Noise can be external or internal, and it can disrupt the communication process at any point.
Examples and Observations:
- Four Kinds of Noise
"There are four kinds of noise. Physiological noise is distraction caused by hunger, fatigue, headaches, medication, and other factors that affect how we feel and think. Physical noise is interference in our environments, such as noises made by others, overly dim or bright lights, spam and pop-up ads, extreme temperatures, and crowded conditions. Psychological noise refers to qualities in us that affect how we communicate and interpret others. For instance, if you are preoccupied with a problem, you may be inattentive at a team meeting. Likewise, prejudice and defensive feelings can interfere with communication. . . . Finally, semantic noise exists when words themselves are not mutually understood. Authors sometimes create semantic noise by using jargon or unnecessarily technical language."
(Julia T. Wood, Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters, 6th ed. Wadsworth 2010)
- Noise in Intercultural Communication
"For effective communication in an intercultural interaction, participants must rely on a common language, which usually means that one or more individuals will not be using their native tongue. Native fluency in a second language is difficult. especially when nonverbal behaviors are considered. People who use another language will often have an accent or or might misuse a word or phrase, which can adversely affect the receiver's understanding of the message. This type of distraction, referred to as semantic noise, also encompasses jargon, slang, and even specialized professional terminology."
(Edwin R. McDaniel et al., "Understanding Intercultural Communication: The Working Principles." Intercultural Communication: A Reader, 12th ed., ed. by Larry A. Samovar, Richard E. Porter, and Edwin R. McDaniel. Wadsworth, 2009)