Communication Noise- 5 Types of Noise Barriers in Communication

Communication Noise: 5 Types of Noise in Communication are Physical Noise, Physiological Noise, Psychological Noise, Semantic Noise & Cultural Noise. Definition and Examples of Different Types of Noises in Communication

Communication Noise

Communication noise means any barrier to the effective communication process. Noises bar the effective communication process between senders and receivers. The different types of noise in communication are physical, physiological, psychological, semantic, and cultural noise. These noises distract the sender and receiver of the communication process from listening to the message effectively. Noise bars the effectiveness of the communication process; therefore, it is also known as the barrier to communication. Noise is one of the elements of communication followed by Context, Sender, Encoder,  Message, Channel, Decoder, Receiver, and Feedback.

Actually, communication noises are presented in all communication contexts, such as face-to-face communication, group communication, organizational communication, and mediated communication. The researchers have mentioned the noise in the three models of communication, for example, linear, interactive, and transactional models of communication.

The communication process will be more effective, productive, and interactive if there are no noises present. Many scholars are researching to find out the solution to overcome noises in communication. Researchers have identified that in the U.S.A, business organizations are losing billions of dollars due to noises in communication.

Example of noises in communication

Ela is very sick, and she is taking a rest at home. She calls her husband to bring some medicines, and they interact on a mobile phone. At the same time, her daughter Elon is watching television at a high volume. Therefore, Ela could not understand what her husband said to her precisely. So, she asks her husband again to be confirmed.

Television sounds are physical noise, and her sickness is an example of physiological noise.

5 Types of Noise in Communication

The five types of noise in communication are physical, physiological, psychological, semantic, and cultural noises. However, some additional noises in the communication process include syntactic, emotional, medium, encoding, decoding noises, etc. 


Types of Noise in Communication

Five Types of noises in communication are:
  1. Physical Noise
  2. Physiological Noise
  3. Psychological Noise
  4. Syntactical Noise
  5. Cultural Noise

1. Physical Noise in Communication

Physical noise is the external and unnecessary sound that obstacle to effective communication. It is also a communication disturbance created by the environment. Therefore, physical noise is also known as environmental noise in the communication process

Example of Physical Noise

For example, raining sounds, thunderstorms, horns, outside building sounds, sounds from fans, lights, and windows are the best example of physical or environmental noise. Besides loud music, barking dogs, noisy conflict nearby, vehicle sounds are also examples of physical noise. 

2. Physiological Noise in Communication

Physiological noise is a barrier created by the communicator’s physical condition. Usually, physical illness and weakness produce physical noise and this noise obstacle to effective communication. 

Example of Physiological Noise

For example, Ela is having headaches; therefore, she can not concentrate in class. Here, headache is a physical illness that barrier to the listening process of communication.  Apart from that, deafness and blindness are physical weakness or physiological noise that barriers to listening. Talking too fast or slow and the high or low temperature in the room also generate physiological noise. 

3. Psychological Noise in Communication

Psychological noise is a communication barrier created from the communicator’s psychological factors, for example, values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours. This type of noise interrupts our minds to concentrate on listening. People don’t like to listen or talk about those topics that make them down or not interesting. 

Example of Psychological Noise

For example, Ela is a Muslim girl, and she does not like to listen to any criticism of Islam. Therefore, she became distracted when her lecturer was talking about anti-Islam issues. Any sensitive issues like religious, ethnic, and political are examples of psychological noise. Apart from that, financial crisis, missing a beloved person, the exhausting schedule may originate the psychological noise. 

4. Semantic Noise in Communication

Semantic noise is a communication barrier created from confusion over the meaning of words. It comes from complex, technical, autochthonous, or grammatical errors in communication. Semantic noise occurred because of different meanings of the message between the sender and receiver. It also refers to the wrong grammatical sentence that makes the receiver unable to understand the meaning. Scholars term it as a syntactical barrier or noise.

Syntactical noise is a grammatically wrong sentence in the receiver unable to accomplish the proper meaning. Using difficult language during computer programming is an example of syntactical noise. It is also in contrast to syntactic sugar.

Example of Semantic Noise

Ela is an international student who studies at University Putra Malaysia. She is listening to lectures from her Malaysian lecturer. In the meantime, her lecturer says, ” I believe SEMUA understand this topic.” SEMUA is a Malaysian word that means everyone. Ela does not understand the meaning of SEMUA as she is not a Malaysian student. It is an example of semantic noise.

