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Write a note on psychological barriers to communication.

Psychological Barriers
1. These barriers are categorized in the way which effects the communication
psychologically. In other words the psychological barriers effect the communication in three
a. Emotional.
b. Perceptual.
c. Selectivity.
2. Emotional Barriers. As we know that emotions directly effects the communication. In
other words the success and failure of the communication also
depends upon the emotions of a communicator. The more the
emotions of a communicator are devoted to the
communication, the more the more the communication would
be effective and helps in achieving the goal for the specific
3. This rule does not only apply on the communicator, but
the audience as well. It depends on the audiences response to the communication. If the
emotions of the audience are attached with the communicator the communication would be
successful but it fails in the opposite case. Its psychology of a person that for effective
communication two individuals must be emotionally attached but if it is not the case, the
communication will be ineffective.
4. Lets take an example of a political gathering, a politician standing and delivering his
speech to the audience who support his party, now among
those people there must be some people of the other political
party, the people of his own party would be at high morale
during his speech and become charged by his each word, this is
because they are emotionally attached to that leader, but the
other hand the people of his opposing party give a deaf ear to
his words and take them as a political drama, so the
communication to those people becomes ineffective between them while it will be effective
between him and his party followers.
5. Now lets take an example of two brothers Khalid and
Tariq. Khalid is the elder brother. Khalid wants to forbid Tariq to
meet his friends whom he thinks are a bad company. Now there
are two ways of saying so to his brother the one is the polite way
and the other is the harsh way. It depends on the emotional

attachment of two brothers that which way would be accepted by Khalid. There would be no
emotional barrier among them and the communication will be successful but in the other case
if Tariq does not bears the strictness of Khalid he will refuse his orders and will continue with
his doings, so in this way there is a barrier in communication between them.
6. Perceptual Barriers. Perception is the process of gathering information through our
senses, organizing and making sense of it. Previous experience and learning, attitudes and
interests, needs and feelings, and the current situation all affect perception. All people do not
"see" the same thing when looking at a
visual image. Perception differs from individual
to individual due to a variety of personal,
socio-economical, and cultural differences.
Age, gender, race, and past experiences are
examples of personal perception filters.
Young children, teenagers, and adults
"see" things differently. As they grow and
develop, children learn to see and comprehend relationships and themes from visuals instead
of simply seeing individual objects and shapes. Socio-economic filters include occupation, level
of education, environmental factors, and family upbringing. Cultural filters include language,
For example, Eskimos have many unique words describing different kinds of snow. Not just
adjectives that go in front of a standard word for snow, but totally different words. Customs,
belief systems, and historical perspective every characteristic of
an individual influences what that individual chooses to see,
hear, taste, touch, and smell. How information is interpreted to
create meaning for an individual is also influenced by his/her
unique make-up and background. The communication
becomes ineffective due to these misperceptions. There are
further three cases of failure of communication due to wrong
perception. It also depends upon the
frame of reference of ones mind which basically controls the
perception of an individual.
7. In first case, people perceive thinks differently sometimes
they think totally opposite to the thing which is being under
discussion or being delivered to them. In another case example
people sometimes fill in the information without checking accuracy.
Even though there is no square in the image shown on right but our brain just fill in and
perceives that there is a square in above image. Hence perceptual barriers are due to the
different ideas and concept of people which they acquired from their lives and experiences, so
there should not be any wrong perception for achieving the goal of communication.

8. Selectivity. A final set of psychological barriers exists because of competition for
peoples time and attention- "The selectivity block". We all are bombarded with information
sources such as newspapers, magazines, technical journals, reports, memo, letters, meetings,
radio, television, videotapes, computer printouts, terminal displays and electronic mail.

9. We simply cannot absorb all this information flowing our way, so, we must screen it
selectively. One factor in the way people select is timing.
Some messages that may be effective at one time might
be blocked or even detrimental at another time. For
example a letter of congratulation or condolence sent out
immediately after the event is more effective than one
sent later. A meeting about accident prevention gets
more attention if it follows an accident than if it precedes
one. A report turned in late may have a highly negative
effect if your supervisor has been anxiously awaiting it or may have little effect if he is busy with
other matters.
10. Another selection factor is context. In one research experiment, subjects were shown
two identical pictures of a rail road train in a station. One captioned parting and the other
arriving on a scale ranging from sad to
happy the subjects tended towards sad
for the first and happy for the second.
The subjects received the same data but
the suggestiveness of the context- the
captions influenced the way they
perceived the picture.
11. In the business world, you might be
more apt to read an article if it appears in a magazine you respect
or a report if it is accompanied by a cover memo from your boss.
Similarly, you might tend to pay more attention to a presentation if
it is held in a boardroom or a well appointed conference room, or
listen more attentively to a sales talk in an elegant restaurant or
12. One more aspect of selectively, we tend to remember the
extremes and forget the middle ground. Think about comments you may have gotten from a
teacher, a coach or a boss. Most people remember that most positive and the most negative

and forget the neutral or middle ground comments. Therefore, your communication may be
blocked or selected out simply because it does not contain startling positive or negative news.

1. http://www.educ.kent.edu/community/vlo/perception/index.html
Accessed on Saturday, 20 September 2014 at 4:30 PM
2. Google images :
Accessed on Saturday, 20 September 2014 at 4:40 PM
3. http://www.scribd.com/doc/45753743/Note-on-Psychological-Barriers-to-
Accessed on Saturday, 20 September 2014 at 4:20 PM