communication ethics

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Sociology ・APA ・10 Sources

A person's entire existence is made up of communication. Every day, from morning to night, people connect with one another using various means and aims. It's quite natural. Nonetheless, the ethical challenge of communication is especially pertinent in modern culture. It is, on the one hand, a """"must have,"""" but not everyone is sufficiently correct to follow the basic norms of communication etiquette. This presentation will look at the challenges that can develop during communication and various solutions to them. The primary types of communication will also be discussed, as will real-life instances. Keywords: communication, conflict, ethics, feelings, needs.


Communication implies the transmission of a message, a conscious, built-up, targeted and appropriate influence on the views and values of the interlocutor, built primarily on a rational basis. Communication is an easy, shallow interaction between people and a greater exchange of emotionally meaningful messages and feelings, including feelings that are important and profound (Donsbach, 2016). Communication is the interaction of interlocutors, each of which has the task of influencing the other and knows that its communication partner has the same task. Emotions and feelings for communication are not that little characteristic; they rather do not start the process, but are the official moment of communication (Popescu, 2012). The communicator will express any feelings, if they are necessary for solving the situational task, and will not express you any feelings if this is inappropriate in the situation.
In ordinary communication, manipulation takes place spontaneously, mostly on the mood and type of personality of people who communicate, and they are usually not very conscious of them, just as in principle little is realized about everything that happens in communication. Speaking metaphorically, there is always, but the road has more, in the park less. As for communication, this interaction, where the number and nature of manipulation is strictly regulated: in cooperation, in the planning of joint actions, manipulation is almost completely eliminated, in negotiations with competitors, they are allowed, in polemics, they are the main content of interaction. Metaphorically speaking, the manipulation in communication is as much as the coloring and aroma substances in the pharmacy and perfume products: everything is calibrated to a milligram. From the point of view of psychology, communication helps a person to exist in society and not feel lonely.


There are many theories and models of communication. Each person uses some particular ones of them, but all this happens unconsciously and depends on many factors. Nevertheless, in modern communication science there are several scientific approaches to the study of communication. In order to make communication meaningful and productive, and therefore most beneficial to its participants, it is extremely important that communicating people understand each other. As well as understand each other, people should not just listen, but also hear each other, that is, they need to accept each other's words, agree with them, reflect on them, try to understand them. To understand is to feel another person and accept his words, thoughts, feelings. Therefore, in the process of communicating with people, you should listen very carefully to them not to lose anything from what they have said. 
Any omission can lead to an incorrect interpretation of the words of the interlocutor, and hence to the wrong conclusions that will cause an incorrect response. It is also important to understand what problems and tasks the communicating person decides to communicate with him or her based on, first of all, his, and then also of his or her own needs. After all, in order to find common ground, people should show each other their interest in the problems and desires of each other. 


The ethics of speech communication is determined by the culture of speech. Ethics prescribes to people rules of moral behavior and etiquette defines manners of behavior in certain situations and specific formulas of courtesy. A person that respects etiquette, but violates the ethical norms of communication, is hypocritical and deceptive. Ethical and moral behavior with non-compliance with the rules of etiquette from the outside also looks rather strange and does not cause trust. Thus, the concepts of the ethics of verbal communication and speech etiquette must be considered together (Ramaraju, 2012). The basic ethical principles and moral norms of communication are always considered along with specific rules of conversation: greeting, asking, question, gratitude, farewell and so forth.


There is the main rule of communication, the essence of which is that one should treat others as he or she would like others to treat him or her. This rule can be extended to any situation. Thus, the following basic ethical principles of communication are considered:
 - Altruism, i.e. the willingness to sacrifice something for the sake of another;
- Virtue, i.e. establishing of relations with others from the standpoint of good and good;
- Exactingness, i.e. making demands to oneself and others to fulfill a moral duty, responsibility;
-  Justice and parity, i.e. equality between people.
The moral side of communication is very important. In real life, people strive for achievement of not only common, but also some significant personal goals. Hence it is important not to let the relationship of forgetting the basic rule of morality: one should not do to others what he or she does not want himself or herself (Lapsley et al., 2005). It is essential to build relationships on some kind of moral regulators, with constantly included internal control, which prevents unlimited egoism in partnership, which can not only damage but also destroy them. Ethics of communication is based on such rules and norms of behavior of partners, which ultimately contribute to the development of strong friendship and strengthen the essential basis of human relations. The meaning of these rules and norms is the strengthening of mutual trust, the constant informing of the partner about their intentions and actions, the exclusion of deception and the disorientation of the partner.