Similarly, a lecturer says natural causes of climate change and global warming are distinguished. However, a few students are confused about the lecturer’s statement. The confusion has come from semantic noise. These students believe that climate change and global warming is same phenomenon. Finally, the lecturer describes that global warming refers to only raising the temperature of the environment. On the other hand, climate change denotes the both increasing and decrising the global temperature. It is also an example of semantic noise.

Additionally, jargon words, mispronunciations, unique words, and grammatically wrong sentences are Semantic Noise examples.

5. Cultural Noise in Communication

Cultural noise is a communication barrier created from the wrong explanation of another person’s behaviours. Actually, cultural noise is produced due to the wrong meaning of messages; therefore, it is a little similar to semantic noise. Especially, cultural noise is created from the nonverbal communication of people from different cultural backgrounds. The basic kinds of nonverbal communication cues are posture, gesture, eye contact, space, touch, and dress-up. The meaning of nonverbal cues is not the same in every culture and society. The conflicting message in communication is one of the cultural noises. 

Apart from that, ethnocentrism, prejudices, stereotypes, and discrimination are also examples of cultural noises. These factors bar effective communication in a group or team. The four noises in group communication are ethnocentrism, prejudices, stereotypes, and discrimination.

Example of Cultural Noise

Jon is a Russian citizen who is studying at University Putra Malaysia. He offers his Malaysian woman friend to handshake, but she denies it. It makes Jon feel very embarrassed. Later, he understood that women do not like to handshake men in Malaysia, which is a cultural norm.

Additional Noises in Communication Process

Apart from these basic five types of noises, the additional noises in the communication process, electrical noise, organizational noise, and noise in the group conversation. 

 Organizational Noise

Organizational communication noise refers to the encoding-decoding noises and transmitting noises. The encoding-decoding noises in corporate communication lack sensitivity to the receiver, basic communication skills, insufficient knowledge of the subject, information overload, emotional interference, etc. Additionally, the transmitting noises in organizational communication are the faulty connection of transmitting lines and channel barriers. 

Noise in Group Communication

Barriers in Group Communication are disturbances that are obstacles to interactive communication among group members. The barrier in group communication usually hiders to understand other members in the group or team. The four types of barriers in group communication are Ethnocentrism, Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination. The group discussion has many stages, tensions, conflicts, and so more. According to Tuckman’s Theory, the five stages of group discussion are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Members must need to overcome all these stages to achieve the independent and interdependent goal.

Difference Between Noise and Barrier

Noise and Barrier in conversation denote the same meaning, although people use them in different interaction contexts. For example, people use the word noise when they encounter obstacles in face-to-face or group communications. On the other hand, people use the word barrier when facing corporate communication or mediated communication obstacles. Noise refers to the hindrance during the interaction between sender and receiver. However, many people, including scholars, described them as noise barriers. People also term them a distraction, distortion, disturbance, and so on.

In conclusion, communicators need to reduce noises as much as possible to make communication more effective, productive, and efficient. These noises in communication are prevalent in every context of the communication process, such as barriers in face-to-face communication, barriers in mediated communication, barriers in corporate communication, and barriers in group communication. Noises are the unwanted element of the communication process. The transactional model of communication is more preferable to reduce noise in communication rather than a linear process.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)
Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2021, November 20). Communication Noise- 5 Types of Noises Barriers in Communication. Newsmoor- Best Online Learning Platform.

Communication Elements- 9 Elements of Communication Process

Communication Elements, the 9 Elements of Communication are Context, Sender, Encoder,  Messages, Channel, Decoder, Receiver,  Feedback, and Noise. Additionally, Examples of the 9 Components of Communication.

Communication Elements

Communication elements refer to essential tools of communication on which the communication process is conducted. Elements of communication initiate and regulate the entire cycle of sharing information between the sender and receiver. Therefore, communication elements are essential and interconnected parts of the communication process. The nine elements of communication (Context, Sender, Encoder,  Message, Channel, Decoder, Receiver,  Feedback, and Noise) are essential tools or components for effective communication between sender and receiver. Communication elements are also known as the components of communication.

Communication Process

The communication process refers to the way of sharing information verbally or non-verbally between the sender and receiver. Verbal communication means communication through spoken words. Nonverbal communication refers to nonverbal cues such as tone of voice, facial expression, movement, body language, eye contact nonverbal communication and so more. Communication means conveying the message via written text, speech, signals, visuals, or behavior. It is also a process of exchanging opinions and imparting knowledge between speaker and audience through communication elements.

