Communicative, interactive, perceptual aspects of communication

Structure of communication in psychology

When communicating, the social relationship of people to each other is realized. During the exchange of information, each person is rooted as a full member of society. The concept of “communication” is a complex form of interaction, therefore, in order to understand its essence, it is necessary to study its components:

  • communication;
  • interaction;
  • social perception.

The diagram shows that each part is responsible for one of the sides of communication.


Sides of communication

Types of communication in psychology - what they include, its functions

When characterizing the structure of communication, psychology distinguishes 3 interconnected aspects:

  • perceptual;
  • interactive;
  • communicative.

Each of them has its own characteristics.

The communicative side of communication

The term “communication” originates from the English. communicate, which means “to convey”, “to report”. This type of contact is aimed at exchanging information, which includes:

  • feelings;
  • emotions;
  • values;
  • thoughts;
  • ideas.

The communication process, according to researcher Harold Lasswell, consists of 5 elements that help information reach the addressee:

  • communicator - deals with the transmission of messages;
  • speech information or text - what the person to whom the message is intended must learn;
  • channel – how the exchange is carried out;
  • audience or recipient - the addressee to whom the information is sent;
  • effectiveness is the result of assimilation of the received message.

The communicative side largely depends on the subjective information content of the individual, that is, on the characteristics of the person, his degree of awareness about the interlocutor and the topic of the conversation.

Communication side

Important! If a person's knowledge level is low, misunderstandings are likely to occur.

Example 1. A teacher is teaching new material during a social studies lesson. If he communicates with children in a professional language, without simplifying scientific terminology, not a single student will be able to understand the content of the information message.

Example 2. A person who does not know etiquette will not be accepted in a society where everyone tries to act according to the rules. An uncultured person simply will not be understood.

The exchange of information between people can occur through 2 channels:

  1. Non-verbal - with the help of gestures, facial expressions, signs;
  2. Verbal - using speech.

According to psychologist Allan Pease, 60-70% of all information is transmitted through brief non-verbal contact.

Perceptual side of communication

Perception, or the perceptual side of communication in psychology, is a form of human interaction that is aimed not only at perceiving and understanding the interlocutor, but also at his acceptance.

Social perception

Additional Information. If 2 people share each other's beliefs, culture and values, affection, friendship or love can develop between them.

Perceptual communication helps you “read” the people around you. By analyzing your interlocutor, you can “see” that he did not tell about himself. If your own perception is misinterpreted, conflict may arise.

Social perception helps:

  1. Understand yourself. Social interaction with society is a good means of obtaining information about one's own personality. Identifying yourself with the interlocutor helps you consider your own hidden desires, needs and fears.
  2. Develop emotional interaction, for example, sympathy, friendship, hostility.
  3. Study your partner. Perception allows us to understand the ethics of other people. With its help, you can find the individuals you need for life and work.
  4. Organize joint activities with one person or a whole group of people. Thanks to knowledge of the values, motives and attitudes of a partner, it is easier to work with him as a team.
  5. Develop mutual understanding. Communication based on common views and interests is the key to a good mood and a fruitful exchange of information.

Thanks to perception, a person is able to understand the society in which he lives, as well as build relationships with people using the knowledge gained.

The interactive side of communication

The main focus of the interactive side of communication is building a strategy for subsequent effective communication.

Important! High-quality exchange of information is necessary for people to organize joint activities.

Interactive side

Among the basic principles of building interactive communication, the following four options can be distinguished:

  • the presence of common motives and goals;
  • high-quality transmission of verbal and non-verbal messages;
  • common time and space for joint work;
  • presence of coordination of actions.

Despite the fact that all requirements are the same for all persons involved in communication, the behavior of participants may differ from each other. Most often, human interaction is divided into 2 main types:

  1. Cooperation. This type assumes that participants who have the same goals coordinate and combine their forces to achieve a positive result that will satisfy everyone.
  2. Competition. With this type of interaction, each participant is interested only in his own success.

In addition to the main types, other behavioral strategies can be found in the psychological literature, for example:

  1. Compromise is a temporary agreement to achieve partners’ goals in order to maintain relationships and conditional equality.
  2. Altruism or compliance. A person is able to refuse to achieve his own goals in favor of the desires of his partner.
  3. Avoidance, which is expressed in ignoring contact and abandoning one’s own goals in order to exclude the gain of another participant.