The most complex problem of conflict in real communication has an enduring significance for both ethical research and ethics of communication. In the practical sphere, conflicts in communication are also an eternally urgent problem for every person. Conflicts should not be identified with impassable situations of the individual (Bao et al., 2016). Under dead-end situations of personality can be understood as insoluble antinomies of human self-awareness, and interpersonal situations, the exit from which either is practically absent, or requires vital losses. Deadlock situations are characterized by hopelessness, the irreversibility of the tragic position of man. Conflict, as a rule, is associated with extremely negative moral and psychological experiences and suffering (Verma, 1998).
The strategy of getting out of the conflict is the main line of the opponent's behavior during the conflict resolution. There are 5 main strategies: rivalry, compromise, cooperation, avoiding and adaptation.
Rivalry implies imposing of an advantageous solution for oneself. It is justified in cases of explicit constructiveness of the proposed solution, as well as profitability of the result for the whole group or organization, and not for an individual or a micro group; the importance of the result of the struggle for the one who supports this strategy; also, lack of time for an agreement with the opponent. Rivalry is advisable in extreme and basic situations, in case of time deficit and high probability of dangerous consequences.
- Compromise consists of desire of the opponents to complete the conflict by partial concessions. It is characterized by a rejection of some of the claims that were made earlier, the willingness to accept the claims of the other party as partially justified, a willingness to forgive. Compromise is effective in cases, when the opponent understands that he or she and the opponent have equal opportunities, also the existence of mutually exclusive interests; satisfaction by a temporary solution; threats to lose everything.
- Adaptation is considered as forced or voluntary refusal to fight and surrender of their positions. Adoption of such an opponent's strategy is forced by various motives: awareness of one's wrongness, the need to maintain good relations with the opponent, a strong dependence on him; frivolousness of the problem. In addition, to such an exit from the conflict leads to significant damage caused during the struggle, the threat of even more serious negative consequences, the lack of chances for a different result, the pressure of a third party.
- Avoiding of solution to a problem or avoiding as an attempt to get out of the conflict with minimal losses. It differs from a similar strategy of behavior during a conflict in that the opponent moves to it after unsuccessful attempts to realize their interests through active strategies. Avoidance is used in the absence of forces and time to eliminate contradictions, the desire to gain time, the presence of difficulties in determining the line of one's behavior and unwillingness to solve the problem in general.
- Cooperation is considered as the most effective strategy of behavior in the conflict. It involves one's desire of opponents to constructively discuss the problem, considering the other side not as an adversary, but as an ally in the search for a solution. The most effective option is in situations of strong interdependence of opponents, the inclination of both to ignore the differences in power and the importance of the solution for both parties; impartiality of participants.
Making of a choice of a strategy depends on various factors. They indicate the personal characteristics of the opponent, the level of damage and self-harm caused to him, the availability of resources, the status of the opponent, the possible consequences, the severity of the problem being solved and the duration of the conflict.