Elements of Communication

 The 9 Elements of Communication are;
  1. Context
  2. Sender
  3. Encoder
  4. Message
  5. Channel
  6. Decoder
  7. Receiver
  8. Feedback
  9. Noise
Communication Elements, 9 elements of communication process
Figure 1: The 9 Elements of the Communication Process
 Examples of Communication Elements 

Ela requested her husband deposit $100 for the electricity bill while talking to her husband on a smartphone. At the same time, her son watched a cartoon video on Television with the volume on high. Therefore, her husband could not understand exactly how much needed to pay for the electricity bill. So, she repeated the same words to confirm him. Consequently, her husband asked about the due date of paying the electricity bill, and she replied that today was the last date to pay the electricity bill without penalty. In the meantime, she showed her angry face to her son to reduce TV volume. Instantly, her son reduced the volume.

Based on the example, the context is the social context. Ela is the sender and encoder at the same time receiver and decoder. In similar, her husband is also a sender and encoder at the same time receiver and decoder. Turning the thought into the message is the act of encoding. In contrast, transferring the message into thought is the process of decoding. The smartphone is the medium or channel of the communication process. TV volume is the environmental noise that bars the communication process.

1. Context in Communication

Context refers to the environment of communication in which the interaction happens or takes place. Communication context is the prime element of every communication process that controls the communication process among senders and receivers. The most common five communication contexts are intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, public, and mass communication settings. Additionally, this context may be physical, historical, psychological, social, chronological, or cultural. For example, you may feel comfortable sharing your personal information with close friends rather than colleagues. You will not speak to an unknown person as you talk to your wife. So, the context of communication sets the environment of the communication process.

Example of Context in Communication

For example, Ela is talking to her husband informally, so she feels very comfortable. Therefore, the social context has been designed from this communication process. It is also interpersonal context as they communicate face to face.

2.  Sender in Communication

A sender is a person who sends the message to the receiver. The sender is also known as the encoder of the message. The sender initiates the communication process and starts the procedure by sending a message or information. Therefore, the sender is a significant element of the communication process. A sender makes and uses symbols (words or graphic or visual aids) to convey the message and produce the required response. Therefore, a sender is a speaker, writer, or person who provides the information to share opinions, ideas, and messages.

Example of Sender in Communication

For example, Ela is the sender and encoder who sends messages to communicate with her husband. The sender is the person who sends the message to share with others. So, Ela is the sender also an element of the communication process.

3. Encoding in Communication

Encoding means transforming abstract opinions and ideas into symbols such as words, pictures, signs, and marks. A symbol might represent or indicate opinions, statements, and actions. In contrast, decoding is the process of transforming the symbol into an idea or thought. Encoding is the process of transformation of the subject into symbols. The encoding process is related to the sender and receiver.

The message of any communication is always abstract and intangible. Transmission of the message requires the use of certain symbols.

Example of Encoding in Communication

For example, Ela has converted his thought into words to convey the message to her husband called encoding. Here, converting thought into words is the process of encoding. Words serve as the spoken communication symbol. She called her husband and uttered some words to share an opinion as well as send the message.

4. Message in Communication

The message refers to the information, ideas, feelings, opinion, thought, attitude, and view that the sender wants to deliver to the receiver.  The message seems like a key element of any communication process. Any communication conveys the message, also known as sharing ideas, opinions, thoughts, and information. Always, the sender wants to convey the message to communicate with the receiver. So, senders need to ensure that the main objective of the message is clear and understandable.

Messages may convey through verbal and nonverbal cues. Verbal cues are the spoken language of the speaker, for instance, spoken words.

On the other hand, the most common types of nonverbal communication are facial expression, eye contact, physical appearance, posture, gesture, etc.

Example of Message in Communication

For example, Ela was speaking to convey a message that indicates verbal communication.  She also showed her angry face to her son to reduce the volume of TV called non-verbal communication. In this regard, spoken words and facial expressions are examples of messages in communication. The most common examples of messages in the communication process are spoken words, written words, facial expressions, eye contact, phone call, video, email, and text messages.

5.  Channel in Communication

Channel is the way or tool of transmitting the message. It is also known as a medium in communication that conveys the message from sender to receiver.  Communicators use different channels to communicate in a distinct context of communication. In face-to-face communication, the sender’s senses, such as hearing, seeing, smelling, touching, and tasting, are the channel of transferring the information. It is also one of the crucial elements of the communication process.

