Critical Thinking in the Transactional Process of Communication

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Laura P. Rogers


The ability to think critically while evaluating messages is a skill that benefits all individuals. Applying critical thinking to the transactional communication process teaches what to consider when evaluating messages from the differing perspectives of those who send and receive messages. When senders (encoders) process, organize, and deliver verbal and nonverbal messages and listeners (decoders) interpret, organize, and respond by providing feedback using verbal and nonverbal messages, they are using a transactional communication process. Knowing critical thinking skills in the process of communication enables individuals to attempt to make rational, logical decisions in their relationships in any context. Knowing and applying some theories of communication to the process can provoke critical thinking. Successful communicators evaluate messages by acknowledging and recognizing differences in perspectives based on unique frames of reference with regard to culture, experiences, expectations, gender, race, religion, and any other similarities or differences.

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