All aspects of communication that are included in the structure of communication complement each other and are interconnected. Effective contact is only possible when all 3 processes are involved.

How is the message transmitted?

First of all, it is worth saying that the information that comes from the interlocutor can be of two types:

  • Incentive : expressed in a request, advice, order, that is, designed to induce someone to action. This urge can be activation, when you want the other person to perform an action. Or interdiction - when you want to protect a person from performing an unwanted action.
  • Ascertaining : such a message indirectly promotes the performance of some action, but does not imply a direct change in behavior. At the same time, the intensity of persuasion can vary greatly: from a neutral to a very emotional tone.

However, one way or another, the communicator uses speech. It can be verbal and non-verbal.

Nonverbal communication is interaction between people without the use of words. Verbal speech is a natural sound language, that is, a system of phonetic signs.

During a dialogue, the communicator encodes information, and the recipient decodes it. This whole process can be explained using the following chain as an example:

(Communicator): Intention – Meaning – Encoding – Text (message) – Decoding: revealing the meaning (Recipient)

Before a communicator can convey a message, he needs to understand the meaning he wants to convey and then encode this information into verbal and nonverbal signals.

But how can the communicator make sure that his message is received correctly? This will happen when there is a change in communicative roles, that is, the communicator becomes a recipient, and the recipient becomes a communicator.

The recipient becomes a communicator and, through his speech, makes it clear that he has grasped the meaning of the message. Dialogue in this sense is similar to ping-pong, that is, changing roles. This can be represented as follows:

Communicator message – Feedback (interpretation of meaning) – Clarification, addition – Increment of information – Acceptance or non-acceptance of increment – ​​Feedback

Thus, the roles are constantly changing so that the communicator makes sure that the interlocutor understands his message correctly.

Dividing the communication structure into levels

Functions of communication in psychology and their brief description

The structural components of communication are divided into levels, each of which allows one to analyze the characteristics of the influence of one person on another, as well as the nature of their communication.

Levels according to A.B. Dobrovich

A.B. Dobrovich divided the structure of human interaction into 7 levels:

  1. Primitive. He is characterized by easy and simple communication.
  2. Conventional. The level at which partners are able to build communication on the rules that they themselves have established.
  3. Manipulative. To obtain benefits, one of the partners may use tricks and tricks.
  4. Standardized. During communication at this level, partners strive to hide their true motives, goals, desires and feelings.
  5. Game. Communication is built on sympathy for the partner, the desire to make a pleasant impression on him.
  6. Business. Communication involves solving any important issues that require mental activity.
  7. Spiritual. This level is characterized by the presence of mutual interest of partners not only in each other, but also in joint activities. In the course of a common cause, each participant receives moral satisfaction.

It was proposed to allocate 2 times fewer levels by B.F. Lomov:

  1. Macro level. A person’s relationships with other individuals are built according to social norms, customs and traditions.
  2. Mesa level. Communication covers only a few substantive topics. Communication at this level can be either reusable or one-time.
  3. Micro level. Interaction is built only on the basis of short contact: a handshake, a pantomic or facial act, a question and answer.

The micro level in the structure of communication is the foundation underlying all other communications.

Communication between people can be harmonious and complete only if there is a close relationship between non-verbal and verbal signals and the behavioral actions of the participants. The more individuals are focused on quality contact, the more strongly these factors need to be demonstrated.

Mechanisms of social perception

In psychology, there are 6 mechanisms of the perceptual side of communication.


This is a process of self-discovery. A person evaluates his thoughts and actions, analyzes mistakes, draws conclusions and, possibly, changes his plan of action. When communicating with others, the ability to reflect involves assessing the impression you make on your interlocutor. To put it in understandable language, to reflect is to look at what is happening from the outside, using rational thinking to identify motives, reasons, and understand the essence.


This mechanism of perception is an attempt to understand a person, to enter into his situation, to put himself in his place. Identification is useful when you want to understand the inner world of another person, look at the world around you through the prism of his views and values.


It means the ability to empathize, share the emotions and feelings of an opponent. This ability is most strongly developed in people who have their own value system. It is easier for them than for others to assess the condition of others by their actions, gestures, and words.


Personality assessment occurs on the basis of external data and the social status of a person. For example, looking at the deep-set eyes of your interlocutor, you can conclude that there is rigidity in his character. A beautiful girl with an ideal figure seems to be a kind, open, sympathetic person. At the same time, her appearance does not in any way reflect what is inside her. And there are many such examples.

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