Levels of Communication: From Intrapersonal to Mass Communication

Communication involves the interactions between and among people. The prefix inter- signifies reciprocity, being carried between, and shared or derived from two or more. This means that a meaningful communication entails a two-way principle, mutuality, and influence or being acted upon. Therefore, “inter + action” means reciprocally influencing or affecting each or one another. Communication as such takes place on several levels. There is the face-to-face communication and the mediated communication, which may take the form of print such as newspapers, newsletters, and other written forms, or non-print using electronic equipment such as computer technology, TV, radio, etc.

Intrapersonal Communication. This refers to communication that occurs within us. This involves feelings, thoughts, and the way we look at ourselves. The self is the only sender and receiver. The channel is your brain. The feedback is in the form of talking to oneself or discarding certain ideas and replacing them with others.

Interpersonal Communication. The communication that occurs on one-to-one basis usually in an informal, unstructured setting is interpersonal communication. Messages consist of both verbal and non-verbal symbols. The most channels are sight and sound.

Intercultural Communication. This is an interpersonal communication that occurs between or among members of different cultures or people who are enculturated differently. This is more apparent between persons coming from two different cultures of upbringing but it can also be among people of the same culture but brought up in different times or cultural contexts.

Interviewing. Interviewing makes use of a series of questions and answers usually involving two people or groups. Its purpose is to obtain information on a particular subject. In an interview, communication takes place verbally in a face-to-face setting, and a lot of non-verbal information are exchanged. Feedback is very high and instant and drives the conversation.

Small Group Communication. Small group communication occurs when a small group of people meets to solve a problem. There is cooperative thinking; there is a specific purpose. Communication process in small groups is more complicated than in interpersonal communication.

Mass Communication. The sender-receiver (speaker) sends a message (speech) to an audience in a highly structured manner. Additional visuals may be used.