.

Mass communication defers from both intra-personal and interpersonal communication in that it requires a mass medium, such as Radio, TV or Newspaper. It also necessitates the presence of gatekeeper, people and system the control and process the information before it is disseminated to the public. In addition, mass communication almost always has delayed feedback rather than the immediate feedback present on the other levels of communication. We learn that media messages are more impersonal than the interpersonal messages of face-to-face communication.

The communicator or who is addressing thousands of different personalities at the same time cannot adjust an appeal to meet their individual reactions. An approach that convinces one part of the audience may alienate another part The successful mass communicator is one who finds the right method of expression to establish empathy with the largest possible number of individuals in the audience.

Obviously, the mass communicator cannot know the mental outlook and physical circumstances of everyone to whom the message goes. There are many principles and techniques that can be used, however, to ensure that the message has an effective impact on the greatest possible number of individuals in the largest possible audience.

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