Visual Communication Research Designs-the title’s meaning may seem obvious, but I will be changing the meaning of some of these words, so please read carefully.

First, I define communication as a social process. Communication is social because it involves interactions between people. Communication is a process because it consists of an ongoing series of exchanges. In these exchanges, one person uses symbols to intentionally send a message; then others interpret the message’s meaning and respond. With this definition, mass media are not in the communication business. Mass media are in the information business, the entertainment business, the persuasion business, and the money-making business. People may seem to interact with the media when they talk back to a TV program, and they may seem to be engaged in a process when they become hooked on media content, but people are not really communicating with a medium (TV), a company (CBS), a show (CSI Miami), or an actor (David Caruso). On the other hand, I include mass media in this book because so many people think of the media when they think of visual communication.