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What is Communication? – Types, Characteristics, and More


Communication is the transmission of information between two or more individuals. All living things have some form of it, chemical signals, sounds, or gestures. However, the ability to convey complex meanings through language distinguishes human communication from animal communication.

The biological sciences also approach communication as a phenomenon common to all living beings. In this case, it is a fundamental function in the development of life at its different levels, from the cellular level to the stories of individuals, populations, and biological communities.

Types of Communication

It can be classified according to the mechanisms used to transmit the message, in:

Oral Communication

It is the one that is carried out through the spoken word, either face to face or through some auditory means, such as the telephone, voice messages, or the radio.

Written Communication

It is the one that takes place through the written word and any other written code (for example, a pictogram). Unlike oral communication, which can be immediate (for example, on a telephone or face-to-face), written communication is always deferred in time and space. Furthermore, it is long-lasting, unlike much oral contact, which is ephemeral.

Non-Verbal Communication

It does not depend on the word to transmit its message but on gestures, movements, or sounds. The contact of animals is in this category, as well as the so-called “body language” of human beings.

Biochemical Communication

Hey, are the forms of it that depend on the transmission and reception of chemical signals, just as it happens within our organism. This type of contact is also a non-verbal form.

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Communication Characteristics

Presence of a Sender and a Receiver

For communication to occur, there must be someone directing a message to another. In turn, if nobody receives the message, the transmission does not take place.

Information Exchange

In all contact, the parties involved give and receive knowledge, experiences, feelings, and, in general, some meaning.


It can be established directly and immediately, that is, face to face, or indirectly and deferred, that is, through means such as letter, email, or voice message, among others.

Answer Search

Although it can have many different purposes, it almost always has the objective of provoking a desired response in the interlocutor or interlocutors.


Once something has been communicate, it cannot be undone there is no “going back” in it.


A communicative act is unique and unrepeatable. Although a message may be said more than once, the circumstances in which it is deliver are never the same.

Importance of Communication

No way of life does not communicate in one way or another, and it is, therefore, a fundamental process of existence.

Without it, society, knowledge, and culture would not exist. To the extent that it allows the exchange of ideas and access to diverse points of view:

  • Avoid misunderstandings and help resolve conflicts.
  • Encourages creativity.
  • It allows establishing rules of coexistence to organize social life.
  • Provides information that guides people in making decisions.
  • It transmits traditions and cultural values.

Communication is central in any organization, whether a business, an academic institution or a government agency. Among other reasons:

  • It promotes the exchange of knowledge and innovation.
  • Promotes team building.
  • Improves performance and work environment.
  • It contributes to managing crises through dialogue and the acceptance of different opinions.


The application of Communication Sciences includes, among other areas, journalism, business, advertising and marketing, institutional and political .

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