The perceptual process model of communication is a theory that deals with how individuals communicate with one another. This process assumes that each individual creates meaning in his own mind for each part of communication. This process is comprised of eight steps that involve both parties.


The first step in the process involves the sender of a message thinking of an idea that he wants to communicate. For example, when you want to tell someone to pass the salt, you first have to think that idea.


The second step involves encoding the message into a language that can be understood. This means that you translate the desire for the taste of salt on your food into the words required to get the salt.

Choosing a Medium

Once you have encoded the message, you must choose the medium by which to send the message. When you are in the same room with someone, you will usually talk. If you are away from the person you want to communicate with, you could call on the phone or send an email.

Output of Message

After you have successfully encoded the thought into a language that can be understood, you then communicate the message to the other individual. For example, at this point, you would say, "Can you please pass me the salt?"

Decoding of Message

The receiver must then decode the message that was sent. At this point, the recipient of the message accepts the message and converts it into a form that can be interpreted.

Create a Meaning

Once the recipient receives the message, she will create meaning out of it. She will hear the message and try to understand what is being said. Once she hears, "Can you please pass the salt?," she will understand that you want the salt.

Dealing With Noise

During the process of communication, noise can interfere. Noise is anything that can distract the recipient of the message from hearing it clearly. For example, if a radio is on in the background, the recipient of a message may not hear you clearly when you ask a question. She may also be thinking about something that happened earlier and may not be paying attention to the question.


Once the message is clearly received and understood by the recipient, feedback occurs. The recipient of the message could give feedback by grabbing the salt and passing it to you. He could also respond by saying, "No" or "In a minute."