UGC NET Study Notes on Barriers in Effective Communication

By Mohit Choudhary|Updated : August 8th, 2022


Barriers to Communication


Communication plays a vital role in our lives. Every entity around us communicate, be it plants or the micro-organisms. The need to communicate is not just a mere exchange of information between entities or groups but it’s a vital part of our existence. The dictionary meaning of communication is to "exchange (thoughts) or convey (information or feelings) by oration, writing or other means to disseminate data.”

Communication in the modern age is characterized by its meaning, speed, effectiveness and its all-pervasive ability to transcend the boundaries, geographical, physical or even psychological. Effective communication has many characteristics, and there could be several factors that could not let the receiver get the correct message or also interpret it. Few of the barriers to effective communication are as follows:


 1. Organizational Barriers: - These barriers are seen within an organizational structure and could be attributed to the following factors:

  1. The culture and structure of the organization
  2. The physical distance between the employees
  3. Specialization of jobs
  4. Inadequate facilities and opportunities
  5. The organizational dynamics in terms of power structure and distribution

2. Physical barriers: - The physical barriers are the ones where the geographical location and distance between the sender and the receiver comes into the picture. Communication is best when it is face to face. The communication is easier over shorter distances. When modern technology is used like online media or the internet, these barriers are reduced considerably. The most common physical barriers are:


3. Psychological Barriers: These are the barriers that are created inside the psyche of a person; they may be a result of a person's thought or preconceived notions. Some important ones are: -

  1. Cognitive dissonance: this occurs when the receiver purposely chose to ignore the message, due to dissonance or conflict in his thought process and the signal he receiving. Example, statutory warning on alcohol bottles.
  2. Stereotyping: these are the result of a person's ego or his thinking about knowing everything.
  3. Mismatch in the field of experience: This happens when the sender is of a different domain than the receiver. Example, the teacher of philosophy delivers lectures to the history class.
  4. Defensive attitude and closed brains: This barrier arise when the person has a strong urge to maintain the status-quo or the state of ignorance which he has. It can also include fear, anxiety, tension and distorting.
  5. Self – image: This is the most common barrier to the communication; the people are receptive to only those messages that boost their self-image and neglect those messages which are opposite to it.
  6. Filtering: A sender's content could be filtered to suit the needs of the receiver.

 4. Linguistic and cultural barriers: These barriers are the oldest existing barriers and the most popular ones. They arise due to verbal or non- verbal language barriers. The symbols can be wrongly or even differently comprehended. It could be due to excessive use of technical words, jargons, financial or psychological words. The languages are culture-specific, region-specific or even the country-specific languages are used to ease the sending and receiving the messages.

Some of the most common Linguistic barriers are:


  1. Semantic barriers: A general disagreement about the words being used between the sender and the receiver, they might not agree on the language used where one comes from different language and cultural setting.
  2. Cross-Cultural: this deal with the communication between varied cultures and society. A person from Japan willing to break the barrier and communicate with someone from India.
  3. High Context and Low context cultures: Societies that are high context use the words heavily, whereas the people belonging to the low context societies use words seldom, and communication is carried mainly through non-verbal route.

5. Mechanical Barriers: Mechanical barriers are those that can arise in both interpersonal and intrapersonal communication. The various causes of the mechanical obstacles could be technical barriers, disturbances in the communication channel, illegible hand-writing, or noisy telephonic lines. The mechanical walls can create difficulty in the reception of either some parts of the messages or the entire message.

These are the critical barriers to the communication both interpersonal and intrapersonal. We have other barriers too that form a subpart of these are not relevant to the exam point of view.

We hope you understood the terms related to Barriers to Effective communication for paper-1 for UGC NET EXAM 2022.

Thank you,

Team BYJU'S Exam Prep


write a comment

Follow us for latest updates