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Perception and communication are related because perception is a necessary step toward the process of communication. Perception involves the reception of data from various sensory inlets in the form of the five senses, the internalization of the data, and the translation of that data into some form of output through the process of communication. Communication may be either intrapersonal or interpersonal. The manner in which people perceive themselves and also in their relationships with other people largely relies on perception.
An example of the impact of perception and communication is the way an individual perceives his or her image. An individual takes in sensory data through various sensory channels regarding the ideal image and how others may view someone who looks like him or her. Someone who sees pictures of slim, beautiful people in magazines and on television, and hears the media extol the virtues of such an image may perceive that any image contrary to that is not what society finds desirable. This may affect the way in which such an individual views him or herself, which may also be reflected in the way the individual communicates with others.
This process of perception and communication is two-fold in that a person first communicates with him or herself based on the way he or she perceives the sensory data from different senses through a process known as intrapersonal communication. This is the type of communication that goes on in the private mind of an individual in response to the perception of data. For instance, if a child sees his or her mother’s laptop and debates about whether to play with it, the child is having an intrapersonal communication based on the perception that the mother will not be happy with such an action.
In terms of interpersonal communication, perception and communication are linked in the various ways that perception guides the way people relate and communicate with each other. For instance, in a deeply class-conscious society, people may communicate with each other based on their perception of their standing or class in society. Another example of how an interpersonal relationship is linked to communication is the way people perceive others' behavior toward them. If two people meet for the first time and one of them looks at the other in an offensive manner, a negative perception may cause the person on the receiving end to communicate in a rude and equally offensive manner in response.