Noise in Communication


Noise is something that is always present and affects people in their day-to-day lives. Noise can interfere with communication in different places, including work settings, industrial workplaces, within buildings, and even in open places. Noise in communication can therefore affect people in their day-to-day lives regardless of sex, age, and lifestyle. Noise in communication can affect people socially by interfering with productivity, compromising safety, affect learning among children and affect health, especially among those with hearing loss and the elderly. This research paper defines noise in communication, the types and the effect of noise in communication. 

Noise in communication

Communication is the process through which information, ideas, or messages are transmitted from one person to another. Noise in communication means anything that interferes with the transfer of information between a sender and receiver. Noise can interfere with the transmission or interpretation of information and exists in all aspects of communication. The presence of noise in communication means that the message or information can never be received in the exact way as the sender intends (DeVito, 2008). 

Types of noise in communication

Noise originates from internal and external factors. The external noise is associated with the physical environment and the physiological state. Internal noise includes semantic and psychological noise that originates within a person and prevents him or her from delivering information. There are different types of noise in communication-based on the origin and include psychological, physical, semantic, and physiological noise. 

  1. Psychological

Psychological noise is the type of interference that is mental and prevents a person from listening and interpreting information. This type of noise in communication originates from qualities within individuals that are internal and affect how they communicate with others. For example, if one has a problem and his mind is wandering when someone is speaking, the person cannot be attentive. Noise in the mind therefore prevents a person from communicating.

  1. Physical

Physical noise is any interference in communication that is physical and originates externally. It is the interference from the environment and includes noise from construction sites, loudspeakers, noise made by people, very bright or dim lights, extreme temperatures, or congested settings. This type of noise makes it difficult for one to receive or interpret information. 

  1. Semantic

Semantic noise originates from information with words that are not easily understood by either the sender or receiver. It may result from different interpretations of words or when there the meaning of communication is not shared. It mostly occurs when someone uses unnecessarily technical language, use of words with different meanings, or when dealing with professionals who use complex terminologies like scientists or lawyers.

  1. Physiological 

Physiological noise originates internally from physiological issues inside a receiver or a sender that interfere with communication. Factors like hunger, migraine, headaches, and physical maladies that interfere with communication like deafness or blindness can cause physiological noise. Such noise interferes with the delivery of information as intended (DeVito, 2008). 

Effects of noise in communication

The different types of noise in communication can disrupt communication and prevent important sounds from being communicated in different settings. The effects of noise in communication can range from simple irritation to a serious safety threat like an accident or hazard due to failure in conveying or hearing warning sounds or words. Such warning sounds may be communicated by the sound of a malfunctioning device, machine, or even a vehicle. 

The inability to receive and interpret vital communication due to noise in communication can be a liability, especially at a workplace or in school. Studies show that performance in quieter workplaces and schools is slightly better than performance in noisy workplaces and schools. Noise in communication interferes with conveying messages, and hence it is hard to receive instructions leading to poor performance. 

Noise in communication can also cause vocal fatigue for those trying to convey messages and information. Noise can disrupt the communication process between two people in a face-to-face or telephone conversation. It can also interfere with the process of watching or listening to radio or TV hence prevent a listener from enjoying. Noise can disrupt effective communication, and this is a key feature of noise-related annoyance. The resulting interference with communication leads to annoyance and/or a safety hazard, depending on the situation. 

Reducing noise in communication

In order to reduce external noise, a sender should speak louder or find a method of amplifying the information. The parties involved in communication can also reduce or stop the noise so as to ensure effective communication. Internal noise originates from within, and a message sender is therefore required to take deep breaths before conveying the message. Internal noise can also be reduced when a person inhales confidence and exhales anxieties that originate from within (Blamer & Laroche, 2012).


Noise occurs in communication by interfering with the conveying of information. This, therefore, makes it difficult for the sender and the receiver to understand each other. There are different types of noise in communication that affect communication in various ways. Effective communication can only occur if both communicating parties reduce the power of both internal and external sources of noise. 


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