There are different types of communication, depending on the intentions of the person and the desired end result (Krauss, 2002).
- Verbal communication is carried out through speech and is the prerogative of a person. It provides a person with broad communication opportunities and is much richer than all types and forms of non-verbal communication, although in life it cannot completely replace it;
Verbal means of communication is speech. People communicate through speech. For example, children learn new information at the lesson thanks to the teacher's speech: he or she explains the information verbally, as well as in writing. In order to learn how to communicate effectively and use verbal means of communication, one needs not only improve his or her speech, but also know the rules of the native language or learn foreign languages, although this is certainly very important.
-  Non-verbal communication occurs with the help of facial expressions and gestures, through direct sensory or physical contacts, such as tactile, visual, auditory, and olfactory and other sensations and images obtained from another person (Hecht et al., 1999). Non-verbal forms and means of communication are inherent not only to man, but also to some animals. In most cases, non-verbal forms and means of human communication are innate. They allow people to interact with each other, seeking mutual understanding on the emotional and behavioral levels. The most important non-verbal component of the communication process is the ability to listen.
Non-verbal means of communication are necessary for people to be clear in understanding each other. Non-verbal manifestations relate only to oral communication. Since the external non-verbal expression of emotions and feelings performed by the body is also a certain set of symbols and signs, it is also called body language. This type of communication complements the verbal, and serves as an auxiliary method of communication. For example, when a designer meets his or her customer, he or she tries to explain in detail what kind of dress she wants, by moving her hands and fingers. Thus, the designer will have a better idea of what his or her client wants.
- Biological communication is associated with the satisfaction of basic organic needs and is necessary for the maintenance, preservation and development of the organism.
- Social communication is aimed at the expansion and strengthening of interpersonal contacts, the establishment and development of interpersonal relations, personal growth of the individual (Krauss et al., 1996).
Biological and social communication imply interpersonal communication of people in society for the purpose of survival and emotional and information exchange. For example, a person moved to another city in which he or she does not have his own home and he or she needs to rent an apartment. Therefore, he or she either finds a realtor and negotiates with him or her, or find the owner of the apartment, who surrenders his and negotiates with him or her.
-  Material type implies the exchange of objects and products of activities that serve as a means of meeting their actual needs. For example, the owner of a thoroughbred cat is a breeder and, accordingly, he sells kittens for earnings.
- Cognitive type is the transfer of information that broadens the horizon, improving and developing abilities (Bandura, 2009). For example, a person attends refresher courses in the specialty on which he or she works.
- Conditioning is the exchange of mental or physiological states, the impact on each other, calculated to bring a person into a certain physical or mental condition. For instance, it occurs when psychologist works with his or her patient.
- Motivational communication consists of transferring to each other certain motives, attitudes or readiness for actions in a certain direction. Any person can provide motivation to a person in any situation. The need for something is capable of forming a need for contact with other people. For example, a person wanted something and there was a strong desire to get it. Discount for any product or service can be a desirable thing.


Summing it up, it is worth noting that communication is a very important element in the life of every person, which is impossible and, naturally, does not need to be avoided. Through communication, people can be considered socialized. Compliance with the rules of communication and ethical framework in the modern world is mandatory, however, non-compliance is illiteracy. When the interaction becomes deeper, it is said not so much about communication, but about relationships. The choice of the type of communication is unconscious and automatic.


Bandura, Albert. (2009). ""Social Cognitive Theory of Mass Communication"". Media Psychology, v. 3(3).
Bao, Y., Zhu, F., Hu, Y., Cui, N. (2016). ""The Research of Interpersonal Conflict and Solution Strategies"". Scientific Research Publishing Inc., v. 7, pp. 541-545.
Donsbach, Wolfgang. (2016). ""The International Encyclopedia of Communication"". Volume 9. Precious Journal - Rhetoric in Western Europe: Britain. Retrieved from Accessed on 24 November, 2017.
Hecht, M. A., Ambady, N. (1999). ""Nonverbal Communication and Psychology:
 Past and Future"". The New Jersey Journal of Communication, v. 7(2).
Krauss, R.M. (2002). ""The Psychology of Verbal Communication"". Columbia University. Retrieved from Accessed on 24 November, 2017.
Krauss, R. M., Fussel, R. M. (1996). ""Social Psychological Models of Interpersonal Communication"". Retrieved from Accessed on 24 November, 2017.
Lapsley, D. K. and Narvaez, D. (2005). ""Moral Psychology at the Crossroads"". Retrieved from Accessed on 24 November, 2017.
Popescu, Manoela. (2012). ""Psychology of Communication - Between Myth and Reality"". International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, v. 2(1), pp. 321-325.
Ramaraju, S. (2012). ""Psychological Perspectives on Interpersonal Communication"". Journal of Arts, Science & Commerce, v. 3(2).
Verma, V. K. (1998). ""Conflict Management"". Project Management Handbook. Retrieved from Accessed on 24 November, 2017.

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