On the other hand, organizations use Television, Newspapers, Radio as a channel to disseminate information. People use the computer and mobile phone to communicate with a person who lives far away from each other. Nowadays, many people use online meeting platforms to conduct virtual group meetings. Sometimes, people choose a written medium, such as a letter, to convey the message, while others prefer an oral medium when spontaneous feedback is required from the recipient.

Example of Channel in Communication

For example, Ela has transmitted the message through a smartphone, so the smartphone is the channel of the communication process. She uses technology to convey messages; therefore, it is called mediated communication. The most common example of communication channels is TV, Radio, Newspapers, Social media, and the five human senses. For instance, Global Assistant is a renowned education consultancy firm in Asia that communicates with potential customers via official websites and social media platforms. So, the website and social media sites are channels of communication.

6. Decoding in Communication

Decoding is “the process of” translating an encoded symbol into the ordinary understandable language in contrast to the encoder. In this process, the receiver converts the symbols into thoughts received from the sender.  Decoding is the opposite process of encoding to get the meaning of the message.

Example of Decoding in Communication

For example, Ela has transformed his thought into words to convey the message to her husband called encoding. At the same time, her husband converts those words into thought to understand the message that is the process of decoding.

7. Receiver in Communication

A receiver is a person for whom the message is targeted in contrast to the sender. Therefore, the receiver is the audience of the communication process that decodes the message to perceive the meaning. The sender surely sends a message aimed at the receiver. Receivers can be one person or a group of people or a big amount of population. The degree to which the decoder understands the message depends on various factors such as knowledge of the recipient, their responsiveness to the message, and the reliance of the encoder on the decoder.

Example of Receiver in Communication

For example, Ela has sent the message targeted at her husband to whom she wants to communicate. Hence, her husband is the receiver in this context of the communication.

8.  Feedback in Communication

Feedback in communication refers to the response of the receiver or audience. It is one of the main elements of the effective communication process that differentiates the communication models into linear and transactional. Feedback is an inevitable component of the transactional model.  It also helps the sender in confirming the correct interpretation of the message by the decoder. Feedback may be verbal (through words) or non-verbal (in the form of smiles, sighs, etc.).  It may take written form also in the form of memos, reports, etc. Feedback is also one of the important elements of the transactional communication process.

Feedback differentiates the linear and transitional models of communication. Linear means one-way communication and transactional denotes two-way communication. The communication model is linear if there is no feedback in the communication process, for example, Aristotle’s Model of Communication, Shannon and Weaver’s model of communication, Lasswell’s Model of Communication, and Berlo’s SMCR Model of Communication.

On the other hand, the communication model will be identified as an interactive and transitional communication model if the feedback is presented, for example, the Osgood-Schramm Model of Communication, Westley and Maclean Model of Communication, and Helical Model of Communication.

Example of Feedback in Communication

For example, Ela’s husband asked about the due date of paying the electricity bill. Additionally, feedback is demonstrated when the students reply lecturer’s questions.

9. Noise in Communication

Noise refers to the communication barrier or obstacles to effective communication. It is also known as communication noise or noise in communication. Noise is an unwanted element of the communication process that communicators always want to avoid during the interaction.

Noise in communication is any barrier that obstacles the effectiveness of the communication process. Actually, noise exists in all kinds of communication, such as face-to-face communication, group communication, mediated communication, etc. Communication will be more effective and interactive if there is no noise. Noises are unnecessary elements of communication that distract receivers from receiving the message.

Example of Noise in Communication

For example, Ela’s son watches a cartoon video on Television with the volume on high when talking to her husband. The sound of the cartoon video bars Ela from listening to her husband’s speech, so it is an example of a communication barrier or communication noise or communication distraction.

The five types of noise in communication are Physical noise, Physiological noise, Psychological noise, Semantic noise, and Cultural noise.


In conclusion, the nine elements of the communication process are context, sender, encoder,  message, channel, decoder, receiver, feedback, and noise. These components are essential in the transactional communication process. The communication process might get faulty without any of these elements except noise because noise is the unwanted communication element. This article has presented the nine elements of the communication process with examples.

Citation For This Article(APA-7th & MLA-9th Edition)
APA Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2021, November 25). Communication Elements- 9 Elements of Communication Process. Newsmoor- Best Online Learning Platform.
MLA Kobiruzzaman, M M. “Communication Elements 9 Elements of Communication Process.” Newsmoor- Best Online Learning Platform, 25 Nov. 2021,